1 September 2011
Pipeline Nostaglia – Harrison Shanley
Things hadn’t always been this way. There had been a time when Jamie lived an ordinary life. School, annoying siblings, unremarkable pets, all that sort of thing. Just your everyday life in mainstream suburbia. Sometimes, on days like today, that old life almost seemed attractive. Jamie sighed as he remembered the fun he had had, chasing after beautiful girls and mucking around with the other boys in his neighborhood. Now he was chasing after sewer rats and mucking around in human waste. He longed for those days again. Sweet, simple days.
A squeak from behind alerted him that his trap had been set off. A simple contraption, designed to snatch anything smaller than a sewer snake, the biggest mutated animal to live in the sewers under London. As he walked down the treacherous footing to the black sewer floor, he pondered the day everything had changed for him, the day of the fight.
Jamie was never a good student at his school. He wasn’t book smart, had a bad temper, and often intimidated the teachers with his size. He was 6 feet and 2 inches tall, had black hair and piercing blue eyes. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him, and he had the stamina of a long distance runner. He would often resort to violence, and had broken a few heads in his time.
But the day of the fight had broken something inside him and forced him to live underground, away from the eyes of his peers. He was scared of the people above, and spent sleepless nights in his sleeping bag, the only thing retained from his time above, along with his soiled clothes and gloves. He paused for a moment to cough and wheeze painfully, before resuming his slow walk. The sewers were full of diseases, and death would be a result of drinking the putrid water.
It had all started with the new kid, Hunter. Matching Jamie’s 2 inches over 6 feet, he was packed full of muscle, had strawberry blonde hair and dark green eyes. The two boys had instantly taken a disliking to each other. Hunter was loud, obnoxious and bad tempered, like Jamie, but unlike Jamie, Hunter took out his rage on the kids smaller than him. Jamie finally snapped.
Jamie could only remember parts of it, but he knew that he had intervened to save one of his smaller mates. He was sure Hunter had hit him relentlessly with a brick, but apart from that he only remembered pain and a fearful flight through the sewers, terrifying shouts coming after him.
Another squeal told him that he had reached the trap. It was a stray dog that had probably fallen through a hole. The dog whimpered, and Jamie tried to form the words to comfort it. Again, he couldn’t. All that came from his mouth was a gargled blur of words. He knew something was wrong with him.
He sighed. Thing’s hadn’t always been this way.
Harrison Shanley, Year 8 (Male), Lilydale High School