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Innocence - creative writing.

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Theme: Innocence Chemistry By Tom Nixon There was always a strange smell as you entered the Chemistry lab. Always a lingering whiff of a past experiment gone wrong - as you always hoped it would. Always the temptation to conduct your own private experiment; randomly mixing volatile liquids from thick glass jars in the hope of producing a dense, smoking elixir, like a German professor in a white coat out of a black and white horror movie, who gets transformed into a brutal monster from drinking a few sips of the mystical brew. It was always an interesting lesson. Well, nearly always. 'Veel-uncies,' announced McTavish, in a broad Scottish accent. There was a collective groan. 'No experiment, sir?' inquired Lee. 'Not today,' replied Hamish, as we had christened him. I was still having trouble with certain words and phrases delivered by Hamish, in his unfamiliar, rasping dialect. And I was still using it as an excuse for my poor marks. But help was at hand, in the form of Mandy Stewart. I leaned across the long, grey bench and gave her a puzzled look. 'What did he say?' 'Valencies,' she said, in an exasperated tone. Mandy always sat next to me in Chemistry. She had acted as my personal translator, ever since I'd confessed to having difficulties understanding 'Jockinese,' as I called it. She told me that Dr. McTavish sounded just like her father, who was from Dundee. The trouble was, she had started plonking herself next to me in English, Maths, Economics, and all the other subjects where I didn't really have use for a Scottish language expert. Hamish began handing out photocopies, crammed with chemical formulas. 'A valency is how many electrons there are in the outer shell of an atom.' 'What was that all about?' I said, throwing a quizzical look at Mandy. 'Don't worry, Tom, I'll explain it all to you later.' ...read more.


Ever since Josh had mentioned the alarm clock it had been on my mind. I knew I had one - somewhere - and for the rest of that afternoon, I had been mentally rummaging through drawers, wardrobes and boxes, trying to remember where I had put it. It was a Christmas present, from some years ago, that had only seen the light of day on Christmas day itself. It was then confined to some dark corner of my room along with a selection of other toys and games that I had got bored with. It did, however, come out of retirement, very briefly when I first started at Blenkinsop. My mum said she was sick and tired of constantly running up and down the stairs, giving me progress reports on the time and persuading me out of my bed. She said I was old enough and mature enough to get out of bed in the morning. From that very first morning, when the contraption went off, I hated it. There I'd be, in the land of nod, peacefully dreaming of long, hot summer holidays, when suddenly the sound of someone bashing two saucepans together would drag me back into the real world. And there was no ignoring it. And trying to locate the miniscule button on the back to turn it off was virtually impossible, when you were half asleep. By the first Friday, I'd had enough. I resorted to brute force. As soon as my ear detected the beginnings of that disharmonious clanging, I picked it up and hurled it across the room. It bounced off two walls, did a little jig across the desk and fell into the bin. Peace at last. At first I started searching slowly and systematically. But increasingly, my frustration was growing by the second. I decided that slow and systematic wasn't working, so I resorted to quick and easy. ...read more.


There's a?' 'There isn't a bomb,' she said, shaking her head, 'there never was.' There was confusion all around the hall, as well as in my mind. The Headmaster appealed for calm. 'Please everybody, stay in your seats.' I stayed put. 'So if there isn't a bomb?what's all that ringing?' 'When the package was found yesterday, under the stage, the alarm was reset for 8.30 in the morning. The Headmaster reckoned that as soon as it started ringing all the culprits would think that the school was about to blow up, and try and escape.' 'Which we?they did.' I said, beginning to understand. 'There are three teachers waiting for them in the foyer.' 'So how did you work it out?' 'I knew Josh was up to something, when he asked all those questions in chemistry. You see, potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal make gunpowder. And yesterday, at the rehearsal, I saw him crawling under the stage. After everyone had left, I told Ms. Monroe and she called the police. An army bomb disposal officer arrived, called Captain Nolan.' 'Nolan?' 'Yes, Josh's dad. He recognised his son's handiwork. A shoebox with 'DANGER' written all over it, filled with soil and a Mickey Mouse alarm clock.' 'With a bent arm,' I said under my breath. 'Apparently, he's done this before.' I sat motionless and silent for a few moments. 'I can't let the others take the blame for this. I'll have to give myself up.' I eventually let go of her hand. The four of us emerged from the Headmaster's study, our heads as low as our spirits. 'Do you think we'll ever see Josh again?' asked Nish. No one answered. The head had been round to his house the night before and excluded him, indefinitely. 'At least he was true to his word,' I said. 'How do you work that one out?' said Lee. 'Well, he said he'd get us a week off school.' And he did, we were all suspended for seven days. ...read more.

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