“Bless you my child.”
“Fuck off, you freak.”
David Brodie didn’t bat an eyelid and continued on his path. Followed by half a dozen would be disciples he approached his next convert.
“Arise my son. You can now walk.”
He removed his hands from the head of the teenager who had been sat on the step outside the school.
“I could already walk, you bloody Pillock.”
The Messiah was only one of the many guises that David had used. Until very recently he had been Elvis Presley and before that a very convincing Bruce Forsyth. A brief stint as Van Gogh ended abruptly when an over enthusiastic Kevin Davison took it all too literally and tried to remove his ear with a pair of safety scissors. A career on the stage surely beckoned, either that or a spell in a mental institution. The disciples each carried a bible and took turns reading from it. I can’t quite remember whether they used to sing lines from their favourite Elvis number during Brodie’s previous incarnation, but they seemed happy.
The teachers must have taken a joint decision to ignore Brodie’s antics. Being the second coming of the Lord in a Catholic school should have been worthy of some response however Jesus Christ the Second only appeared at lunch time and the teachers were all too busy drinking coffee and smoking tabs. Strangely enough the disciples only discipled during their lunch break as well. Bible recitals were all well and good whilst following the Good Lord but try getting them to read in class and it was a totally different story.
The rain lashed against the windows. Why was it always grey in Sunderland? The storm did bring some relief from the normal misty dampness that seemed to hang over the school. They talk about the smog in L.A. and London, but it was nothing compared to Sunderland’s. Pollutants from car exhausts or chimneys didn’t cause it, merely shite weather. The rain was a welcome break and at least it kept the shagging dogs off the school field.
It barely kept me awake and I started nodding off, I was drifting into a daydream. Religious Studies was a joke. Try and be like a good Catholic boy, try and be nice to people, and don’t forget to fill the collection box on the way out. That’s the only religious education I’ve ever had. Somebody told me that the Catholic Church is the richest organisation in the world. It doesn’t surprise me. If you think about it, if the first person in church puts a pound in the collection tray then everybody else has to try and beat it, get well in with the priest. They all think that the more money they put in, the further up the queue they’ll go for getting into heaven. It’s the oldest con trick in the book and it’s not as if you can ask for your money back once you’re dead. I think I’ll try it one day, make myself a few bob.
“Davison are you awake?”
Mr Burn’s shout brought me out of my slumber. What? Shit, I forgot, Religious studies. Reading out of the Bible, can you think of anything more boring? Kev was also nearly fast asleep at his desk.
“Are you going to read for us then Kevin? Today if possible.”
“Sarcastic twat,” I thought
“Yes Sir,” said Kev.
Burns had deemed that Kevin Davison, the least Christian lad in the school, should read out of the Bible. This should have had some strange ironic charm, I couldn’t see it. Instead we had to sit and listen to him drone on in his dull, monotonous voice. The sky had gone grey again; it looked like rain.
“I really don’t want to be here.”
I thought about faraway places, Australia, Florida, anywhere warm and away from Kevin Davison. I contemplated what I had been doing with my life and realised that it didn’t amount to much. I was bored, unhappy and generally depressed. The raindrops formed on the windowpane. I watched two race to the bottom, silently betting with myself as to which one would get there first. I lost. I needed to start taking some risks, start making a life for myself.
And still Kevin Davison droned on.
“… and Jesus said to the blind man…”
“PISS OFF YOU BLIND BASTARD!”
Now I’d been in trouble at school, not doing homework and that sort of thing, but nothing like the trouble I was about to experience. What do you do when you’ve been thrown out of class? Burns hadn’t given me any instructions. Did I go straight to the Headmaster’s office? Did I go home? Did I go to confession and say a couple of Bloody Marys and a few How’s your Fathers? I wish he’d said.
Then Kev appeared. He’d sent Kevin Davison to beat the shit out of me, I never expected that. Surely that’s not allowed.
Swear in Religious and they send the school bully to stick a crucifix up your arse. Now I was off. There was no way I was staying to see what he was going to do to me. I knew the Catholic Church was corrupt, but I didn’t know they sent out punishment squads.
“Oi, Pete, where are you going?”
“Shit, too late.”
“Hilarious that, Pete. I was pissing myself.”
“I was a bit bored,” I said, thinking on the spot.
“Aye, me too. Probably get detention.”
“I just hope he doesn’t tell our dads.”
“He’s not likely to tell mine, is he?”
“I’m a dead man.”
“I mean he only gets to talk to them that went upstairs, not down below where my dad is.”
“They say that everybody has their fifteen minutes of fame, Pete’s lasted all of about ten seconds until Burnsy got hold of him.”
Kev had his usual audience grouped around the radiator in the toilet. They were hanging on every word. Seeming interested rather than scared for a change.
“He was dragged out by his hair; the little prick was even laughing. I mean, I don’t like the dickhead, but you must admit he was funny.” Kev was howling as he relived the tale. “Uproar, complete and utter mayhem. Everybody was in hysterics, except Mr Burns, of course.”
“Tell them what you said, Kev.” Tomma was beside him at the radiator, lighting his second tab of the day.
“I wasn’t being upstaged by Pete Wood, so I joined in.”
“Sir, my Bible seems to have a misprint. That’s what he said” Tomma had picked up the story. “What? Said Burns. Well, in mine Sir, it says, “Fuck off, you blind bastard!”Can you believe that? Kev was funnier than Wood although Burns didn’t think so.”
Kev continued. “Get out Davison before I bounce this sodding Bible off that brainless little head of yours. You bloody little heathen. Now I don’t even know what a heathen is, but he didn’t sound happy. The blood vessels in his temples had swollen to ten times their normal size and he gripped the back of the chair to keep balance. “You’re going straight to hell you little…” Kev grabbed his chest and slumped backwards against the wall “…bastards!”
The next chapter will be released soon. If you can’t wait, Leg It is available on Kindle, Paperback and Hardback.