Featured Review on this writing by Jeff Bezaire

'The Brickworks'

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: House Of Ten Thousand Exotic Rooms
A short story inspired by the 2nd Audio/Visual/Word Prompt from the House Of Ten Thousand Exotic Rooms.
https://www.booksie.com/house-house-of-ten-thousand-exotic-rooms-1620

Submitted: March 15, 2019

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Submitted: March 15, 2019

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The Brickworks’.

Hazelbridge High School’, that was its real name, but we didn’t call it that, the students, the former students; no, we called it ‘The Brickworks’.

The teachers were there, not to teach, or to indulge in any kind of academic debate, but to instil ‘facts’ in to sometimes very reluctant heads. That there were many conflicting ‘facts’ was beside the point and totally irrelevant. You listened to their words, you soaked them up, and you learned to reproduce them, parrot-fashion, on demand.

A surprisingly large number of students seemed quite happy to do just that. Maybe they had sponges inside their heads instead of brains, because these never thought to question, to query, to think for themselves. Perhaps the teachers themselves had a lot to do with this.

I don’t mean that they were convincing, enthusiastic, skilled teachers. No, their power lay in intimidation. They had their pointers which they would use to point at the whiteboards, the blackboards, and our eyes were meant to always follow them. But with a simple flick of the wrist, a movement so fast it mostly went unnoticed, they became canes that would slap across hands, backs, and occasionally a face of two.

Independent thought had no place in ‘The Brickworks’. Any sign and it would be pulverised, to be refashioned into standard bricks. For that was what we were meant to become; individuals who would march to attention, take our allotted positions and never question whether we were in any way happy or satisfied with our lives. Bricks built the society we lived in and without them it would fall into disrepair. The ‘Establishment’ required bricks of a certain size and standard if it was to be maintained.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, they never took in to account the fact that a brick wall is only strong if it is laid on top of solid foundations. And then there was the skill of the bricklayers themselves; poorly positioned bricks could bring an entire wall crashing down.

Regardless of all this, most students did leave ‘The Brickworks’ as standard bricks; there were a variety of molds and sizes, but they all had their uniformity. Of course there were those that were so ‘badly constructed’ that they were pulverised in to dust and left that way. Some might find their way in to concrete, but they would never be seen as upholding the ‘Establishment’. They were faceless, placeless, nothing more than pieces of grit.

But there were a few that escaped amongst the bricks that remained hidden, overlooked. These had curves, jagged edges, ones that had formed somehow differently and had managed to retain that difference. Not many, it’s true, but these were the ones that were destined for something special, not run of the mill.

These were the ones who retained their individuality; that were destined to stand out in some way special, and not just become one more brick in the wall.

 


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