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The Outcasts

by Cole Parker


The impetus behind this story was the fine writing found on the IOMFATS site. While I love most everything I've read there, I find the stories that deal with English public schools, the boys who attend them and the events that occur there, resonate especially deeply with me. After reading many of these, I found I had an itch that just had to be scratched. I just had to try my hand at one of these stories myself.

Of course, a difficulty immediately occurred. I discovered I simply don't know enough about the workings of these schools, and the way the English write. Just normal things, like, say, eating lunch, is done one way there, another way here in the United States. And when you write a story, there are hundreds of these small, ordinary, everyday events that form the backdrop of the story. And I found, when the story was read by an Englishman, that I had most of these things wrong.

And then the English. We simply don't say things the same way. I shall offer just one example of where I was taken to task by my editor. I wrote something to the effect that the characters should "take their chairs." My editor sternly admonished me that there would be too much time spent in everyone shopping for chairs if I had it my way, and the proper phrase was "taking their seats." As you can imagine, we had many, many such discussions.

Which brings me to the major reason for this soliloquy. My editor, N Fourbois. I would like to thank and recognize him for his excellent and hard work. He did a fantastic job, and this story reads as it does because of the dedication and skill he brought to improving it.

Cole Parker

November, 2006

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