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Subterranean Shakespeare Club, Installment 2

Subterranean Shakespeare Club, Installment 2

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Published by may191973
Hamlin Smallfrye escapes from the hospital, where he is being held by ruthless Mayor Rigley, and attempts to find his mother. The Right Hand Man, attempts to bring Hamlin back, but he escapes making his way to the only place he thinks he won't be found...Crowley Middle and High School. Checking every window, and each door, Hamlin finds only one door open, and at the end of a spooky hallway, he runs into a brick wall. Will Hamlin knock down that wall, and what is on the other side? Read Installment 2 to find out.
Hamlin Smallfrye escapes from the hospital, where he is being held by ruthless Mayor Rigley, and attempts to find his mother. The Right Hand Man, attempts to bring Hamlin back, but he escapes making his way to the only place he thinks he won't be found...Crowley Middle and High School. Checking every window, and each door, Hamlin finds only one door open, and at the end of a spooky hallway, he runs into a brick wall. Will Hamlin knock down that wall, and what is on the other side? Read Installment 2 to find out.

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Published by: may191973 on Nov 26, 2011
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12/11/2011

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The SubterraneanShakespeare Club
byJay LevinInstallment 2
 
Chapter 21
 
H
amlin awoke to the sound of thundering feet and the shrill whistle of Coach Ken. Thatwas his P.E. class. He could hear Max and Buck taunting Jake Jacobs, the second smallest,weakest kid in class. He guessed, in Hamlin’s absence, that the Rigley Boys moved onto a newvictim. For the faintest moment Hamlin felt a pang of nostalgia for P.E.. Hamlin thought aboutthe smell of the mildewed gymnasium, the crisp military lines Coach Ken demanded, gettingtripped and falling headfirst into a mud puddle.
What stupid thoughts you think when you’realone. Not having to go to P.E. and get embarrassed is a holiday.
Standing up Hamlin felt dizzy and had to rest on one knee to keep from falling down facefirst. His last meal at the hospital consisted of only a concoction of string cut potatoes and a fewdehydrated sticks of carrots. 
 No matter what the risk I have to eat tonight.
His stomach growled like a hungry tiger and threatened to turn on him at any moment. He knew that his school had been notified of hisdisappearance. If he showed himself there he would be turned over to Mayor Rigley. Hamlindidn’t want to think about what would happen to him if that happened. Maybe he would be sentto an orphanage.
 Little orphan Hamlin
, he joked to himself. Hamlin tried to envision himself trying to act cute so he would be adopted. At thirteen, his cute and vulnerable years were far  behind him. At least his cute years were behind him.
What family would want to take in athirteen year old? Stop!
Hamlin hated thinking about what the future held in store for him.
 I haveto focus on the present, and what’s behind this wall.
Curiosity had always been Hamlin’s best asset and so he turned his attention to the mysterious brick wall. It was at least a diversion from the growling in his stomach. Where the one brick had been removed Hamlin could see small cracks in the surrounding bricks, and decided to pull withall of his might. Suddenly the brick came loose. Hamlin threw it far back. It echoed off the walls.Hamlin froze. Listened for a reaction. Luckily, from the gym above, he could hear his classmatesdribbling like mad men. Still he was fearful of them hearing his work and suspended hisdemolition of the wall. From now on he would work only at night and on weekends. The larger opening allowed Hamlin to see more. It was a large room with a tremendously high ceiling.There looked to be rows of chairs. Hundreds of chairs. An old auditorium nearly the same size asthe gym above. Hamlin saw what looked like red velvet draperies along the walls. He was evenmore curious than before.
 I need two things
, Hamlin thought.
 Patience and tools.
Hamlin settled down with his back against the wall. It would be almost twelve hours
 
 before night, before he could leave the tunnel and until he could move freely in the dark. He took from his satchel his volume of William Shakespeare, and with nothing to do, began to readinvolving himself in the story, not as a scholar, but as an actor. When he read a line he liked hecommitted them to memory, and when he thought about the characters, he thought as people heknew or had known. But it was during his reading of Hamlet that he began to recognize his ownunique story.Hamlet, the main protagonist of the self-named play, much like Hamlin, felt that the lifehe had been living had become a drama in which he was an actor.
Maybe Shakespeare wroteabout people in his own life who had impacted his life. Caused his reputation harm, who had made him feel as weak and vulnerable as I feel now.
Hamlin at times felt like Hamlet. Both hadfelt a great sense of loss in their lives. Hamlet’s father had been murdered by his ruthless uncleClaudius sending Hamlet into a dark place in his life and Hamlin’s Mother had disappeared.Hamlin spent hours reading the text dramatically, enjoying the poetics of the writing.Hamlin thought that the characters were navigating the same murky waters of doubts andfrustrations he was feeling, discovering the larger world as he was discovering the small world behind the brick wall.Nearly the entire day passed by for Hamlin without him feeling the pangs of hunger. Hewas so involved in the reading of the plays that he barely noticed the din above.Peering out the window through a small bullet hole sized opening Hamlin viewed the janitor slowly sweeping the walkway that crossed by the corridor. Weakening, the light turnedamber, then pink and soon the corridor was as dark as when Hamlin had first entered it the night before. Hamlin, knowing he had to conserve the batteries of his flashlight, sat for a long time inthe dark. His stomach sent signs of distress in the form of baritone gurgles, and his small bottleof water had been empty for a few hours. He put on his backpack and opened the door ever soslowly. Scanning both ways he left his hiding place in search of food, water and mostimportantly tools to knock down the wall.

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may191973 added this note
The Subterranean Shakespeare Club, by Jay Levin, is a thrilling coming of age story about over-coming the obstacles of greed, hardship, and thoughts of giving up.

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