Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 1

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter One

There were two schools in town. Belsmeade Academy, established in 1810, was a very selective preparatory school for the privileged male offspring of the upper tiers of society. Its manicured grounds covered fifty acres of the north side of Clackelton, New Hampshire. The academy resembled a luxury resort, including horse stables, professionally-equipped sports facilities and an ice rink.

Seven miles from Belsmeade's lush lair of learning was Clackelton Consolidated High School, established in 1948, quaintly situated between the local chain supermarket and a small bookstore. The school building was a post-modern, concrete eyesore and was aging badly. The floor of the gymnasium was so warped that the basketball team had re-located to the YMCA three blocks down. The sports fields were four miles away behind the equally unimpressive Junior High School.

Students who attended the public school were called "Clacks". Students from the private school were "Meades", although most Clacks referred to them as "Assmeades". The boys at Clackelton hated the boys of Belsmeade for two reasons: first, their money and privilege; second, the fact that every girl at Clackelton lusted after those boys behind the gilded gates.

I was a Clack. Every morning, as my bus passed by the Belsmeade campus, I sighed with longing. I wanted to tell the bus driver to stop and let me out. To experience life at the academy even for a day was a dream I had often. The monotonous, unending ordinary-ness of high school bored me to tears. I did well in class, and had a decent group of friends, but I wanted more.

I watched the Meades crisscrossing the lawn in their blue blazers and khakis. Some of the guys were carrying lacrosse sticks. Clackelton didn't offer "exclusive" sports like that. Not that I was into team sports anyway. I'd played singles' tennis as a junior because it fulfilled the stupid requirement that each student play at least one sport at some point during their three years of high school. Badminton was an option too, but I wasn't a complete tool.

This year I had spent obsessing over my parents' divorce. My mother had abruptly left just before Christmas, explaining to my father that she had fallen in love with a cardiologist at the local hospital where dad worked as a radiologist. She'd written a farewell note to me, but I threw it in the trash, unopened.

Now I was leaving in the fall and dad wouldn't have anyone to look after him. Not that he was a half-wit who couldn't boil water. He was an extremely intelligent, an excellent chef and had even figured out how to do laundry. I simply couldn't help feeling like I was abandoning dad, just like mom had done.

As the bus passed Belsmeade, I replayed the morning's conversation. Dad laughed, as usual, and told me that the house wasn't going to burn down the moment I left for college, and that he was not an old fart and would probably begin dating again soon. The thought of dad bringing a date home and potentially having sex in the next room made me shiver. Time to stop thinking along those lines and get ready for another day in purgatory.


"Hey, Burnsie!"

If there was one thing I hated more than that annoying nickname, it was the person yelling it across the hall. I turned to find Frank Hitch bearing down on me and steeled myself for the impact. The soccer goalie threw an arm around me and laughed. "Listen. I really need some help with my French homework, Burnsie. Can I come over—"

"It's Berenz," I growled, "and the answer is no. You are not using my house for a kegger."

Frank feigned shock and stumbled. "You've cut me deep! Do you automatically assume that I would use you that way?"

"Um… yes? When have you not? When in the ten years that we've known each other, have you not used our acquaintance to your own ends? Look, I don't have time for this, okay? I have a meeting—"

"I guess I'll just fail French." Frank moaned dramatically.

It was one of those mornings.

I had a meeting with the French teacher and didn't want to be late. She had been looking into an Italian language course for me to take that semester at one of the local colleges and had emailed the previous day to say she'd found something.

"Hi, Eliot," Madame Perins said, as I entered her classroom. After routing through an enormous stack of papers, she pulled out a single type written sheet and handed it to me. "What do you think of this?"

I stared wide-eyed at the blue and gold crest on the top of the page. It was the Belsmeade Academy crest. The letter was addressed to Madame Perins:

Thank you for your communications regarding your student, Eliot Berenz. His academic record is certainly impressive.

I have spoken with Dean Havers and he has agreed to consider Mr. Berenz for enrollment in my Italian class. As space is limited, please have Mr. Berenz return the application as soon as possible.

Giuseppe Rampura

Without giving me a chance to speak, she said, "Fill it out and take it over tomorrow. The class is during this period with me, so you'd be all set. You could go there for class and come back here for lunch."

I lay the letter on the desk and shook my head. "That would be so out of my league!"

The teacher raised an eyebrow. "That's ridiculous. Take the chance Eliot. You can do this."

Could I do it? Did I dare to go where no Clack had gone before?


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Jon Keys
MA Church
Chris T. Kat
Grace Duncan
Cia Nordwell
JC Wallace
Jim Dunaway
Tali Spencer
Shelly Schulz
Andrew Q. Gordon
Julie Lynn Hayes


  1. Great starting chapter for your virgin wednesday brief! Wonderful job Kazy! Liking the new story too ;)