Hearing voices - is Tom going mad? A draft of an 11 year old's story.
It was just another boring day at Hillmay School. The maths teacher was droning on in some unknown language. Everyone was in a stupor not really paying attention. Sean was staring out of the window at the lush green fields and watching those who didn’t have lessons at that moment lying under the baking sun taking sips of cool orange juice.
Tom had his head resting on the table his shirt sticking to his back with the sweat. There was a sudden bang above them.
“FOSTER!” Mr McKnuk (the teacher) shouted, disappearing from the classroom.
Emile Foster was a terror. He rarely turned up for school but when he did he caused havoc among the classes, especially when it involved his least favourite teacher Mr McKnuk. He was a short freckle faced boy with jet-black hair and deep dark brown eyes.
“DETENTION!” Mr McKnuk was dragging Foster into the room.
He shrugged like he didn’t care about his punishment.
“AND NO BREAK!” Foster fitted in another shrug. “FOR THE REST OF TERM!”
That had done it. First break was the one true time Foster could pull pranks on the year sevens. He couldn’t go a whole term without it. Tom looked around at Katelyn. There was a look of disgust on her face. How many time had she seen her brother get into trouble and she still hadn’t got used to it.
Foster was mouthing something to Tom but he couldn’t work out what he was saying.
“He needs to talk to you at lunch.”
“Wha’?” he asked.
“Honestly manners these days. He needs to talk to you at lunch.”
Tom realised the voice speaking to him was very similar to his own, but who was speaking to him in the first place?
“Thomas Leicester! Will you please pay attention?!”
Tom’s head jerked. Mr McKnuk was back to teaching again and Foster had left the room.
“This is really easy! A year two could work this one out. What is x worth?”
The bell rang. Everyone stood up.
“Hang on. No-one is leaving until they work out this answer!”
Simultaneously the whole class shouted out different numbers and squeezed through the door.
Foster was waiting for Tom.
“What d’you want, Foster?”
“Sorry, Tom. I can’t tell you here.”
“Buzz off.” Tom said to a group of girls who were walking past him giggling. “Sorry, Foster I get that a lot.”
Tom shot them a glare.
“They all fancy you.” Foster said with a smirk.
“Either that or they heard about your punishment.”
“You know where I live right?”
“I think so. Why?”
“Come to mine tonight.” Foster ordered. “Six o’clock, pronto.”
“Just one question to ask.” Foster said. “Have you heard any voices? Strange voices talking to you. No-one’s there, but there’s a voice.”
Tom stared at him.
“Yeah, actually. Just then in maths. It was telling me what you were trying to say.”
“Damn!” Foster nearly shouted.
“Language, Foster!” said a passing teacher.
The Foster House
Sean had been waiting for Tom outside the canteen. Sean was a tall blonde boy and like Tom was very good-looking and got a lot of attention from the girls, and was Tom’s best friend. A group of girls were standing staring at them, muttering and giggling. Sean swore at them in hope of them going but it only made them giggle more.
“What did you want with, Foster?” he asked.
“I’ll tell you over lunch.” Tom replied. “I’m starving.
“WHAT?” yelled Sean.
There were a few looks down towards Tom and Sean’s table.
“Sorry, but, don’t you think it’s a bit weird that you hear a strange voice, and then Foster asks you whether you have heard anything?” Sean said. “There must be some connection between you, the voice and Emile Foster!”
Tom didn’t say anything. He wanted to tell Sean that there wasn’t a connection between them, but couldn’t bring himself to do so. Instead he said.
“You don’t think me and Foster are related, do you?” he asked.
“Honestly?” Tom nodded at Sean’s words. “I don’t know, but it would explain why you both heard the voices.”
“Wait a minute!” said Tom. “Foster never said that he had heard the voices!”
“How else would he know about them then.”
This was a good point, and Tom couldn’t deny it.
The rest of the day passed slowly. Tom didn’t want to find out what Foster was trying to tell him but he wanted to at the same time. He was now on his last lesson, chemistry. As fun as changing the colour of flames was he was thankful when Mr Stoke told them it was time to pack in.
Getting out of the building was enough hassle never mind when you were un-deliberately popular. Today was a particular bad day. He and Sean had to shake everyone off before finally getting out of the building. Tom had decided not to go straight to Foster’s house because he only lived a few streets away.
He had barely put his foot on the step to get on the bus when a hand grabbed him by his arm and pulled him off.
“Sorry, Thomas.” It was Mr Stoke. “You don’t mind if we have a word do you?”
Tom opened his mouth to say he really wanted to get home, but-
“Excellent! Follow me then!”
Tom gave a quiet sigh.
“Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble and if you miss the bus I’ll give you a lift home.”
Mr Stoke led Tom to his office.
“Sit down.” He said, pointing to the two large green chairs on one side of the desk, while he sat down on the other side.
Tom sat and felt his bottom sink into the big soft cushions. He had never been in Mr Stokes office before. He had been inside other teacher’s when they were talking to his parents about “how much he has come on since he started”. Their offices normally had a cold feel to them and were completely spotless with stiff wooden chairs. Mr Stoke’s however was completely different. The fire gave a warm glow to the greens and blues used and it had a carpet (which was very rare). Books were piled on top of each other in an untidy stack while only some had managed to reach the shelf.
Mr Stoke lent forward onto the desk, a concerned look spread over his cheerful face.
“Tom. I can call you Tom, can’t I?” Tom nodded. “Tom, my lad, I noticed in chemistry today you looked as if something was bothering you. Is there?”
“No.” Tom lied quickly.
“Are you sure?”
Tom gave an unconvincing nod. Mr Stoke looked at him suspiciously.
“Well if you have any problems don’t hesitate to tell me.” He said not wanting to press the matter on. “OK?”
“OK. You are free to go.” Relieved, Tom walked across the room to the door, his feet sinking into the mushy blue carpet. He walked through the almost completely deserted entrance hall out of the building. The late bus had just arrived and a few more people scrambled onto it.
He had changed his mind. He was now going to go straight to the Foster house because he was so fed up of waiting. There had been enough delays already. The journey seemed ten times slower