Home Short Stories Contact Us Clash of Worlds

PHILIP MCCLENNAN

Rain poured down hard against the pavement causing a rippling effect on the puddles that scattered here and there. A black leather boot stepped into one of the puddles causing the water to disperse. A man in a large black trench coat and a grey hat walked two small boys down a dimly lit street way. Several of the street lamps on the road were broken meaning the narrow road was scarcely lit. Even those that worked flickered on and off, lighting the street for a few moments before casting it into darkness once more. Either side of the narrow road was a long row of terraced houses. The man walked the boys along the street a little further before coming to a halt outside one of the houses. The front door had a golden plate towards the top of it with the words Bel Grave Orphanage engraved on it. The man reached for the door and gave it three loud knocks. The door remained closed. He knocked again three times. A hatch on the door opened up revealing an old looking woman. She looked carefully at the man before closing the hatch over. The sound of several bolts being unlocked could be heard from the other side of the door. The woman opened up the door and stood at the entrance staring at the man and then down at the two boys.


“I have a delivery,” said the man.


The woman looked down at the boys, who looked totally bewildered as to what was going on. The old woman looked at the man once more. “Let me see your papers.”


The man reached into the inside pocket of his trench coat and pulled out a set of documents. He handed them over to the old lady who read through them as best she could in the dimly lit doorway. After a few moments, her attention went from the documents to the two boys.


“Come with me,” she said to them.


They all entered the orphanage apart from the man who departed immediately without so much as saying goodbye. The woman took the boys coats off and threw them into a nearby basket before leading them down a long corridor. Darkness filled the corridor apart from the odd glimpses of moonlight that shone through small windows in the distance. They reached a large door at the end of the corridor and came to a stop. The lady reached into her pocket, revealing a rusty old metal key. She put the key into the lock and turned it slowly before opening the door.


Inside the room were several rows of small beds. The old woman pointed into the room. “Inside.”


The two youngsters looked at each other, a mixture of confusion and fear was edged on their faces.


“Go on,” urged the woman, in a not too pleasant manner.


Reluctantly, the boys began to walk into the room. The woman walked in behind them and closed the door.


“Follow me,” she said and began to walk down the middle of the room.


The two boys hurried after her and the three of them walked, beds either side of them. The boys curiously looked around the room. They began to notice movement from a few of the beds. Inside the beds lay small boys; some of who had been woken up by the old lady and the two boys when they entered. A few of the boys began to whisper to each other from inside their beds.


The old lady picked up on the whispers. “Go back to sleep,” she told all of them.


The boys did exactly what the lady asked of them and put their heads on their pillows. Some even hid beneath the covers, afraid of the consequences should they not obey.


The old lady and the two boys reached the far end of the room. In the corner stood two empty beds. The woman pointed to them.


“Go to sleep,” she said in a tone that offered no argument.


The boys did as they were bid and got into bed. The woman walked back down the room and to the door, which she shut behind her. The sound of a key turning in the door lock could be heard.


One of the boys, who had blond hair, lay on the bed trembling in fear. The other boy, who was in the bed next to him and had darker hair, picked up on the fact the boy was scared.


“Hey are you ok?” the dark haired boy said.


The blond haired boy nodded, although he looked anything but ok.


“I’m Chad, what’s your name?” the dark hair boy asked.


“James,” the blond haired boy replied.


Another boy from across the room whispered over to the pair. “You’d best go to sleep, if they catch you talking we’ll all be in for it.”


There was genuine fear in his voice. Chad and James put their heads on their pillows and closed their eyes, although neither of them slept much that night.

Several weeks passed, then before the boys knew it, several months, and then years. James and Chad were now ten years old and were still in residence at Bel Grave orphanage. They had grown to call the place home, if you can call it a home that is. The boys lived under the strictest of rules in the orphanage. They did their own washing, cleaning and sometimes even cooking. The slightest hint of disobedience was met with severe punishment. Countless numbers of boys had been struck with a wooden cane or whipped with a leather belt as a means of punishment to teach them some manners. The staff kept the boys of the orphanage in line with fear. This brought them closer together, and they thought of each other as brothers because of it. Chad had become a leader of sorts to the boys. He was the oldest after all, if only by a few months. Long after their curfew, the boys would sneak out of bed and cause mischief. They would play games such as hide and seek or knock door run. Knock door run was especially fun when they knocked on Mrs Garner’s bedroom. She was the head of the orphanage and was the old lady who first opened the doors to Chad and James four years ago. Not that the boys could remember that day. It seemed such a long time ago.


One night, after the lights had gone out, the boys slipped out of their beds as they usually would. “Did you get it?” Chad said to Roger, who at six years old was the youngest of the group. Roger nodded and held out a metal paper clip. Chad smiled.


“Yes, Roger!” Chad held his hand up and Roger gave him a high five. Chad took the paper clip and tossed it to James who caught it. “You’re the lock pick, do your thing.”


“Piece of cake,” James replied, who tiptoed his way to the door. James knelt down and stuck the paper clip in the key lock of the bedroom door, which was always locked after hours. James’s tongue came out and pressed over his top lip and concentration filled his young face as he attempted to pick the lock with the clip.


Chad began to get a little agitated by the delay. “Come on, hurry it up!”


James did not appreciate the interruption. “Shut up, I’m going as fast as I can.” Just at that exact moment the lock clicked open. James turned and grinned at Chad.


“Took you long enough,” Chad said with a hint of sarcasm.


The group of boys, ten of them in number, quietly made their way out of the bedroom and headed down the corridor. Chad led the way, being able to see surprisingly well despite the lack of light.


“Come on, this way,” Chad said.


One of the boys bumped into an artificial plant bush that was up against a wall, knocking it to the floor.


Chad turned around unimpressed. “Watch where you’re going, you’ll wake them up.”


“Sorry,” stuttered Chris who was the boy at the back of the pack. Chris was always messing up. He seemed to get caught the most when the boys would get up to no good, and Chris had felt the wrath of Mrs Garner more than anyone else. He always spoke with a stutter and the orphanage staff would mock him in a demeaning manner. The small boy had lost a lot of confidence as a result.


“You sure you know where you’re going? I can’t see a thing,” said James, who was directly behind Chad.


“Yeah it’s this way,” Chad assured him. Chad opened up a door in the hallway, which led to a dining room. He noticed the light switch and flicked it on. The sudden light caught the rest of the boys off guard and they quickly lifted their hands to shield their eyes.


“What are you doing, leave the light off!” James said, clearly worried that one of the orphanage staff may notice the light coming from the room.


“Don’t worry about it, I know what I’m doing,” Chad replied who looked totally composed and calm. “Come on, everyone inside and close the door behind you.”


The group entered the dining room and closed the door. In the centre of the room was a large dining table with numerous chairs around it. The table could easily seat around twenty. In the far corner of the room was where the kitchen was located and that was the direction Chad was headed. Chad gestured with his arm, almost like an army sergeant might command his troops across a battlefield. The group of boys followed him in, making their way over to the kitchen. The kitchen was set off from the back of the dining room. The boys walked through it, their small heads barely making it over the height of the cooker and the grill. All except for Chad, who was an inch or two taller than the rest. Chad spotted the refrigerator and smiled. He quickly rushed over to it and opened the refrigerator door. Inside was a vast amount of treats such as biscuits, chocolate and crisps. These, of course, were for the staff. The boys had never been given treats like this when it was time to eat. All they ever seemed to get was soup or very disgusting mash and peas. However, James and Chad had discovered this refrigerator a few months earlier and the boys always sneaked to the kitchen for treats every few days. The boys were very careful too. They would only take small amounts; just enough to not arouse suspicion. However tonight was different because this time Chad spotted something he hadn’t seen in the refrigerator before. It was a huge chocolate sponge cake.


“Look at that,” Chad said bursting with excitement.


James peered into the fridge and looked at the cake. The pair looked at each other and smiled. Chad took it out and put it on the dining table. All the boys looked on in awe.


“Well, what are you waiting for? Don’t just look at it, tuck in boys!”


And the boys did just that. They grabbed pieces of cake and shoved it in their mouths with their bare hands. The boys began to laugh and giggle as they ate, talking with their mouths full with chocolate smeared all around their lips.


Chad sat on the big chair at the end of the table and just for a moment, Chad felt as tall as a king. “You know boys, this is the life isn’t it?” He said in triumph.


Suddenly the boys heard movement from upstairs as if someone was up and about. Then they began to hear footsteps walking down the stairs.


“Quick turn the light off,” James said to Peter, who was the closest boy to the kitchen door.


Peter was the chubbiest of the boys and it still took him several moments to make his way to the light switch and turn it off. With the light off, the boys frantically looked for somewhere to hide. Roger hid behind the cooker, Peter and his brother Paul hid behind the curtains, James hid underneath the table. All the boys found somewhere to hide apart from Chad, who had to go right next to the dining room door from which they had first come in. If the door were to open, the door would cover him from sight, so he thought that a safe enough place.


Footsteps could be heard from the corridor outside. The footsteps began to get louder and most definitely closer. Chad, who was right next to the door, could hear the sound of steps better than anyone else. The footsteps came to a halt outside the dining room door. Chad could almost feel the presence of someone from the other side of the door looking into the dining room. The boys held their breath as the doorknob began to turn. Chad’s heart began pounding so fast he thought it would break through his chest. Then all of sudden the doorknob stopped turning, and the footsteps began to walk away from the door. Chad closed his eyes in relief, but he dare not move from his hiding place. The rest of the boys remained frozen. Several minutes passed and still the footsteps were nowhere to be heard. James came out from underneath the table.


“Do you think they’re gone?” he asked.


Chad put his ear to the door and tried to listen for any movement outside. “Seems so.”


Everyone came out from their hiding places. The looks on the boys’ faces were a mixture of relief and fear. They knew they dare not get caught, for to get caught would mean dire consequences. Chad felt the tension within the group and tried to raise spirits.


“They’re gone, nothing to worry about!” Chad opened the dining room door to show them they had nothing to fear.


The look on James’ face changed from relief to that of utter horror in an instant Chad behind you!


Behind the door stood an old man, Jack, the orphanage night man. He quickly grabbed Chad. “Come here you!” the night man barked as Chad tried to fight his way free. The rest of the boys screamed and frantically ran for cover. A few more of the night staff ran in and rounded on the boys.


Mrs Garner, the old woman who was the head at Bel Grave Orphanage now entered the dining room. “Get them, get them all, we’ll teach them a lesson!”

Peter struggled to break free from one of the male members of staff. He managed to get himself loose for a moment before one of the other staff members slapped him hard in the face knocking him to the ground. James stopped running when he saw Peter fall and stood there frozen. Mrs Garner quickly seized on him grabbing him from behind. To be fair, though, James didn’t put up much of a fight. He had the stuffing knocked out of him by seeing Peter brutally knocked to the floor.


Chad and Jack the night man’s scuffle had worked its way into the corridor outside the dining room. Chad, who at ten years old was several inches smaller than the old man, was surprisingly holding his own. During the pairs grappling, they both fell to the floor and Chad tried to crawl away. Jack grabbed his legs but struggled to keep a firm grip. Jack became enraged by his inability to stop Chad.


“Come here you little bastard!”


Chad threw a punch, which landed on Jack’s chin, which rocked the old man slightly. Jack dove on Chad and stuck his hands around his throat. Jack began to squeeze down as Chad struggled for breath. In a fit of rage, Chad pushed Jack off him, launching the old man several feet into the air. Jack crashed into the corridor wall with a massive thud. The man stayed down clutching his back. Even Chad seemed surprised by his feat of strength. He picked himself up off the floor and ran.


Several hours had passed and Chad was nowhere to be found around the orphanage. The staff had searched high and low, in every room, the basement, the loft, but they found nothing. Chad had not left the premises, though. The orphanage was in a state of lockdown. Every exit was electronically locked and there was no way out. All of the boys were lined up in the assembly hall. Mrs Garner stood in front of the boys like a school headmaster would stand in front of her pupils. The boys stood frozen, like rabbit’s stuck in headlights, nervous and afraid. Mrs Garner began to walk up and down, eyeballing the boys as she did so. Several of the staff stood all around the boys, including Jack, who held his right hand to his back, clearly still in pain from his earlier confrontation with Chad.


Mrs Garner began to address the boys, walking with purpose wall to wall as she did so. “As you are all well aware there was a little incident earlier on tonight,” she said with a sinister tone in her voice. “You are all ungrateful little brats. Naughty boys that need to all be taught a lesson!” Mrs Garner focused most of her attention on James throughout the lecture. “I will, however, give you one chance to save yourselves,” she carried on. “The ring leader of this night of mischief is still hiding somewhere. I know one of you know where he hides.” She again focused on James. “If any of you have any knowledge of that meddlesome boys whereabouts this evening, any knowledge at all then I invite you to step forward.” She peered right into James’ eyes. “If no-one fails to do so, you leave me no choice but to punish every single one of you.” Mrs Garner gave a slight grin.


The boys began to get really scared, some of them began to breathe heavily and others began to sweat relentlessly. James remained calm, but he felt several of the other boys eyes lock onto him, for they knew that James knew where Chad chose to hide. James did not speak, though, so Mrs Garner acted accordingly. She knew how to make James talk. She also realised that James wasn’t afraid of her. She knew however that James was very protective of the other boys, so she decided to call the youngest of the group Roger out to the front of the assembly hall. Mrs Garner reached into a cabinet that stood against the wall behind her and took out an old wooden cane. Roger started to cry.


James looked torn about what he should do. I can’t give up Chad, but Roger… James reluctantly said nothing.


The rest of the orphanage staff came to the front of the assembly room close to where Mrs Garner was stood. The old lady grabbed Roger with her left hand and gripped the cane tightly with her right. She held out the boy’s hand and looked at James once more. “I know you know where he is, last chance.”

James looked as if he wanted to talk for a moment but stopped just as the words were about to leave his mouth.

Anger began to fill Mrs Garner’s face. “Very well have it your way!” She raised the cane high, about to deliver a fierce strike to Roger’s hand. The small boy closed his eyes in fear and several of the other boys couldn’t bear to look either.


“Wait!” a voice shouted out from the back of the assembly hall.


There stood Chad, who had quietly entered the assembly hall via the back door. “Let him go,” he said, walking to the front of the hall. “I’m the one you want, if you’re going to hit anyone with that, then hit me.” Chad walked to where Mrs Garner was stood. The woman smiled and let Roger join the rest of the boys. Two male staff members walked behind Chad and attempted to grab his arms, but he easily shrugged them off.


“Now now it’s ok, leave the boy alone,” the old lady said. “You know what you have to do, don’t you Chad. You need to be punished for leading the rest of these poor boys astray.”


Chad stared back at Mrs Garner showing no sign of remorse for his actions.


“Come here you brat.” The old woman grabbed Chad’s arm and dragged him towards her. She held his left hand out and raised the wooden cane. Some of the boys looked away in fear, they had seen this all before. Many of the boys in the orphanage had felt the wrath of Mrs Garner’s cane and the outcome was always the same. A boy would cry out in agony when stuck by it and Mrs Garner certainly didn’t hold back. In fact, truth be told she actually enjoyed dishing out punishment. She really could be a cruel old lady at times.


The majority of the boys couldn’t bear to watch and looked away. James didn’t look away, though. He looked unusually calm about the whole situation. Chad also looked surprisingly composed, considering the fact he was about to be struck with a wooden stick. Mrs Garner didn’t hold back this time either and gave Chad’s hand an almighty smack with the cane. The sound of the wood hitting flesh echoed out around the room. Even some of the orphanage staff gasped at the impact. Chad didn’t flinch, not one inch. Mrs Garner looked a little surprised and then confused. She had not held back at all and usually the boy on the receiving end of her strikes would be crying out in pain right about now. Some of the boys who had looked away began to open their eyes and looked back towards Mrs Garner and Chad, wondering what had just happened. James remained cool, almost as if he knew something everyone else didn’t.


Chad looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world standing there with his hand still held out, almost as if the cane strike hadn’t even happened. Mrs Garner was determined not to be undone and hit Chad again on the hand with the wooden stick, this time even harder. All the boys gasped as the sound of wood hitting flesh again echoed around the assembly hall. Yet again Chad didn’t budge. Mrs Garner looked him up and down, the look of confusion edged on her wrinkled old face. Chad began to find the whole thing amusing and struggled to keep a straight face. James also began to laugh under his breath. All the other boys and staff for that matter looked as confused as Mrs Garner.


The old lady picked up on Chad trying to hold back laughter and become enraged. “Do you find this funny boy?”


Chad couldn’t contain his laughter any longer and began to laugh aloud. His laughter echoed all around the hall.


“I won’t be made a fool of, do you hear me?”


Mrs Garner raised the cane high over her head and launched it downwards towards Chad’s head. Chad’s laughter quickly faded when he realised where the wooden stick was heading and tried to raise his free arm to cover his face. He wasn’t fast enough and the cane struck him right on the forehead. The wooden stick hit him with such ferocity that it snapped clean in two. Everyone in the room froze, looking on in silence. If a pin were to drop at that very moment it would have no doubt echoed around the room several times over. Even Mrs Garner seemed a little surprised that she had struck Chad so hard.


Chad, who had crouched down a little to try and avoid the impact was fine, however. He stood up straight, looking a little shocked that he WAS actually ok. How did that not hurt? The cane is broken in half! Chad thought in confusion.


Mrs Garner looked at the part of the broken cane she still held in her hand, and then at the broken piece on the floor. “Impossible,” she muttered in disbelief. She slowly looked Chad up and down. “What the hell are you?”

The boy was visibly shaken about what had just transpired. He stood as still as a statue, completely motionless.

Mrs Garner began to loose her cool. “You’re a freak, a freak I tell you!” The old lady gestured to the staff. “Take him, take him and put him in isolation.”


Several of the orphanage staff grabbed Chad and led him out of the room. The boy did not try to fight them at all, he was too confused by the fact that a wooden cane had just smashed over his forehead and he only felt a tiny headache.


Ms Garner continued on with her rant. “Lock him up, lock that freak up! We need to keep him away from the rest of the brats.” All of the boys looked on as Chad was escorted from the room. All of them were talking to each other, asking how could it be possible that Chad was ok.


James didn’t speak to anyone, nor did he look overly surprised by what had just happened. So, Chad is the same as me…


The next few days Chad slept alone, cut off from the rest of the boys. He was kept like a prisoner in a private section of the orphanage. He remained in a small room, which had nothing other than a bed in it. A metal door was the only way in or out of the room, but that was constantly locked. The only connection Chad had with the outside world was a small window near the top-left hand corner of the room. One time he climbed up and gazed through the glass out into the world beyond the orphanage. I wonder what it’s like out there? That day he had stared aimlessly out of the window until it went dark. On this day, Chad sat on the end of the bed, like he had done for the majority of the last three days. He swung his legs back and forth in boredom. There was literally nothing for him to do inside the small cell. Chad began to hear footsteps from the corridor outside. Through a darkened window at the top of the metal door, he could see the outline of someone’s shoulders and head. Someone was peering into the room, but he couldn’t make out who. Chad stood up from the bed and looked at the person who was standing on the other side of the door.


“Let me out, please let me out,” he pleaded. He’d had enough of his prison. The boy had been stuck inside it for three days, with no company and no one to talk to. Chad had come to hate the deadly silence he had been subjected to whilst on his own and wanted more than anything to be reunited with James and the rest of the boys.


A letterbox hole at the bottom of the door slid open. Through the hole slid a plate of food, soup to be exact. Chad loathed soup and besides he wasn’t hungry, he just wanted to get out of the room. Chad picked up the plate of soup and looked back at the figure who was still looking at him through the darkened window. Chad snarled at the figure and hurled the plate at the window. The plate smashed and the soup splattered against the glass.


“Let me out!” Chad screamed as loud as he could.


“You’re not going anywhere freak,” said a familiar old voice. It was Mrs Garner at the other side of the door. She laughed for a few moments and walked away, leaving Chad all alone once again.


The boy simply sat back down at the edge of the bed and began to cry.


Late that night, Chad lay on the bed, still locked away in isolation. Although his eyes were closed he was, in fact, wide-awake. He couldn’t sleep a wink that night. As far as he knew, he was never going to get out of this room. Chad hated being all alone, away from the boys. He especially missed James. The two had grown to become best friends and this was the longest the two had ever spent apart for as long as he could remember. He lay in complete silence in the pitch black, although Chad could see quite well in the darkness, almost as well as he could see in the daytime which he hadn’t thought strange until now.


“Pssst.”


A Voice? Chad sat up looking to the door. The sound had come from there. Then he heard it again.


“Pssst Chad.”


Chad got out of the bed and slowly walked to the door. “Who is it?” he cautiously asked, wary of it being Mrs Garner or Jack the night man or any of the other orphanage staff he’d come to loathe so much.


“It’s me you idiot, James!” said the boy from the other side of the door.


“What took you so long?” Chad replied, trying to sound as cool as possible, but the truth was he’d never been so happy to hear his friend’s voice.


“I’m getting you out of here,” James whispered back.


“How are you going to manage that? It’s a metal door!”


The door suddenly opened up, much to Chad’s amazement. On the other side stood a cocky looking James.


“Because I’ve got this haven’t I?” James waved a metal key in Chad’s face.


Chad smiled. The smile was a mixture of him being impressed and also happiness at seeing his friend again. (Although Chad would never have admitted it)


“Not bad,” he acknowledged before stepping out of the room. “How did you find that?”


“Never mind that we’ve got to get out of here.”


“Yeah I know, where can we hide?”


“No I mean we need to get out of this whole place!” James said with a very serious tone in his voice, so serious that Chad knew he wasn’t joking. Nevertheless, Chad still asked him whether or not he was joking.


James shook his head. “If we stay here, they’ll throw both of us back in this room, or even worse. I’ve had enough of it here.”


Chad nodded his head in agreement. “Ok let’s do it, I can’t take it here anymore either. Let’s bust out!” Chad began to walk down the corridor and gestured for James to follow him. “We need to find a way out.”


The pair walked to the front door, which was firmly locked with several bolts and metal padlocks. They both expected that but thought to at least give it a try. When they turned around a man in the hallway confronted them. It was the night man Jack, who quickly grabbed hold of Chad.


“Where do you think you’re going boy?” Said the old man as he wrapped his arms around Chad.


“Let him go!” James shouted as he delivered a punch to the nightman’s ribs which actually sent him hurdling back half way down the corridor. James looked at his hand, which was still scrunched up in a fist, in amazement. He couldn’t understand how he’d managed to hit a grown man halfway down the corridor. My strength is growing.


A light from the top of the stars turned on. “What’s going on down there?” said the voice of Mrs Garner.


“Run!” Chad shouted and the pair fled down the corridor. They ran down a left turn, and then a right. Chad spotted a half open door and came to a halt. “Quick in here.”


James quickly followed him inside before closing the door behind him.

Mrs Garner gave chase followed by several orphanage staff who rushed down the stairs. She noticed the night man down on the floor. “Jack what happened?”


“It’s them two bastard boys, one’s let the other one out of the confinement room.”


Mrs Garner became enraged. “Get them, get them both!”


All ran down the corridor in pursuit of the boys.


Inside what was a small common room, James and Chad hid. In the room were a few leather seats, several old-looking paintings on the wall and a large piano. Mrs Garner had a great talent for music in her younger years. Her mother taught the old woman during her youth and she liked to play the piano from time to time to let the boys know she was around. She loved playing an old tune similar to Haydn Piano Sonata 59 in E Flat movement 2 before she would dish out punishment to the boys in the orphanage. Every child had learnt to dread that music.


James leant against the door with his ear and listened out for Mrs Garner and the others. He heard the old lady say faintly “check every room, they’re around here somewhere!” James took his ear off the door. “They’re coming,” he said with a hint of anxiety in his voice. The boys looked around frantically and Chad came up with an idea. “Quick, let’s move the piano against the door so they can’t get in.” The two boys pushed the piano over to the door and pressed it against the entrance.


The doorknob began to turn. A male voice from the other side of the door shouted. “They’re in here!”


The orphanage staff began to band loudly on the door. Mrs Garner was shouting at the top of her voice, so loud that all the other boys in the orphanage who were upstairs in their beds had woken up.


“What’s going on?” Roger asked from his bed. Others sat up in their beds and continued to listen as the noise levels down below began to rise.


Back in the living room James and Chad continued to look for a way out. James picked up a wooden stool that was originally by the piano and threw it against the window, but it bounced off not even so much as putting a crack in the frame.


“What are we going to do?” said James, who was beginning to become consumed with fear.


The staff outside had begun to slowly edge the door open. Chad simply gazed at the window. James looked at him, wondering what thoughts were going through his friend’s head.


“Chad, come on, what we are going to do?” he asked him again. Chad continued to stare at the window. Suddenly it dawned on him.


That’s it! Chad turned to James, “James, I think I’ve found a way out.” The staff edged the door open a little more. A hand now came through the gap where the door was opening. James looked back and realised it wouldn’t be too much longer before their pursuers would be inside the room.


“Come on then what is it?” James pleaded.


“Remember what happened to the cane the other day?”


James was more confused than ever. Forget the bloody cane, we need to get out of here! He thought but what he said was “What do you mean?”


“Remember how it broke when it hit me.”


“Yeah, as if I could forget” James replied, still not realising what relevance it had to their current predicament.


“Well, what do you think would happen to the window?”


James looked at him, thinking for a moment that he might just be bluffing.


“Just watch!” said Chad, who proceeded to run towards the large window and hurl himself at it. Chad smashed right the way through it, landing down in the garden outside. A shower of glass rained down upon him as the boy fell to the ground, and Chad quickly covered his face to protect himself.


“What the hell was that?” shouted Mrs Garner from outside the common room door.

Chad slowly got to his feet, brushing the glass off him, still a little dazed from jumping through the window. One would have expected him to be pouring with blood from the impact of shattering through a sheet of glass, but the boy only had a few bumps and cuts on him. “Come on James let’s go!”


The second boy jumped through the broken window landing next to his partner in crime. The pair, who now found themselves in the garden at the back of the orphanage, ran to a large fence that was located at the gardens rear. It was the only thing standing between them and freedom. Just then, the orphanage staff broke through the common room door. They were shocked to find the window smashed.


Mrs Garner looked through the broken glass and spotted the two boys in the garden. She pointed at the boys. “They’re outside, get them!”


All of the staff obeyed in an instant, running out of the room and towards where the back door of the orphanage was located. The door led to the garden where the boys were attempting to escape.


Chad gave James a boost up to help him to the top of the fence, which was about twice their size. When James got to the top he began to lift Chad up. The orphanage staff came out the back door and ran up to them. As Chad was about to get the top of the fence, a male staff member grabbed him by the foot.


“Oh no you don’t you little bastard!” the man shouted as he tried to pull the boy down.


James tried with all his might to pull Chad up. Chad kicked out with his free foot sending the man crashing to the ground. With both of them now on top of the fence, Chad and James turned around and jumped off into the street below. The two boys ran off down the street into the darkness of he night. All the other orphanage boys, who had watched the events from the windows of their bedroom, began to cheer loudly as Chad and James vanished into the distance. They were finally free of that awful place, after all these years.


What now? James wondered as the pair ran off into the distance. The thought was only there for an instant though and Chad patted him on the shoulder as they disappeared into the night.


Release date: 1st December 2015

SAMPLE FROM CLASH OF WORLDS