Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Two for Tuesday #12 – Finishing School

with 2 comments

This week Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday Challenge had the prompts:


Standard Prompt:
dirty laundry

Non-Standard Prompt:
This week’s alternative prompt is a visual one, write a story using the photo below. As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.





Finishing School (312 words)

We never knew where the really bad ones went. Life for us was hideous enough and we were considered saveable. Ours were only minor misdemeanours – stealing a penny, scrumping apples from a private orchard. The others, those who threw tantrums as well as their fists, disappeared forever.

There were rumours that some of them came back, 15 or more years later, but I never saw. They were sent away to break bricks, their backs whipped raw, bones visible through flesh; their souls as well as their bodies broken. They were the whispers, but none of us knew, and thinking they had it worse helped us get by.

We scrubbed shiny floors, whitewashed icing-coloured walls, and picked weeds from the lawns with our fingers. If our behaviour offended again we were sent to the treadmill to grind the baker’s flour. We were the village’s dirty laundry, not to be aired in public, sent away; safely out of sight and mind.

Our one reward was the gym. A worn-out hoop, ropes and ladders fixed to the wall, and Matron screaming at us to climb. Even they folded away for the Christmas party. Boys and girls together for once, forced to dance, encouraged to touch what was off-limits at all other times. We were confused. Bad things happened. People would be missing the next day, never seen again.

At 16 we were shown the door, equipped to work and serve. They forgot to say that our school address precluded us from any work locally, or within the county.

It’s all gone now. I made sure of that after I escaped and made something of myself. When the place went up for sale, I bought it and sent in the first wrecking ball. Prime development land they said. But I’ll never develop it. Nature lives there now, where nurture went missing and unnatural things were done.



Written by Sarah Ann

June 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “Nature lives there now, where nurture went missing and unnatural things were done.”

    Awesome ending! Thanks for sharing this!


    June 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    • Thanks Eric. I wasn’t sure on the ending so I’m very happy you liked it.

      Sarah Ann

      June 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

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