I wrote the short story below as a piece of School English homework when I was 16. We were told to take a chapter of the book we were studying at the time, Far from the Madding crowd, and write our own take on it. My interpretation is not what you might expect.
At the time I had every intention of pursuing a career in writing and I like to think that in a parallel universe I did just that and became a much better writer. In this universe, I became an Engineer, surrounded by the intelligent but barely literate and suppressed my dreams. Looking back at what I've written, I cannot believe firstly that I dared to hand this in and secondly that my teacher gave me a sensible mark! Thank you Mr Simes, you were an amazing teacher.
Enough of the preamble. Read, enjoy the story and remember that I wrote this, aged 16 (a frankly unbelievable 32 years ago!) long before the internet was available.
The Fir plantation - and the man
One of Bathsheba’s daily chores was to inspect the entire property; She accomplished this task by, just after dusk, going for a jog. Her flared tracksuit flapped noisily as she wound her way between the trees. The clanking of her multifarious jewels and chains could be heard for miles around.
As a cloud obscured the moon, she heard a twig snap in front of her and something grabbed at her ankle. She lurched forward and fell flat on her face. Bathsheba silently mouthed a hatred of dogs as her nose wrinkled involuntarily at the smell. A rough hand grasped her shoulder and hauled her to her feet.
The Sergeant was dressed in a camouflage jacket and trousers, hike boots and a balaclava. He wore an M16 across his chest. Bathsheba noted with interest the size of his biceps as he easily lifted her.
The moon chose this moment to reappear from behind the cloud. The Sergeant, glimpsing Bathsheba’s face, put on his deepest voice as he inquired:
“Are you alright?”
The sound of his voice made Bathsheba’s knees turn to jelly.
“I soon will be” she replied hopefully, with a sly grin. She reached down to her ankle and tried to free her trousers from his ankle holster.
“Would you like me to do it?”
“Yes please!” She whispered coyly.
He reached down and untangled the mess.
“I don’t suppose you would like to walk me home would you, I still feel a bit shakey.”
“I would be delighted to walk with such a breathtaking woman”. He was beginning to realise what she meant.
It took twenty minutes to arrive at the house. To call it a house was like calling St Pauls Cathedral a church. Bathsheba’s residence was a huge five storey building in the shape of a pentagon. A single tower rose from the centre.
“That”, said Bathsheba “is my modest abode. What do you think?”
“Is everything about you as stunning as this?” He inquired incredulously.
“Yes. Now would you like to come in for a drink Frank?”
They moved silently up the marble staircase and climbed into the glass elevator at the top. It swept them up the side of the building with a barely audible hum.
“I’m sorry about the hum” She said apologetically. “I’ll change into something else at the top”
The walk through the forest had been most beneficial; both of them had found their ideal partner: He was big and strong, she was wealthy beyond his wildest dreams (and he had a few of them!!).
Bathsheba’s enormous room held a few surprises for Troy. He gasped as he saw her enormous silk covered four poster bed.
“I’ll slip out of these clothes, would you fix us a drink each? The drinks cabinet is over there.”
As he opened the door of the cabinet, he gasped. Inside, there was almost every intoxicant known to man, and along the top shelf there were small boxes. Troy picked two of them up and read their labels, spanish fly and powdered rhino horn; he emptied their contents into two glasses and topped them up with neat Vodka.
Bathsheba came in clad in a negligee and a smile. She took the glass and they both swallowed the contents whole.
“I wonder if I’ll ever regret this” He thought as the lights went out.
Written by me, aged 16 (March 1987)