“Fucking stupid twat!” Kev jumped out of the car, he reached for his automatic but chose the car jack instead. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
He dragged the driver’s door of the Transit open and brandished the jack in his right hand.
“Phone call for you,” Bumper didn’t know why he said it but he knew that he was going to die as soon as the words left his mouth. It was the best he could think off at such short notice. “At the gym. Somebody phoned for you just after you left.”
“You nearly ran me off the road to tell me that?”
“It might have been important.”
“Have you never heard of mobiles?” Kev took his phone from the car and threw the car jack back onto the passenger seat. “If it was that important they would have contacted me on this. As they haven’t, I think we can safely assume that it wasn’t that important you fucking moron.”
“What?” Kev was going a bright shade of scarlet and there was now a crowd of onlookers
“I’ve got one just like it.”
Bumper picked up his mobile. As it happened it was the mobile that had been bought specifically for today and he really didn’t have the faintest idea how it worked.
“What the fuck have you got one for? Why would a six foot banana need a mobile phone?”
“Oh you know, running my own business and that.”
“You couldn’t run a bath. Look, you don’t even know how to use it.”
“Eh?” Bumper looked at the phone and realised he hadn’t ended the call.
“Who are you talking to?”
Elvis, Gilbert and me were listening to every word on the other end.
“Hello, earth calling Bumper the Banana boy. Beam me up Scotty. ET phone home.” Kev was now beginning to enjoy ridiculing Bumper in front of the small crowd that had started growing. He switched the phone off and handed it back to Bumper. “Here, have it back. And be careful, you could have somebody’s eye out with that.” Kev laughed and got back into his car.
Bumper thought he had shit himself but he wasn’t sure. He didn’t care.
We headed onto the field. To the left of us were allotments and to the right was the football field and then more grass that sloped up steeply towards the changing rooms. Ahead of us was the main road that led to Southwick Comp, behind us were a line of bushes. We had come in through the gate separating the bushes from the allotments. There was nobody on the field when we got there.
“Which way do you think they will come?” I asked.
“Probably come straight from school up the main road. No need to surprise us.”
We waited for about ten minutes and still nobody showed.
“Do you think he’s bottled again?”
“No. I’m not happy about this,” Kev eyed the field anxiously. “He shouldn’t be late on his own patch. What’s he up to?”
We waited nervously for another five minutes then we heard the rumble of Lennox’s exhaust again. He came racing up the pavement again from the direction of the school.
“He’s on his way, Kev. Good luck mate, you’re going to need it.”
He sped off up the slope towards the changing rooms. As I watched him disappear over the brow of the hill a crowd started forming at the top of it. We were well outnumbered by about ten to one.
“Stand your ground lads!” Shouted Kev.
I looked behind me to check my escape route.
We were surrounded. About one hundred lads were spilling through the gate that we had emerged through fifteen minutes ago. On the roadside an even bigger crowd emerged. This was the crowd that would include Ingham. I fingered the metal bar inside my pocket. I didn’t want to get it out as I didn’t want to provoke anyone. Then I realised that they were all tooled up. Metal bars, pool cues, and baseball bats, basically whatever they could get their hands on. I’m sure that Stephen Ford had started to sob behind me. The crowd started heading down the hill.
“It’s just like fucking Zulu,” said Paul Loftus.
They converged on us from all sides but there was still no sign of Ingham. A few lads brushed past me and they started surrounding Kev. I edged towards the back of the crowd and noticed a few others had done the same. Everyone was concentrating on Kev. The crowd on the far side parted and Ingham emerged from it, launching his assault. There were no pleasantries exchanged as Kev landed a right hook on his jaw and rocked him on his feet. He followed it with a left, right combination.
This was it. The adrenaline was pumping. I tried to force myself forward so that I could get a better view. Ingham tried to swing a few punches but didn’t connect properly, Kev followed with another combination and blood was now spilling out of Ingham’s nose. He kicked Ingham in the balls and he staggered backwards into the crowd. Kev followed him.
That’s when the mallet hit him.
“Finished?” I asked as I stuck my head round the door.
“All done and dusted, ” said Elvis with a self satisfied look on his face.
“Let’s get out of here then. Thanks again lads. You’ve done yourselves proud.”
We were safely out of sight when Kev’s car pulled into the drive.
“A job well done, I must say.”
I noticed the front of Bumper’s yellow transit van at the end of the road and we walked towards it.
“Come on lads, I think we’ve all earned a drink.”
As we climbed into Bumper’s van a red BMW pulled into Kev’s drive. A sun tanned blonde stepped out.
“Who’s that?” asked Bumper.
“Mrs Elizabeth Ingham,” replied Gilbert.
“Who?” Bumper was confused.
“You’ll see.” A smug grin spread across my face as I opened the side door of the van deliberately letting Gilbert have the front passenger seat.
Someone had been carrying a woodwork mallet and as soon as Kev had started getting the upper hand, they intervened. His nose had shattered and he collapsed. They swarmed around him like ants, swinging bats and metal bars and systematically dismantling his face. I tried to get near him but it was impossible, there were hundreds of them. I pulled the bar from my pocket but it was useless against such a crowd. If I took one out there would be another hundred to take his place.
“Get them,” somebody shouted.
Then the crowd turned. They were facing me. I turned to run and realised the rest of my school friends already had a head start on me. I felt a thud on the back of my neck but didn’t go down. I couldn’t go down. I ran as fast as I could but I was never that good a runner. I felt another bat narrowly miss me. I threw the metal bar behind me and heard a crunch and a thud.
I saw Stephen Ford desperately trying to climb the fence into the allotments but he wasn’t going to make it. Somebody grabbed his leg and he fell back to the floor. The bats started swinging. I couldn’t help him. I had to keep moving. It was chaos, there were people running everywhere. People who were meant to be chasing me were ahead of me; bodies were lying on the ground surrounded by swarms of people after their blood. I got through the gate in time to see Paul Loftus hurdle the fence into the Junior School. He was away. He had been the school athletics champion and knew the fence was no problem. I wasn’t so sure. I was even less sure when I saw David Stoker try and hurdle it and stumble. They were onto him and he was taking a hiding. I decided against it and turned right and ran towards the school.
The adrenaline was pumping and I don’t think I was even afraid at that stage; I just had to keep on running. Then I saw the bus. It was pulling away but the doors were still open. This was my only chance. I ran along side it while it was indicating to pull out. I got to the doors just as they were closing. I dived and grabbed the metal pole as I dragged myself aboard.
“What are you doing?” shouted the driver.
“Just fucking drive,” I shouted to the obvious disgust of the elderly lady in the front seats.
The driver agreed when an angry mob started attacking the bus with baseball bats. He put his foot down and sped away. I turned to the bus where everybody was staring at me. Apart from the elderly lady, the bus driver and me, everybody was wearing Southwick Comp uniforms.
Another installment to follow same time next week.
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