Tag Archives: bullying

Three Poems by Toby Wheeler

Below are 3 poems by my friend, Toby Wheeler. The poems are copyright, Toby Wheeler and may not be reproduced without the prior permission in writing of Toby Wheeler.

Tired Laces
Walking in the back woods,
Drained, instilled with dread,
I huddle down to tie my shoes,
Torn and pushed by the next lad down;

Off they would walk whilst smirking back
With mud stuck to my knees;
I asked them to wait, I would plead,
But they just carried on, my cries they went unheeded.

They did not care as I trundled behind,
Stomping on untied threads,
And the wind would howl and blow the trees,
With their distant laugh an echo in the leaves.

‘Wait’, I yelled, where are you now?
No answer was supplied,
Confused, I’d grapple and wonder why
They did not see me as equal in their eyes.

I start to run along the path, up to the forest gate,
But then I caught a branch and fell,
Tripped face first into the well,
‘Wait up guys’, in winded pain,
I raise myself and wipe my face,
I start to cry as tears form
Whilst bending down to tie my lace;
Now upset, now so angry, feeling hurt and turning blue,
I look up now and look around,
And so the silence surrounds me,
It approached while tying my shoes
The Power of Persuasion
Was that a trick of the light?
A phantom in the cupboard?
Was that the anger of a poltergeist,
Or the sound of a crying child?

There’s a face I can see in the shadows,
The smell of a haunted lover,
The moaning of a Cromwellian soldier screams on Roundaway Down

A door that creaks
The roof that leaks
The sink that taps at night,
The power of persuasion, can cause all kind of frights.

I see a ghost in St. John’s church
I see a man stand by his grave
I see a bride who’s aged, scourned and mourning

I see a fire that caused a death
A man who died alone in his bed,
And a soldier who died by the sword.

The leaves that rustle
The bell that chimes
The clock who’s ghost appears at nine;
The power of persuasion, can haunt us all tonight.

Perspectives from a corner in the pub
By Toby Wheeler

Anytime I could be here, writing in a pub;
But it happens that today I’m in this one;
Drowning my poison in horseful gulps, the precious liquor like liquid gold on my tongue.
As the man plucks his guitar and friends natter, the barman pushing pints for souls reaching out for the best type of dole;
The exposed walls offering some kind of numbing comfort that there’s something between me and the world outside as an old friend sits at the bar staring at the glass half empty; he doesn’t see me so I don’t approach, we left on bad terms.
Anything to avoid the large antique mirror pasted on the wall; I don’t want to see the anxious face that stares back, the warmth in his eyes lost after too many years of finding perspectives from a corner in the pub.

School Days

A row of basins, cold and clinical in their perfection of pure white. Carbolic, it’s scent floating down the years, pungent, smelling of boarding school.

The scent of freshly polished floors. Teachers scolding girls who trip along in high heels

“You will ruin the floor. Those shoes are unsuitable”.

Polish, carbolic, the smell of food wafting from the refectory.

An institution functioning like a well oiled machine? The bullying in dark corners. Teachers generally kind but lacking eyes in the back of their heads.

Baths in the communal bathroom, the scent of vim (now called jiff I think). Water running down plug holes, getting dry thence to bed.

Lights out. Children whispering.

“Who’s talking?” the voice of the house master booms. Silence,

“OK you can all stand outside in the corridor”.

We stand a sense of pride that no one told tales. Sometimes, shame to say one of we boys would crack and, pointing the finger at such and such would escape the corridor only to be ostracised by our peers for “being a grass”.

Sometimes happy, other times sad, oh distant school days.

The Thing Behind The Door Review

I vividly recall as a child sitting in the darkened school library reading Edgar Alan Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and feeling a chill run down my spine at the thought of the continuing beating of the dead man’s heart in Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”. There is something chillingly wonderful about frightening oneself half to death. Attending a boarding school I recollect lying in bed in the dormatories with their wooden floors telling and listening to others relate tales of ghosts and ghouls. Having listened to such stories it was no easy matter to pass a peaceful night’s sleep as my dreams where inhabited by things which go bump in the night.

“Great British Horror” Volume 1 will not disappoint those who enjoy the horror genre. I have only read the first story, “The Thing Behind the Door” and I am hooked already. John a boy who has suffered terrible bullying at the hands of 3 fellow pupils during his attendance at a brutal school takes a hideous revenge on his tormentors and their children. The story begins prosaically enough with John feeling a sense of relief at the death of the parents who maltreated him. However the tale soon takes a darker turn with John determining to kill the children of Clayton, Louise and Jennifer, the people who tormented him during his school days. John either consciously or unconsciously summons “the thing behind the door” which exacts a terrible vengeance by killing the innocent children of John’s former tormentors. We never see “the thing” clearly. It is a mere shadow on the wall or, more frequently a menacing presence pervading the derelict school to which Clayton, Louise and Jennifer return in order to kill John who they know will be there. The story ends in blood and gore with all the protaganists meeting grizzly ends. Throughout the narrative it is the satanic presence, “the thing behind the door” which dominates although it is only fleetingly glimpsed by the people in the story.

“The Thing Behind The Door” is a chilling tale of what can happen when evil begets evil. The cruelty of Louise, Jennifer and Clayton comes back to haunt them and their families with a terrible vengeance. There is no humanity in this tale, only death and darkness.

On a positive note all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to Centrepoint a charity which helps young homeless people in the UK.

For “Great British Horror” Volume 1 please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Horror-Volume-ebook/dp/B00E3D6CH0. My collection of short stories, “The First Time” is free in the Kindle store from 4-8 October, http://newauthoronline.com/2013/10/04/free-book-promotion/