One Decade

Finding Micky

(I set myself the challenge of crushing my eight-year-old self’s reputation. Why? Well, self-deprecation has always come easy to me and it’s the only way I can bully someone younger then me without getting beaten up.

I could have easily settled on a simple jab at the diaries I found but who cares that I gave ‘StarDust’ a glowing review on the 2nd of August? 

“It has lots of violence and Romance”

I stumbled across what I was looking for in the end. Finding Micky. The first pages of my original novel from 2007.

My goal was to take the original and remaster it. Im sorry but this isn’t a showcase of self-improvement. This is me bullying a child. This is war.)

The Original

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No need to squint:

We have been working on this for nearly forever. exclaimed Dick! Dick was a tall boy with ginger hair. He had big blue eyes and was always sneaking about. It took a lot of work to make that project but finally got it done! Declared Dong! Dick and Dong were twins they always made up schemes. But this was the greatest one of all. It was an escape plan to find Micky. Micky was there dad who was at war he was a hero to them they had a Mom who died in her sleep. So let’s recite the plan once more Ok! So we need to sneak out our door at midnight then we get right through Mrs Hardbrooms bedroom. As you can see they live in an Orphanamage. Mrs Harbroom was a very skinny strict Headmaster yes that’s right Headmaster. So lets get back to the plan. So then we go into her toilet and there I have sucsefully removed a block! Removed a block! Shut up mack. Mac was there pet parrot they thought him how to talk! Okay we need to bring our bedsheets off the bed and tie it into a big knot then all we need to do from there is go down and rescue our Dad’ said Dick, A bit risky don’t you think.’ thought Dong. Just like he was reading my mind he said. That’s what I’m called the Stupid Risk taker! So they recited again and again until they had it off by heart. they did it that night then and there but as they…

 

The Remaster

Don had a habit of snoring. Don didn’t know he did it but it never failed to make him smile when he found out that it had made Rich’s night miserable. Tonight, however, it wasn’t keeping Rich awake. That was his own job. His other job was lying in front of him. He had been “collecting” sheets from all over the orphanage for weeks now. It really should have aroused suspicion that Rich left the laundry room looking well-fed because of twenty different sheets padding his clothes. The final sheet had come from under Don minutes ago. Rich had already gathered enough but he felt like Don could at least contribute in some way. Stealing all of these bedsheets would, of course, have consequences. They could either lead to him being free and outside or a walking bruise. They don’t call her Mrs Hardbroom for nothing. Rich crouched down beside his pile and began to work through the sheets, sweatily knotting them into place.

Repetition is good.  Every knot gave Rich another chance to review the plan. The more he went through the plan the better it sounded. He was surprised that Don hadn’t seen how simple it was. They just had to make it into the headmaster’s bathroom, slip out through the window and climb down with their bedsheets! Don just didn’t understand that things could be better then bruises and porridge and bruise-coloured porridge. Rich tugged the last bed sheet from underneath his own bed and began to knot it onto the end of the others. He didn’t need his help anyway. Don didn’t really want to see Micky. Well, not in a charming and pleasant way.

Rich really wanted to meet his Dad. Don, on the other hand, wanted to see him dead. Both of these goals shared something in common which is the part where they find him. It had been shaping up to be a bloody reunion but it was still a reunion. That was until Don learned about the full plan. As soon as he heard, he proceeded to the nearest sheet and stretched it until it ripped in half. As if the case had been put to rest, he carefully placed the two halves back on Rich’s bed and grunted. Rich still had faith. He just wished that the movies had showed him a safer way to escape that also didn’t involve digging and small utensils. Rich slowly coiled the rope around his shoulder and left the room, still crouching. It was louder but he maintained that it was still sneakier then standing up.

Don did not wake up. The snore continued. Of course, he was leaving Don. He didn’t get it. Not just the plan. He didn’t believe that somebody good can do something bad. Micky is good. He fought in a war, he wore a uniform and he saved lives. Maybe, leaving us hadn’t even a bad thing. Part of a big, big plan. Repeating worked here as well. It made it sound right.

Rich squeaked his way up to Mrs Hardbroom’s door. This door almost commanded more respect than the woman behind it.  No kid had ever mustered up the courage set foot on those last set of floorboards. Dares can easily prod and poke you to eat dirt but there was an unspoken limit. Messing with the headmaster was this limit. Even being on the second floor was usually enough for a beating and most of the poor souls slept there! Rich had something that they didn’t have though. He had the bedsheets, yes, but he also had his plan. He continued his squeak and creak journey and reached towards the brass doorknob. A quick twist and push cracked open the door a bit. Enough to let out a rasping snore. Why did everyone snore in this place? Is there some sort of orphan’s curse? They just can’t get a break.

Rich slipped through the crack of the door into her dark room. This room had it’s own climate. Sweaty with a thick darkness coating everything. This really was a new world. The only radiator in the Orphanage might have been the difference. Each floorboard now held the chance of bringing the apocalypse. Rich decided that the first step was to hold his breath and the next step after that would be calculated and with his feet. If he passed out, he wouldn’t even notice being caught! He puffed out his cheeks and began to slip around her bed. His breathing situation was … uncomfortable but he kept his balance by brushing off the wall and quietly tearing off chunks of the flowery wallpaper. That was more out of spite than for balance.

When Rich reached the bathroom door, he allowed himself to suck and gasp for air. Again, this ended up being louder then normal breathing would have been but it had FELT sneakier! Her bathroom was a different climate again. The cold tiles seemed to enjoy loudly sucking at his feet. Maybe, she would be too scared to confront something that sounded like a ghost duck if she woke up. Rich quickly closed the door behind him so that the light didn’t ruin his chances. It seemed like as good a time as any to review the plan. Bedsheets? Check. Get into Mrs Hardbroom’s room. Big check. Remove a brick? The rope did need a weight to hold his skinny bones. Rich busied himself with feeling the cracks in the wall. He had seen how the rest of the orphanage was built. Bricks were simply liable to fall out. That is how every single kid managed to hide their things. Sweet wrappers and stolen forks basically held the roof up now!

Of course, the headmaster’s wall was as stubborn and intact as the headmaster. Even the quietest and hardest tap Rich could muster only gave off dust. Rich began to become more and more frantic, rummaging through her stuff for any brick-shaped cosmetics. A quick scan wasn’t promising. He didn’t exactly think a toothbrush or two would help. Rich quickly moved onto the window to see if that was also going to be disobedient. It squeaked and stopped and squeaked again. It took three minutes of tense creaking to make a gap wide enough for his slight figure.

He wasn’t exactly going to wait for the orphanage to collapse to get a brick so he slowly tied a knot around the tap opposite the window. He then proceeded to the open window and flung the rest of the bedsheets out. Unfortunately, the plan ran out at the end of this makeshift rope. The only thing Rich knew was that his Dad wasn’t in here and was most definitely somewhere outside. The best case scenario is that he was waiting to catch him at the end of the rope. A quick look down at the ground made him dizzy and confirmed that Micky hadn’t made an appearance. Rich placed all of the headmaster’s stuff from the window sill on the floor and took their places. He planted both hands over a big knot and slowly eased out the window. The tap groaned. Dong groaned as he woke up to an empty bed opposite him. The orphanage snored on.

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