Lily knelt down and started picking up the books, trying to block out the laughs and stares.

She’d got it all wrong. Sneakers when everyone else had shoes. Short summer dress when everyone else wore leggings and tights. New plain backpack and all the cool girls had satchels. Hair plaited when the season’s look was shoulder-length and loose.

And when she couldn’t find her new locker, the pile of textbooks slipped and crashed onto the corridor floor.

She could feel the tears forming when the scruffy sandals appeared on the floor in front of her.

‘You okay, kid?’

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



67 responses to “FIRST DAY BACK”

  1. Dear Iain,

    At my forty year class reunion it was amazing to me to learn that the so-called popular kids had the same adolescent issues I did. Well told story of a traumatic first day.




  2. Oh god, memories of my first day at grammar school…… grey ankle socks when everyone else was wearing knee highs, pinafore when everyone else was in skirts, mac that was the usual you’ll grow into it four sizes too big. Had I been a year later or my sister a year older, I could have had her hand-me-downs but we overlapped by a year. Mum and Dad did the best they could, I had good shoes and that mac was new.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No matter what, I always managed to be out of step with everyone else at my school, but as Rochelle says, only later do you realise everyone is going through the similar feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who attended 7 different schools in 3 countries I can identify with Lily.
    Being different is the biggest crime for a child.
    I like that you conjured up a happy ending!

    PS Both Neil and you have used ‘Lily’ as the name. Is this coincidence or someone in the news?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, you found my first and second grade memories. 2 schools in one year also had me in two grades. Moving mid school year made it very difficult. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. A simple act of kindness can make all the difference. Well told. You’ve captured that real or imagined reality for a lot of us.

    Everybody’s protagonist is named Lily this week. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Her knight in shining sandals has appeared!

    And following on from Keith’s comment – who wants to be a sheep? (Well, I guess at school everyone who doesn’t want to get picked on, but still…)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was a farm boy in a school where my classmated fathers were doctors, lawyers, and highly-esteemed college football coaches. I can certainly relate. However, like Lily, there were a few kids who would reach out and help you to not feel so alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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