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Female | Teen | Under 3 minutes Starts on page 1
EXTRACT: In the middle of the quad that day Kelly walks up to Sam and slaps her in the face. Slap like a cracking whip. Everyone hears it. Stops.
Sam shakes her head, turns away, turns back, runs at Kelly, pushes her to the ground, punches her in the face. Kelly snatches Sam’s hair, twists it round her wrist, pulls her by the hair, looks her in the eye, spits in her face.
Kids circle them, phones held overhead.
Teacher pushes through the ring, rips Sam and Kelly apart.
Teacher yells, spits anger in their faces. Two sides he’s saying. Two sides to every story.
Everyone says that.
Miss Rowse, the headmistress, stands in front of the whole school and raves on about protection. The school gates protect you from the outside, your parents and your friends protect you, look out for you. Her voice drops to almost a whisper as she says but you still need to protect yourselves.
The story about the Truck Stop has more than two sides.
Sam’s side. Kelly’s side. The truck drivers, their wives or girlfriends or mothers or sons.
Sam’s mum, Kelly’s mum, Sam’s dad, the cop and the counsellor.