From Read After Burnout

The winds of war had been blowing across the classrooms and corridors since the second day of the week. As the spite of rain whipped across the car-park, and the unseasonably cold blast ripped down the temperatures, the student body (still kicking) reacted appropriately. Vendettas emerged where only a harmless void had previously resided. Fights erupted from a few flaming utterances and sides were taken. Storms, stormed out of classrooms, and swept along the corridors. Helpless calls for help echoed throughout the building in a rolling wave of a call to arms and assistance. 

It still surprises me when I think about the raw strength of a relatively small and undeveloped human-being when thrown into a self-induced rage. All of this was garnished with undiluted obscenities and unveiled threats that would be carried through at some time. The boy who had pleaded at my door that morning had been inadvertently caught up in one of these vendettas. His problem had arisen due to the intervention of my Liam Flowers character who had threatened violence and mayhem on several consecutive days. Nice lad, a little misunderstood.    

 My Liam Flowers was acting up to his billing, without ever realising it. It was prose in action and I watched this manifestation take form and become something that only the pages of my book had previously dared to imagine. Teachers often talk about students who exhibit behaviours that mark them out as special cases, the ones most likely to succeed, the ones most likely to get and stay married, the ones most likely to go to prison. Liam had his destiny written all over his attitude. Sooner or later, he was heading for the big house and there was precious little anyone could do about it. 

What made everything so deadly certain was the backing group of other students who sang along with, danced with, and supported him with every move or utterance. In their eyes, Liam was the epitome of reasonable, rational behaviour. Indeed, he was the standard-bearer for his classmates and comrades in arms. 

An extract from Adventures In Everyday Madness

by Mike Evans

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