The games they play at school

Written for a FutureLearn fiction writing course. The task is to write a 200-350 word story that can be expanded at a later date. As always, feedback would be appreciated.

Ellie pulled the book out of her bag surreptitiously and walked towards the door. The hand on her shoulder told her that she had been spotted.

‘Put it back dear. We have talked about this and you promised me that you would try to be kind to the other children. They want to be your friends, but that won’t happen if you don’t play nicely.’

Without a word Ellie did as she had been asked before going outside. Without her armour she felt vulnerable; she knew that she was being watched from all sides. Tommy came bounding over and smirked.

‘Okay then greasy locks, let’s play tag. You’re it!’

Punching her hard in the arm he ran off laughing. Ellie could see that Mrs Johnson had observed the little exchange. She had no choice if she were to prevent them from phoning her mother again; she gave chase.

The playground wrapped itself around the jumble of classrooms that had been added over the years as the village grew. It was impossible to see it all, and the MDSA’s showed little interest in the constant flow of minor spats brought to their attention by the tell tales. Tommy’s gang were waiting as she rounded the corner. Grabbing her arm they twisted it behind her back and pushed her roughly against the wall, before snatching a fistful of hair and pulling back her head.

‘Drink this’ Tommy ordered, holding an uncapped bottle to her lips. Ellie smelt the urine as he poured it over her face and gagged, thereby allowing some of the liquid to enter her mouth. Satisfied they pushed her to the ground before sauntering away, smiling merrily at the approaching MDSA.

Note: an MDSA is a midday supervisory assistant, an adult employed to ensure the safety of schoolchildren during recess.