The Drabble With No Name
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The CBB -> St Mildred's House

#1: The Drabble With No Name Author: JellySheep PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:45 pm
<Gasps at taking the plunge and posting a drabble. Be gentle with it and me! I hope it isn't too stupid>

Mods- I wasn't sure where to put this so have gone for the safe option!

Any clever ideas for a title are VERY welcome - I'm not very good at snappy titles.
It all began with something very small. Some of Inter V were looking at the lists of prefects and mistresses to accompany the various forms on the day's walks.
'Oh, is Jack Lambert coming with us?' asked Jane Babington enthusiastically. 'Oh, marvellous!'
'Fancy her then, do you?' derided Kirsty Fairbrother. 'We've all seen the sickly smiles you keep giving her.'
Jane flushed. 'Of course not!' she exclaimed.
'What're you blushing for then?' demanded Kirsty. 'Hey - Jane's a dyke! Watch yourselves, girls, you're not safe!' Jane flinched. The American word 'dyke' was unfamiliar to her, but she could guess what it meant. New that term and never very confident, she slunk away as Kirsty chanted 'Babington's a dyke!' just loud enough for Jane to hear, and her friends tittered. Jack had looked after Jane on the long train journey to Switzerland, and as a result Jane had looked up to her ever since. She had never seen this as anything other than a natural liking based on gratitude, but she wondered now whether Kirsty's jibe had some truth in it and her admiration had something unnaceptable about it.
From there it was a rapid deterioration. Kirsty had found a ready-made victim. Whenever Jane tried to be friendly with anybody, they began to be labelled in the same way, and soon nobody felt brave enough to risk her reputation. Some of the girls even felt hesitant to approach Jane in case it was interpreted as an amorous invitation. When the form had to pick up sides or pair off for walks, Jane was always the last to be chosen. She tried not to show that she minded, that she felt humiliated, and instead retreated within herself, where the torment was hard to bear but at least it wasn't visible from the outside. She began to wonder whether there really was something wrong with her, whether she really was worth less than other people, whether her longing for friendly affection was really something people would see as unnatural. Surely not, thought part of her, but another, insistent part suggested that if other people treated her in this way then she must somehow deserve it. She became reluctant to approach anyone, to smile or show interest in others in case they thought she was making advances, and tried to suppress her desire for friendship, as she could not be sure whether a sexual element might be lurking at the bottom of it. Because she was so un-forthcoming, even those girls who felt sorry for Jane in her isolation found trying to be friendly an uphill struggle, and gradually their efforts petered out. She felt so embarrassed that she could not try to confide in anyone, and as a result self-doubt gnawed at her more and more.
The fact that Jane seemed unhappy and lonely had not escaped the staff and prefects, but as Kirsty and her satellites were careful not to let the authorities see what they were up to, the conclusion drawn was that Jane was simply having difficulties settling in and that the situation would with luck soon resolve itself. Joey Maynard might have been relied upon to sort out the problem, but as she was still recovering from her accident of the previous term she had not been as much in contact with the school as usual. Eventually Miss Ferrars asked Jane whether she was all right, but, though she was certain that something was amiss, Jane insisted that there was nothing wrong, and, despite her misgivings, the form mistress had to accept this and resolve to keep an eye on her new pupil.

#2:  Author: LottieLocation: Humphrey's Corner PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:59 pm
Poor Jane. Her treatment by the others is much worse bullying than anything Jack ever did to anybody. I hope someone can get to the bottom of it soon.

Thanks, JellySheep - I'm looking forward to the next part.

#3:  Author: RosalinLocation: Swansea PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:10 pm
Oh this looks good! I hope Jack remembers how much she looked up to Len Maynard while she is thinking about this situation. Poor Jane sounds so confused.

Thank-you JellySheep. Wonderful name too Very Happy

#4:  Author: JennieLocation: Cambridgeshire PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:46 pm
Some people are just asking to be expelled, aren't they?

#5:  Author: MiaLocation: London PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:04 pm
Oh, interesting premise! This can be moved to Ste Therese if you like, JellySheep. Let us know and we can sort it out for you. Look forward to seeing the next part.
Very Happy

#6:  Author: Sarah_KLocation: St Albans PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:21 pm
Oh poor Jane! Those other girls aren't acting even remotely like good Chaletians and I hope someone finds out before they cause Jane anymore heartache.

I can't imagine trying to question yourself and your own feelings when having words like that thrown at you.

Thank you for starting this JellySheep!

#7:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:24 pm
Congratulations on your first drabble!

#8:  Author: PaulineSLocation: West Midlands PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:14 pm
Welcome to drabbling. I enjoyed the start.

#9:  Author: Miss DiLocation: Newcastle, NSW PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:56 am
An interesting beginning JellySheep. They aren't being good Chalet girls at all!

#10:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:10 am
Bullying, pure and simple - hope the Prefects and/or Staff catch on to this. Jane must be very unhappy.

Thank you.

#11:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:17 am
Welcome to the world of drabbling Laughing Hope the plot bunnies keep nibbling.

#12:  Author: brieLocation: Glasgow, aka the land of boredom PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:28 am
Poor Jane.

Thanks Jellysheep

#13:  Author: MonaLocation: Hertfordshire PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:54 pm
Thanks Jellysheep! An intruiging start.

#14:  Author: bethanyLocation: Liverpool (mostly) PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:02 pm
Aww, poor Jane. Girls can be so cruel sometimes, I really hope that someone in authority manages to work out what is happening and can help her.

Thanks Jellysheep!

#15:  Author: FatimaLocation: Sunny Qatar PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:56 pm
Poor Jane, how awful for her.

Thanks for an interesting new drabble, JellySheep. Very Happy

#16:  Author: Hannah-LouLocation: Glasgow PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:18 pm
This looks good - I look forward to reading more!

#17:  Author: leahbelleLocation: Kilmarnock PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:04 pm
Poor Jane. This is bullying, pure and simple. I hope she can tell someone what's going on and get it stopped.

#18:  Author: kerenLocation: Israel PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:17 pm
Well it depends what world you are in,
If this is a world where Kathy and Miss Wilmot have a relationship, when she talks to her teacher (finally) she ought also to be able to help calm her down

This is an interesting development anyway

#19: Part II Author: JellySheep PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:38 pm
Thanks for nice comments!

On top of psychological ostracism, practical things began to go wrong for Jane. To begin with, she simply thought hersle unlucky: her geography textbook disappeared from her desk when she was sure she remembered putting it there; Matron had her come out of a lesson to tidy a drawer which she thought she had left in an unexceptionable state; she found buttons missing from various garments. Among the staff, she began to gain a reputation for carelessness and untidiness. All of these things seemed as if they could have happened by chance, but she did begin to wonder whether they could really be a coincidence.
One day, Kirsty, struck by an evil brainwave, devised an acronym which meant that she could torment Jane in such a way that her victim would know what it meant while its significance was concealed from others. The chant of 'Babington's a dyke' could be reduced to BAD, which meant that Kirsty and her gang could slip the word 'bad', spoken with emphasis, into all manner of everyday exchanges. Every time she heard it, Jane cringed, but knew that she could take no exception to it as her persecutors would deny the significance behind what they were saying and label her paranoid. Worse still, girls from other forms had picked up the fashion for the emphasised 'bad' (though without knowing what it meant) and Jane heard it more and more often, so that she could not escape the constant reminders of persecution.
Gradually the petty sabotages which might have been simple misfortune became more overtly caused by human intervention. A few too many things had disappeared or been damaged. A message from the games prefect never reached her. Pebbles found their way into her shoes, and mysterious dropped stitches appeared in her Hobbies knitting. One day, it became patently obvious that somebody was behind it all. As she climbed into bed one night, full of relief that she could now be alone and have her misery blotted out by sleep, she put her legs into the bottom of her bed to find herself met by an apple-pie bed and a thorny branch which scratched her legs. She felt too ashamed to mention it to Matron, who gave her a sharp scolding for tearing her sheet and set her to mending it instead of dancing. Jane blinked back tears and retreated behind an expressionless facade, though inside she was full of despair, wondering how much more she could stand.
Things had to come to a head eventually, and, as with the beginning of the matter, it had to do with a walk. As Inter V set out for the Auberge, Jane was resigned to the fact that nobody would partner her and she would have to walk with Miss Ferrars. She hoped that the mistress would not enquire as to why this was - the truth would be too shaming. She did her best to cover her misery and make light conversation about the 'Millies'' pantomime, aware that it would be worse when they broke into groups, as then she would be on her own, without the protection of Miss Ferrars. As they left the road, they were given permission to break file. Even Kirsty realised that ostracising Jane completely would bring consequences, and it was tacitly agreed that some of the girls who were more sympathetic towards Jane could accompany her, though conversation was rather stilted. Nobody noticed as Jane lagged behind Saskia amd Sarah.
At last Jane was alone with her churning thoughts, and stood staring unseeingly over the valley. Everything seemed hopeless. Nobody was prepared to do anything real to help her, and spending the rest of school life, day and night, despised and ostracised, was an unbearable outlook. As she looked down into the valley, another thought crept into her mind and became insistent. What if she were to jump off the edge of the path? All her troubles would be over and she would be beyond the reach of Kirsty and her satellites for ever. She could not say what would happen after death, but surely it couldn't be that bad. She stepped hesitantly closer towards the edge.
'Go on, jump!' hissed an all-too-familiar voice behind her, and her heart sank even lower, something that had seemed impossible. Surely she could have been alone as she contemplated ending it all?

#20:  Author: FatimaLocation: Sunny Qatar PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:44 pm
Oh no, the poor thing! I hope someone comes to her rescue - Kathie would be a good choice to help her. And those other girls need to be horsewhipped for what they've done.

Thanks JellySheep.

#21:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:41 pm
Now that is pure evil. Evil or Very Mad

Thanks for the update.

#22:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:36 pm
Poor Jane. Thanks, this must be so hard to write but is so believable

#23:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:38 pm
Poor Jane.

#24:  Author: RosalinLocation: Swansea PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:46 pm
Poor Jane Crying or Very sad It's scary how the other girls have managed to reduce her to this.

Thanks JellySheep

#25:  Author: Ruth BLocation: Oxford, UK PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:39 pm
Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad ((((Jane)))) Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

#26:  Author: CatherineLocation: Newcastle upon Tyne PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:26 pm
Poor Jane. Please let Kathie or somebody help her out soon!

#27:  Author: bethanyLocation: Liverpool (mostly) PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:38 pm
Oh no! The poor girl Sad

#28:  Author: TaraLocation: Malvern, Worcestershire PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:53 pm
This is all too, too believable, unfortunately.
What little beasts. Please, someone, come along with a horsewhip.
And Jane needs two things; one, for the bullying to be stopped, two to be reassured that if she is a dyke, that's fine (though the chances of her being able to sort out her sexuality in this situation are nil, granted).

#29:  Author: JellySheep PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:46 pm
'Kirsty!' exclaimed one of the other girls. 'You can't say that!'
'I'll say what I damn well want!' snarled Kirsty, as Jane covered her face in her hands.
'No you won't' stated a grim voice behind them. Jack Lambert strode into their midst and put an arm around Jane. 'Jane, you're safe. There's nothing for you to worry about. Josepha, go and get Miss Ferrars. Quickly!'
Though Jack was putting on an assertive, decisive front, she had no idea what to do: this was a situation completely beyond her. Awkwardly, as she was not used to such things, she guided Jane away from the path's edge and helped her to sit down against the rock wall, doing her best to comfort her. It seemed an age until Miss Ferrars, Josepha and Renata, the other prefect, appeared round a bend in the path, though really it was only a few minutes.
'Miss Ferrars, something very serious has happened. Might I have a word with you? Jane, perhaps it would be best if you came with us, just for a moment. Renata, you keep an eye on these four and stop them talking to the others.' Jack hoped she was taking the right course of action and doing the best thing for Jane, but could not be sure.
They moved off in the direction of the school to be able to speak more privately. Jack succinctly stated what she had seen and heard, to Miss Ferrars's horror. Like Jack, she felt that this was more than she could handle alone, though she did her best to reassure Jane and draw out the cause of Kirsty's animosity towards her. However, Jane still felt ashamed to tell anybody what was at the bottom of the trouble, so Jack and Miss Ferrars let the subject drop, taking her straight back to the school, there installing her in the San to have some time away from her form. Miss Ferrars stayed with her, simply telling Matron that Jane had been bullied and needed looking after.
When Miss Annersley heard a knock on her door, she had no inkling of what was to come. As Jack related what had happened on the walk, and Jane's censored version of what had been going on, her face grew sombre, and as Jack looked her in the face, she realised that the Head suddenly looked years older. With a heavy heart she sent for Kirsty as soon as the remainder of Inter V returned, and resolved to get to the heart of the matter.
Asked why she had said and done what she had, Kirsty maintained a stony silence.
'You are aware, I suppose, that if Jane had jumped as you said, her blood would be on your hands? That you would have as good as killed her?'
Kirsty still stared mulishly out of the window.
'You don't seem to realise the seriousness of what you have done. But even if you had shown remorse, even though it would be better for you personally, I still could not let you stay here. I cannot have the risk of your doing such a thing again. I have not expelled a girl since the war, but this is possibly the most evil action I have ever seen in all the years of the School. Besides, I don't think your classmates would ever be able to forgive or forget this, so it is better that you go and make a fresh start elsewhere. Now, you must go to your dormitory, collect your night things and go to San, where you will be in isolation until you can be escorted home. When you say your prayers tonight, ask God's forgiveness for what you have done, give thanks that the worst did not happen this time, and ask that you may begin a new and better life. That is all I have to say to you.'
Kirsty walked out without a backward glance, and Miss Annersley sighed, feeling that she and the School had failed, and wishing that she had not had to resort to expulsion and writing Kirsty off. Then, with another sigh, she telephoned Rosalie Dene and asked for Inter V to be sent to the study.

#30:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:59 pm
So pleased Jack was there. As for Kirsty - she doesn't seem to appreciate just how low she's sunk - I don't think Miss Annersley had any other option there.

Thanks JS

#31:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:54 pm
Lesley wrote:
So pleased Jack was there. As for Kirsty - she doesn't seem to appreciate just how low she's sunk - I don't think Miss Annersley had any other option there.

Thanks JS

Neither do I. I wonder how Jane will cope with all the aftermath of it all. Its bound to have scarred her

#32:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:18 pm
Jack was great there.

#33:  Author: RosalinLocation: Swansea PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:08 am
I didn't see the expulsion coming, but I would agree that Miss Annersley was quite right, especially as Kirsty showed no remorse.

Now that they know something is going on the school is reacting well. Hope they get to the bottom of things soon.

Thanks JellySheep.

#34:  Author: alicatLocation: Wiltshire PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:14 am
Surely Miss Annersley would want to know exactly what was going on before telling Kirsty she is expelled??? tho I think she is making the right decision, Kirsty needs pulling up hard to realise that her behaviour is not acceptable

#35:  Author: PaulineSLocation: West Midlands PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:50 am
Hope the other girls let cats out of the bag and tell Miss Annersley what was happening.
The School can then deal with it and Hilda realise that the expulsion should even more justified than she realised.
I would not want to be Inter Va

#36:  Author: FatimaLocation: Sunny Qatar PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:45 pm
Thank goodness Jack was there. And I'm really glad that Kirsty will be expelled - she deserves it!

Thanks JellySheep.

#37:  Author: Sarah_KLocation: St Albans PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:01 pm
I'm amazed that Kirsty didn't answer Miss Annersely at all, really there was othing to do but expel her under those circumstances! I hope she has a CS style shock and redemption even if it's away from the school because going through life that twisted would be awful for her and everyone around her.

I hope Jane gets the confidence and support she needs to explain what's been going on.

Thanks jellysheep

#38:  Author: JellySheep PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:05 pm
I'd cut the bits where Miss Annersley tries to pump Kirsty (with no success). Hopefully this will be successfully fudged in the next bit!

At first, Inter V stood awkwardly shuffling their feet and fidgeting while Miss Annersley tried to get to the bottom of the matter. Having got nowhere with her questioning of Kirsty, she was determined to coerce Inter V into talking. Nobody wanted to be the first to expose what had been going on: some were just ashamed, as they realised that things had been allowed to go far too far, others anxious not to appear to be casting the first stone. Eventually Sarah could no longer remain silent and the story came spilling out, with additions from the others, who felt able to talk once someone else had begun.
The headmistress was horrified at what she heard. None of the possible explanations she had imagined came anywhere near this. How the world has changed, she thought, and then wondered whether that was really true - bullying had always existed in one shape or form. She concealed her shock as best she could and told the assembled girls just how disgusted she was - not only at the actual victimisation that had been going on but at the fact that nobody had done anything about it.
'Miss Annersley' put in Saskia timorously, 'we were scared. Sarah and I tried to tell Kirsty to leave Jane alone, but she said that we were - just like Jane and would get the same. I suppose we just drifted. We never meant it to get this bad.'
While the Head felt a degree of sympathy, she did not let it show. She told them about Chalet girls who had dared to stand up for others in the war and risked far worse, and then reminded them of the story of the Good Samaritan. As far as she was concerned, they had all passed by on the other side with potentially fatal results. She let most of the form slink out of the room chastened, disgusted with themselves, some of them blinking back tears. Then she turned to the remnants of Kirsty's coterie, to whom she gave the full benefit of her renowned gift for stricture, as well as punishments which left them reeling and full of intentions never to do anything of the kind again.
The most difficult, in a way, was still to come. What was she to say to Jane? What could be done to heal the wounds Inter V had given her? In the meantime she had to speak to Staff and prefects, and then to the School as a whole. When Jack, Miss Ferrars and Miss Wilmot heard the 'reason' for Kirsty's campaign, they were troubled. Jack remembered her attachment to Len Maynard and felt lucky that nobody had interpreted it in such a way, while the two mistresses were filled with consternation: what if rumours of this kind developed about them?
As Jane woke up from sedative-induced slumber, it took a few moments for her to recall the previous day's events. She wondered how much was known about what had been going on, and what reaction she could expect from the school. She imagined disgust if the staff found out why Kirsty had persecuted her, even blame. As she worried about this, she noticed Miss Annersley sitting in the corner of the room, waiting for her to wake.
What the headmistress said banished all those worries. It did not matter what feelings Jane or anyone else might or might not have towards boys, girls, both or neither: nobody had any right to victimise anybody else in the School. Miss Annersley stressed that all the staff and prefects had been asked to keep a vigilant eye on how Jane's classmates were treating her, that Inter V now realised the error of their ways and that everything would be done to prevent any such thing happening again. She sighed, and told Jane how sorry the staff all were that bullying had happened under their noses, emphasised that Jane could rely on their taking seriously anything she told them, and made the offer that she could always come and talk to her, or to Miss Ferrars, about the happenings of the last few weeks, or anything else on her mind, as it would probably help to get her feelings out into the open. At all this, Jane was filled with relief. She was understood and accepted, and need not suffer in silence. Over the next few days, she was kept in San with daily visits from the Head, Miss Ferrars and Jack, with a promise of regular meetings during the coming weeks to help her cope with re-introduction into school life. As she spoke to her three mentors, Jane felt as if a window had opened in her mind and her anguish, doubts and shame had flown out of it and away. She was exhausted but relieved, and prepared to face the future with their help.
The staff and prefects watched carefully as Jane was brought back into contact with her form. One by one, the repentant girls made halting apologies, full of the intention to draw her into their circle. At first, Jane was reluctant, as she had been too much hurt to risk herself again. But without Kirsty driving the campaign against her, the atmosphere was different and she found the burdens of exclusion begin to lighten. Though the damage had been done with many of the form who were uncomfortable in her presence as they were reminded of what they had done, and Jane could never quite trust them either, the beginnings of a friendship with Saskia and Sarah seemed to be germinating.

That's it (unless I write an epilogue). Thanks. it was actually easy to write - there are only germlets of RL in there and with those it was actually pretty liberating to fictionalise them! I don't know what will happen with Kirsty - it would be nice to think she'll have a redemption, but judging by some of the people from my school I wouldn't hold my breath!

#39:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:16 pm
Thanks JS - nice to see that the rest of the Form were redeemable. As for Jack Lambert - hope she remembers how she treated jane Carew before being too hard on the younger girls.

#40:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:09 pm
Thanks JellySheep - and hugs for the RL bits.

#41:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:13 am
Alison H wrote:
Thanks JellySheep - and hugs for the RL bits.

Echoes Alison

#42:  Author: FatimaLocation: Sunny Qatar PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:54 am
I'm so glad that Jane began to feel a little friendly with some of her form, although it must have been so difficult to trust them again after all that had happened. Thanks for a thought provoking drabble, JellySheep.

#43:  Author: bethanyLocation: Liverpool (mostly) PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:09 am
Thanks very much for that Jellysheep, I am glad that it had an essentially happy ending.

#44:  Author: ElbeeLocation: Surrey PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:57 am
Thanks, Jellysheep. I hope things continue to get better for everyone.

#45:  Author: PaulineSLocation: West Midlands PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:29 pm
Thank you Jellysheep, it was interesting to see how Miss Annersley found a way to get the form to talk when Kirsty would not.

#46:  Author: RosalinLocation: Swansea PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:24 pm
Thankyou for that drabble JellySheep. As Fatima said, it was thought-provoking, and I liked the way you managed the ending so that it was hopeful but not over-idealised.

#47:  Author: LyanneLocation: Ipswich, England PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:08 pm
Hoping you found it cathartic to write the RL bits. Thank you for the story.

#48:  Author: Mrs RedbootsLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:17 pm
Thank you for that!

#49:  Author: Helen PLocation: Crewe, Cheshire PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:11 pm
I've just found this, Jellysheep, and I really liked it. Thank you! Very Happy

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