Confined Shaming

Alice Smith wasn't one for adventures or hilarity or terror or anything with a purpose. She felt content sitting at home everyday, recording her thoughts into a journal.
But what if one day everything you new fell apart? What if one day you had to choose which path to take?


2. Drama Class

"'I've always wanted someone to love me, to care, to hear. Hear a voice inside of my head. To hear something'. That, class, is another reason to read Hannah Jacobson. Her books are not just inspiring, but poetic and honest," the drama teacher propped the blue book against her desk chair as she stood up.

Alice stared across at it. She had always liked reading, it had been a great hobby to her for as long as she could remember. It was called Midnight Hauntings. Alice wanted to pick it up and read it, to understand the title, to understand the part Miss Brown had just read out. But alas, if she had left the circle and picked up a book, everyone would have erupted into laughter.

Miss Brown was a young drama teacher, no older than twenty-five. She was Alice's favourite teacher, she taught one of her favourite subjects and she just seemed to understand. She took the register, asking a question as usual. The answer of the students meant they were there.

"Question of the day. Drum roll please... What do you want to accomplish by the time you are thirty?" Miss Brown opened up her class lists, and called out the first name.

Jack Anderson, a puerile boy who thought he was God's gift, was called first. He replied that he would be a pro footballer, with a 'hot' wag and a contract with either Brazil or Chelsea. Miss Brown said he had idea's way above his station, but carried on.

When it got to Alice, she had already planned out what she was going to say: hopefully, a famous fiction writer. With two children, one girl, one boy. A husband, living in California where someday she would be recognised. She would publish a book aged twenty, and it would give her extreme wealth. After that, she would publish seven more books in the next few years. Take a year's break and travel around the world. And finally, she would return home and write some more, until eventually she could relax in her half-retirement, writing books for pleasure and spending time with her family.

Miss Brown was actually quite intrigued with what Alice had said, asking about what she would write about and her children's names and where she would travel. The class were becoming bored, and asking if they could move on to something else, which Miss Brown wiped aside and continued asking Alice what she wanted to know.

"Well, I would hope to call the girl Ocean, and the boy Billy," Alice started. "I would write fiction about anything really, from fantasy to reality. And my husband and I, or if my kids were old enough to come, we would travel everywhere around the world, and visit the world's greatest attractions. I would hope to definitely visit Alaska, and anywhere around the French Polynesia. But really, anywhere would be great."

"Sounds great. So you like writing?" 

Alice nodded, and realised people were getting frustrated with her. She stopped talking and put her head down. 

The class moved onto working in groups and looking at stimulus. They had to decide what each picture meant. There was an eye with a skull in it, a silhouette of a wooden puppet running away from a hand, someone flopped over a gravestone, sobbing, and a goat standing on a rock above thirty-odd people.

There were whispers that the eye meant that someone could see dead people, like in Sixth Sense. Others said the hand represented life pulling someone back. Someone else mentioned how obvious the gravestone one was, apparently someone had died and obviously someone would be very sad about it. And then someone mentioned that one day goats would rule over us all.

Miss Brown flew around the class hearing suggestions, until she caught one that made her stop the class and tell them about it. "I have heard an interesting suggestion from an anonymous member of the class," she started. "This certain he or she has said that the gravestone picture could represent someone crying over a stranger they didn't know. Then this person said that the reason they could look so lost and distressed was because they thought the person had more to live for, they had more to offer or died to young. They may not have known the person, but thought that they were taken to early."


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