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Musicians/Music Groups Fan Fiction >> Green Day

The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Ali's War
By jimmy4whatsername

 


I hunch down further, the seatbelt uncomfortably tight around my stomach. Tommo sees the look on my face and squeezes my shoulder firmly, like he can't believe this is really happening. He can't believe we're leaving. I know he doesn't want to, and I don't want to either. Taking a final glance back at the crumbling flats, I close my eyes tight and pray it's not true.

“It'll be good to get out of this dump” Charlie says from the driver's seat, “Even better for you Ali; you get a whole new family”

He doesn't say it nicely. He spits every word be cause he can't bear to speak to me. He hates me, my own brother hates me. And I hate him for taking me away; I hate him for ruining my dreams.

“We'll visit” Tommo promises

I don't know what he means. That he'll visit me in my new home, or that we'll visit Berkeley. I think about my life, all ten years. Ten years I've spent in the best place in the world.

<i>I don't know what to say. The headmaster is striding up and down his study, tugging at his moustache and breathing heavily.

“This is the third time you've ran away this month” he growls

I press my elbows into my side and whisper the words to `Disappearing Boy' under my breath like a charm, because Tommo told me once that if you want something enough, it'll happen. And I want more than anything to disappear.

I think ahead to the evening to distract myself. Tommo's going down to Gilman. Charlie's seeing his mates. I'll be alone in our crumbling little flat until midnight, and that's the way I like it. Tommo managed to fix the old record player last night and I sat up until 5 listening to his favourite record - `Slappy'

“You must never do anything so silly again Ali” the headmaster says, “You could have been abducted or hit by a car. We go for walks on Wednesday afternoons; I don't see why you feel the need to go for your own personal stroll”

I know why, but it's not the sort of thing you tell Mr Houston. I can't tell him that I want to go to Gilman Street with my brothers, that I want to be squashed so tight in the crowd that I think my ribs will crack. I want to go to Gilman, because I want to feel alive.

He sends me back to class, where we're learning about our town. Personally, I don't see the point. They only tell you the good parts, and leave out everything that means something. Everyone in the entire school dreams of one day going to Gilman, and none of us will get the chance. The rest of them don't really understand. Harry scrawls `Sweet Children' on his jotters, but I don't think he understands. One of the teachers told me that the pupils at my school don't think clearly, but their wrong. I see things more clearly than any of them.</i>

“It's your own fucking fault you know” Charlie says, “You'll have to learn to fit in sometime Ali, if you'd just been normal you could have got on fine with the Punk Mafia”

“You said being a punk is about being different” I say, gritting my teeth, “You told me it was about not fitting in”

Charlie doesn't know what to say to this. His knuckles turn white on the steering wheel and he reaches for his cigarettes.

I don't know what to say either. I want to be normal; I wanted to be part of the Punk Mafia. I wanted to go to Gilman.

<i> I'm running down to the factories, running away from the Mafia. There are five of them, and their looking for us. Tommo grabs my hand and pulls me forward, stumbling in the darkness. They used to be his best friends, but they hate us now. They hate us because we stood by Sweet Children, because I'm different.

“It's alright Ali” Tommo says, “Keep going”

He's lying, it's not alright. It will never be alright again. We've been 86'd. It means nothing to Charlie, he's happy to spend his evenings in bars and chatting up girls. But I can see the hurt in Tommo's eyes. He's stopped looking like my big brother, five years older than me who's done everything and knows everything too. He looks like a lost little boy.

I hear the screams getting louder, baseball bat crashing across the ground in anger. We have betrayed them, and they want revenge. I close my eyes and pray, still running on. We head up to the dumps, tripping over the piles of rotting cardboard and rusted metal, my legs beginning to ache. My heart is thudding in my chest, sweat dripping down my face even though it's such a cold night that I can see my breath in puffs of steam. And I'm wondering if each one is going to be my last.

I fall to the ground, my head spinning in fear, and Tommo drags me up by the wrist. His face is streaked with tears and he's shivering. Suddenly I hate the Punk Mafia, even though I want more than anything to be part of their world. I think of Charlie, how I told him I hated him so many times, and now I won't get the chance to tell him that it isn't true. I am going to die.

“Quick Ali” Tommo says, listing me over the wooden gates. They creak and groan under our weight, but are on our side. We fall over them and make it to the other side. Collapsing on the damp grass, Tommo puts an arm around me. We hear the Mafia curse and shout at each other. We've lost them. They retreat down the alley and I fall back wards so that I am sprawled across the ground. Tommo lies down beside me and we stare up at the star, twinkling above us against the sky.

“Hey” someone hisses, “Who's there?”

I see a boy around my age hiding in the shadows. He's covered in mud and scrapes and yet he has a huge grin on his freckly face.

“Hey” he says, catching sight of us, “You okay?”

I nod.

“I'm Jimmy” he tells us, “Jimmy Heatle”

I've met him once before, during a Punk Mafia battle. We've all know who he is down at the school. He wanders around Berkeley, playing tricks on the police. He's legendary, we all retell stories of him having the chief constable fall in a muddy puddle at the circus. He doesn't have a proper home, and every time we get upset at school, we are told to count our blessings and thank god that we at least have a roof over our heads, unlike Jimmy. But I always howl harder because Jimmy has one thing I don't have; freedom. </i>

I hug my suitcase, burying my face in its scratchy red material. It begins to rain, water pouring down the windows so that I can hardly read the sign telling us that we are now leaving Berkeley. We drive past blocks of flats, similar to the one's I've lived in since I was six weeks old. They're grey and ominous and half buried under a mountain of litter, but inside them was the one place I felt at home. We shared our flat with Tommo's friends, seven of us all squashed together like a family. It wasn't what the teachers considered a nice place to live, but to us it was known as Paradise. But then Charlie arrived, and everything changed. He was bitter and angry that our Mum had gotten sick of him too. Tommo and I had gone long ago, but he was the oldest, and for a long time, perfect. At first I thought we'd be fine. I was due to go to my first show at Gilman, and nothing could have bothered me. But Charlie took control. He joined the Punk Mafia, because it was the right thing to do he said. But he had no idea. He tried to bring major record companies to Gilman and was 86'd. That was the point he decided that none of us was allowed to be part of it. He couldn't stop Tommo, he used to sneak out, but he could stop me, and he did. Tommo tried to hide me from the authorities, he didn't want to send me to school. But Charlie did, and it had to be Chalet Road, the Special School. He was like the Headmaster; he thought I didn't think clearly.

<i> “This is Ali” Charlie tells Mr Houston, “We'd like her to come to this school”

Tommo fiddles nervously with his belt. Schools make him nervous. I shuffle towards the headmaster and hold out my hand for him to shake. Charlie's told me how to behave at this meeting.

He takes it uncertainly and looks at Charlie.

“Why do you feel that Chalet Road is the most…appropriate school for Ali?” he asks

His moustache twitches disconcertingly as Charlie hands him a thick folder with all the notes from at least a dozen doctors. Mr Houston takes them out and looks to Charlie as though he's the only sane person in the room. I want to stand up and scream that I don't want to go to his Special School, that I don't want to go to any school. That the only place I want to be is Gilman Street. But I don't dare.

“We do have a few places left this year” he says, “And thanks to extra funding we have been able to employ several excellent teachers and individual instructors. I think we can offer Ali the chance to become a pupil here”

He looks at me, awaiting a thank you. I don't give him one. Joining Chalet Road pulled me even further from what I had wanted all my life. Tommo stands up with Charlie. He doesn't thank the headmaster either. He gives me a pitying look and adjusts his leather jacket.

I am lead down a long corridor decorated with clowns and ducks, like a nursery. The doors have labels printed in clear, oversized letters, and I am taken through one which reads `Quiet Room'.

“This is a new pupil, Ali” Mr Houston tells a tall, bony woman, “I'd like her to join you for some quiet time”

It is clear the teacher is terrified of Mr Houston.

“Hi” she says, kneeling down beside me, “I'll find you a mat and you can rest with the class”

She speaks very slowly as though I'm deaf or stupid or something. I look around the class. There are around fifteen children and they all look as bewildered and confused I am. I want to run away, but the headmaster is standing in the doorway.

I have to think of Tommo. If I start making a fuss about going to Chalet Road, Charlie could very well send him to Pinole Valley, the local High school to set me an example. That's they way Charlie is. And I don't want Tommo to go there. The last time he was at school, he was victimised and punched daily. I can't do that to my brother, he can't go through that again. Tommo's done so much for me, I have to do this for him.

So I lie down on a lumpy mat and listen to the teacher read a story about a talking tortoise. But in my mind I am not here, I am at Gilman, and I am with Tommo. And I am the same as everyone else watching Sweet Children</i>

Charlie stops at a service station. The door is wrenched open and I am ordered to get out. Tommo follows, patting me on the back. The rain is heavy now, and it soaks through my thick woolly jumper. I don't mind, I quite like the feeling of being really wet. If I stand still, I feel like I'm being pulled into the centre of the earth. I sing `Road to Acceptance' under my breath and feel sick when I remember the `Slappy' record we've left behind in Paradise. I feel worse when I think about where I'm going.

“We have to go home” I say

Charlie looks at me as if I'm mad.

“What?” he says, leading us into a caf?.

It's the only one still open and it looks horrible.

“We have to go home” I repeat, “The Slappy record's still in the flat”

Charlie spits on the ground.

“Forget that Ali” he snarls, “You'll have whole lot more to worry about in a couple of hours. Forget Sweet Children, forget Gilman. They're not part of your life anymore”

We sit at a filthy table and a waitress comes over. She looks exhausted, her hair thin and her face pale. Charlie doesn't seem to notice. He orders himself the biggest burger on the menu and passes the menu to me and Tommo.

“Pick something” he says, “But keep it cheap”

I chose a banana split, and Tommo asks for a plate of chips. Neither of my brothers bothers to say that I can't just have ice-cream for dinner. I guess they've got other things on their minds.

Tommo suddenly says that he needs the toilet, and rushed from the table. I hate being alone with Charlie. He's my brother, just like Tommo, and yet I can't stand him. He drums his fingers on the table and stares after the waitress. He doesn't even look at me.

After a while Tommo comes back. His face is read and he rubs his eyes furiously. Suddenly I realise that in taking him from Berkeley, Charlie is killing him.

The tired looking waitress places my banana split down in front of me and smiles.

I think of the flat, all Tommo's friends wondering where we've gone.

I think of Sweet Children, the band I loved so much and would never get the chance to see.

I think of my new family, the foster parents Charlie has arranged to look after me.

I think of my big brother Tommo, sobbing in the toilets.

And I leap to my feet and tip the entire banana split, paper bowl and all, over Charlie's head.

<i>I once heard a teacher say that the East Bay Punk Mafia own Berkeley. In a way he's right, they're like an army, one that no one can stop. I want to be part of that; I've wanted it since I can remember. In Chalet Road, they try to teach us that the Mafia are wrong. They've brainwashed the other 99 children in the school. But they haven't brainwashed me. I've proved to myself that I'm not under their control, that whatever it says on my file, I'm not one of them. And when I'm presented with certificates or given stickers for being good, inside my head I'm screaming - “Fuck you”</i>

Charlie doesn't say a word to me all the way back to the car. He pays the bill, walks out of the caf? before he even tries to brush some of the ice cream out of his hair. We reach the car and opens the door for me and Tommo. We clamber in, still stunned.

Charlie gets into the drivers seat and starts the engine in silence. We leave the service station and head up the motorway, none of us daring to speak. I grip the armrest tightly, just for something to hold. I look at Tommo and find he's crying again, and my stomach churns. Feeling around on the floor, I find a crumpled sheet of paper and a ballpoint pen, and I begin to draw to distract myself. It's difficult with the car moving, and I end up making several holes in the page. I sketch the outline of a building, my hands shaking. I draw three people. I've never seen them, but somehow I know what they look like. My writing is terrible and my spelling worse, but at the top of the paper I scrawl `Sweet Chilldrin”, and at the bottom, “924 Gilman Streat”

And I close my eyes and try to step into the picture.

<i>It is almost four in the morning, and I'm listening to `Slappy'. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door, and I jump back, terrified. Tommo hears it first, and runs to open it. He has nothing to be scared of, we haven't been 86'd yet. The Mafia still love Sweet Children, and so do we.

“Leigh” he says, “Bit early, isn't it?”

I smile. Of all Tommo's friends in the Mafia, I like Leigh the best. But it soon becomes clear that he isn't here for a chat.

“The war's begun” he says gravely, “They're attacking Gilman, you coming down there?”

Tommo grabs his jacket and ruffles my hair.

“Go wake everyone up Ali” he says, “Tell them the North City Gangs are attacking Gilman”

I do as I am told, feeling anger surging through my veins. This gang is trying to destroy the place my brother loves the most. The place I am due to see for the first time in two months. I want t defend Gilman too. I wake up Tommo's friends and explain what's going on. There is a furious scuffle and I am left alone in the flat. I think of my other brother who is arriving tomorrow. What if Charlie arrives and Tommo's dead? What it they all die?

I reach for my own coat and pelt down the stairs. It's chaos outside. Everyone is running in different directions and rocks and bottles are being hurled from everywhere I look. Nobody noticed me. I hunch down, looking for Tommo, but he's lost in a mass of fury and hate. Small fires are burning, dotted around everywhere I turn. The world is spinning and I don't know what to do. I' m trapped.

In the midst of the hysteria, someone grabs my wrist. For a moment I think its Tommo, then I realise that it's Jimmy Heatle, the boy I've envied for his freedom since I can remember.

“C'mon” he shouts over the racket, “Let's get out of here”

I jerk my arm free and scream - “I'm not leaving”

I'm more scared than I've ever been in my life, but I want to save Gilman more than anything. Jimmy doesn't argue, he follows me deeper into the battle, until we find people lying motionless on the ground. I spot Tommo. He's got blood pouring from a cut in his head, but I know that he is alive. He catches sight of me and rushes over and grabs me by the shoulder.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” he says, shaking me,

I try to explain, but no words come out. Instead I burst into tears.

I back away from him, scared of seeing him crumble if Gilman is destroyed. There is a shout from behind me, and I feel myself being pulled to the ground. For a second, I wonder if I've been shot or stabbed or something, and then I realize. I've been pulled out of them way. A breeze block crashes beside me, missing my head by inches. And then it hits me. Jimmy has saved my life.</i>

We draw up outside a neat, square bungalow. The garden is too perfect, it looks although the grass is fake.

“Get out Ali” Charlie orders.

I do as I am told, shaking all over.

“And you” he says, looking hard at Tommo

Tommo shakes his head, his long hair falling in front of his face. I screw my eyes shut, willing him not to cry. Because if he does, I don't think I'll be able to do this.

“You don't want to say goodbye” Charlie snarls, “You're not going to say goodbye to your sister, because you probably won't see her again.”

Tommo rakes his hair back and slides out of the car. He puts and arm around me and takes my suitcase with the other. We walk up the path, our shoes scratching across the clean white slabs. The door is opened by a large, older lady. She looks at me and smiles, and holds the door open for us. Tommo and I go in first, followed by Charlie a couple of steps behind.

“I'm Mary” the large lady tells me, “You can call me Auntie Mary, petal”

I want to tell her that I don't want an Auntie, that I had all the family I needed in Berkeley, and all I want is to be back there. But I know that won't happen now. And before I know it, Mary is telling me to say goodbye to my brothers. I mumble something inaudible to Charlie, and fling my arms around Tommo. He hugs me back tight and I can feel his tears on my head.

“Be good for me, right” he whispers

And then Auntie Mary shows them to the door, and I am left abandoned in the foster home, still clutching my drawing of Gilman Street and Sweet Children.

I am shown to my new room and left alone to get to sleep. But I can't, not here. Not when I came so close to going to Gilman and now I never will. I climb on to the windowsill and push open the window. And I sing `Disappearing Boy' one last time, and let my drawing fly out on the wind.

And hope it reaches Berkeley.

<i>I stand pressed between a man wearing drag and another with green, spiked hair. My ribs are almost cracking; I'm squashed so badly, but I'm happy. I look up at the stage and cheer as three familiar figures step out onto it. My heart starts to thud because I've wanted this all my life and now I'm twenty five years old, I know it won't be as good as I've imagined. But it is.

I scream, not words, just out of the sheer happiness of being here. I am part of a crowd of sixty five thousand at Milton Keynes, and nobody is paying any attention to me. I'm not important, I'm not different. It's not Gilman, but its Sweet Children. We don't always get everything we want, but this is the next best thing. They're not called Sweet Children anymore, they're known as Green Day. But all the joy of the first time I heard `Slappy' come flooding back. I'm home.

For an hour and a half of my twenty five years on earth, I am home.

Eventually the show ends. I don't move. I stand for hours until I am the only one left. After a while one of them, Billie Joe come out and sits on the stage.

“Hey” one of them yells, “You still here

I turn around.

“Sorry” I say, “I'm just leaving”

I look into his face, realising that he is they way I imagined him during that terrible journey when I was just ten years old.

“Nah” he says, “Its okay, come over here a minute”

I walk over, feeling stupid. I don't know how to explain how much this day has meant, yet I feel I should. His head is on one side, his green eyes blinking in confusion.

“You look kinda familiar” he says, “Did you used to go to Gilman or something”

I smile

“I wish I did” I say, “I wish I did more than anything in the world”

He looks at me, suddenly understanding.

“86'd list?” he asks, and I nod.

“A couple of other thing s too” I say, feeling my throat burn, “My brother and stuff”

He nods, and his eyes light up suddenly.

“Hey, you're not Tommo Knightly sister are you?”

I nod. Suddenly the wind picks up, and some rubbish blows around our ankles.

“Wanna come backstage” he asks, looking at his band mates, “It's getting chilly out here”

I say no. I can't go inside; I have to stay out here. I have to wait for the one thing still missing. He nods as if he understands. I look into the sky. More rubbish is blowing into the air. I catch sight of something and hold my breath in disbelieve. Slowly, it lands at my feet, a torn, mud drenched, tattered crap of paper. I pick it up, finding myself staring at a drawing I did fifteen years ago, of the place I wanted to be more than anything in the world. And the people I wanted to see more than I think I wanted to live.

Sweet Chilldrin

924 Gilman Streat

I smile at my spelling, and turn away from Billie Joe to see someone blundering across the grass. Realising who it is, I ran towards them. And all at once my brother Tommo is hugging me tight and we're both laughing crying at the same time.

“I knew you'd be here” he whispers, hugging me harder.

Fifteen years of loneliness, of praying fervently that he would come back, hit me lit a ton of bricks, and I sob uncontrollably. Because for the first time in my life, I am home.</i>

THE END

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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