29 June 2013

Talbingo Tales

Extensive research went into choosing a place for my teenaged children to ski for the first time.  The Snowy Mountains was the closest and Selwyn Snowfields the cheapest, particularly since my fifteen year old still counted as a child whereas at Perisher and Thredbo she did not.

The next choice was where to stay.  From trawling the Internet it narrowed to a house in Adaminaby, various places in Talbingo and a country cottage in Dalgety.

The Dalgety cottage was my personal favourite due to its isolation and modern facilities.  The pictures provided on the website matched my plan to write all day and sip red wine by a fire in peace and quiet.  However, the other three members of my family would have had to travel 1.5 hours each way to ski.  With a sigh I relinquished my dream.
The house in Adaminaby, Swansborough Cottage, a mere thirty minutes from Selwyn, was also on a small parcel of land but when we made enquiries via TakeABreak the owners did not respond and TakeABreak kindly issued an unprompted apology for the inconvenience.

That left Talbingo.  Talbingo had a few places listed to rent but some weren’t available for the period we wanted and some were too expensive.  It had to be somewhere I could picture as my cave for four days straight so the rooms had to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, warmth being the number one priority. ‘The Cabin’ had heaters listed and I was impressed by the plural form.  It was also convenient to shops.  The photos showed stylish but stark living areas.  It claimed to be pet friendly but upon enquiry it turned out this was for outside dogs only.  My dog sleeps on the bed at night and was never going to cope with the cold of Talbingo.  We had him looked after at home instead.

The mistake I made, realised soon upon arrival, was that I didn’t think about what hadn’t been mentioned or pictured on the website.  The photos were an exact replica of reality but I hadn’t noticed the absence of bedside tables and lamps or side tables in the lounge room.  The bathroom hadn’t been pictured at all.  It was still the original 1960’s bath, basin and shower.  The one and only toilet was in the laundry where another equally old shower existed with no grate over the drain.  It scared my daughter as she imagined snakes and spiders coming up through it.  There was no washing machine, no toaster and nowhere to hang clothes.  My husband had a business meeting in Gundagai at the end of the week but was unable to iron his shirt.  The only cooking utensil I was willing to use was an electric frypan.  It made excellent eggs and bacon.

The cabin was located within a short walking distance half way between the two places where you could eat at night.  The first and last night we had Chinese at the Talbingo Country Club, both times being the only people eating in.  It was typical Australian Chinese eating without the flair of our local Sydney establishment but it was fresh, hot and yummy.  A beautiful addition was the managers’ cute little boy who waved and blew kisses before he left for bed each evening. 

The other eating joint we visited twice was the Talbingo Lodge.  The first time was for Tuesday's All You Can Eat Pizza Night and the second was the night of the second State of Origin match and when Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister again.  The Talbingo Lodge had been locked up for about a year, looking for someone to love and care for her.  Three months before our visit a new owner came along, a regular holiday maker in Talbingo, originating from Cootamundra where he has a similar establishment.  The bar and grill is eclectic with various paraphernalia stuck around, like caps and hats hanging above the bar, skis and golf clubs stuck on the walls and ceiling, a games room for the kids, including an X Box with a car racing game which won my son over.  As per my penchant for heat, both nights we selected the table nearest the wood heater which also happened to have the best view of the large screen TV.  A bottle of Merlot just added to the warmth and glow.

As we walked to dinner each night we were amazed by the dozens of kangaroos roaming freely in our little street and how they leapt from residential yards and down the road.  They were camera shy though.  This is the best I could manage:

The snow wasn’t plenty but it was enough for my learner family.  My son is in love, skiing now only comes second, behind cycling, in his list of favourite sports.  My daughter now feels ready for her French exchange student program in the dark depths of their winter with a family who is passionate about snow sports.
I’m a teacher by trade and passion.  I marked 45 essays, I researched for a report about technology in education and I dabbled with different writing projects.  It was peaceful, productive and very importantly, warm.  It was almost the perfect holiday.

26 September 2012

Out, damned spot! out, I say!

 If you could change one part of your body what would it be?  Whenever I read that question in a magazine I mentally answer, “My skin”.

I’m holed up for these beautiful spring school holidays.  I have what feels like a massive gouge on my face so I’m in hiding.  It was self-inflicted.  Not by my hand but by the hand of my dermatologist.  

I met this dermatologist after the birth of my second child.  During my first pregnancy I had a small red patch on my forehead and thought it was just one of those odd pregnancy things and figured I was proven right because it diminished once the baby was born.  The spot returned for the second pregnancy and never went away.  After a biopsy proved my little red patch was actually a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) the dermatologist sent me to a cosmetic surgeon.  It was over a centimetre in diameter.

I arrived quite nervous for my initial consultation with the cosmetic surgeon which wasn’t made any better by the exclamation, “What big pores you have” upon initial inspection of my face.  I’d grown up with similar remarks about my ears so now I felt like the Big Bad Wolf.  It turned out I didn’t have frown lines which one would normally consider to be a good thing but it meant there was nowhere to hide the scar that would result from the surgery.

A few weeks later I came out of surgery looking like a car accident victim with a bandage wrapped several times around my head and grogged up on Mersyndol.  I think they had to dig deeper than originally intended.  

Ten years later I still have a capital T on my forehead despite the frown lines now present.  I have had quite a few BCCs removed and several ‘sun spots’ frozen off my face by being blasted with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy), mainly around my hairline and on my nose.  ‘What a big nose you have’ I think every time I inspect its large pores for sun damage.  I commented recently to the dermatologist that ‘sun spots’ was a rather generic term so what did he mean?  Sun spots are actinic keratoses which commonly result in BCCs or the more dangerous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and are characterised by a small pink and scaly mark on the skin.

In the last few years I have developed little lumps around my right cheekbone, like warts.  Apparently it is a sign of my middle-aged status.  These bumps are an enlargement of the skin’s oil glands called sebaceous hyperplasia.  They aren’t dangerous but they’re ugly.  In a weak moment my dermatologist offered to remove my more pronounced one.  I say ‘weak moment’ because he’s always been against any action for purely cosmetic purposes. He even refuses to give advice on beauty creams beyond sunscreen.

This was a tough decision for me.  I am vehemently against face-lifts, collagen implants and the like.  I believe we should just accept our appearances and those of others.  I hope I don’t judge people on their looks, well not too much anyway.  Yet I spend a fortune on beauty products and won’t leave the house without makeup on.  By allowing my dermatologist to take a scalpel to my face for the sake of appearance only I feel I have blurred that line I swore I wouldn’t cross.

So here I sit, less than 48 hours later, with a bloody blotch on my face, hoping the scar won’t be worse than the lump, remembering the cosmetic surgeon saying big pores result in big scars.  I am petrified it won’t heal, guilty that I acted out of ego and miserable at feeling trapped in my own home.  I should be out frolicking in the sun…with a big hat and sunscreen on, of course.

[Title of this post comes from Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1]

09 July 2012

A Sense of Self

I’ve always struggled with my sense of self and what I want to do with my life.  It is only quite recently that I’ve realised the places I have chosen to live and work has dictated which aspect of myself I tap into most.  I stumbled upon an article by Hugh Mackay a few years ago called A Sense of Place and it really resonated with me.  This year I have started to see a psychologist to work through various issues of who I am and the decisions I make and how to determine a path to tread that will bring some sense of satisfaction.  Today, for homework, he asked me to write out my identities and I found how much they were wrapped in place.

Some of my great lifestyle desires make me the ideal Upper North Shore snob.  I love fine dining, good wine and five star hotels.  I send my children to private schools and abhor public hospitals.  I like hosting dinner parties, meeting friends for coffee and shopping for art, books and furniture.  Most of the time I dress conservatively, wear a small amount of jewellery (diamonds, sapphires and pearls) and have my hair coloured, cut and styled every six weeks or so.  My nails and scuffed shoes, however, give away the lack of complete attention to my appearance worthy of a North Shore woman.  As a working woman I’m a little down on the social scale because I’m a teacher, as opposed to a lawyer or doctor.  It would be better still if I had no paying job at all with a husband earning a squillion, but teaching is a tolerable job, particularly since I teach Economics and Business Studies, subjects about striving for the dollar, if only I didn’t keep undermining that concept.  Going to theatre, opera and orchestras appeal and I’d like to host a book club one day.  My favourite sport is tennis.  We have a cleaner and a gardener, each coming about once a month.

What I don’t reveal very much to my North Shore counterparts is that although I enjoy the luxurious benefits of a capitalist society I am really quite socialist in my attitudes.  I believe in the ideal of a meritocracy and in social justice.  Even though I am completely caught up in consumerism I hate that it has so much importance in our society.  I believe community is more important than the individual but not enough to actually do something about it beyond attend church every so often.

Wagga Wagga is where I grew up so in some ways I am a country girl who loves wide open spaces, enjoys being surrounded by trees and find farm animals make pleasant companions.  If I was to return to the country it would have to be a fairly comfortable lifestyle though.  I grew up with a lovely view down a hill on eight acres and in a large house compared to my friends but now I’d want quite a grand house with an open fireplace, but ducted heating too, and huge verandahs with comfy chairs on an even larger block of land.  I’d want a tennis court and swimming pool capable of swimming laps in.  I have a chronic fear of snakes so that would have to be handled somehow.  I like the possibility of being a big fish in a little pond, like I was at school, achieving academically in relation to my peers.  I often wonder if I would have been discouraged or encouraged in a more competitive atmosphere.  Today I’d want my country house to be in the Southern Highlands or in the hinterland of Ballina or Noosa but there are a lot of successful rich people living this dream in these places so the big fish philosophy wouldn’t apply. 

An alternative to this would be the coastal dream, which would be a water view, not necessarily on a large amount of land, preferably with a sailboat and a newly invented prevention and/or cure for sunburn not involving icky sun-cream.  This is the ideal location for my husband.  His skin should have more salt and sun.  Our skins are not compatible.  One of my motivations for this lifestyle is the attraction for my future grandchildren to holiday by the beach.  My Nan and Pop’s house in Ballina hosted up to nine cousins at any one time and created idyllic summer holidays.

This also reminds me of a goal I once had to have a house where young people would love to drop-in and chat, almost a home away from home for them.  There was a lovely lady in Wagga, Ruth McNeil, who was familiar with the youth from a handful of churches.  We would stop by unannounced and she would serve us tea and shortbread.  We would talk about all sorts of things and felt valued and respected and loved.  I would like to offer that too.  I used to think this was part of God’s plan for me but even when I was a church youth leader the opportunity never presented itself.  We once took in a girl for the last year of her HSC who was suffering from depression and prone to self-harm by cutting.  I felt this was God’s way of fulfilling this dream in one girl over a year instead of several young people in numerous visits.  I’m not so sure now, about God or the goal.

But then, I also like the image of being an inner-city dweller where there’s a great variety of people, professions, wealth and cultures.  I’d like to volunteer at the Wayside Chapel and help charities like Hope Street and the work the Salvation Army does with drug addicts.  I want to see independent artistic movies and theatre and buy recycled furniture.  I want a tattoo but can’t decide upon something that I know with certainty I would want to keep until the grave.  I like dressing in black with an edge (but not in a sexually risqué way), sometimes with a bold splash of colour.  I’d make my hair redder, my eye makeup darker and my lipstick brighter.  I’d live in a terrace with lots of friendly neighbours on the street and I wouldn’t own a car.  I’d have a couple of groovy cafes, parks and bookstores where I’d hang-out and write a gritty YA novel.  I’d eat out often at cheap and cheerful restaurants.  I’d return to piano lessons.  I imagine Paris would also be a place for this aspect of myself to play.

So once the children have finished at their posh schools and become academics and souls of the world perhaps I should move to Newtown, Kings Cross or Redfern and find that alternative self, shaking off the more indulgent side of me and live according to my internal dialogue and ideals instead of according to an image of success and achievement dictated by capitalist consumerism.  Of course, it also may have been driven by being bullied at school for being the academic sort but I’ll let my psychologist sort that one out.

27 February 2012

Feeling Frumpy

I felt frumpy today.

It all started when I put on my underpants.  My underpants aren’t frumpy though.  They're cute.  I have Peter Alexander days-of-the-week underpants.  Three sets of them so I don’t run out.  Some of them have frills on the edges, like the pair I wore today.  Since they had frills I chose to wear my least tight pants, which is becoming harder lately due to an extra 5 kg since a promotion and the resulting long hours.  So I successfully avoided a really bad VPL.  By the way, I couldn’t wear a skirt because I refuse to show my scarred and freckled white legs.  And it was too hot for stockings.

The pants are wide leg and a dark blue, just short of navy, with fine red stripes.  I call them my old man pants because the inner waist band is white and, cringing as I type it, stained with sweat.  I therefore need to wear a shirt long enough to hide this embarrassment.  Normally I wear these pants in Winter with a crisp white shirt and a red vest.  Did I mention it was a hot day?  I decided a white shirt wouldn’t work on its own.  My plain shiraz-red shirt was too short and too dark for Summer.  I wore my short sleeve red linen shirt only a few days earlier so couldn’t wear it again so soon.  That left a muted red chambray shirt which I wore with the sleeves rolled.  Only, like the pants, it has a wide cut. And is rather floppy, thus the frumpy feel.  To top it off, well bottom it out actually, I wore flat brown shoes with red trim and smiley faces on the sole.  They were simply wrong.  I should only wear these pants with boots or shoes with a heel, preferably chunky.

So all from a flamboyant choice of underpants I felt horrible. All day.  Tomorrow I dress from the outside in.

07 November 2010

What happened

I originally wrote this piece for uni a few years ago.  The tutor didn't like it much so I have cut great chunks (where I had been playing with a bit of metafiction and second person) but have basically left the rest intact. This is the story I want to make into a novel.

What happened, in his own words

IT happened on April Fools’ Day (AFD).  It was a day to make fools of everyone, unless they already were one, of course, so then it was merely to show them up for who they were.  And it had to be before midday, because it doesn’t count after that, you know, otherwise I’d have been the fool.  The local radio broadcasted it and everyone thought it was a joke.  Nobody believed it. 
It actually started way back, soon after my first day at school, and I mean primary school.  But the planning for AFD only began a few months ago.  Every night until two or three in the morning I’d research everything I needed to know, so you might say it was a New Year’s resolution.  It’s important to get your days right.  Look at 9-11.  Would it still be called 9-11 if the USA didn’t have it as the emergency number?

Morrison is such a lame place.  It thinks success is Trevor Price because he’s a sports hero.  Doesn’t matter that he’s violent towards women and cheats on his wife, with his best mate’s wife.  He made it.  He’s famous and he can kick a ball.  Then there are the cricket players.  Morrison would claim them all as its own, if it could.  If you played here in the Under 8s and then moved away, doesn’t matter.  You are from here, mate.  We’ll hang your picture in the Morrison RSL Hall of Fame.  Half way between Sydney and Melbourne it can’t decide on a code of football to follow so it has multiple personalities. With 30,000 people you’d think attitudes would be as diverse as its sporting allegiances, but no, it’s as narrow-minded as a guinea pig’s IQ. 
My school was once called a Technology High School but they couldn’t muster enough computers or the teachers to use them so they dropped the word just a few years later.  It’s the high school on the hill, according to the daggy school song.  I suppose it is, but it’s not much of a hill.  Basically it’s a series of two storey red brick buildings around an uneven concrete quadrangle.  Uneven in that it’s actually two quadrangles, one two metres higher than the other, and uneven in that the concrete is full of cracks and lifting up from the roots of trees.  It’s great for handball.  They keep the grass along the front beautifully fresh and green but behind the public eye it’s a dust bowl. 
The administration block is almost like it could appear in a Home Beautiful magazine but the classrooms have flickering fluorescent lights and festering floors, amongst other problems.  The greying walls seep into the classrooms and the spongy carpet soaks it up.  My Economics class is held in an old book cupboard, literally, because there were only two of us.  It had to be held during lunch since the only teacher capable of teaching it was in high demand the rest of the time.  So it would stink of tuna and egg sandwiches, or if we were feeling brave, our meat pies and sauce from the canteen.
The school oval is a block away, next to the agricultural farm consisting of a sow and her piglets, two rams and a goat.  There are no trees on the oval.  Every athletics carnival my Mum writes a note to excuse me from it, saying my skin’s too sensitive to the sun.  The same style of note used to work for swimming carnivals too but now it’s indoors.  I simply wag it, and sport on Thursdays.  Instead of sport I walk down the main street to the town library and hang out there until it’s time for my Dad to finish work around the corner.  I buy us a doughnut each.  It’s our secret from Mum because she’s a health freak.
Our house is on the outskirts of town near some heavy industry like the abattoir.  We have eight acres, great for learning to drive.  When we were little my sister and I turned it into a world of adventure.  The chook shed, empty of chooks, was our cubby house in the vein of the Secret Seven but just the two of us.  We painted it with yellow and white road paint Dad had brought home from work.  The cattle grid, for non-existent cattle, was the snake pit of hell over which we dared to ride our bikes at great speed in triumph.  A real snake went there once.  The long grass, which was a likely home to a brown snake or two, was an African jungle we crawled through as explorers discovering new land.  The stable, built out of telegraph poles, the ugly monstrosity it is, usually contains bales of hay, riddled with mice.  We’d chase and torture mice, little realising that the mice would attract snakes there also.  The tennis court, which was never actually built, had eight telegraph poles erected, ready for chicken wire fence, like a frame around hallowed ground (Wood Henge).  That was where we were a road gang trapped in our slave chains working to make the tennis court that never came.  The cattle grid, the stables and the chook shed ended up being my secret hiding places.
Enough reminiscing.  Now when I arrive home I throw my bag in my bedroom, munch through the kitchen, even when I’ve had a doughnut, return to my bedroom and turn up the music whiet I surf, chat, email, play games, do homework, all pretty much simultaneously.  My sister managed to escape this hell-hole to uni in Sydney.  She’s so relaxed and comfortable with who she is now.  It’s a shame I couldn’t stick it out like she did.  Mum and Dad leave me to my own devices because they trusted me and they were right to do so.  I deliberately use past tense.

My parents have always stood by me but now they barely notice me.  Inflation and interest rates have been going up, they’ve been at work for longer and longer and they hardly speak to each other, or me, other than to make me meet my responsibilities.  The more I hear our Prime Minister talk about the economy the more I hear Mum sigh and Dad mutter.  After every woeful economy announcement on the evening news Dad does the washing up clanging the pans and plates into the sink.  The ongoing droll joke is that we don’t need to buy a dishwasher because Mum married one.  Sometimes we think Dad bangs the dishes so everyone notices how he is ‘helping’ with domestic duties but we’re over it.
I’ve never had many friends, more like virtual friends, really.  The last couple of years I’ve been spending more time playing games on my computer against other geeks I discovered online and it turned out some were from our dead-end of a town.  We’d shoot each other in bursts of loud gunfire and explosions then chat about how the world sucked and what we could or would do about it.
Then freedom arrived in the form of a driver’s licence.  No longer did I have to board the bus with the pretty boys sitting up the back and the Barbies flicking their hair into my face.  As long as I was home for dinner it didn’t seem to matter how much I was home.  So I drove around at night, ate at McDonalds, drag-raced down the main street (squealing tyres producing the sweet pungent burning rubber) and it turned out that the guys I’d been playing games against I now raced against, trying to out-hoon each other.  We took to hanging out, smoking, drinking and cursing the world.  We couldn’t stand the pretty boys in their pretty clothes in their brand new hatchbacks with added rear spoilers, sports wheels, lowered closer to the ground.  We drove real cars that had cred.  Mine was a fifteen year old Commodore.
Then we became bored with smoking, drinking and wealth bashing, but only in the verbal sense.  We needed action rather than words.  As the pretty boys strutted their stuff I became angrier and angrier with the privileges they had.  That Mummy and Daddy bought them everything they needed and wanted.  We poured acid on their cars and watched the paint bubble beneath.  The police became involved, the school was informed and Sam was caught, handcuffed and arrested.  That was not good.  We stopped.  Everyone turned against each other according to who supported Sam and who blabbed to the pigs, not that it was always clear who did what.

I guess by now you can tell I wasn’t happy at school and I didn’t have friends (yeah, yeah, violins are playing).  But it was more than that and it’s hard to explain.  I’d go to sit with a bunch of guys and they’d fall silent and looks would exchange between them.  After a few minutes it was really uncomfortable, they’d all be looking at me, not in a cold stare, but just flickering their eyes over me, repeatedly.  It’d be completely unnerving.  So I’d leave and truly, they’d snicker as I walked away.  In class if I answered something wrong there’d be comments along the line of, “Oh, Aaron, soon you’ll be at our scum level.”  They’d laugh in PE when I tripped or missed a goal.  They’d chant “Aaron, Aaron, Aaron” in a low grunt whenever I received an award of some kind.
            I felt powerless and I thought it was time to redress the imbalance.  I made lists, fully aware of the risks if they were found, and gradually reduced it to four key targets – a pretty boy, a sports wanker, the vice-captain (the captain wasn’t half-bad) and this girl who constantly giggled at my expense.
            From my research on the internet I found instructions for building a bomb (I can’t believe how cliché I am) and I set about accumulating the ingredients.  However, after much dwelling, and even though I had it all ready, I chickened out... until Mrs Thompson.
In Mrs Thompson’s English class I hadn’t been tuned in.  I was actually feeling good about making the right decision by choosing not to use the bomb.  Also, a first for me, I was thinking about this girl I’d been chatting to online the night before. 
Suddenly I realised Mrs Thompson was waiting for me to answer but I had no idea what the question was.  I said nothing.  I kept my mouth shut and waited for the next step. 
And then she said, “Are you stupid?”  Well I thought that’s what she said but I know teachers aren’t meant to say stuff like that. 
“Are you serious?” I responded. 
“Oh,” she said, “You are stupid.” 
Then the bell went and everyone charged out, sniggering as they left me in their wake.  I felt anger seep through every cell in my body.  Mrs Thompson had left too.  I was alone in the classroom.  Alone and mad.  The one thing I am good at in school is English and now this fucked-up teacher said I was stupid.  I stood at the window and watched all the greeting and air-kissing and arm-punching and general mutual admiration, whilst I trembled, worried I was going to hit and hurt the next person I happened to see.  Then the bell rang again and I panicked as I realised another class was about to enter the room.  I had to release the tension, so I swung my fist at the wall, but then quickly changed when I saw how hard the concreted pea green walls were and instead smashed the window, just as Mrs Thompson walked back into the room.  At least I didn’t hit her.  I’d gashed my arm something severe so I dashed out of the room, wrapped my jumper around the wound, raced to my car and gunned it down the hill to the hospital.
Despite having blood all over my school uniform I was ignored by the triage nurse for some time.  It was only as I began to feel woozy they paid me any attention.  Just what I needed, more ignorant people servicing the community.  Eventually it was stitched up by an Egyptian doctor who was really nice.  I felt sorry for him because he was being ostracised by this town too.  The nursing staff were helping him less than the other doctors and they gave him the cases that looked like being difficult, such as myself.
Later that night I stewed in the dark of the night, watching my computer orange lights flicker until I was seeing red.  I had my bomb, I wanted my revenge. 
Mrs Thompson was my new focus.

*  *  *  *  *

For two weeks I fretted and stressed.  I couldn’t eat but then I’d binge eat.  I switched from being constipated to having diarrhoea almost daily with all the accompanying stomach pains.  But I was committed.
Early on the morning of AFD I packed my school bag with the pipe bombs and my Dad’s Army Reserve rifle.  He’d left the Reserve before I was even born but he’d never handed his gun back in.  He kept the bullets separate from the rifle but I wasn’t dumb.  I think the only time he’d used it in all these years was to shoot our terminally ill cat.
At 6am in the morning I drove carefully to school so I didn’t break speed limits for a change.  I then put on a personality like I was in a Quentin Tarantino movie and broke into the school, only that’s an overstatement because the classrooms were never locked, nothing worth anything in them.  I placed the bomb in Mrs Thomson’s classroom desk.  It had a trip wire that would be triggered as soon as she bumped her desk.
I sat in my car and watched and waited, alert but not alarmed, yet my heart was pumping furiously like it was the bomb about to explode.  Mrs Thompson’s class was the top of B block and its external wall faced the East.  The sun gradually embraced the building and at 9am it started to reflect off the windows. 
Five minutes later the bomb detonated and my heartbeat subsided.  It felt like I was in a cool calm zone, removed from my body and what had begun. 
Once I was out of the car I loaded the rifle, shoved bullets in my pockets and swaggered in, or at least my body did.  I had rehearsed this in my mind over and over and now it was happening it felt like I wasn’t able to truly experience it.  Vaguely I could hear screaming and running.  Slowly people noticed I had the gun. 
I looked for my targets.  Three of them were scheduled in the same Science class.  Only the sports wanker was somewhere else and I wasn’t going to look for him, but if he had come across my path it was another matter.  As I approached C block the alarm sounded the lock-down signal but many didn’t heed it.  They probably didn’t know what it meant. 
In the science lab they were cowering behind the benches.  I looked at Carl, the vice-captain, in the eye, pointed the gun at his heart and pulled the trigger.  Suddenly I felt my body around me again and it no longer had the swagger.  I felt as limp as the body at my feet.  Carl was now a body, not a person. 
I looked around and saw the fear in the horrified faces and then the rage rose in me again.  At last people were scared of me instead of me of them.  I turned to the sound of a blubbering mess and there was Queen Barbie, the girl who constantly ridiculed me.  I pointed the gun at her forehead and again pulled the trigger and blood spewed over her already messed up face and her blonde hair matted into it.  At last I felt satisfaction and just watched, frozen with awe as her Barbie friends mewed over her.  She didn’t look too pretty now. 
Then somebody jumped on my back and I fell to the floor and struggled, blind as to who I was fighting.  Then there were bodies all over me and I knew it was over so I squeezed the trigger and five more bullets shot out.  I have since found out one of those bullets killed Victor, who wasn’t too bad, two of them injured some other kids and the other two embedded in the wall.  I took the foetal position as I received kicks and punches and spit.  When the police arrived the crowd edged back.  I was handcuffed and dragged away.

*  *  *  *  *
The Daily Chronicle – 2 April, 2008
Armed youth explodes high school
A teenage boy meticulously planned an assault on Morrison High School which has left six students and one teacher dead, police say.
With no warning a bomb exploded in a classroom shortly after 9.00am (AEST) Tuesday.  It had been hidden in the teacher’s desk.  Three were killed and several injured from the blast.
The first class of the day had started but with some students missing due to a Biology excursion.
The perpetrator was first spotted brandishing a gun in the quadrangle at about 9.50am.
The Principal and teachers were criticised for their slow response.  The Principal only locked down the school 30 minutes after the explosion.
"We were so scared. Students were yelling and screaming everywhere. I thought I was going to die," a Year 8 girl told Radio Morrison.
“It was manic,” said a Year 10 boy.  “At first we thought it was just a prank or something in the Science lab.  When we found out it was a bomb we cheered, that is, until we found out people were hurt.”
The gunman, a Year 11 student of the school, was arrested moments after he shot a further three students dead.  It appears they were deliberately singled out and shot through the heart or head.
“It’s like a movie with flames and smoke,” exaggerated one student.
Police said the boy did not resist arrest.  He is currently being held in custody at Morrison jail.  It is believed he will be transferred to a Sydney facility as soon as arrangements are made.
A total of 13 students were treated at the scene for injuries, mostly caused by the bomb blast.  Four of those students are still in hospital, one of whom was flown to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital last night.
The Boys School Captain singled out his friend, the Vice Captain, for being a particular loss.
The Principal declared Mrs Thompson a well respected teacher who will be mourned by students and teachers alike.

Footage from the security cameras has already hit YouTube on the internet.  This leak will also be investigated separately by the Police.