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Jack Mallet

by songwriter 

Posted: 30 May 2005
Word Count: 791
Summary: This is my first chapter in my book. It just sets the protagaist up.

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Despite what Mum, my teachers, except Mr. Howard, of course, the man at the chippy, Auntie Pat and Uncle Ian, Keith and Sue, Jenny, Chris, Anna, the angry lollypop lady, that weird guy with half a pair of glasses on who keeps shouting at people in town outside Wimpy, although he does do that to everyone, Andrew, Pete, Will and Jonnie and that Car Crash lady, I am not mental. I hear them whisper it under their breath before I leave a room or something, saying it quietly so they donít get caught but loud enough so I hear. I just donít get it. I just donít understand how I could be called mental. I just donít get it?

I think Iím a normal decent guy. I donít get involved with bad kids who nick things and start random fights with people and Iím not one of those goodie goodieís, who just sit in all day reading the bible and sing along to Kumbyah. Iím normal. I look normal, I act normal and I talk normal. I am normal. But people donít talk to me normally; they donít even look at me normally. And I guess thatís why Iíve ended up here. She doesnít like me being different to the other kids. She said the reason I donít have any friends because they say they canít trust me, but that is just silly because they can trust me. I am probably the most trustworthy boy anyone will ever meet. But they call me Mental too. Well, actually they call me Mental Mallet, but thatís the same thing.

I think itís an awful word, mental. I looked it up in the dictionary I got for Christmas. It means; crazy, stupid, having a psychiatric disorder and thatís not true! So why the bloody hell they calling me that? Sorry for swearing, although I donít even know if thatís a swear word nowadays. Now, I am not crazy or stupid because I am in top set in Maths and Science. And! I do not have a psychiatric disorder because I asked Dr Evans when I saw him and he said, ďMy good god, no! Anything but.Ē See? Anything but! And he is a doctor! A good one who got an award once. It was in the paper and everything!

I know the reason why people donít wanna be my friend, but I canít help it. It isnít because I am mental, itís because I wonít lie. Ever. About anything!! Now itís not because I hurt people or set fires or steal, itís because I tell the godís honest truth, every single time about everything. I wonít, donít and canít lie. Now, I know what youíre thinking, heís mental and youíre wrong. Iím not. Honest.

I, like everyone else ever, have been brought up, knowing that lying is bad, but somehow since Iíve got older, this has become less and less true. Lying is supposed to be bad, isnít it? If you lie, you are a bad person. But if I tell the truth, Iím the bad person. Iím one who either gets shouted at, clipped around the ear or called mental. I donít understand it! Mum doesnít like the fact I want to tell the truth about everything. Some people might think Wow! Lucky Guy, he is being encouraged to tell porkies!! Go on, Lie away son, lie away! But I donít want to. You donít get people saying, Wow! Lucky Guy, he is being encouraged to hurt people, Go on, punch away son, puch away! But donít worryÖI donít want to punch anyone.

To be honest, I donít mind when other people call me mental or weirdo or dickhead because they donít matter. It happens all the time and I just ignore them, just like the saying ĎWater off a ducks backí. Thatís how I feel, cos these people mean nothing in my life; but when the people who are suppose to love me start shouting things that arenít true, that hurts. Thatís the only reason why I get so upset and angry all the time because of that. They say, ďJack, you never stop and think, do you? You stupid boy." That is untrue. I always think. I think alot. Too much sometime. But when I said ďYes Auntie Pat, sorry but your new hairstyle does look like Rod Stewart on a bad hair dayĒ That was true also, she looked awful, but guess who got the sore earhole.
So I guess thatís why Iím here. I guess you decide what the truth is. I donít wanna be here but I guess I have no choice and if I get to prove everyone wrong, I guess it will be worth it all.

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Comments by other Members

Mojo at 17:54 on 30 May 2005  Report this post
I assume this is aimed at children, about which I know nothing, so I'll keep my comments general. Your character effectively becomes more manic as the passage progresses. I don't know if it's deliberate, but the number of typos increase as he gets more excited. You start off using apostrophes in all the right places, then they disappear, never to return, in the second line of the second paragraph. If it is deliberate, it certainly adds to the impression of a character growing ever more frantic, but I wouldn't have thought poor grammar use appropriate in a story aimed at kids. But what do I know? I haven't read a children's book since I was one myself!

Your character does come across as slightly 'mental' and also out-dated. Rod Stewart? Would kids today even know what he looks like? He's not exactly on the telly every week, is he? Or is this a 'historical novel'?

I'll look forward to finding out how 'Mental' learns to lie!


songwriter at 18:32 on 30 May 2005  Report this post
Thanks for reading and writing back!

Its a novel about a child but this doesnt make it a child's novel., what made you think that?

The reason the apostrophes are there and some arent is because when I uploaded it, it went weird, for example it should be 'Yes but it came out “Yes, so I had to edit them all out. A font problem on my pc I would guess.

The Rod Stewart thing, his auntie says this. (Yes Auntie Pat, you DO look like...) he is quoting from her.

crowspark at 19:12 on 30 May 2005  Report this post
Hi Songwriter.

I have seen this problem with punctuation before. If you save your work as "text only" before you copy and paste it that should fix it.

I think this has comic potential, but found the problems with punctuation, which you have already explained, and the variations in the mc's voice, sometimes using contractions and sometimes not, a bit distracting.

I would like to know more about your character and where he is, what he sees in the 'now.'

Hope this helps but feel free to ignore it if it doesn't.


Account Closed at 09:03 on 10 June 2005  Report this post
An intriguing start - and I very much like the main character. I feel that we need to see him in an actual scene earlier if possible, so we can judge for ourselves rather than him telling us stuff.

At the moment it reads like a novel which children (older children) and adults could both happily enjoy, so don't worry too much about categorising it at this stage! It's got a lot of energy and that's fun!

I do agree you need to check spelling, grammar etc though, but that's only a quibble.




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