The Snob – chapter 1

First chapter of a story about a young woman who makes a half-crazed bid for revenge against the arrogant, privileged boy who wrecks her life.

“What a morning!” said staff nurse Rosemary Harvey as the ward doors swung shut behind her. “The shift from hell!”

    Walking down the hospital corridor alongside her friend, auxiliary Janet Price nodded agreement. “Yea, it was hectic. What say we unwind with a glass of vino at that new wine bar that’s opened in town?”

Rosie shook her head. “No, I promised Paul I’d get straight home.”

Janet grinned. “Oooh, the young lovers! Admit it  you’re feeling randy and you can’t wait to get to bed with him!”

Janet was her best friend, and Rosie saw no reason to lie. “Guilty as charged.” She glanced down at her blue uniform dress. “But first I’m going to get out of these sweaty clothes and have a nice long soak in the bath.”

Janet nodded. “Take no notice of my teasing. I’m happy for you. I used to talk to Andy about you, say how you deserved to find someone nice. You go for it, girl! By the way, can I give you a lift home? I brought the car.”
“No thanks.” They were now outside, in the hospital car park, a hot July sun blazing down, and Rosie smiled as she pointed to a rather ancient-looking bicycle chained to the railings. “I have my own exclusive transport.”

“Does that mean youre going to ride through the school grounds?”

“You bet! It saves a lot of time.”

Janet looked a little anxious. “Rosie, be careful. Some of those kids can be…”

“Can be little snobs who don’t  belong in this town! You think I’m afraid of them?”

“Im just saying, theres no point inviting trouble and it’s off-limits to the public anyway.”

    Rosie laughed. “Jan, you’re only 2 years older than me. You’re not my mum! And those little snobs in that place don’t worry me! Nor do their stupid rules. Are you on an early shift tomorrow? So am I. See you then.”

The hospital stood on a hill, and as Rosie freewheeled down it, she had a panoramic view of the town. Like so many places in the north of England, it had never recovered from the miners strike of the 1980s. In the distance was the old colliery, where generations of her family had worked, including her father. It was long since derelict; he hadnt worked for years.

Life hadn’t been easy for the Harvey family. Rosie had been all set to go to university, she was certainly bright enough, but she had opted instead to train as a nurse because it offered a chance to earn money as she was training. The family had been grateful for the extra cash. Even now that she had left home, was living with Paul, she still helped out her parents and sisters with grocery money when she could.

Halfway down the hill, to the left of the road, was an imposing iron gateway. A sign said:

                 SAINT OSWALD’S ACADEMY

To Rosie, it seemed arrogance in itself that the gate was in fact open. As if the mere word of the snobs who studied and taught here was enough to keep out the ordinary townsfolk.  Even if it hadn’t provided a shortcut, she would probably have done so out of defiance. The academy, an establishment for boys aged 11-16, was one of the most exclusive fee-paying schools in the country. All its students came from wealthy backgrounds. Rosie thought it insulting that such a place existed in a working-class town where unemployment was rife.

Aged 24, she had been a qualified nurse for 2 years. She had found the academic side of training easy, and she was gaining a good reputation as an intelligent, hard working staff nurse, assertive when she had to be, but popular. Already, some of her senior colleagues were talking of her as a certainty for promotion. There was also the prospect of travel: nurses could work pretty well anywhere, and Paul, a musician, with a growing local reputation, had talked with her about going to Europe or even the USA. He and his band could try for the big time, and he was sure he could earn enough from gigs to pay his way.
He was the one for her, she was sure of it. They shared so many interests, and the sex was very, very good. Rosie had had comparatively few sexual partners  -not through lack of opportunity, or repressive morality, but because she was assertive and selective. But she knew it could never get better than with him.

She smiled. Life was good and going to get better still.

Jauntily, she stuck two fingers up at the sign and rode into the school grounds.    

She was riding on a gravel path that ran the length of the school grounds. To her left, hidden from view by a rising grassy bank of earth, was the school proper. Rosie scowled, knowing that despite its 15th century exterior, inside it held state of the art education facilities, facilities that the local schoolkids could only dream of. She hoped that some rich little bastard would try to reprimand her for trespassing. She would tell him to fuck off!

So far, though, the grounds seemed pretty much deserted. She rode on, a stocky girl, with a round, snub-nosed, pertly pretty face with its bright blue eyes, and pale skin that was almost a startling contrast to dark brown, almost black hair, long now that it was unfastened.

Soon the exit gate was in sight. She smiled as she thought of the bath, and then the passionate sex with Paul, that awaited. The short cut took a lot of time off her journey, she would be home in a few minutes.

Just before the gates, there was a tall  white stone tower, about 40 feet high, to the right of the path.  Maybe it had once been some sort of observation post.  She neither knew nor cared. Who cared about these rich kids and their school?

Then a boy, maybe 13 or 14 years old, wearing the school uniform of white shirt, grey pants and blue tie, was running at her from a door in the tower’s base. “Stop! Stop!”

Snarling, she pulled on the bike’s brakes. She could have ridden straight on but if this little turd wanted a row, he could have one!  He was running up to her.

“You got some problem about me being in your grounds?” she demanded.

He shook his head, and she saw he seemed frightened, panic-stricken.
“Please help.  Somebody’s  hurt!  There’s been an accident!”

“All right, don’t panic. What’s happened?”

 He pointed to the tower. “My friend and I were exploring up there. It’s off limits, we shouldn’t have been there, but anyway there was some broken glass and he’s cut.  He’s  bleeding so much! You’re a nurse aren’t  you?”

“Of course I am,  you little idiot! Do you think this uniform is fancy dress?”

“Well please help then!”

“Haven’t  you  got a school nurse?”

“Yes but by the time I fetch her I think it’ll be too late. He’s losing a lot of blood!”

“Have you got a mobile phone? Have you phoned an ambulance?” she asked him.
“Yes, but they said they’d  be delayed.  There’s been some sort of incident at the football match in town and they need emergency cover there. Oh please hurry!”

Rosie frowned. The boy’s story seemed plausible and he seemed genuinely distraught. She hated these rich snobs, but even aside from her professional duty, she could not leave a person in distress and danger – even a boy she would have loathed normally. She dismounted.  “All right, calm down and lead the way.”
Inside the tower, she followed the boy up a narrow, long flight of stone steps. At the top was a small open metal door. Beyond was a circular room, maybe 15 feet in diameter. At the far side, another boy lay writhing, groaning. Rosie stepped towards him.

“All right,” she said.  “Let me take a look at you.  Where are you bleeding from? You’ll be ok, help is on the way.

The door slammed. A voice spoke from behind her.

“Not for you,” it said.


© Hoodedpoet 2023
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The first chapter of a novel, indeed even the first sentence, is very important as I’m sure you know. It’s what you use to hook your reader. What you’ve used most of this chapter for is establishing background – the fact that the characters are nurses, the fact that one of them has a new boyfriend with whom she has great sex, the fact that the school is posh and the grounds private – and so on. None of this is particularly interesting. If I had lifted the book in a bookshop to flick through I would have put it… Read more »

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