Sunday, 7 February 2010

3am Epiphany Challenge - 2

Write a fragment of a story that is made up entirely of imperative commands, e.g. "Do this; do that; contemplate the rear end of the woman who is walking out of your life." This exercise will be a sort of second-person narration.

Wordcount: 500 (+/- 10%)

The Headmistress

“Stop! You there, stop running immediately. Come here. Tell me your name.”

Steel yourself. Don’t imagine this will be over quickly.

“Call me Fonzie.”

Try not to roll your eyes as she inspects you more closely, and don’t be surprised when your clever remark doesn’t get a laugh.

“Don’t be funny with me, boy. And don’t be fooled that you won’t be punished for your impertinence. Call yourself what you like, but don’t imagine it’ll make a difference.”

Hide your smirk beneath a frown. Try not to imagine the kudos the others will give you for making her turn that delightful shade of puce.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you. And don’t scowl. If you think that’s clever, well, think again!”

Don’t rise to the bait. Remember that one day you’ll leave.

“And while I’m on the subject, bring in your homework tomorrow. Don’t be late, and don’t keep the class waiting. Have some respect for your fellow students!”

One day – oh don’t forget that one day the harridan will be old and grey. Imagine it.

“I could be talking to a brick wall – if there’s anything going on in that head of yours, knock once for yes!”

Ignore her cruel laughter. Bite your tongue, it doesn’t do to answer back, so think – but don’t say it out loud.

“Go on, dream away. Dream your life away! Look at me and try to work out if I care whether you succeed or not.”

Oh, go away and die!

“And tell me, boy, what is your mother thinking sending you out looking like that? Let her iron your clothes, at least.”

Try to forget that you have no mother to clean up after you. Try to forget that this woman knows it as well as you do. Ball your hands into fists in your pockets, dig your nails into your palms, do whatever it takes. Just don’t show her she can hurt you.

Wait… wait… be sure the harangue is over before you try and step away. Watch for the sharply indrawn breath. Heed the narrowing eyes. Don’t be fooled by the short silence. Don’t think it’s over when it’s hardly begun.


“Come with me.”

Follow her down the corridor and shrug. Pretend not to notice the looks of pity from the older boys. Pretend not to react to the gestures of encouragement and defiance your friends make as you pass. Pretend not to care.

Follow in silence as she enters the office. Sit down, and act as if nothing’s wrong.

“Stand up. Don’t sit down unless I tell you to!”

Stand up as slowly as you dare. Act nonchalant. Try to ignore the implements of punishment and the glow in her eyes as she stares at them.

“Bring me the birch cane.”

Ignore the hiss of triumph in her voice.

Die, bitch.

Wait for the hiss of the cane as it whips through the air, and brace yourself as best you can.

Resign yourself to the inevitable, and comfort yourself by plotting her downfall.


  1. Engaging. Did you sell yourself to the devil to gain such a remarkable relationship with words?

  2. *laughs* no, but I'll take the implied compliment and thank you :)