This is my first piece of actual fiction (rather than just fanfiction) so please don't be too harsh.
Noah and that Swedish Kid.
Hello! My name's Noah, yes like Noah from the Bible. Today I just felt like writing, if you know what I mean. Now I'm going to tell you a story about my school and a student who taught me what the word bravery meant.
It was a day like every other when Gruel came to our school. Now you must be thinking, Gruel?! What a horrid name, his mother must have really hated him. But that was not the case, in fact she-. But now I'm getting ahead of myself, I'll come back to that later.
Gruel was the typical bully most people imagine when they hear the words 'male' and 'bully' put together. He was extremely strong but not very smart, he was cruel but very predictable. He was very tall too, I swear, by his thirteenth birthday he was already six feet.
Gruel came from out of town apparently, somewhere in the country with no-one for company except for his mother and a murder of troublesome crows. I would have felt sorry for him, if he wasn't such a- but anyway I should be getting on.
I can't describe how cruel he was! He seemed to pick on me a lot but that was no different to how almost everyone else in the school treated me so I didn't take too much notice of it. Maybe it's because I'm the only boy in the school who plays a musical instrument.
But he bullied the primary kids. Now that's just mean!
This is an extract out of my diary (yes I keep a diary) from a certain week before everything begun to change.
Gruel stuffed my head down the toilet.
Gruel was bashing up some preps. When he saw me watching he came a stuffed my head down the toilet again.
At recess I saw Gruel bulling some grade twos out of their lunch money. How stupid is that! He's been watching too many Teenage Soap Operas. I told him. He stuffed my head down the toilet again.
I feigned illness and didn't come to school.
I was forced to go to school today. Had my head stuffed down the toilet again. Doesn't he have any variety?
It was now back to Monday. The nightmare was finally drawing to a close. We were told that today a new boy was coming to our school. We all felt very sorry for him, Gruel's favourite victims were new kids.
Looking back I see afresh the little blue car squeaking through the front gate. I looked to the ground, I heard that it was impolite to look in the face of the dead. I saw two small feet land lightly on the gravel. I then saw them start to move an alarming pace toward us. "Hey there! I'm Timmy." He said to us in a loud jovial voice. Timmy, Timmy! I thought. You're definitely a dead man.
I watched him from behind a tree in the yard sometimes. He was so sure of himself! Strutting around like he wasn't afraid of anything.
Ricky pulled me aside later that day. "We have to do something about that Timmy boy." He said to me " If this keeps up he'll get us all killed." Now you must understand that in the seven years we've been friends I have never once disagreed with Ricky. But at this moment I knew that I was right. "No" I said "We should just let him do what he wants for now."
"Noah" Ricky said looking shocked "Are you sure of this? He's probably going to get himself seriously hurt!"
"Yes" I replied determined that this would go my way. "In fact I think we should go up to him and discuss our problem with him." Ricky frowned at me. "Well what do what you want" he sighed "but count me out I don't really want to die."
Over the next few days I thought over my decision. I already knew that Gruel didn't like me but if I went over and befriended this new boy then he'd hate me for sure. My inner voice was telling me to let it go. Just ignore that boy and keep your head down if you do that then you might survive high school. I have to admit that at that time that option seemed most favourable to me.
For the umpteenth time I watched Timmy and some of the younger kids were now following him around as though he was their god. "Hey" he called. I started looking up. "Is there something you want?" He asked. Well it's now or never! I thought to myself.
"Uh yeah actually there is" I replied glancing at his followers "But can I talk to you about it somewhere a little less crowded?" I asked nodding at the younger children.
"Sure anything mate." He answered looking confused. That was when I noticed the accent. "You're not from around here are you?" I asked him as we headed down to the car park. "No, how'd you know?"
"One, you have a strong accent which I don't recognise and two, not many real Australians say 'mate'."
"Right I'll remember that, thanks." He said smiling "Now, anyway what was it that you wanted to talk to me about?" I sighed; he'd gotten straight to the point. "Well, you see it's like this." I explained "Gruel is a big bully and if you go around being so loud and friendly and calling yourself Timmy. Then you're sure to get yourself killed!"
He frowned "but I'm not hurting anyone so why should that be bad?" I sighed again. "You don't get it. Gruel loves seeing people sad and in pain. So if you just waltz in, all 'happy-happy' then he ain't gonna be too pleased." Timmy frowned again. "This Gruel person doesn't seem to be a very nice guy."
I groaned in mock relief. "The genius finally understands! Good job!" I patted him on the head, realizing then how short he was. "Wow you're pretty puny." I said to him surprised "and I thought I was the smallest in the grade!" But Timmy didn't seem to be listening; he had a thoughtful expression on his face. "You know." He said to me, snapping back to reality "I think I should have a talk with Gruel."
"What? Are you crazy?" I shouted griping his arm as he turned to leave. "Let go" he said without looking back at me. "I can't have you all living in fear for the rest of your schooling lives."
I felt helpless as I let go of his arm. "Oh and by the way." He said turning back and grinning at me. "I'm from Götaland, in Sweden."
I watched him go. Dammit! I thought to myself I can't just let him go to fight such a horrid monster on his own! "Hey wait Tim! I'm coming too!"
"Tim?" He queried stopping and waiting for me to catch up.
"Yeah well I thought it sounded cooler then Timmy." I replied.
"Well if you want to be like that then, call me Björn. That's my real name."
"What like the Swedish tennis player Björn Borg?" I said grinning. He groaned "It means divine bear, stupid."
"Yeah, whatever" I replied, now serious, I had just remembered where we were going. It was starting to rain. A bell went signalling that we needed to go under shelter. "Saved by the bell" I said, unable to keep the relief out of my voice. "Okay, bye" he replied, his voice distant, staring up at the sky.
Weird kid. I thought as I headed for the shelter near my next classroom.
The next day I followed him to his 'showdown' with Gruel. Many kids had heard of it and were coming to see the fun. I remember it all so clearly, short, skinny Timmy walking along like he had nothing to fear, and Gruel slowly turning around to see why the yard was so quiet, then seeing Timmy coming over. A slow, cruel smile spread over Gruel's face, sending shivers down my spine. "What d'you want?" he snarled. Timmy smiled cheerfully at the giant boy. "Oh I just wanted to talk to you about the way you're treating the other children."
"What did you say?" Gruel yelled drawing himself up to his full height. "Oh I'm sure you heard me" replied Timmy smiling." I believe you just wish to be intimidating, isn't that right?" Now it was obvious to even Gruel that he shouldn't start a fight right here in front of two teachers, who were watching suspiciously from a distance and a whole bunch of curious school children with their phones out ready to take pictures.
"Let's take this elsewhere" growled Gruel. "Oh come on" said Timmy, his smile widening "you sound like someone out of those silly kid's movies."
Gruel lost it. "Say that again!" he roared grabbing Timmy by the collar and smashing him up against a wall. Timmy winced "again, you're acting like someone out of a movie."
"Hey boys stop it!" shouted my history teacher running over. But now Gruel was crazed, he pulled Timmy off the wall and then made ready to smash him against it again. A couple more teachers came over; they wrestled Gruel to the ground, with Timmy still in his grasp.
Gruel didn't look like he believed what was happening. He had been smart enough to not pick a fight in front of a teacher before and the other children had been too scared to say anything about the constant bullying that had being going on. But the teachers had been suspecting it and they had only needed a reason. Now the idiot had just given them one. "What are you doing? Stop it right this moment Riegel!
Timmy quietly slipped from Gruel's grasp and stumbled over to stand beside me. "That hurt" he groaned.
"That was you're big plan?" I questioned him unbelievingly "You're whole plan was to get him to bash you up and then get the teachers tell him off?"
"No, actually I was just being friendly." He replied, scratching his head. "I wonder what went wrong…"
"You're unbelievable" I sighed, shaking my head. "You could possibly be the most annoying person on the earth."
The following evening Timmy and I were called to a meeting with the Principle, Gruel and Gruel's mother, Mary-Ann.
"Is this true?" asked the principal looking up at Mrs Riegel. "That your son Gruel Riegel has been constantly physically bulling the students of this school?" Mrs Riegel growled staring daggers in my direction. What did I do? I wondered to myself. "No I was not awa-"
"Well actually I don't really need your opinion since many children who had various injuries over the year have told me now, that it was Riegel who caused these 'accidents'." interrupted the principal conversationally, cutting a furious Mrs Riegel off half way through her sentence. "So that will be all. Thank you all for coming today and I think a suspension will be quite correct for this situation." He said this all with a smile on his face.
Timmy and I hurried out of the room not wanting to meet Gruel nor his mother's eyes. "Gee that principal's a weird one." sighed Timmy, once we were a safe distance away. "Yeah" I agreed "he didn't even hear Gruel's side of the story!"
The next day the yard was quiet, no-one could believe that Gruel wasn't there. "Wow this is so good." Ricky said to me. "I feel safe for the first time in nearly a year!" I nodded but my heart wasn't in it.
"Hey, excuse me, coming through!" we turned around slowly I knew that voice. Barging through the crowd of students was Mrs Riegel, Gruel's mother. "I need to see the principal I have proof that it wasn't my Gruel who was bulling students at this despicable school." The students glanced at each other and started giggling nervously. What proof could she possibly have? I thought, going through my mind trying to find a single reason that she could exploit, none came to mind.
A few hours later I was called up to the principal's office. Anxiety was weighing me down; I could barely bring myself to knock on his door. I heard the call to enter and slowly walked in. "Hello Noah." I gulped, how could those two words strike such dread in me?" Mary-Ann here has told me that you were responsible for the bullying and she has picture proof." Said the Principle, looking moderately serious. With an innocent smile that wouldn't have tricked a half blind baby, Mrs Riegel showed me a picture of me hitting some kid that I didn't even know on the head. I groaned; it was obviously photo-shopped. "You are to be suspended from this school until we can find something to do about you." Said the Principle cheerfully "Well you're dismissed; don't bother coming back to school tomorrow."
I thought he was joking but as I left the room and went down the stairs and thought about it I realised that he wasn't; Mr Rofer doesn't joke.
"What's the matter?" queried Timmy as I came to sit beside him and Ricky in the gardens. "Mrs Riegel framed me" I told them glumly. "What!?" shouted Timmy actually standing up.
"Yeah. With one photo shopped picture." I replied.
"And you just let her do that?"
"Yeah, well, there's no arguing with the Principle."
Timmy grumbled something and stomped away, Later I realised that he had gone to argue with the Principle.
It was unsure what Timmy said to the principle. He never told us. But, a few days later, Gruel and his mother moved away. A couple of weeks later Timmy moved away too, we were much sadder to see him leave than we were for Gruel. I remember asking him whether he was sure he really had to go and him replying with that he had done his job here and now had to go elsewhere.
Come to think of it I'd never actually seen his family.