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Forum Home > General Discussion > The Strange Barlow Institution ~ 1

andrea (or eva)
Posts: 58

My name is Katherin Naturo. I live in a farm with Milligan, my uncle, and my cousin Kate. Everyone calls me Katie or Kat. Kat is the most popular. Milligan recently found a way to not mix me and Kate up. He calls her Katie-Cat and I'm just, well, Katie. But sometimes he calls me the Kitten Kat. I have caramel hair, tied in a ponytail. I have a dark blue bucket, containing care and useful tools. Mostly useful tools. But then there's my golden eagle, Aguila (you don't pronounce the 'u' because its from Latin, or Spanish or Italian or something). Now that I think about it, I should really watch what to pack and when.


Now, something very... odd happened a few years ago. I'm fifteen now. Back then, I was around eleven, twelve. I will tell this story, but not in narrative. And I won't be the main character.... This is Richie's account of the story, not narrative.



In a small village that runs only for the sake of its port named Skyville lived a boy named Richie Milde. Richie is the type of boy that loves books, and is very smart and good, but is always bullied and ignored. He lived in Skyville Orphanage, a pathetic place to send innocent children.

November 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

andrea (or eva)
Posts: 58

No, in better words, a pathetic place to send pathetic children who bully not-pathetic children. Yes.. thats right.


Well, Richie is one of the not-pathetic bullied children at the orpahanage. Richard Milde, 12 years old.

In the morning he woke up from his bottom bunk bed, the top bunk creaking with the weight of his bunk-buddy. His name is Timothy (or Tim) Ginge-Shaplin, the heaviest, largest kid in the orphanage. He may be only seven, but he's noisy and sloppy. Every night since Timothy arrived (which had only been at least a month, and his old bunk-buddy Julian, who was the only other decent kid in the orpahange, got moved out, and Timothy took his place) Richie feared the bunk would collapse on top of him like an giant toothpick tower. Those thoughts usually brought nightmares to Richie's mind in the night. Frightening, terrible nightmares, of being inside an enormous unidentified tower, minding his own buisness, and the tower suddenly collapses, meeting Richie's death.

Sometimes, he would purposely roll off the bed and sleep on the floor. When the boy across the rooms, Alan, alarm clock sounded at 6:00, he would scramble to his bunk and sleep for another hour, until his own alarm clock sounded at 7:00, when he was to start lessons with Miss Arkens, his tutor.

You see, the orphanage director, Mr. Pridelston, enrolls every orphan at the place in the Skyville Orphanage Academy of Learning. Or SOAL, as some bullies refered to it, resembling the word ''soil'' as in ''all they teach is soil''. Richie was automatically involved too. But Richie's mind was too advanced for the simple excersises at the academy, so Mr. Pridelston hired a tutor, the best in the area for all he knew, to do lessons with Richie since he was nine. Another boy at the orphanage, Reynard Muldoon, had been assigned Miss Perumal as a tutor aswell. But Reynard was lucky to have formed such an extraordinary bond with his tutor, she soon got him adopted.

Reynie must be around sixteen now, but his age doesnt matter. This story isnt about Reynie, its about Richie.


Now, that morning Richie woke up at aproximately seven o'clock, after his floor sleeping. He slipped on his socks and sat on his bed.


read the clock in bright blue numbers on the nightstand. Well, techinically it was a piece of furniture with four drawers and a little table space on the top.

He stared at the other set of bunkbeds. The three other children who shared his room went to the Academy, save one; Alan. He went to a private sports school three blocks north.

What Mr. Pridelston hates most is children who refuse his education. Its a way of his making money, then losing it on Richie's tutor fees and Alan's school fees. Timothy and the boy in the bottom of the other bunk -What's his name? Ah yes, Phillip- went to the academy, (if you go to the Academy, you get to wake up at 8:00 in the morning) which explained their stupidity. Alan's too, because he doesnt learn foreign language and complicated math equasions in sport school. Last night at dinner Alan was bragging about how super his school is.

''Sammy's Boys Sport School is the best! Julia, if you love soccer so much you should get in!'' he had been saying to a slim, lean, short brown haired girl across the table through a mouthful of steak, waving his fork around in a swirly motion. Richie, who was unfortunately placed beside him, was leaning to one side to avoid getting thwaped in the ear. And even then, Alan wouldnt care.

''Hmm... well, I'll talk about it with Mr. P.'' she said in her high pitched voice. ''But isn't it a boys academy?'' she raised an eyebrow.

Alan's eyes widened at this, and he stopped waving his fork abruptly. ''Well... um, across the street is.. uh.. Annie's School... of er... Soccer and... and Sports.'' he lied.

Julia's shoulders sagged and she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, annoyed. She placed her hands on her hips. ''Well, if you think I'm happy in this Academy, you should stop making stuff up, okay?''

Alan had a thing for Julia. Everyone knew it. He temporarily forgot it was a boys school, and the strictly 16 people hockey department he belonged to. The school, as much as he enjoyed it, also made him anxious of being kicked out of the Pro Skills department and into the regular one. He longed to go to school with Julia.


Richie couldn't help but stifle an inner snicker. He was letting loose. He took a bite of mashed potatoes to make the snickering in his throat end from turning into a fit of laughter. He swallowed, then shoved some salad in.  

Clearly, Mr. P was not happy with his conversation, and eagerly he changed the subject. ''So, what would you like for dessert, Alan?''

''Chocolate cake!'' Alan replied happily.

As if in reply to Alan's request, one of the chefs arrived and said dessert was served. Then, she whispered into Mr. P's ear, all the while looking at Richie and pointing, as if Richie wasn't looking at all. Richie, in fact, wasn't looking but felt eyes upon him and lifted his gaze from his  plate. He had one more bite of steak left, and was shoving it into his mouth.

''Yes, yes, Lindsey, it will happen.'' Mr. P was saying to the chef, waving his hand dismissively. ''Now go along now, and make sure that Harold man doesnt poison our food again.'' he added, kidding. Harold Vinchenze was the kitchen secretary, but on Halloween last year he put something icky but delicious in the chocolate cake. It made Mr. P sick, but only because he was allergic. He thought it was food poisoning and was thisclose to firing Harold. But Harold quickly cleared up it was a personal reaction, seeing as no one ELSE got sick.



Back to reality. The knob on the door turned as the clock struck seven. The light-skinned, black-haired, and blue-eyed and ever-cheerful tutor stepped in, smiling. ''Good morning, Richie!'' he said. ''Breakfast is served. Come along, and as usual, we'll do our 'routine'.'' She waggled her eyebrows at the word ''routine'', since Richie and her didnt exactly have a specified routine. They only said they did to appear as the most organized student in the orphanage. Even at the academy they dont have their periods straight! Tuesday its first thing in the morning, next Tuesday is last in the afternoon.

Richie walked out into the hallway and into the dining room. They were the only ones to eat at this hour, so they sat on the couch, enjoying their cereal while reading the newspaper. Richie finished serving his milk and walked over to where Miss Arkens already sat, her eyes fixed, reading intently, on the newspaper.

I bet I'm the only kid who does anything near this. He often thinks as he sits down. Of course you are! You're the only kid save Alan who doesnt do the Academy! he would think back in reply. He picked up the paper beside Miss Arkens and set his bowl on the  coffee table. He had a strange feeling he was looking for something in the paper, but he  couldnt put his finger on it. Maybe something special happened last night and he'd witnessed it, and was waiting for it to be in the press? Or maybe that new restaurant across the street would have an ad! Yes, that must be it... wait was it a restaurant? Richie peeked out the window behind him. No. Pharmacy.

Library Break-In indicates Thievery in Skyville

was the headline on todays edition of the Skyville Gazzette. Richie skipped the page. The article was very long and took up the entire page, save the three inch by two inch picture of the Maine Street Library sign. Richie sighed. He reached an ad page and was about to skip it when one ad caught his attention. It seemed to be a smuggled ad. It was a black background and in white letters it read;

Gifted? Come to the Skyville Central Office for a chance at special opportunities!

Please be there at 12:30, September 13th and report to Room 18-C on the top floor.

Now this is what Richie had been looking for! It all came rushing to him. Last night, when he was going to go to sleep, he wanted special opportunities and set to think about it. Had he predicted the ad? No. I'm am not a fortune-teller, regardless of what Mrs. Pindle says. I'm an average boy who has an average tutor and is not-so-averagely smart. He tried convincing himself. He finished his cereal and patted Miss Arkens' arm.

''Look at thos ad I found in the paper.'' he said.

''That sounds perfect for a boy like you! Would you like me to drive you?'' she said, pleased.

''Yes, please!'' Richie's face lit up.

''Thing is, today is my errand day. I wasn't thinking of giving you lessons today, consider it a day off.'' she said. ''But I can drop you off at the office, but you'll be left to your own devices. When its over, you can use the telephone there to call me so I can pick you up and leave you here. Do you understand?'' she said.

Richie nodded, eagerly.


November 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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