Oliver Kane

Excerpt from the book.

A Hamletian Chamber

Chapter 4.

A Torture Chamber

I don't remember any day free of beatings, if it wasn't the leg of the chair, it was the ear being pulled off the head as one was lifted by the ear,
or a huge pinch of her long and steel like nails, clawing out a piece of flesh,
The mid morning break came at eleven o clock, this lasted for about ten minutes,
then she would stand at the door, and shout at us to get in, Even as we were passing her on our way into the classroom, invariably some set of children got a whacking across the head,
There was no running water, and the toilets were a little wooden shack, covered with a strip of galvanised iron, the insides daubed in white wash lime, In the summer time the smell was awful, and the amount of flies cluttering around, most annoying,
It was here that many a cigarette was smoked for the first time,At the back of the toilets was a small running stream, here many a child rushed to bathe and ease the excruciating pain, inflicted by what ever means the teacher had at their disposal,

The bigger boys i soon learned were showing the same characteristics, as the teacher, as bullying and violence was the order of the day, in particular when it came to games,
During the winter time from October to March the children were expected to bring a few sods of turf, for the school fire, some children had no access to turf, as they would not have owned a bog, but there was no excuse to be had, So to avoid a beating, it became a way of life to steal turf from their neighbours shed, and present it to the teacher,
The teacher was the clever one, as the desk was always near the fire, and seated furthest away were the children who were detested most by the teacher, snots running from their noses, as they tried to keep warm.

It never occurred to the parents that their childs mind was in a state of turmoil and anxiety,This daily grip of fear wrestling for all our thoughts leaving an empty void,
Learning became a thing of pain, a thing to be despised. Then came was a day when a boy who had being driven to the limits of his endurance, took upon himself to rid us all of our pain, he followed the teacher as he went to the toilet, and threatened to cut his throat with a knife that he had,
This was viewed as a very serious offence, which indeed it was, and even after the police were called no-one ever asked the question as to what brought about this,
How ever it was plain for the rest of us to see, and also to see that authority was never wrong, even it was wrong, The family of that boy were hounded by the police, who did a very good job of ensuring that he and all his brothers got into trouble, and were brought before the courts, usually for minor offences, it was enough to break the family up.
This social curse even reached up to a judge who was sitting on the case, An inference to the family as being lower than some pack of African savages.
This was an extension of the system, one of the ways teachers made what they called a public example of you.
Such as one day when we were all put out lined up facing the road with our school bags on our backs, our hands wringing from the beatings of the springing sally stick,
Having being told that we were to stay in that position all day, I decided that wasn't for me, and as i was leaving most of the boys followed me.

Twas a glorious day free of torture, as we played happily around the water reservoir that was nestling up behind the village,
The sky was blue, birds were singing, we were happy, as we sat down to our bread and milk that was our school lunch. and there we stayed all day till it was time to go home, and now we must tell another lie,
Of course i,ve been at school all day. But the great protectors were busy trying hard to find us, so that we could be thought another lesson in discipline, and we knew we had it coming,
On monday came the interrogation, one by one had to explain a reason as to our sudden departure, one boy who had an enormous stutter, was asked to explain, in the excitement of trying, The head master lost the head, shouting ya fucker ya I,ll make ya talk,
There was a purring sniggering sound from the sons of the selected, as they would now have great fun listening to the crying,

Come up here as he signalled the boy towards the desk, we knew he was in for a hammering, another public example, as the teacher laid into him with both fist and shoe,
A smell began to emanate around the class room, in pain and fearful he shit himself there and then in his short corduroy pants, at this the teacher got really infuriated,
And proceeded to kick him all the way to the toilet, all we could hear was the screams and crying of the kid echo like, coming from the hall way,
Eventually he came running back from the toilets, as the teacher kept on kicking him in the ass, he ran to his desk, his face all puffed from the beating, his nose and nostrils a mess of green snots and red blood, he wiped the mess along his jersey.
Now you,ll learn grammar and talk properly says the teacher, with a grin of contentment on his face.

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