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Camy

Out

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This was written as an entry for the 2011 New Years flash fiction anthology at The Author's Haunt. The theme was 'Cold' and stories could not exceed 500 words.

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Out

by Camy

I was living through a veritable cliche and the thought made me smile, albeit wanly. It was the only thing that did.

'I had a good, close, group of friends who disappeared like sylphs as knowledge of my homosexuality spread like early morning mist.'

I sighed. I'd never been good at simile. I deleted the paragraph then looked out of the library window. Snow thick on the ground; the entire school revelling in a glorious snowball fight.

It had all happened so fucking quickly. And the real bitch was that He was giving me the cold shoulder too. He, who had introduced me to the delights of cocksucking, now had the unmitigated cheek to sneeringly call me a cocksucker, and snigger and poke and hit with the rest of the morons.

Perhaps I was inhabiting some sort of awful reality TV show? I pondered the thought.

I suppose I should be proud that I hadn't wiped the floor with them. I could have, I was a black belt -- not that they knew it. Admittedly the temptation was growing, especially where He was concerned. Fucktard!

Why oh why had I been so fucking stupid?

Hubris...?

I'd always hated our civics teacher and was seething when, in her annoyingly honeyed voice, she'd spouted "Some statisticians think they make up ten percent of the population, which is rubbish as there obviously aren't any here." She'd been grinning as she pontificated and smiling as I put my hand up. "Yes?"

"I'm gay," I said cheerfully, fully expecting at least three others to join me in dissing her. 'Pin drop' and 'deafening silence' spring to mind. Except for gawping, like the rest, the three did nothing, and if there was one thing I certainly wasn't it was a sneak.

"That's not funny." Miss Mankum snapped, frowning.

I had an out! I could say it was a joke in bad taste.... I glanced at Him. Red-faced he was staring at his shoes. How convenient! An endless second was followed by another, then I broke ranks.

"I'm not joking, ma'am," I said, sitting up straight. "I'm gay." The hand that had been resting warmly on my thigh withdrew.

And so, after lessons, it began. The pasting I took physically brutal but nowhere close to the mental anguish I felt at His punches and taunts; at the cold slowly creeping into my heart.

Through the snowball melee I saw Him. Alone, hands in pockets with his back to the weeping willow. I'd loved his every nuance, every plea, every gasp. Now he looked miserable -- as well he might. Realising my nails had broken the skin on my palm I unclenched my left hand. Blood dripped to the library floor. Little drops of life joined by salty tears of yearning and disappointment as I watched Him under the tree.

No! Oh damn me, no! I was seventeen and soon I'd be of age. I could take it a while longer. After all, I wouldn't be cold forever.

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There's nothing colder than the callous disregard exhibited by youth for the feelings of another. Camy very movingly shows us what cruel price can be exacted for honesty within the lockstep of schoolboy society. I think it may be time for those black belt skills to make their appearance.

James

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Camy's attractive writing style shines through in this short but perfectly formed piece. The boy in the story has done no wrong, far from it he's shown remarkable courage in standing up to the casual homophobia and submerged bullying of a teacher. He should be carried in triumph through the school on the shoulders of his peers, but the institutionalised homophobia of the school culture means that others who might have stood with him keep quiet, and instead he is alone, and ostracised. It's so sad but so real. That's exactly what happens. I hope and believe that schools are getting better, but Camy has brought to life the atmosphere at schools like the one I attended accurately. A great story with a message to think about.

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