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Jack and Jessica
The drab grey walls surrounded Jack, he gazed at a spider, watching it attempt to escape the prison it had found itself in. “There’s no way out,” thought the teenager wearily, “For either of us.”
His thoughts were interrupted by the foul smell of Mr Dobson, as he stood angrily over Jack’s desk.
“Stand up! Master Smith! Do you care about the politics of this nation or not?” Mr Dobson sternly exclaimed.
“Yes sir, of course I do” Jack meekly responded, and it was true. Jack never had a problem with politics, but Mr Dobson didn’t teach politics, he taught his personal propaganda and his opinion was final, not that they learnt about anyone else’s ideas anyway.
“Then prove it” snarled Dobson, “What is the correct stance on benefits?
“I, I…” Jack attempted to stall, he knew the answer, but just couldn’t bring himself to say it.
“I’m hardly surprised” Mr Dobson, laughed horribly, as though he had some how defeated his own student.
“The poor are the poor, because they are lazy, either that or completely crazy” the old teacher recited his little rhyme, as though poverty was funny.
“Yes sir, sorry sir” Jack’s apology was as false as Mr Dobson’s teeth
“Please boy, its not your fault that you have quite so little intelligence” Dobson joked, but nobody laughed.
As the lesson continued, Jack waited, he checked the old wooden clock constantly, counting down the minutes, how we wanted to rush out of the class right then, the lesson was coming to a close, he couldn’t wait to leave, because he couldn’t wait to see her…
The bell rung and, at long last the class was dismissed, Jack rushed out the door, but once outside, he kept to the shadows, slyly moving in the darkness, and stealthily making his way to the forbidden fence. The first time Jack had seen the fence he was nine, it had been completely by accident, he had lost his way, and then he saw it. It was covered in Danger signs and the words: “WARNING! 24 VOLT ELECTRIC FENCE” hung from the top of the fence, Jack turned around and began to walk away from the, “Forbidden fence” but his curiosity took over him, he had to investigate. Jack walked towards the fence and began to move parallel to it. The many warnings and caution signs only made Jack more determined. Then, quite suddenly he spotted a gap in the fence, where he could see a small white house with a bright red roof, it was a stark contrast to the stone building in which the, “Dobson’s School of Excellence” was housed, and Jack couldn’t help but stare, then unexpectedly, a small girl walked out of the bright red door. She looked shyly at Jack, before slowly making her way towards the fence.
“E-Excuse me” she stammered, “But who are you? And why are you staring at my house?” She meant nothing by this, she was simply curious
“I’m Jack” he said quietly “I’m sorry for staring at your house, it’s very pretty”
“Really?” the girl said happily “I chose the colours, my name’s Jessica”
“I wish my house looked like that” said Jack sadly
“Where do you live?” Jessica asked innocently
“At the boarding school, Dobson’s school of Excellence” Jack pointed behind him at the intimidating academy.
“Do you like living in school?” Jessica asked inquisitively
“Not at all, my only teacher is Mr Dobson, and all he talks about is how right he is about everything” Jack moaned
“So you don’t do poetry?” Jessica queried
“Poetry?” Jack repeated, confusion in his voice. The word was new to him.
“You don’t know what poetry is?” Jessica was amazed at this “Tomorrow I’ll bring you some poetry I wrote, meet me here same time, okay?”
Jack promised to do so, and he remembers the poem she brought to this day, it was special to him, it went like this.
“The autumn loves to party,
so laugh and just be hearty,
The leaves dance with the wind
They jump and turn and spin”
Since then the two have met every day for five years,
“Hey Jessica” Jack called as he saw Jessica waiting at the fence, just as she always did
“Jack!” Jessica exclaimed, as though she had been waiting a long time “I brought you some poetry,” she slid the paper through a small hole in the fence, it read.
“I have a friend who makes me smile
Everyday I wait by the fence a while
He makes me feel safe and secure
His voice makes me feel assured”
Jack looked up at Jessica shyly, “Its lovely” he said. He too felt safe with Jessica, the pair of them caught in their own world escaping the big, bad reality they were oh so used to.
Jessica blushed, and moving on to another subject, asked, “How was school?”
“As bad as usual, I’ve had just about enough of the gospel according to Dobson,” Jack exhaustedly explained.
“Why don’t you introduce them to some poetry? Your pen is your weapon” Jessica asked, the latter statement a reference to a poem she had shown him.
“Mr Dobson would lose his mind! It’s not worth it.” Jack dismissed the idea quickly
“Come on Jack! He hates you anyway. Its worth a try” Jessica did not want to drop the issue.
“We’ll see” Jack replied “I wrote you some poetry too.” Jack slipped his own paper through the fence; it was a type of poetry Jessica had only recently told him about, a haiku.
“The bright sky is clear
Thoughts drift with the gentle breeze
The world is at peace”
“This is good! You should seriously try to teach Dobson some poetry, you never know… It might work!” Jessica smiled.
Jessica and Jack parted ways again and when the night came Jack lay in his bed silent, Jessica had left him with a lot to think about, he weighed up the pros and cons for a long time, before finally sitting up, he got his weapon ready, and started to write.
When the next morning came Jack prepared for battle, he was supposed to be reciting to 50 most atrocious mistakes (in order) the government had made in the last 10 years, but he had instead learnt his own poem.
“Maser Smith! Look sharp! Are you ready for your presentation?” Dobson snarled
“Of course sir, I will start immediately!” Jack made his way to the front of the class, his heartbeat increased
“I have a poem to read you” Jack was not unnerved by the confused looks of the students around him
“What are you doing?” Dobson snarled, but Jack ignored him
“You trap me with fences and walls
But it’s not with these that I have any qualms” the class gasped and Mr Dobson’s forehead began to throb violently.
“You have confined my mind
With your empty words and lies
My brain is imprisoned,
By your clear lack of vision
My sprit needs to be free as the bird
What is it of? That you are so scared
You trap me with fences and walls
But it’s not with these that I have any qualms”
Then there was silence, Mr Dobson just stared, finally he opened his mouth
“You silly little orphan boy, get out of my school, who do you have? Your parents are dead, and I shall keep their money. You have nobody; you have abused me, your only friend.” Jack was speechless, but as Dobson threw him out at the school gate, the children began to clap, and despite Dobson’s objections Jack left as a hero, he had stood up to Mr Dobson, although this was of little use as he felt cold and alone on the street
Eventually Jack resolved to go to Jessica’s house, as he stood outside the gate at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Jessica walked out the bright red door, but as she turned towards the, “Forbidden Fence”. Jack called to her, “Jessica!” the girl looked at him, she didn’t ask how. She just ran toward him and, for the first time, they touched, hugging one another, a tear came to Jack’s eye. Jessica turned suddenly, and returned to the small white house, she came out with someone else, her mother
“It’s him, Mum! He’s really here!” Jessica couldn’t believe the words she was saying
“Jack” said her mother pensively “I’ve heard so much about you.”