In Loco Parentis – Friday Fictioneers – July 2017

Copyright Janet Webb

First it was his art teacher.

“Jimmy’s talented, Mrs Graham, but he tells lies.”

Then his football coach.

“He stole from the locker-room.  I saw him, but he denies it.”

I remember the confrontations – the jutting under-lip, the tiny clenched fists.  His protests were indignant, then stubborn.

Eventually the complaints ceased, but Jimmy was never the same, distracted, resentful.

I saw them on the news last night, the teacher, the coach.  Heard how they’d operated all those years, the network they’d organized, lives they’d ruined.

Jimmy’s back-packing somewhere.

He doesn’t paint; doesn’t watch football.

And he never calls.

Friday Fictioneers – your story in 100 words.  This week just 99 for me, so I’ll carry a credit over to next week.  🙂  The inspiration for this derives from a popular modus operandi – first you rubbish someone, set up an expectation of lies, and then when the truth, or something closely approaching it, is told, no-one believes them. 

Thanks to the multi-talented Rochelle for continuing to host our weekly gathering.  I know it’s a lot of work.

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to In Loco Parentis – Friday Fictioneers – July 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    That is so chilling, Sandra. Brilliantly done!

    Like

  2. Sue says:

    Oh, well crafted, Sandra! Tragic tale…

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  3. Ouch! That’s tough. These things happen, people are cruel.

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  4. Moon says:

    Heartbreaking tale, Sandra and so very well written.

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  5. Dear Sandra,

    How easy to destroy a child and shape his life as a resentful adult. I’m surprised he didn’t become a mass murderer. Subtly chilling and well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  6. Sad and banal tale. Well done.

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  7. I can see the mother looking out the window longing for her son’s return tortured by the guilt.

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  8. Ah, rereading this I see that there is an enormous amount of tension that I missed from my hasty reading. My apologies. I’m extremely pressed for time this morning and am just cruising through these things. This story is excellent. Please delete my earlier comment.

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  9. You brought the evil machinations of vested people very well, Sandra.

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  10. Iain Kelly says:

    Such a sad tale. If anything as a parent I’ve learned it’s better to believe a child rather than an adult – it’s the adults that do the lying and covering up. Well done.

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  11. wmqcolby says:

    Wow, Sandra, if there isn’t a grain of truth in there … I have known a few Jimmys in my life. Maybe it’s good he’s just backpacking and not out to destroy some lives. Yet, I always hold out hope for guys like him. Who knows? He might overcome and go on to do great things. Those happen, too.

    Marvelous!

    Like

  12. Sad and true in so many cases. Very well-crafted and told, Sandra!

    Like

  13. Rowena says:

    Your story was very well done and also raised some topical issues.
    So many young people who have been broken or misunderstood in some way go backpacking and then congregate in places like Australia’s Byron Bay or Nimbin. However, as much as these people have experienced hurt, they can also find healing, love and acceptance. We were at a park in Byron Bay and community groups were doing things like art in the park, soup kitchens, and handing out nutritious sandwiches. They can also go the other way and become victims of crime or get into drugs.
    xx Rowena

    Like

  14. How awful for him. A tale really well told.

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  15. The worst thing you can do to a kid is betrayal… and of course he was taught the hard lesson that no one can be trusted.

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  16. So powerful! It’s really incredible how you’ve addressed such a serious issue in so few words.

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  17. Sandra, this is perfect, and sad. And true.Those individuals trusted to guide who can ruin a child’s life by a few words.

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  18. the tiny clenched fists ~ this line says so much
    I love how you brought the story full circle. From art teacher to not painting, from coach to not watching football. Everything in this story meshes so well.

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  19. L.E.R.T says:

    It’s very easy to destroy a kid, especially if the people in question are the ones they usually trust. I feel for the young guy. Cheers, Varad

    Like

  20. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    This is a well crafted story. The last lines were truly heartbreaking.

    Like

  21. michael1148humphris says:

    Teaching is such a great profession, but you illustrate so well the danger from allowing bad or evil teachers to practice.

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  22. Good gawd Sandra. I felt the weight of this one.

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  23. Sometimes it is important for parents to have more faith in their kids(I know many who have blind trust, but that’s not good either).

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  24. Indira says:

    Hi Sandra! This is so realistic story. Heart breaking but written so beautifully. I am amazed how you all manage so much in just 100 words. How much of these kind of stories see light, I wonder. I can feel the pain he went through. Thanks for righting such great stories.

    Like

  25. Liz Young says:

    They ganged up on him, and his parents believed them – no wonder he doesn’t call.

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  26. It’s all said above. The boy will surprise them all one day.In a positive sense. (Very James Dean, by the way.)

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  27. draliman says:

    Ooh, that makes me mad. I hope the kid comes back from it (and his backpacking) stronger for it. Nicely done.

    Like

  28. the art and football teacher are supposed to mould the young student. A very cruel world.Hope he responds to his Mother’s calls.
    http://ideasolsi65.blogspot.in/2017/07/the-candle-sits-tall-on-bronze-stand.html

    Liked by 1 person

  29. granonine says:

    I am confronted very frequently with the evil our children have experienced at the hands of people they trusted. Horrible.

    Like

  30. gahlearner says:

    This is so sad (and beautifully told). It boggles the mind why people would do such a thing to children. The mother will never forgive herself for trusting strangers over her son.

    Like

  31. I despise teachers who manipulate or actually damage children; the very people we are supposed to trust.

    Like

  32. plaridel says:

    hopefully, someday he’d learn to forgive.

    Like

  33. subroto says:

    A really sad story beautifully told. I initially thought this was about a child of a train driver 😉

    Like

  34. pennygadd51 says:

    A beautifully told story. Jimmy was a strong character, or his teachers wouldn’t have found it necessary to establish the false reputation for lying. But it needed his parents to have the insight that something was badly wrong. When you miss such essential signs, it leaves a burden of guilt on the parent that can also be lifelong.

    Like

  35. rgayer55 says:

    My guess is he’ll become a crusty old sea captain. Perhaps as strong and wise as Douglas MacIlroy.

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  36. Dahlia says:

    This is so tragic and very realistic.

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  37. Awful, isn’t it, when a young life pays a price for an old one!

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  38. Sarah Ann says:

    So well done. That last line making the story all the more hard-hitting.

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  39. Absolutely chilling.

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  40. Oh, that’s terrible. I hope Jimmy can one day forgive his mother and she can forgive herself. Good writing as always, Sandra. —- Suzanne

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  41. This excellently written story made me so angry, because it’s so true. I often wonder how many people there are out there, just like Jimmy, who’ve fallen through the net, having had their potential and joy squeezed out of them and stomped into the ground by evil adults whom they should have been able to trust.

    Like

  42. This is really sad.
    It’s terrible when those who should carry us drop us.

    Like

  43. Miles Rost says:

    Teachers destroying students’ lives. Hateful stuff. Well done in capturing the anguish.

    Like

  44. Dale says:

    Damn. I just saw my comment was not sent. Sigh.
    Tightly told tale of how easily a life can be destroyed.

    Like

  45. Laurie Bell says:

    Omg… ok this sprang on me. Horrible.
    Well told

    Like

  46. dunelight says:

    That was…chilling.
    Well done, no excess verbiage, it’s all there, concise and all the reader needs…heartbreaking.

    Like

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