"What do you think you’re doing?” Mum asked.
"Doing my art homework. What does it look like?" I snapped.
"Not on my antique table, you’re not."
"But mum, I need to get this done,” I moaned.
"Oh and you’re going to pay for a new one when you get paint stains all over it?"
What kind of a question was that? Of course I wasn’t going to be able to pay for it. I would have to sell my organs if I was even going to get close to affording a new table like this. I just stood there, scowling.
“Exactly," mum said smugly. "I didn’t think so. Pack up your things and find somewhere else to do your art work."
But where else was I going to do my work? There was nowhere. My parents were interior designers and with it they had more money than sense. The house looked more like a show room. Each room had a colour scheme to create a "mood" and give it "character," as my mum had once told me, after I had questioned the décor. Although, that still didn’t explain to me why it had to be so boring. All rooms had a neutral colour on the walls with antique, coloured furnishing all designed along with the colour plan.
The living room walls for instance, were painted a matt beige shade with mid-brown leather sofas. A couple of two-seaters were placed against the two walls, while a reclining armchair sat in front of the window. Placed neatly in these seats were real, animal skin cushions making the sofas look unwelcoming. However, the cushions were only for show and not to be used or touched too often- not that I would want to use one. On the remaining wall a carved, marble mantle piece dominated the room, polished to perfection and above it a giant mirror, which apparently "expanded" the room. A huge plasma T.V with cinema sound system occupied the far comer and apart from the few professional family portraits, which I hated, the rest of the walls were fashionably bare. The floor was covered with a cream carpet and in the centre sat a brown, buffalo fur rug. On top of this rug stood the wooden, antique table from which I had been banished. Packing up my equipment, I headed up to my bedroom.
My room wasn’t like the rest of the house; it had character. It was a small room, which I liked, and nothing matched. Everything was tacky and clashing greens, pinks, blues and yellows, coated my walls, as it was the only room my parents didn’t have control over. All that populated my room were my three-chest of drawers and dressing table along one wall and opposite was where my dinky, single bed lay. At the foot of it was my wardrobe. Taking a couple of strides over my untidy floor, covered in clothes and junk, I reached my dressing table. Pushing the clutter away and setting down my canvas artwork, which was far too big to fit on my small table, I got to work. By the time I had finished, it was late. Slipping into bed, my thoughts twigged on the date of the next day. Friday 19th July - my 16th birthday. With this delight resting in my mind, I drifted off to sleep.
I rushed downstairs early next morning to find my presents stacked, with my fry up breakfast, already waiting on the dining room table. My parents followed me in, chorusing "Happy Birthday." No sooner had they finished singing, their smiles faded to guilty looks. I looked up at them from my breakfast.
"Poppet, I know it’s your l6th, but…” my dad started, glancing at mum for assistance. I knew what was coming. This was when they announced that there was this really important business meeting they had to attend, so they wouldn’t be there that night and therefore I couldn’t have my party. I shrugged it off. This wasn’t the first time I had been let down by them. My parents weren’t the sort to ever come to things like my school plays or fetes and I couldn’t remember the last time they had been there for a birthday party. Work always came first. However, I thought they may have made more of an effort for my l6th birthday; I was wrong.
As soon as I got into school, I explained the bad news to Jessica, my best friend. "Well, that’s perfect," Jessica gleamed with excitement. She noticed my look of confusion and went on to explain her happiness. "You say they’re not coming back until tomorrow, yeah?" I nodded in reply. "Then you can have a house party. Come on, don’t let them spoil your l6th and anyway you have the biggest house. You could have loads of people.”
Although I would get into masses of trouble if my parents ever found out, it was my 16th birthday. Why shouldn’t I have a party? It was they who had spoiled everything by going to some work thing; they should be here for my birthday. Anyway they wouldn’t be back until tomorrow evening — that would give me enough time to tidy the house and make sure all the evidence had been cleared. They would never know.
“Yeah okay," I agreed, "Why not?"
The party had started and news had spread. Not only had majority, of my year arrived, but also extra guests from other years had turned up- most of whom I did not know.
Deafening music, pumping from the surround sound, filled the crammed rooms downstairs. People were chatting, dancing and drinking, making the neatly decorated rooms turn into my parents’ nightmare.
The living room was the worst. The once glinting mantle piece was covered in sticky, spilt drinks, whilst the carpet had crunched snacks, trodden into it. The sofas, with their cushions, were trashed as they were covered in empty cups and crisp debris. Ring marks remained where every cup had been placed on the antique table. It now wouldn’t have mattered about paint stains and for some reason, I felt a thriving buzz for the mess and disorganisation; a contrast from the normal perfection.
I turned to head out of the chaos and there stood my nightmare. Mum stormed over to me. She growled. "And what do you think you’re doing?”
The narrative is well shaped with effective plot and characterisation. The vocabulary is varied and well-suited to purpose. Dialogue is used effectively and, while the conclusion is a little predictable, the story is engaging and interests the reader. Detail is carefully selected with the contrasting of the minimalist and perfect décor and the student’s bedroom and the aftermath of the party. The SSPS aspects are sound with a variety of sentence types and accurate punctuation and spelling. This belongs in the lower part of Band 4 for both Content and Organisation and SSPS, giving a mark of 16.