Story is written by DLglasgow
The rain lashed against the window of the car as we sped up the motorway, it seemed today the weathers mood reflected that of the occupants. The silence was the worst part, we had been driving for over an hour and yet the only words spoken were short observations made by my parents in the front. Next to me sat my younger sister, earphones in listening to music while staring blankly out of the window.
At 15 she normally really got on my nerves but today however we were in this together, both waiting with worried trepidation about what our fate would be for the next 2 months. Today was in fact the first day of our summer holiday yet instead of enjoying our freedom with friends we were on route to the massive exhibition centre outside the city.
The show we were visiting was called ‘The Teenager Improvement & Correction Show’, not long ago this strange title would have seem like a joke but in just a few years they had become all the rage. These shows had started, fuelled as parents becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of self-control, respect and responsibility teenagers were showing along with teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and under 21 crime reaching all-time highs. These huge social issues had led to shows that would have once been condemned as inappropriate or even child-abuse to be deemed necessary and in a lot of cases actively encouraged. After all on paper they seemed to be incredibly affective. This however didn’t bring any hope to my heart.
I had read about these shows in the paper but I never really paid attention, always thinking my parents would never take me to one. However I was most definitely wrong, as was my sister when she found out she would be joining me. People I knew at school had attended these in past summers and when they did you wouldn’t hear from them until school resumed in September. Even when they did return never was their summer talked about and it was always a ‘no go’ topic.
It was this dread of not knowing what to expect that was already worse than any punishment I had received before. The good or bad news however was that we were nearly there and I guessed we only had about 15 minutes left on the road. You are probably wondering what drove my parents to bringing us both here? Well in my case I was stupid and got caught red handed; the cannabis was in the paper ready to be rolled when in walks my mother. I thought she was out shopping but this assumption proved to be a big mistake. My parents hate drugs so as you can imagine she went mental. My sister on the other hand had built up her cause for punishment over a much longer period; generally back talking, coming home late, swearing at my parents, etc…
It’s probably time I tell you a bit about myself. To get started I’m 18 and stand at about 5,8” which compared to the other girls in my class is pretty tall. Like my sister we are both slim and generally considered to be good looking. While looking similar, my brown hair came down to just below my shoulders whereas she wore her blond hair up in a scrunchy.
“Right girls” my mother said aloud, awaking both me and my sister from our thoughts.
As we both looked up and my sister removed her earphones she continued, “You both know why me and your father have decided to bring you here, you both let us down badly. Now I’m going to set down two simple rules even before we get started. Firstly you have no choice is what improvement system we chose for you and any arguments will just result in your punishment being worsened. Secondly I want you both to be on your best behaviour, we will not put up with any swearing, running away or any such like. Understand?”
“Yes Mum” I replied
“Good Hannah, what about you Lucy?”
“Yes, but do…” she started before being interrupted “No buts young lady, that’s final”
It was then that our car turned into the gravel car park and we slowed into a space near the back.
“It’s busier than I imagined” my dad blurted out aloud
“First day of the holidays, I’m sure we aren’t the only parents wanting to get started straight away.” my mum said back before continuing “Right let’s get going!”
I got out of the car with no haste, I even delayed the process of closing the door but after a sharp look from my mother quickly closed it and sped up to catch up with the three of them as they headed for the main entrance.
Moments later we were moving through the revolving doors and into the huge foyer. It was very busy with hundreds of families moving around, yet it was eerily quiet. It seemed only the adults were talking. I could even hear somebody sobbing in the distance but couldn’t locate where. But there was not time for that as mum was already ushering us towards the entrance into hall 2.
Upon crossing the fresh hold I stopped, staring with a mixture of shock and horror. The hall was enormous and seemed to be divided into about 10 sections which in turn housed about 20 stands. Above each of these sections hung a huge sign decrypting the system of punishment (I was not looking at this as correction anymore) it represented.
I had just started to scan the titles when a young man approached my parents saying aloud ‘Hi folks, is it your first time at this show? You look a bit lost’
My father seemed please somebody had come to the rescue as he like me had stopped and stared after entering. “Thanks and yes it is. How does it work, do we go around in order or….” He trailed off not really knowing what he should be saying.
“Don’t worry, its actually really simple. You will see the big signs above each of these sections, yes, well these are the systems of correction & punishment. We have 8 in total so the first step is to choose which one is appropriate.”
“Ok” my dad nodded not sounded too sure “and after that…”
“Then just go up to the first desk they will help you get started, choosing the severity, length, etc of your chosen system of correction. It’s a build your own method so you can really customise it as required”
“That’s great, thanks” my mum cut in obviously eager to get started.
Story is written by DLglasgow