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Overview: Short stories – stories for children and teens

Subject: Alcohol, party, boozing and belonging


Nick knows that he should really keep his fingers away from the alcohol. But Nick wants to belong, wants to be as cool as the others and not be seen as a party pooper. He doesn’t feel happy at all but he wants to be part of it and not disappoint his friends. The story has an open end.


The story is suitable for subjects surrounding „taking part“ or „not being seen as a party pooper“ and stealing, lying or simply joining a booze up. It also deals with the fact that not enough courage and guts are there to say „no“ and that people get drawn into things which wouldn’t happen if they had „gotten out“ in time. The same thing applies if only there were people who cared enough to help an alcoholic get treatment.

The (un)cool party

„Man, where die you get that from? That is great, man. Come on, let’s run to the others! Come on; tell us how you got hold of it?” Axel eyes light up as he looks impressed at his friend Nick, who has managed to get hold of a bottle of spirits. He sticks the bottle in a bag so no one else sees it.

„It wasn’t too bad. I just asked my brother if he would buy one for me and he said yes straight away.” The impression on Nick’s face seems somewhat down but he tells himself that when the party gets going then his bad mood will disappear. They have something to drink after all.

(Change of scene – party room)
The little derelict room at the edge of town in a closed down factory starts to fill slowly. As Axel and Nick arrive, they find all of their friends there, Marcel, Guido, Hinrich, Marco and even Balla Balla is there, who is really called Boris. They can hardly believe their eyes as they see three girls standing a little distance away but they are definitely here to party – with the BOYS. They had never experienced that before. Axel, who at fourteen doesn’t really think much of girls, looks taken aback and goes to Guido. „ Man, dude, how did you manage that? I means the chicks over there. Did you bring them along?“
„Yes” says Guido, „it is totally cool to have girls here and they are so pleased to be here.”
„Even Melanie is there. Everyone at school is after her! Totally awesome, man!” Axel does not snap out of his amazement, but doesn’t concern himself any further and goes back over to his best friend Nick.

The party starts to flow and everyone is in a good mood. It is no wonder because the alcohol is flowing so they have to be in a good mood. Some of boys keep lighting cigarettes and looking over to the girls, who are still standing away from it all. Everyone talks over each other and tries to make themselves understood over the music.

Nick stands a little further away to the side and watches the spectacle from afar. He has already drunk a bit but his mood just does not want to improve. The others notice this of course but they do not concern themselves with him because a party pooper can really spoil the evening. Nick’s bad mood does not get past his best friend Axel who asks: „Mate, what is wrong? Can’t you be bothered today? You always have such a crappy mood when we party. It isn’t the first time!“

„Leave me alone. I had a fight at home and argued with my old folks again. I doesn’t have anything to do with you or the party“, says Nick.

„Yes, but you are ruining our evening. Loosen up a bit, will you?!” says Axel. „No, I’ll head off home. I can’t be bothered to hang around here and I am late anyway. Have fun, Axel! We’ll see each other tomorrow for a kick around.” Nick looks a bit tired, does not concern himself with the others and leaves.

(Change of scene – at Nick’s house)
„Of course! Almost an hour too late!” Nick’s father is not exactly impressed and gives his son a talking to. „How often have we said that you have to be on time? And where were you anyway? I went down to the supermarket and the master was nowhere to be seen. It’s better if you don’t go in the living room. Your mother is worried out of her mind and you stink of booze, my lad! Leave it alone; that will be the ruin of you. You saw that with Marvin!”
„Yeah, yeah“, says Nick, „I’m going to bed, goodnight dad!”

(Change of scene -, in Nick’s room)
Blue lights, awfully loud sirens, a crying mother, a hysterical father, the police are entering, ambulance men carry someone out of the door looking worried, everything must go quickly, people push each other to get a look, the ambulance starts moving and starts to screech off at high speed. The mother screams and sits in the family car, the father runs after her and both screech off. A little boy is standing in front of the house, ALL ALONE, everyone is gone, the father, the mother, the brother, the police and the nosy neighbours.

Nick jerks up bathed in sweat with his eyes wide open. Man, the same dream again: the one which has been following him for four years. He always sees his brother as he is transported away. Nick was ten at the time and did not know what had happened. His father had always given him the same roasting: „Keep your fingers from the alcohol if you don’t want to end up like that!” Marvin, that is his brother’s name, was taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning four years ago. Nick cannot believe that these pictures are still haunting him, Marvin is OK after all! After he was healthy again he went into the rehab clinic and has not touched the stuff for four years. Marvin was 16 when that happened. Now he has a job in the only DIY store in town, has his own flat and a girlfriend who he lives with. He is doing well and brothers see each other often, so why does Nick keep having such nightmares?

Nick shakes the burden of trauma and sleeps the rest of the night, not peacefully, but not bad.

(Change of scene, Nick on the way to the football field – talks to himself)
Nick has left the house in good time today. He is down in the dumps and trots slowly towards the football field where is has arranged to meet friends.

„Man, why am I in such a bad mood? Because I slept so badly? Axel will not be happy. That cannot be the reason! Crappy alcohol! I have to tell Axel about Marvin, he always drinks so much! I wonder if Axel will notice that I lied to him. Marvin would never buy alcohol for me. Or am I in such a bad mood because I stole the spirits from the supermarket? That is bound to be the guilty conscience! But what else should I do? I certainly couldn’t buy anything and I want to be at the parties. All of my friends are there after all and they want something to drink. It was my turn to fetch something! Man, maybe I should turn back. It’ll be a rubbish day anyway!“

It is too late. Axel comes along on his bike and calls from a distance: „Hey, Nicky, wait up, we can walk together. “As he reaches Nick he steps from his bike and grins. „Do you know what, dude? After you left yesterday evening we decided to have another party this evening, brilliant eh?”
Nick sighs quietly so that Axel doesn’t hear and says: „Where will it be and who is coming?”

„Everyone from yesterday, well I don’t know about the chicks, but all of the others are up for it!” Axel exclaims. „I wanted to ask you if you can bring the booze again. We have collected the money up so we can give you it.” Nick is silent for a moment, thinks and then says: „Sorry, Axel, but I am grounded. I am only allowed to play football and have to be home at six.”

„That can’t be true! Nick, man! Just sneak out of the house. We are counting on you and your booze“, pleads Axel. In the meantime the two of them have reached the playing field and see that there are already people there. „Come on, let’s really have some fun, where is the ball?” asks Axel and runs over to the others. Nick stands there for a while and then he walks over as well.

(Change of scene - in Nick’s room)
Nick’s mood had improved during the football match. He is now sitting on his bed thinking. He had lied to his best friend yet again. He isn’t grounded at all. „What should I do now? I would love to go to my friends but I don’t even need to show up without alcohol. Spending the whole evening at home is stupid as well. Why do they always have to drink so much? Should I steal again? What if I get caught? Then I’ll never be able to go out again. I want to be seen as cool so I need the stuff.”

After a few minutes, Nick puts on his miserable face again, says goodbye to his parents and makes his way to the old factory on foot. He is going very slowly through the streets because he has time. At the corner of Penny Street he stops short and turns off on a quick trip to the supermarket …….

Suggestions for questions for an introduction to discussion:

  • What type of person is Nick?
  • What are Nick’s friends like?
  • How would you have reacted?
  • What is the main thing surrounding these parties?
  • How did the story continue? Which endings can you think of? Which would you choose?

Learning aim:

  • Our deeds are often determined by others through fear of being seen as a party pooper or an outsider.
  • The fear of losing friends is often greater than listening to your own mind.
  • It takes more courage to say no than to be cool.

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