24

24 youths stand at a bus stop, each with a number.
Number 15 looks at you briefly.
Number 9 pretends not to see you staring.
Number 21 flashes you the middle finger.
Before you move on, you get a chance to do the impossible. To see into their minds for a second. To learn who each of these numbers really are.
Do you take it?
Of course.

This is a little writing experiment for me at the moment. November is a bad time for writing for me, so instead of focusing on one massive story, I will focus into the little ones. Maybe one day these will evolve into something bigger.
To do this, I'm going to be inspired by music. Each person has a different song. The songs I'm using are the hourly songs from the new Animal Crossing. Seems like an odd choice, but I recommend you listen to the music yourself.

24 youths stand at a bus stop.
Do you know who they are inside?

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6. Number 5


Sarah Simons was ‘weird’. I wouldn’t call her weird. I would say quirky, different, individual... but most just thought she was weird. They liked to keep away from her as much as they could. She didn’t really mind. She preferred her own company most of the time.

Number 5 has short, dark brown hair and she always plaits it so the two plaits run down her shoulder blades. She wears bulky black glasses that often need adjusting, and silver braces which has heavily altered her speech patterns. This is one of the reasons why she prefers to keep quiet now; especially around her peers and new people. As she waited by the bus stop, she stuck her freckled hands into her pink, oversized hoodie. She was chewing the chord and trying not to look people in the eye. Instead, she holds her black handbag in close to her body, especially as a stranger walks by. She was always very paranoid about other people, especially strangers. She tries to seem uninteresting and like a shadow when she notices another’s attention on her.

 

 

Number 5 sat on the bench outside the sports hall, alone as usual. She was reading something in a notebook, and every so often she scribbled something in there with a quill pen she had bought from a castle she had visited. She often sat there doing exactly this. Today was no exception. What she didn’t know is that today she wouldn’t be alone.

A red haired boy wanders over to her. He swings his backpack into his arms before slumping on the bench next to her. She keeps reading and scribbling as if he was just a wave of air.

“Hi.” He says to her. Her mouth quivers as she attempts to halt a smile, and she keeps her focus on her notebook. “What you doing?” He leans over her shoulder, and she immediately moves away, still writing in blue ink. He gives up straight away, and unzips his backpack. He pulls out a wholemeal sandwich. He takes a single bite.

“My name’s Will.” He said looking out at the playing field. “I’m new. I moved here last week. I’m in some of your classes. You’re the one that got an A* on the Narrative Writing controlled assessment in English Language.”

“Are you here to mock me?” Number 5 suddenly snaps. As Will blinks in surprise she keeps on reading.

“No. Why would I, why would I mock you for being clever?”

“Ask them.” Number 5 shoots a finger towards the steps by the maths block. Will looks over at the ‘popular’ people that look as if they would be guilty of that specific crime.

“Well, I’m not. I think you’re cool. I just came to say hello.”

“Well, I guess you can stay.” She finally looks up from her work. “Hi. I’m Number 5. I’m not new.”

“I could tell.” He smiles. “May I ask what you were doing in that notebook?” She looks away from him and scans the area for listeners. “I won’t mock you.”

“I was...” Number 5 had never told anyone what she was doing before. To be fair, no-one had ever asked her before. Even if they had, she would have never been prepared to answer them. This had been her secret for so long, and it felt strange finally straying out of her mouth. “I was writing.” Will smiled again at her vague answer.

“Writing what?”

“A story.” Writing books had always been Number 5’s passion. Whenever she could, her imagination would take hold of her and a story would erupt from her pen and soon the paper would be filled with her musings. She had never shown anyone before. Her stories were for her. Until she thought one was good enough, she never planned to get any published. But being an author was her dream. There was nothing more that she enjoyed doing. Eventually she knew that if that dream were to become reality, then her work would have to be shared.

“So that’s why you got an A* in that assessment. You’re a writer.”

“Well, not a great one...”

“It must have been a good story for you to get an A*.

“That’s not really all it takes. They look for certain criteria. It has to be very varied. It has to be in first person. It has to be relatable. It has to be short. If you were to really write a story and use that criteria, you wouldn’t have a very good story. I just played by their rules.”

“Maybe I should do that next time.” Will laughed. “I got a B.”

“That’s still a good mark, Will!”

“It’s not an A*!” Number 5 laughed with him, for the first time since she had been at that school. She’d never had a friend to laugh with before. When the laughter subsided, Will spoke again.

“May I ask what the story is about?” Number 5 cleared her throat.

“It’s about a boy who meets a time traveller, and he steals their time machine to find out about the secrets of his life. Then, as he tries to find out about the circumstances of his birth, he goes back 9 months too far, and he accidentally prevents his own birth.”

“Wow. That’s a bit of a pickle. And? What happens next?” Will was eager for more of this tale.

“He has 24 hours to find the time traveller and fix all the time mess he’s caused by his adventures, and it means a couple of sacrifices.”

“No way. Let me read it. I have to read it now.” Number 5 hesitates. Is she ready for him to read her work? She takes the plunge, and hands the notebook to him. His eyes quickly scan over the paper, and his eyes begin to open wide and another smile emerges on his face.

 Will became her first friend. Her first boyfriend. Her only husband. Things end up very happy for the two of them. Will becomes an engineer. Number 5 publishes her book about the time traveller, and many more. They end up happy together. All they needed was each other. They didn’t need 500 friends, like most of their peers believed.

All they needed was each other.

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