STORY
My first day at leyfield orphanage
Norasboy's memory of 1st July 1946 - 11th November 1958
THE TREES LOOKED TALL AND MENACING FROM A GRAY OVERCAST WINTER SKY, AS THE SMALL FAIR HAIRED BOY APPROACHED THE LARGE GREEN PAINTED DOORS OF LEYFIELD CONVENT, HE CLUTCHED TIGHTLY TO
THE HAND OF THE MIDDLE AGED MAN WHO SMELT OF GREEN PEA SOUP AND
STALE TOBACCO, WHO WAS BRINGING DAVID TO THIS LARGE MENACING LOOKING BUILDING. DAVID DID NOT KNOW AS HE STOOD ON THE DOOR STEP
THAT THIS PLACE WAS GOING TO BE HIS HOME FOR THE NEXT SEVEN
Type to enter text YEARS
DAVID WAS FIVE YEARS OF AGE HE DID NOT HAVE ANY MEMORY OF
HIS PARENTS AND IT NEVER OCCURRED TO HIM THAT HE SHOULD HAVE.
HE WAS JUST HERE WITH THIS MAN, COLD, BEWILDERED, AND LISTENIING
TO THE SOUND OF HEAVY FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING FROM TE DEPTH OF THE
BUILDING. THE FOOTSTEPS GREW LOUDER AS THEY NEARED THE DOOR, DAVID
FELT A STRANGE FEELING IN HIS STOMACH AND THE HAND THAT WAS HELD
BY THE MAN STARTED TO TREMBLE AS TEARS OF FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY ROLLED DOWN THE SMALL BOYS FACE.
THE MAN PLACED A HAND ON DAVID'S SHOULDER AS...
Read the full me/mory
THE TREES LOOKED TALL AND MENACING FROM A GRAY OVERCAST WINTER SKY, AS THE SMALL FAIR HAIRED BOY APPROACHED THE LARGE GREEN PAINTED DOORS OF LEYFIELD CONVENT, HE CLUTCHED TIGHTLY TO
THE HAND OF THE MIDDLE AGED MAN WHO SMELT OF GREEN PEA SOUP AND
STALE TOBACCO, WHO WAS BRINGING DAVID TO THIS LARGE MENACING LOOKING BUILDING. DAVID DID NOT KNOW AS HE STOOD ON THE DOOR STEP
THAT THIS PLACE WAS GOING TO BE HIS HOME FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS
DAVID WAS FIVE YEARS OF AGE HE DID NOT HAVE ANY MEMORY OF
HIS PARENTS AND IT NEVER OCCURRED TO HIM THAT HE SHOULD HAVE.
HE WAS JUST HERE WITH THIS MAN, COLD, BEWILDERED, AND LISTENING
TO THE SOUND OF HEAVY FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING FROM THE DEPTH OF THE
BUILDING. THE FOOTSTEPS GREW LOUDER AS THEY NEARED THE DOOR, DAVID
FELT A STRANGE FEELING IN HIS STOMACH AND THE HAND THAT WAS HELD
BY THE MAN STARTED TO TREMBLE AS TEARS OF FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY ROLLED DOWN THE SMALL BOYS FACE.
THE MAN PLACED A HAND ON DAVID'S SHOULDER AS IF TO COMFORT HIM,
BUT THE TEARS ROLLED DOWN THE PALE CHEEKS IN BLOBS AS THE GREAT DOORS SWUNG OPEN TO REVEAL A LARGE BEING CLOTHED FROM THE NECK DOWN TO THE FEET IN A BLACK GOWN THAT WAS GATHERED AT THE WAIST WITH A STRING OF LARGE BROWN BEADS FROM WHICH HUNG A HEAVY LOOKING BRASS CRUCIFIX. DAVID WAS TO LEARN THAT THIS WAS A NUN OF THE ORDER OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY AND THAT THEY WHERE TO BE ADDRESSED AS SISTER. SISTER JOSEPH WAS TALL AND THIN WITH PALE THIN LIPS THAT WHERE HELD TIGHTLY TOGETHER, AS IF SOME HIGHER AUTHORITY HAD BADE HER NOT TO LET PASS ANY UTTERANCE THAT MIGHT SHOW AS A SIGN OF COMPASSION TO THE SOBBING CHILD THAT STOOD IN THE DOORWAY. GOOD AFTERNOON MR CONNER, SHE AD DRESSED THE MAN IN A STRANGE LILTING ACCENT THAT WAS SUNG RATHER THAN SPOKEN,
SO THIS IS O'Callaghan, SHE SAID, WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A GLANCE DOWN, WE WILL TAKE CARE OF HIM NOW. WITH THOSE BRIEF WORDS SHE TOOK THE BOY BY THE HAND CLOSED THE DOOR AND PROMPTLY MARCHED DAVID INTO A LARGE ROOM OFF A CORRIDOR. THE ROOM WAS PAINTED FROM FLOOR TO CEILING IN A DARK GREEN GLOSS PAINT, AND IN A CORNER STOOD THE
BIGGEST ROCKING HORSE DAVID HAD EVER SEEN. OTHER THAN THIS HORSE, THE ROOM WAS EMPTY OF ALL FURNITURE. DAVID WAS STILL SOBBING AND SISTER JOSEPH HAD MADE NO ATTEMPT TO CONSOLE THE BOY OR ALLAYS HIS FEARS. IT SUDDENLY OCCURRED TO DAVID THAT HE WAS NOT ALONE IN HIS DISTRESS FOR AROUND THE WALLS OF THE ROOM SITTING ON THE BARE WOODEN FLOOR WERE TWENTY OTHER SMALL BOYS OF ABOUT HIS OWN AGE ROCKING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS IN COMPLETE
UNISON SOBBING AND CHANTING @ I WANT MY MUMMY @ Want My MUMMY. DAVID HAD BEEN DELIVERED TO A HOME FOR CHILDREN WHO'S PARENTS WHERE EITHER DEAD OR WHO HAD DISOWNED THEM. SISTER JOSEPH MOTIONED WITH HER HAND AS IF ANNOYED BY THE CHANTING AND SOBBING FOR DAVID TO GO AND SIT ON THE FLOOR, SHE THEN BUSTLED OUT OF THE ROOM HER LONG BLACK HABIT SWISHING AND RUSTLING AS SHE LEFT. DAVID CHOSE A SPOT JUST BEHIND THE ROCKING HORSE AND SAT DOWN NEXT TO A DARK HAIRDO BOY OF ABOUT HIS OWN AGE DAVID STARTED TO SWAY AND WITHOUT EVEN NOTICING STOPPED CRYING AND STARTED TO CHANT IN UNISON WITH THE OTHER BOYS @ I WANT MY MUMMY. AFTER A SHORT WHILE SISTER JOSEPH APPEARED THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR,
THE BRASS CRUCIFIX BANGING AGAINST THE JAMB OF THE DOOR.
SHE WAS CARRYING A PILE OF THIN COTTON TOWELS THAT SHE PLACED ON THE FLOOR AT HER FEET. SHE THEN CLAPPED HER HANDS HARD TOGETHER MAKING SUCH A NOISE THAT ALL THE CHILDREN STOPPED CHANTING INSTANTLY. WHAT IS ALL THIS FUSS ABOUT YOU THINK YOU HAD BEEN HARD DONE BY? YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT YOUR MUMMIES NOW, ALL THE SISTERS HER ARE GOING TO BE YOUR MUMMIES FROM NOW ON, SO THE QUICKER YOU REALIZE THIS THE BETTER IT WILL BE FOR YOU. DAVID, SAT ON THE FLOOR WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN AND HIS BLOND HAIR FALLING OVER HIS RIGHT EYE, WAS BEGINNING TO WANDER WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. HE WAS NOT WANDERING FOR VERY LONG. RIGHT SAID SISTER JOSEPH NOW THAT YOU HAVE ALL STOPPED SINGING, STAND UP AND LINE AGAINST THE WALL BY THE ROCKING HORSE. DAVID BEING RIGHT BY THE HORSE STOOD UP AS DID THE DARK HAIRDO BOY SITTING NEXT TO HIM. LINE UP, LINE UP, CRIED SISTER JOSEPH, COME ON, COME ON, HURRY CHILD WE HAVE NOT GOT ALL DAY, AS SHE CLOUTED ONE OF THE SLOWER MOVING BOYS ABOUT THE EARS, WHICH SET OF ANOTHER BOUT OF CRYING .THE BOYS ALL FORMED A LINE BEHIND DAVID WHO HAPPENED TO BE RIGHT BY THE HORSE.
WHEN ALL THE BOYS HAD FORMED A LINE, SISTER JOSEPH CLAPPED HER HANDS AGAIN AND SHOUTED FOR SILENCE, AS THE SUDDEN CHANGE FROM BEING JUST SOBBING AND CHANTING CHILDREN IN THE ROOM TO THE ADDITION OF THIS TALL NUN SHOUTING OUT COMMANDS HAD STARTED THE BOYS TALKING TO EACH OTHER AS THEY ATTEMPTED TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WERE BEING DIRECTED TO THEM. WHAT��™S YER NAME LAR SAID THE DARK HAIRDO BOY TO DAVID, O'CALLAGHAN, and SAID DAVID PRONOUNCING THE G, WHAT��™S YES LAR. BURNS CAME THE SWIFT REPLY
BUT ME BRUFFER CALLS ME TOMMY I GOT ONE BRUFFER HIS NAMES BILLY.
MINES DAVE. QUIET CRIED SISTER, SUDDENLY PRODUCING A LONG THIN CANE THAT SHE BEAT AGAINST HER SKIRTS MAKING A SHARP HISS AS IT FLEW THROUGH THE AIR .THE BOYS STOPPED TALKING AND STARED AT SISTER AS SHE HELD UP HER RIGHT HAND DO YOU SEE THIS PIN, I AM GOING TO DROP IT ON THE FLOOR AND IF I DO NOT HEAR IT WHEN IT HITS THE FLOOR YOU WILL ALL GET THREE STROKES OF THE CANE. TOMMY AND DAVE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND BOTH SAW THE FEAR WELLING UP IN EACH OTHER AS SISTER LET GO OF THE PIN, ALL THE BOYS STOOD ABSOLUTELY QUIET AS THE PIN DROPPED TO THE FLOOR. THAT��™S BETTER-SAID SISTER, WHEN I SAY QUIET I MEAN QUIET. DAVID AND TOMMY BREATHED A SIGH OF RELIEF. NOBODY WAS GOING TO BE CANED. YOU BOY, SHE CALLED POINTING TO THE LAST BOY IN THE LINE, COME OVER HEAR. ME MISS, REPLIED THE BOY, DON��™T YOU DARE CALL ME MISS I AM OF THE SISTERS OF MERCY AND YOU WILL ALL ADDRESS ME AS SISTER JOSEPH OR SISTER, WELL DON��™T JUST STAND THERE COME OVER HEAR THE BOY STEPPED SLOWLY FORWARDS WONDERING WHAT HE HAD DONE WRONG TO BE SINGLED OUT FROM ALL THE OTHERS HIS FACE WAS RED WITH EMBARRASSMENT WAIT HERE, SAID SISTER SHE THEN LEFT THE ROOM BUT QUICKLY REAPPEARED CARRYING A LARGE RED BOOK. WHAT��™S YOUR NAME BOY, ADDRESSING THE BOY SHE HAD CALLED FROM THE LINE A FEW MOMENTS BEFORE. NOEL CLEARY, MISS, I MEAN SISTER, HE FEARFULLY CORRECTED HIMSELF, EXPECTING A CLOUT BEHIND THE EARS. RIGHT CLEARY PICK UP THOSE TOWELS AND GIVE ONE TO EACH BOY STARTING FROM THAT END POINTING TO DAVID AS SHE SPOKE. NOEL DID NOT RESPOND RIGHT AWAY AS HE WAS JUST ABOUT FIVE YEARS OF AGE AND NOBODY THAT HE 
COULD THINK OF HAD EVER TOLD HIM TO DO ANYTHING BEFORE IN HIS SHORT LIFE, ESPECIALLY IN FRONT OF ALL THESE BOYS, TEARS WELLED UP IN HIS BROWN EYES IT WAS VERY HARD NOT TO CRY AND HIS THROAT WAS PAINFUL AS HE STRUGGLED TO HOLD BACK THE TEARS.NOEL HAD BROWN HAIR HIS FACE WAS COVERED WITH _FRECKLES AND HE HAD THIN SPINDLY LEGS WITH KNEES THAT STUCK OUT LIKE TWO BRUISED APPLES BELOW HIS SHORT BAGGY TROUSERS. DON��™T STARE AT ME BOY, PICK UP THOSE TOWELS NOW BARKED SISTER, HER IMPATIENCE BEGINNING TO SHOW. NOEL BENT DOWN TO PICK UP THE TOWELS AND FELT A SEARING PAIN ACROSS THE TOP OF HIS BARE LEGS AS SISTER JOSEPH BROUGHT DOWN THE ROSARY BEADS FOR A SECOND SWIPE. NOEL DODGED OUT OF THE WAY AND THE BEADS HIT THE HIGHLY WAXED FLOOR, AS NOEL RAN TO HIDE BEHIND THE ROCKING HORSE, AT THE SAME TIME SENDING DAVID AND TOMMY FLYING ON THE WAXED FLOOR IN HIS HASTE TO ESCAPE FROM HIS BLACK GOWNED TORMENTOR. SISTER JOSEPH REACHED ROUND THE BACK OF THE HORSE AND GRABBED THE TERRIFIED BOY BY HIS LEFT EAR AND YANKED HIM BACK TO WERE THE TOWELS LAY ON THE FLOOR. RIGHT SAID SISTER HANGING ON TO NOELS EAR AND COMPLETELY IGNORING THE HOWLS OF PAIN, PICK UP THOSE TOWELS BENDING THE BOYS EAR TOWARDS THE GROUND PICK THEM UP, PICK THEM UP, NOEL SCOOPED UP THE THIN CLOTHES THAT WERE THE TOWELS AND WAS PULLED BY THE EAR TO WERE DAVID AND TOMMY WHO HAD BY NOW PICKED THEMSELVES OFF THE FLOOR AND WERE STANDING BY THE ROCKING HORSE. DAVID WAS TERRIFIED AND AS SISTER APPROACHED HIM DRAGGING NOEL ALONG BY THE EAR HE FELT A WARM TRICKLE RUN DOWN THE INSIDE OF HIS LEG AND AT THE SAME TIME STARTED TO SOB, HIS SMALL SHOULDERS HEAVING AS HE FAILED TO CONTROL HIMSELF. YOU BOY 
BARKED SISTER, WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER COMPLETELY IGNORING THE BOYS DISTRESS, I, I, I, HAVEN'T GO, GO, GO, A NUMBER SIS, SIS, SISTER SOBBED DAVID.SISTER LOOKED IN THE BOOK THAT SHE WAS HOLDING ONTO, OH, YOUR THE NEW BOY AREN'T YOU, WELL YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE A NUMBER
LOOKING BACK AT THE BOOK AND RUNNING A FINGER DOWN THE PAGE ALL THE NUMBERS ARE GONE EXCEPT NUMBER ONE, RIGHT NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME YOUR NUMBER IS NUMBER ONE AND WHEN YOU HEAR YOUR NUMBER CALLED YOU ANSWER RIGHT AWAY, AND WHEN YOU ARE TOLD TO LINE UP YOU LINE UP IN NUMBER ORDER AND AS YOU ARE NUMBER ONE YOU ARE THE FIRST IN THE LINE DO YOU UNDERSTAND, YES SIS, SISTER SOBBED DAVID.
SISTER RUMMAGED THROUGH THE THIN COTTON CLOTHS THAT PASSED FOR TOWEL, HERE THIS HAS GOT YOUR NUMBER ON IT SAID SISTER HANDING DAVID THE TOWEL, SHE THEN MOVED ONTO TOMMY. WHAT��™S YOU��™RE NUMBER BOY SHE ASKED. SEVEN SISTER, HE NERVOUSLY REPLIED, AFRAID THAT ANY DELAY WOULD CAUSE THE BEADS TO STRIKE AT HIS BARE LEGS. AGAIN SISTER RUMMAGED THROUGH THE TOWELS TILL SHE FOUND THE ONE WITH THE RIGHT NUMBER ON IT.HER SHE SAID AND MOVED ON DOWN THE LINE OF BOYS IN TURN ASKING EACH ONE THERE NUMBER UNTIL THE PILE OF TOWELS ON NOELS ARMS HAD GONE SAVE HIS OWN.
WHAT ARE YOU IN ERE FOR THEN TOMMY WHISPERED TO DAVE? DONT KNOW REPLIED DAVE, WHAT YOU DOIN IN ERE, MY BRUFFER BILLY SAID ME MAM WAS DEAD AND ME DAD IS ON THE SHIPS, WHAT��™S SHIPS ASKED DAVE? BIG THINGS THAT FLOAT ON WATER AND COME TO THE DOCKS AND GO ALL ROUND THE WORLD.SISTER JOSEPH WAS SHOUTING FOR EVERY ONE TO STRIP OFF AND TOMMY WAS DOING THIS AUTOMATICALLY WHILE TALKING TO DAVE, GET YER SHIRT OF DAVE OR YUEL GER A BELT, GO ON HE URGED. DAVE REMEMBERED WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO NOEL WHEN HE DELAYED CARRYING OUT SISTERS INSTRUCTIONS, AND HIS SHIRT WAS OF HIS BACK JUST AS SISTER DREW LEVEL WITH HIM. LINE LINE-IN ORDER SHOUTED SISTER.
ALL THE BOYS STARTED TO MOVE ABOUT AND JOSTLE INTO THEIR RESPECTIVE ORDER, STAY WHERE YOU ARE DAVE, CALLED TOMMY AS HE MOVED IN BEHIND THE BOY THAT WAS NUMBER SIX, YOUR NUMBER ONE. SISTER MOVED OVER TO THE DOOR THAT LED TO THE WASHROOMS AND CALLED OUT THE NUMBERS ONE TO TEN DAVID MOVED FORWARD TO WHERE SISTER JOSEPH WAS STANDING THE OTHER NINE BOYS FOLLOWING. IN THERE AND SOAP UP, THE BOYS FILED INTO THE WASH ROOM. THE ROOM DID NOT HAVE BASINS BUT ROUND THE WALLS WAS A STONE TROUGH THAT WAS RAISED TO THE CHILDRENS WAIST HEIGHT WITH A BRASS TAP SET AT ABOUT TWO FOOT INTERVALS SET INTO THE WALL THE BOYS TURNED THE TAPS ON AND PUT THEIR HEAD UNDER THE COLD RUNNING WATER AND STARTED TO LATHER THEMSELVES WITH THE RED CARBOLIC SOAP FROM THE HEAD DOWN TO THEIR WAIST. TOMMY HAD MANAGED TO PUT HIMSELF NEXT TO DAVE.ITS COLD CRIED DAVE, DO IT LIKE THIS SAID TOMMY SOAKING HIMSELF UNDER THE TAP, DAVE NERVOUSLY PUT HIS HEAD UNDER THE COLD RUNNING WATER AND PROCEEDED TO LATHER HIMSELF WITH THE SOAP. THE BOYS WHO HAD LATHERED UP WHERE RUNNING OUT OF THE WASH ROOM SHOUTING AS THEY WHERE RUNNING, SOAP OF SISTER, SOAP OF SISTER, LOOKING FOR SISTER JOSEPH WITH HEADS AND BODIES THAT WHERE COVERED IN SOAP LATHER, SISTER JOSEPH WAS SURROUNDED BY BOYS ALL JOSTLING TO BE EXAMINED SO THAT THEY COULD GET THERE ORDEAL OVER WITH BOYS WHERE EITHER TOLD TO SOAP OF OR MORE SOAP AS SISTER LOOKED BEHIND EARS, ROUND NECKS AND DOWN TO THE WAIST. DAVID APPROACHED SISTER HALF BLINDED BY THE STINGING SOAP, AND CHANTING AS HE JOS LED FOR POSSESSION, SOAP OF SISTER SOAP OF SISTER RUBBING THE LATHER INTO HIS HEAD AS HE BOBBED UP AND DOWN TRYING TO BE NOTICED, SISTER JOSEPH SPOTTED HIM, MORE SOAP MORE SOAP AS SHE TURNED DAVID BACK INTO THE WASH ROOM DAVID WAS SOBBING AGAIN AS HE PUT HIS SMALL HEAD UNDER THE COLD WATER TAP AND PROCEEDED TO LATHER UP AGAIN, TOMMY WAS BY THIS TIME DRYING HIMSELF ON HIS TOWEL AND SPOTTED DAVE TRYING TO FIND HIS TOWEL WHICH HAD BEEN PUT DOWN ON A NEAR BY BENCH TOMMY PICKED UP THE TOWEL AND SHOVED DAVE TOWARDS THE DOOR GO AND ASK AGAIN DAVE. DAVE SOUGHT SISTER JOSEPH AGAIN GOING THROUGH THE RITUAL BOBBING AND CHANTING AGAIN. SISTER WAS KINDER TO HIM THIS TIME AND GAVE PERMISSION FOR DAVID TO RINSE OFF, HE RAN BACK TO THE WASH ROOM RELIEVED AND HOPING THAT HIS NEW FOUND FRIEND WOULD STILL BE IN THE WASH ROOM, HE FOUND TOMMY NEAR THE BRASS TAP THAT HE HAD LEFT HOLDING THE THIN TOWEL THAT WAS DAVES,
GET YER SOAP OFF COME ON I��™ll WAIT FOR YER, DAVE PUT HIS HEAD UNDER THE COLD TAP AND LET THE WATER RUN ROUND HIS FACE AND TO HIS EYES AND HE COULD FEEL TOMMY SMALL HANDS TRYING TO SPLASH WATER ONTO HIS BACK AND SIDES, HE SHIVERED WITH THE COLD AND HIS BREATHING CAME IN SHORT SHARP GASP AS THE ICY WATER RAN DOWN HIS THIN BODY, HE HURRIED AS QUICKLY AS HE COULD TO GET ALL THE SOAP OFF, YER ALL RIGHT NOW ITS ALL OFF SAID TOMMY THRUSTING THE TOWEL INTO DAVIDS HAND, DAVID DRIED HIMSELF AS BEST HE COULD GOT DRESSED AND WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE THE WASH ROOM WHEN TOMMY SAID DONT FORGET YOUR TOWEL, YOU HAVE TO HANG IT ON YER NUMBER POINTING TO THE ROW OF PEGS THAT ALL HAD A LARGE NUMBER PRINTED ABOVE IT DAVE REACHED UP AND HUNG THE WET TOWEL ON THE PEG MARKED NUMBER ONE AND WALKED OUT OF THE WASH ROOM WITH HIS NEW FRIEND.DAVID HAD GOT OVER HIS INDUCTION ORDEAL AND HAD CALMED DOWN,HE DID NOT WANT THIS NEW FRIEND TO LEAVE HIM SO HE CLUNG DOGGEDLY TO TOMMYS SIDE .TEA TIME SOON SAID TOMMY AS THEY ENTERED THE PLAY ROOM. 
DAVID FELT BEWILDERED AND SMALL IN THIS LARGE ROOM WITH ONLY A ROCKING HOARSE FOR FURNITURE. THE FLOORS WERE OF VERY HIGHLY POLISHED WOODEN PLANKS AND EVERY WERE WAS SPOTLESSLY CLEAN THERE WERE NO CURTAINS ON THE WINDOWS, AND DAVID COULD LOOK UP AND SEE THE GREY WINTER SKY AND THE BRICKWORK OF THE ADJOINING ROOMS BUT HE COULD NOT SEE WHAT WAS OUTSIDE AND BELOW THE SILL, HE HAD PLACED HIMSELF NEXT TO TOMMY,
MUST BE NEARLY TEATIME SAID TOMMY SPOSE IT IL BE JAM AND CHEESE. THE DOOR OPENED AND A NUN WEARING THE SAME HABIT AS SISTER JOSEPH ENTERED, TEATIME BOYS LINE UP, TOMMY WHISPERED TO DAVE! ITS SISTER VINCENT I LIKE HER SHE NOT STRICT, WHATS STRICT REPLIED DAVE AS THEY BOTH STOOD UP TO OBEY THE LATEST INSTRUCTION, YOU KNOW, SHE DOESN'T SHOUT AND SWING HER BEADS AT US THE BOYS HAD LINED UP IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER AND WERE PUSHING AND SHOVING THERE WAY INTO THE DINING ROOM THROUGH AN ADJOINING DOOR AS DAVE AND TOMMY ENTERED THERE WAS A MAD SCRAMBLE TO SIT AT THE VARIOUS TABLES THAT OCCUPIED THE ROOM TOMMY MADE HIS WAY TO A CORNER TABLE WITH DAVE CLOSE BEHIND, THERE WERE TWO OTHER BOYS ALREADY SITTING AT THE TABLE EACH CLUTCHING A LARGE WHITE ENAMEL PLATE , DAVID SAT DOWN ON ONE OF THE VACANT CHAIRS , YOU THE NEW BOY THEN,WHATS YOUR NAME ?
DAVID LOOKED AT THE TWO BOYS WHO HAD ADDRESSED HIM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME AND HESITATED WITH HIS REPLY AS TOMMY CAME BACK WITH THE ANSWER O'CALLAGHAN, WHO SAID HE COULD SIT ON OUR TABLE RETORTED ONE OF THE BOYS, HE'S WITH ME AN I SAIS HE CAN SIT HERE. DAVID COULD FEEL HIS STOMACH BEGINNING TO GET THAT FEELING OF FLUTTERING AND HIS EYES WERE DARTING FROM BOY TO BOY AND BACK TO TOMMY
AND IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND HE COULD SEE SISTER JOSEPH STRIKING AT THE BOY WITH HER ROSARY BEADS IN THE ROOM WITH THE ROCKING HORSE HIS DARTING EYES FILLED WITH TEARS, CRY BABY CRY BABY, THE TWO BOYS CHANTED IN UNISON, THE DINING ROOM WENT QUIET AND DAVID COULD HEAR HIMSELF SOBBING, AND HE COULD ALSO HEAR THE RUSTLE
OF WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS SISTER JOSEPHS BLACK HABIT AND HE CRINGED IN ANTICIPATION OF THE WHACK OF THE ROSARY BEADS ACROSS HIS BACK. NOW, NOW WATTS ALL THIS FUSS ABOUT WHY ARE YOU MAKING ALL THIS NOISE, THE SOBBING BOY LOOKED UP INTO THE KIND FACE OF SISTER VINCENT, YOUR THE NEW BOY AREN'T YOU, YE, YE. YES, SIS, SIS, SISTER SOBBED DAVID. SISTER VINCENT KNELT DOWN BY THE SOBBING BOY PULLED OUT A LARGE RED WHITE SPOTTED HANDKERCHIEF AND PROCEEDED TO DRY THE BOYS TEARS, THIS MUST BE VERY STRANGE TO YOU BUT YOU WILL SOON MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND LITTLE BURNS HERE WILL SHOW YOU WHAT TO DO JUST BE A GOOD BOY AND ALWAYS DO AS YOUR TOLD AND YOU WONT GET INTO ANY TROUBLE, NOW YOU KEEP THE BIG RED HANDKERCHIEF AND STOP ALL THIS SILLY NONSENSE 
A BUZZ OF NOISE WENT ROUND THE ROOM AS SISTER VINCENT GOT UP OF HER KNEES AND LEFT.
DAVID STARED AT THE HANDKERCHIEF; ANY ONE AND HE FELT A LITTLE BIT CALMER WITHIN HIMSELF HAD NEVER GIVEN HIM ANY THING BEFORE. THIS MIGHT NOT BE SUCH A BAD PLACE AFTER ALL AND HE FOUND HIMSELF WARMING TO SISTER VINCENT THIS GIFT WOULD ALWAYS REMIND DAVID OF THE FIRST PERSON WHO HAD SHOWN SHE HAD CARED. 
SISTER VINCENT STOOD BY THE FIRE PLACE UNDER A STATUE OF A LADY DRESSED IN A LONG WHITE ROBE OVER WHICH SHE WORE A BLUE SASH
AROUND HER HEAD WAS A GOLD CIRCLE.
SISTER TAPPED THE NEAREST CHAIR WITH HER CANE. GRACE
THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE FOOD THAT WE ARE ABOUT TO EAT
ALL THE BOYS REPEATED THE PRAYER IN UNISON. AND WITH ACLATTER AND SCRAPE OF CHAIRS ALL SAT DOWN
HOLD YER PLATES UP SAID A VOICE THAT WAS OLDER THAN DAVIDS, DAVID HELD THE HANDKERCHIEF TIGHT IN HIS TINY FIST AS HE LOOKED UP INTO THE FACE OF A BOY THAT WAS ABOUT TEN TEARS OF AGE HE WAS BEHIND A TROLLEY THAT HELD TWO LARGE ALUMINIUM PANS AND A STACK OF THICK SLICED BREAD. ALL THE BOYS AT THE TABLE HELD UP THEIR PLATES WERE UPON THE OLDER BOY PLONKED A LARGE PORTION OF GRATED CHEESE ONTO EACH PLATE HANDED OUT TWO PIECES OF BREAD AND THEN ASKED WHO WOULD LIKE JAM THE BOYS AT THE TABLE ALL CRIED OUT IN UNISON ME, I WANT SOME AND HELD THE PLATES ALOFT THAT CONTAINED THE CHEESE SO THAT EACH BOY IN TURN RECEIVED A LARGE SPOONFUL OF RED STICKY JAM ALONG SIDE THE CHEESE.
SISTER VINCENT FOLLOWED BEHIND THE BOY WITH A TROLLEY THAT HELD A LARGE WHITE URN AND A JUMBLE OF ENAMELLED MUGS TEA, BOYS SHE SAID IN A SOFT VOICE PLEASE SISTER THEY ALL ANSWERED. DAVID LOOKED UP AT SISTER VINCENT HIS EYES WIDE IN ADMIRATION AND CLUTCHING EVER TIGHTER TO THE HANDKERCHIEF AND NOT SAYING A WORD, SISTER POURED OUT THE TEA FROM A TAP IN THE SIDE OF THE URN AND HANDED EACH BOY A CUP OF WARM WEAK TEA, WHAT ABOUT YOU, WHATS YOUR NAME? YOU WERE TO UPSET TO TELL ME BEFORE, ADDRESSING DAVID. O! CALLAGHAN, SISTER, WELL O CALLAGHAN DO YOU LIKE TEA? YES SISTER, YES WHAT REPLIED SISTER, TOMMY WAS LOOKING AT DAVID, DAVID HAD A BEWILDERED LOOK ON HIS FACE, PLEASE, WHISPERED TOMMY MOUTHING THE WORD IN DAVIDS DIRECTION.SISTER VINCENT GAVE TOMMY A WARM SMILE, THATS THE WORD I WANT OCALLAGHAN, DO YOU WANT A CUP OF TEA, YES PLEASE SISTER HE REPLIED WITH A BIG GRIN ON HIS TINY FACE, THATS A GOOD BOY ALWAYS SAY PLEASE AND THANK YOU WHEN YOU ASK OR ARE GIVEN, SISTER POURED THE TEA AND MOVED ON TO THE NEXT TABLE.
THE OTHER TWO BOYS WHO WHERE AT THE TABLE LOOKED AT DAVID WHO WAS STILL GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR AND WATCHING TOMMY WHO WAS ALSO SMILING, THEY COULD BOTH FEEL A STRONG BOND OF FRIENDSHIP FORMING FOR EACH OTHER.
BLUE EYE, BLUE EYE, CHANTED THE BOY SITTING NEXT TO TOMMY, TOMMY LASHED OUT WITH HIS FIST AND STRUCK THE BOY ON THE TOP OF HIS ARM, THE BOY LET OUT A YELL AND STRUCK BACK AT TOMMY KNOCKING HIM OF HIS CHAIR 
SISTER VINCENT WAS THERE IN A MOMENT STOP THIS FIGHTING NOW CRIED SISTER, AND STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. BOTH BOYS STOOD UP, I WILL NOT HAVE ANY FIGHTING WHILE I AM ON DUTY SAID SISTER VINCENT ADDRESSING THE WHOLE OF THE ROOM, ALL THE BOYS SAT IN SILENCE AS IF THEY NEW SOME TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT WAS ABOUT TO BEFALL THE TWO COWERING BOYS THAT STOOD TOGETHER IN THE CENTRE OF THE DINING ROOM.
RIGHT YOU TWO SEEING AS YOU HAVE TIME TO FIGHT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EAT YOUR TEA SO YOU WILL GO HUNGRY TILL BREAKFAST AND YOU WILL WASH UP AFTER TEA ALONG WITH THE OTHER BOYS AT YOUR TABLE AND WHEN YOU HAVE WASHED UP YOU WILL BOTH GO TO BED. BUT HE STARTED IT CRIED TOMMY, QUIET, I AM NOT INTERESTED IN WHO STARTED IT, ONLY IN THE FACT THAT YOU PER BOTH FIGHTING AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE FIGHTING, IT IS JUST AS WELL SISTER JOSEPH IS NOT ON DUTY OR YOU WOULD HAVE HAD A WORSE PUNISHMENT,
NOW YOU WILL STAND HERE TILL TEA IS OVER THEN YOU CAN GO AND WASH, UP. DAVID STARED OVER AT TOMMY WHOSE HEAD WAS BOWED IN SHAME AND REALISED HE WAS IN TROUBLE FOR DEFENDING HIM FROM THE TAUNTS OF THE OTHER BOYS ON THE TABLE AND AS A RESULT THEY HAD ALL TO WASH UP THE DIRTY PLATES AND MUGS AFTER THE EVENING MEAL THE ODD THING ABOUT THE INCIDENT WAS THAT DAVID DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE TERM BLUE EYE MEANT AND WAS WONDERING WHY TOMMY SHOULD LASH OUT AT SUCH AN INNOCENT PHRASE.
DAVID LOOKED AROUND TO SEE IF ANY ONE WAS WATCHING BUT ALL EYES WHERE ON THE TWO BOYS IN THE CENTRE OF THE ROOM HE QUICKLY PICKED UP A PIECE OF BREAD AND DEFTLY PLACED THE GRATED CHEESE ON THE BREAD AND COVERED IT WITH THE REMAINING BREAD THEN PUSHED IT DOWN HIS SHIRT FRONT 
AT THAT MOMENT TOMMY LOOKED UP AND GAVE DAVID A BIG WINK OF HIS LEFT EYE DAVID SMILED TO HIMSELF, HE STILL HAD A FRIEND.DAVID LOOKED OVER AT THE OTHER BOY WHO WAS AT HIS TABLE SISTERS FAVE THE BOY HISSED, DAVID WANTED TO STRIKE OUT BUT SENSED THE FUTILITY OF DOING SO AND IGNORED THE TAUNT PICKED UP HIS BREAD AND CHEESE AND WITH GREAT DIFFICULTY DUE TO THE KNOT HE FELT IN HIS STOMACH STARTED TO EAT .THE BOY FELL SILENT AND DID THE SAME.
AFTER THEY BOTH HAD FINISHED EATING THE BOY SAID ITS NOT OUR TABLES TURN TO WASH UP, NOW WE WONT BE ABLE TO GO TO THE PLAY ROOM AFTER TEA AND ITS ALL YOUR FAULT.
DAVID STAYED SILENT.
STAND UP, STAND UP, DAVID COULD HEAR SISTER VINCENT CALL OUT THE INSTRUCTION THAT MEANT THE MEAL WAS NOW OVER, WITH A SCRAPE OF CHAIRS ON THE HARD WOODEN FLOORS ALL THE BOYS STOOD UP, NOW ALL COLLECT YOUR DISHES AND PLACE THEM TIDY ON THE TABLE IN THE WASHING UP ROOM. THE BOYS AT THE TABLE NEAREST TO THE WASHING UP ROOM MOVED OF
WAIT CRIED SISTER, BURNS, GARRITY, SKINNER O CALLAGHAN
GO NOW TO THE WASHING UP ROOM. 
DAVID FOLLOWED THE OTHER BOYS TO THE WASHING UP ROOM IT WAS A LARGE ROOM OF APPROXIMATELY EIGHTEEN FOOT SQUARE HAD A LARGE SINK ON ONE WALL WITH TWO LARGE WOODEN DRAINAGE TRAYS ON EITHER SIDE IN THE CENTRE OF THE ROOM STOOD A LARGE PINE TABLE IT WAS PILED HIGH WITH DIRTY DISHES AND SPOONS DAVID THOUGHT WE WILL NEVER GET THROUGH THIS.I BAGS WASHIN CRIED SKINNER NO YOU DONT I BAGS IT CRIED GARRITY BOTH BOYS PUSHING AND SHOVING EACH OTHER AWAY FROM THE SINK DAVID GLANCED NERVOUSLY AT THE DOOR HOPING SISTER WOULD NOT HEAR THE COMMOTION THAT WAS GOING ON HE SAW SISTER VINCENT MOVE AWAY FROM THE DINING ROOM DOOR HER SHE WAS SHEPHERDING THE REST OF THE BOYS OUT INTO THE PLAY ROOM AND START TO WALK TO THE WASHING UP ROOM SISTERS COMING CALLED DAVID PULLING AT TOMMYS SHIRT , SISTERS COMMIN STOP IT OR WEAL ALL GET INTO MORE TROUBLE SKINNER STOOD HIS GROUND AT THE SINK GARRITY MOVED AWAY JUST AS SISTER WALKED INTO THE ROOM, WHOSE WASHING THEN?
LETS GET STARTED WE DONT WANT TO BE HEAR ALL NIGHT. SKINNER ANSWERED, ME SISTER, RIGHT YOU BOYS GET THE DRYING CLOTHES THE BOYS MOVED OVER TO THE WALL WERE SUSPENDED ON METAL PEGS WAS A NUMBER OF THIN WET TOWELS 
GARRITY STARTED TO RUN THE TAP, THE OTHER THREE BOYS GATHERED THE CLOTHES AND MOVED OVER TO THE SINK, GARRITY PLACED A STACK OF THE ENAMELLED PLATES INTO THE WATER AND COMMENCED TO WAS THEM AND PLACE THEM ON THE DRAINAGE BOARD TOMMY AND SKINNER THEN STARTED TO DRY DAVE WATCHED AS THIS WAS NEW TO HIM AND THEN FOLLOWED THE
OTHER BOYS EXAMPLE. DAVID COULD HEAR THE SOUND OF THE OTHER BOYS PLAYING IN THE PLAY ROOM AND WONDERED HOW LONG THIS CHORE WAS GOING TO TAKE, TOMMY MUST HAVE SENSED HIS THOUGHTS,"FLIPPIN ECK"
SAID TOMMY IT WILL BE BED TIME BY THE TIME WE GET THIS LOT DONE. DAVE
LOOKED OUT OF THE WASH ROOM WINDOW AND NOTICED HOW DARK IT HAD BECOME DAVE TURNED HIS THOUGHT S TO THE EVENT S OF THE DAY AS HE HANDLED THE DISHES OF THE EVENING MEAL, HE THOUGHT ABOUT HIS MOTHER WHO HE HAD NEVER SEEN BUT NEW HE MUST HAVE ONE BECAUSE THE OTHER BOYS HAD TOLD HIM EVERY BODY HAS A MOTHER DAVID ONLY REMEMBERED UNCLE ALF AND SOME BODY HE NEW AS FRED AND THEY SEEMED A LONG WAY IN HIS MIND AND HE FELT AS IF THEY WERE SLIPPING AWAY FROM HIM, STILL HE HAD MADE A NEW FRIEND
THE WASHING UP WAS SOON DONE AND DAVID'S MIND CAME BACK TO THE PRESENT AS HE HEARD THE VOICE OF SISTER VINCENT, YOU BOYS FINISHED YET? AS SHE WALKED INTO THE ROOM, NEARLY SISTER SAID GARRITY PUTTING THE LAST PLATE ONTO THE DRAINING BOARD, WELL HURRY UP ITS TIME FOR BED .THE BOYS FINISHED THE LAST OF THE DISHES AND JOINED THE OTHER BOYS IN THE PLAY ROOM AS SISTER VINCENT CALLED THEM ALL TO LINE UP IN ROWS FOR NIGHT PRAYERS.

THERE WAS STILL SOME DAYLIGHT OUT SIDE AS THE BOYS ALL LINED UP IN
.ROWS��™ HAVING FINISHED THERE NIGHT PRAYERS.THEY ALL STARTED TO MOVE TOWARDS THE DOOR WAY OUT OF THE PLAY ROOM AND UP TO THE STAIRS.

THE DORMETORY WAS LONG AND NARROW AND HAD BEDS SIDE BY SIDE OF EACH OTHER ON ONE WALL . UNDERNEATH THE WINDOWS THERE WERE TEN BED WITH A LOCKER BETWEEN EACH BED AND JUST ENOUGH SPACE TO STAND IN TO ENABLE THE BOYS TO GET UNDRESSED ON THE OPPOSITE WALL WAS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE SAME BED ARRANGEMENT THE DORMATORY SLEPT TWENTY BOYS ON EACH PILLW WAS A NEATLY FOLDED NIGHT SHIRT AT ONE END OF THE ROOM WAS A LARGE WOOD BOX ROOM, ON THE FACE OF THE PANALING THERE WAS A LARGE CRUCIFIX THIS WAS SISTERS ROOM OR CELL AS IT WAS KNOWN. ALL THE BOYS MADE THER WAY TO THE BED THAT WAS THERS AND STARTED TO UNDRESS, THER WAS ONE VACANT BED DAVID STOOD BY THE DOOR NOT SURE OF WHAT TO DO HE DID NOT WANT TO END UP IN TROUBLE BY MISTAKENLY GOING TO ANOTER BOYS BED. SISTER VINCENT CAME ALONG SIDE DAVID, HERE IS YOUR NIGHT SHIRT GET UNDRESSED OVER AT THAT BED POINTING TO A BED BY THE WINDOW AND THE THIRD ONE DOWN FROM THE BOX ROOM THE ROOM WAS FULL OF THE NOISE OF CHATTERING CHILDREN AS SISTER CALLED OUT, FOLD YOUR CLOTHES TIDY AND PLACE YOUR SHOES UNDER YOUR LOCKER THE BOYS DID AS THEY WHER TOLD AND AS EACH ONE FINISED HIS CHORE THEY KNELT AT THE SIDE OF THERE BEDS, DAVID DID AS THE OTHER BOYS.THER WAS A SILENCE, DAVID GLANCED ROUND AND COULD SEE ALL THE BOYS HANDS CLASPED WAITING ,SISTER SAID NIGTH PRAYERS AND THEY ALL REELD
OF PARROT FASION THE OUR FATHER AND HAIL MARY AFTER PRAYERS SISTER MADE ALL THE BOYS LINE UP IN NUMBER ORDER AND MARCHED THEM DOWN THE DORMATORY TO THE TOILETS AND AS\ EACH BOY LEFT THEY WENT BACK TO THERE BEDS AND CLIMBED IN WITHOUT A WORD .
THERE WAS A VIOLENT SHAKING AT DAVIDS SHOULDER IT WAS DARK AND THE ROOM WAS STILL A NUN WAS STANDING AT HIS BED , GET UP GET UP SHE KEPT REPEATING DAVID WAS CONFUSED HE FELT HEHAD JUST GOT TO SLEEP ,HE COULD HEAR SHUFFLING NOLSES OF COLD FEET ON WOOFEN FLOORS AS THE LGTS HAD BEEN TURNED ON AND BOTS WERE LINING UP IN THE CORNER OF THE DORMATORY WERE THE ONE TOILET FOR WAS .STAND IN LINE SPOKE THE NUNE . IT WAS COLD AND THE THIN COTTON NIGHT SHIRT DID NOTHING TO STOP THE SHIVERING .HE JOINED THE QUE OF BOYS AND WAITED HIS TURN .THIS WAS GOING TO BE A REGULAR ORDEAL IN ORDER TO STOP BED WETTING . AFTER AN AGE HE DID HIS BIT THE WENT BACK TO HIS BED AND SLEEP

IT WAS MORNING DAVID LAY AWAKE HE THOUGHT OF HIS FIRST DAY ,AND HIS STOMACH CHURNED IN FEAR HE THOUGHT OF THE STRIP WASH THE COLD WATER STINGING SOAP WET TOWELS THE SWISH OF ROSARY BEADS BLACK HABITS ON FEARD WOMEN AND CRYING CHILDREN .HE COULD HEAR THE OTHER BOYS STIREING SOME WERE CRYING ,WHAT FOR ?12 DAVID ASKED HIMSELF.


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By Daveocall Daveocall


This story was added on 7th February 2015

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