In this chapter we’ll follow Sim and Uzzy as they spend the first day of the holiday together. Uzzy is keen to get Sim somewhere nice and quiet so that he can have some fun doing unmentionable things with him, but things don’t work out exactly as Uzzy had intended…
Sim and Uzzy had been friends for quite some time now, but they had not yet spent a night together: Uzzy’s parents didn’t like the distraction a sleepover would cause during term time, and of course until very recently Sim’s parents hadn’t known about Uzzy at all. But now that the summer holidays were here they were determined to get at least one night together before their family holidays began: both were going away in early August, Sim for two weeks and Uzzy for three.
They started by going for a long bike ride together: as Uzzy had expected, his parents were quite happy for him to off on his bike all day as long as there was someone with him. So on the first Monday of the holidays they got on their bikes and rode out in a westerly direction, going through Brideford and out onto the High Wold.
They took it quite slowly: they had each brought a packed lunch and they weren’t expected back until tea time, so they saw no need to rush. They rode on until they were properly on the Wold and then they left the road and followed one of the tracks that criss-crossed the open heath-land.
There were one or two other people about, but not many, and once they had followed their track three or four hundred yards away from the road they found themselves alone. Gradually the track sloped downhill, heading down into a shallow valley, and as they reached the floor of the valley they found themselves in a wooded area with a stream running through it. This looked like the perfect place to stop and rest for a while, so they left the track and pushed their bikes down a barely-visible path that ran along one bank of the stream.
About a hundred yard along the path opened into a small clearing, and at that point the stream had formed a pool. It was about seven feet long by five feet wide, so it wasn’t big enough to swim in, but it looked deep – at least four or five feet, Uzzy thought, though it was difficult to judge looking through the water. He knelt down and put his hand into the water, and found it quite a bit colder than he had expected, considering what a hot day it was. He had thought about sitting on the edge and dangling his feet in the water, but now he was having second thoughts.
“There seems to be something wrong here,” he remarked to Sim. “I mean, here we are, completely on our own and out of view of everyone else, but you still seem to have all your clothes on. That can’t be right, surely?”
Sim stared at him. “But… we’re outdoors!” he said.
“Well... people might come along.”
“Oh, come on, Uzzy… you can’t expect me to undreth… undress outdoors. It wouldn’t be sssafe.”
“I reckon we’d hear anyone coming long before they got here. Anyway, you know the rules: when we’re on our own you don’t wear any clothes. Now get undressed, before I decide I need to whip you for being disobedient.”
Sim really wasn’t sure about this: it was one thing to be naked inside the locked pavilion, even if there was an outside chance that the caretaker might come in, or in Uzzy’s or Kam’s bedroom; but outdoors, where anyone might come past? But Uzzy wanted him to do it, and as usual that was the most important factor to Sim’s way of thinking, and so he started to get undressed, draping his clothes over the frame of his bike as he went.
It felt strange being completely naked outdoors, and at first he was so nervous about the possibility of someone coming and catching him like this that he just huddled down beside his bike, his penis soft and small. But of course Uzzy wouldn’t let him get away with that.
“Stand up straight!” he commanded, and Sim came to a feeble impression of the ‘attention’ position.
Uzzy looked around. At the edge of the clearing was a tall, straight tree, which he thought would suit his purpose perfectly, so he went to his saddlebag and withdrew some lengths of cord. Then he marched Sim over to the tree, made him stand with his back to it and used the cord to tie him firmly against it, binding his wrists together behind the tree and using another piece of rope to tie his midsection to the tree as well to stop the prisoner from wriggling too much.
By now Sim was really nervous: if anyone came by now there would never be time to cut him free and get him dressed again before they saw him, and so even when Uzzy began to tickle his balls he was too scared to get an erection. Uzzy looked at the little dangling member and then at his friend’s face.
“You really don’t like this, do you?” he asked.
Sim shook his head.
“Well, tough. You’re a slave boy, remember, and slave boys have to be dealt with properly. And if anyone comes and sees you, that’s just too bad: slaves deserve to be laughed at. I really ought to make you go naked at school, and I probably would if I didn’t think the teachers would make you get dressed again…”
Actually Uzzy was virtually certain there was nobody else around – after all, since leaving the area next to the road they hadn’t seen anyone at all, and as far as he knew there were no houses within at least two miles in every direction. And he’d wanted to strip Sim outdoors for ages, because there were loads of things you could do to a naughty slave boy outdoors that you couldn’t do in the pavilion…
“Anyway, it’s really hot today, so you’re probably more comfortable without all those sticky clothes in the way,” Uzzy went on. “In fact, I was thinking of taking my own clothes off. Do you think I should?”
“Definitely,” said Sim. “That way if anyone come… comes, they’d laugh at you, too.”
“They wouldn’t laugh at me, because I look good naked,” said Uzzy, removing the thin short-sleeved shirt he was wearing. “You’re the one with the funny curvy thingy.”
And now that Uzzy’s clothes were coming off, Sim’s nervousness began to disappear, and the sight of his friend’s bare chest was enough to make his penis start to stiffen up. Uzzy saw it and grinned at him, then stripped to his underpants before turning his back, removing them and pulling his shorts back on, which made Sim groan with disappointment. Uzzy put his sandals back on as well, in case there were any thorns about on the ground, did up his belt, which had a sheath for his knife attached, collected up the rest of his clothes and went and tucked them into his saddlebag. Then he strolled slowly back over to the tree, took hold of Sim’s erection and squeezed.
“Now you know you’re not allowed to let this stick up unless I say you can,” remonstrated Uzzy, squeezing and caressing gently and so making it even harder. “I hope you realise that I’m going to have to punish it… let’s see…”
He looked around and spotted a clump of nettles. Perfect, he thought, and went and picked one, taking care not to get stung, and then he came back and showed it to his prisoner.
“I wonder what it would feel like if I slipped and touched your thingy with this?” he mused, holding it dangerously close.
“Oh, come on, Uthy, don’t!” begged Sim, nervously. “It’d really hurt if you did – you know how thenthitive it is…”
“You got my name wrong,” Uzzy pointed out. “You haven’t done that for ages… and what sort of a word is ‘thenthitive’? You’re getting lazy, Sim, and we really can’t have that.” And, just to see what would happen, he drew the tip of the nettle slowly up the underside of Sim’s erection.
Sim yelped a couple of times, indicating that he had been stung, and Uzzy just couldn’t hold himself back after that: he caressed Sim’s cock and balls with the nettle for a minute or so and then, wrapping his hand in his handkerchief to protect it, crushed the nettle against Sim’s shaft. Sim yelped and struggled, but the rope around his waist stopped him from moving more than a couple of inches.
Uzzy dropped the remains of the nettle, put his handkerchief away and started to stoke the hard organ instead, and now he could clearly see the nettle rash on it.
“Is that sore?” he asked.
“Then you have to learn to control it, don’t you? Next time I’ll go on doing it until we run out of nettles, and then it’ll really be sore… still, wait a moment…”
Uzzy spotted some dock leaves growing not too far from the nettles, so he went and picked a couple of large ones and then rubbed Sim’s sore penis with them. Dock leaves are a natural antidote to nettle stings, and soon Sim was feeling better – in fact, having the cool leaves rubbed against his straining penis felt really nice…. And then of course Uzzy stopped, leaving it stiff and twitching.
“I wonder what else we could try?” said Uzzy, scanning the local flora. “There must be some thistles about somewhere… there’s a nice bramble bush over there – and look, there’s some holly! I really think we ought to try that…
He strolled over to the holly bush and cut off a stem about two feet long with plenty of leaves on it, and then wandered back over to Sim’s tree, swishing it idly. He didn’t think it would really do much damage – after all, the leaves seemed quite flexible when he touched them, which he thought would mean the prickly bits would just give way and not really hurt. So he took a swing and brought it down on Sim’s erection.
Sim yelped again, and Uzzy was disconcerted to see a number of spots of blood appear on his friend’s shaft.
“Oh, gosh,” he said, dropping the branch, “I didn’t realise it would… I mean, sorry, Sim… is it okay?”
Sim managed to nod.
“Well, maybe that’s enough for now,” said Uzzy, reaching for his knife.
He had cut through the rope binding Sim’s wrists together and was about to start on the one tied around his waist when they heard voices approaching.
“Oh, shit!” cried Sim. “Hurry, Uthy, hurry…”
Uzzy sawed through the rope, but it was obvious that Sim would never have time to get to his clothes before the owners of the voices arrived – after all, his bike was on the other side of the clearing. Uzzy thought quickly and had an idea.
“Forget your clothes,” he said, quietly, as the rope finally gave way. “Just run and jump straight into the pool.”
“Trust me. I can talk us out of this, but you have to get in the pool – and you need to take a running jump into it, too. Look out, though, because it’s cold. Now go!”
Sim couldn’t see how being naked in the pool was going to be much of an improvement on being naked on the land – okay, he could curl up in the water, but he could do that where he was, too… but he trusted Uzzy implicitly, and so as soon as Uzzy had said ‘go’ he ran straight towards the pool. Out of the corner of his eye he saw some figures entering the clearing from the opposite direction to the one they had come from, but he didn’t stop to look. Instead he jumped, bringing his knees up to his chest and cannonballing into the water.
He went under, found his feet and came to the surface, at which he gasped loudly.
“I told you it would be cold,” said Uzzy, walking towards the side of the pool. “And is it?”
“It’th freething!” replied Sim.
“You should have listened to me, then… oh… hello!”
He turned to the newcomers, pretending to be aware of them for the first time. There were six boys of around his own age or a year or so older coming towards him, and he was surprised to see that two of them were black and one was of what we would now describe as mixed race: non-whites, as he knew from personal experience, were very thin on the ground in this area.
“What’s going on?” asked the leader, one of the white boys, who might have been two years older than Uzzy.
“My friend said he was feeling hot and decided to cool off,” said Uzzy. “He thought the water would be warm because it’s so hot today. I told him that the pool’s in the shade all day and so won’t warm up, but he didn’t believe me. I think he does now, though.”
“Didn’t you try sticking your hand in first?” asked the leader, looking at Sim, who was now standing in the middle of the pool – the water came up to his nipples – with his arms wrapped round himself.
Sim shook his head. Now that he knew the line Uzzy had chosen it was easy to play along.
“It looked cool, not really cold,” he said. “And I thought the sssun would have warmed it up… “
“He’s no good at science,” added Uzzy. “Otherwise he’d have known better.”
“Well, why don’t you get out, then?” asked the boy.
“Becau…because I haven’t got anything on.”
The newly arrived boys all laughed.
“Shall we stop here for lunch, boys?” asked the leader, and of course they all thought that was a great idea and began to sit down around the edge of the pool.
“You might as well get out,” said one of the black kids, “because we’re not going anywhere, and if you stay in there too long you’ll freeze your arse off.”
“He’s got another problem, too,” said Uzzy. “He hasn’t got a towel, so he’s going to have to drip dry.”
That got another burst of laughter.
“God, you really don’t think ahead, do you?” commented another of the white boys. “How are you going to get dry, then?”
Sim shrugged. “I thought it would be warm, so I didn’t really think about it. I thu…ssuppose I could go out of the wood into the sssun – probably I’ll get warm quite quickly if I do that.”
“Can’t you use your clothes to dry yourself?”
“I don’t think so,” said Uzzy. “He’s only got a pair of football shorts, a nylon shirt and his pants and socks, and if he uses those as a towel he’ll have nothing to put on afterwards.”
“I bet you feel bloody embarrassed,” commented the leader, taking a packet of sandwiches from his bag and biting into the first one.
Sim did, but not half as embarrassed as he would have felt if they’d caught him tied to a tree with a big erection on display. At least that was no longer a problem: it had subsided completely in the cold water, which had also put a stop to the pinpricks of blood caused by the holly.
“Okay, I’m coming out,” he said, once it was clear that the audience was fully prepared to wait if it had to. “Can one of you give me a hand?”
The two nearest boys held out their hands and Sim took them and heaved himself out of the water. There didn’t seem too much point in trying to cover himself, but he held his left hand over his groin all the same. The boys smirked at him as he walked over to his bike and slipped his feet into his sandals.
“Go that way,” the leader advised him, pointing back the way they had come. “The path goes out of the wood in about fifty yards. Once you’re clear of the trees, lie down and roll about on the grass – that should dry you out pretty quickly.”
“Thanks,” said Sim, and he jogged off in the direction indicated.
Uzzy simply couldn’t help himself – even though Sim was his best friend he felt that he really had to take advantage of this situation.
“I wonder what would happen if he came back and found his clothes were missing?” he wondered aloud.
That drew some more laughter.
“It’d be even worse if one of us picked them up and walked off with them,” commented the black boy who had spoken before. “How far away does he live?”
“About ten miles,” Uzzy told him, and the boy laughed, and so did most of his friends.
“Well, it’s a nice day,” commented the leader, “but I wouldn’t care how warm it was if I had to cycle ten miles stark naked. I don’t think we could really do that to him.”
“It’d be funny, though,” said the black kid. “And it’s mostly country round here, so not too many people would notice…”
“I bet you wouldn’t do it, Kyle,” said the leader.
“Too right I wouldn’t,” agreed the boy. “But then I’m not stupid enough to get into trouble like that.”
“It could be arranged, though. Suppose we chucked you into the pool – what would you do then?”
“I’d keep my wet clothes on until I dried out, probably, because I wouldn’t trust you lot if I took them off. You’d nick them and hide them.”
“Just like you want to do to this kid’s mate,” agreed the leader. “Who reckons we ought to sling Kyle in the pool?”
Not surprisingly, most of Kyle’s friends thought that was a great idea, and within twenty seconds four of them had an ankle or a wrist each and he was being swung back and forward at the edge of the pool. He was swearing like a trooper by now, but it didn’t seem to be doing him any good.
“Ready?” asked the leader, who had his left ankle. “On three, then: one…two…”
“Wait!” yelled Kyle. “Put me down and I’ll jump in, I swear – but don’t chuck me in with my clothes on…”
“Really? You swear?”
“Okay. But if you don’t, you’re going in head-first, and we’ll chuck your bag in with you.”
They put him down and he stripped to his underpants, stepped back and leapt into the water.
“Fuck, that’s cold!” he yelled as he resurfaced.
“Really? We’d never have guessed,” said the leader, grinning.
He helped Kyle out of the water and the boy ran off the way Sim had gone.
Sim was still rolling about in the grass, and he had to admit that as a means of getting dry it was at least partially effective – and because he was in the sun he really didn’t feel at all cold any longer, either.- in fact, rolling about like this naked felt sort of fun.
He looked up and saw a black kid of his own age, wearing only a pair of blue briefs and dripping from head to foot, emerging from the wood.
“What happened to you?” he asked. “Did you want to find out how cold it is, too?”
“No, the bastards were going to throw me in fully dressed, so I said I’d jump if they let me get undressed first. And it’s fucking cold – you must have been off your head to jump in there without being made to.”
‘It seemed a good idea at the time,” said Sim. “The gra… grass will dry you off; though – it feelth sssort of good, in fact. You’d better take your pants off and wring them out first, though, or they’ll never dry.”
“Fuck off! I’m not getting naked in front of you!”
“I’ll look the other way. And if you don’t do it here, you’ll have to do it in front of all that lot.”
“I suppose so… okay, lie on your stomach and don’t look round, or I’ll beat you up, okay?”
Kyle was no taller than Uzzy and looked pretty puny, too, so Sim wasn’t too worried, but he did as he was told, and he heard the water dripping as the wet garment was wrung out.
“Thpread them out on the ground and roll about for a bit,” suggested Sim. “It got me dry quite quickly. Well, dryer, anyway. And I’ll keep an eye on the path so they don’t thneak up and catch you naked.”
“Well… okay, then. But if I catch you trying to look at my knob you’re dead, okay?”
“I’m not interested in your knob,” lied Sim, going and standing at the edge of the wood so he could watch the path. Kyle promptly threw himself into the long grass like a goalkeeper making a full-length save and started to roll about.
“Hey, this feels alright,” he reported after a few seconds. “It’s sort of… I dunno, but I like it.”
“I know. I liked it, too. Can I come back and do it a bit more?”
“Go on, then – but don’t get too close.”
So Sim went and dived into the grass, and the two of them rolled about, though Sim managed to roll closer and closer until he ‘accidentally’ rolled against the other boy.
“Hey, this is my space,” said Kyle, jabbing him in the ribs.
“I wath here first,” retorted Sim, jabbing back. So Kyle jabbed him again, and Sim jabbed back, and Kyle grabbed Sim’s left nipple and twisted, and Sim tried to knee Kyle in the balls but missed, and Kyle said, “Oh, you want to fight dirty,” and brought his own knee up…
They fought for a couple of minutes, and probably that did more to dry them out than any amount of rolling about. Eventually Kyle got on top of Sim and pinned him down with his knees, which left Sim looking at Kyle’s penis from a distance of about six inches. It was still soft – as, mercifully was his own – and it looked close to the same size as his, though this one was uncircumcised. And it was black, of course, which Sim found fascinating, and he felt his own organ starting to twitch dangerously.
“Now submit, or I’ll piss in your face,” threatened Kyle.
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“Don’t bet on it. I could even do this first,” and he pinched Sim’s nose, forcing him to open his mouth in order to breathe. “It won’t just go in your face, it’ll go down your throat.”
Sim wondered how that would feel. He thought he might want to find out if it was Uzzy doing the pissing, but not with a total stranger, so…
“Okay, I give in,” he said.
“Good,” said Kyle, getting up and helping Sim to his feet.
“Would you have done it?” Sim asked.
“Probably not. It’d be pretty gross… but I might have done, just to see your face. Come on, we’d better get back or they’ll think we’re having a shag, or something.”
Kyle retrieved his pants and pulled them back on, grimacing: they felt clammy and uncomfortable, but he was absolutely NOT going back to his mates with his balls on show, so he forced himself to get them right on. Sim’s organ stopped misbehaving once Kyle’s was safely under wraps, so he was able to walk back down the path only feeling embarrassed, rather than mortified.
“That grass feels brilliant after you’ve been in the water,” said Kyle to the others. “The water wakes you up and then the grass gets you warm again – and it feels amazing, too. Doesn’t it?”
He turned to Sim at that point, and Sim, who could see what he was trying to do, nodded vigorously. “It feels magic,” he told them.
“So I think I’m going in again,” Kyle went on. “Any of you pussies feel like joining me?”
The others looked at each other. “You’re having a laugh, right?” asked the other black boy. “That water’s like ice.”
“Yes, but when you’re hot it feels brilliant, and rolling about in the sun afterwards... well, it’s hard to describe, but it’s an amazing feeling. And that water has to be a hell of a lot cleaner than the canal back home…”
“That’s true,” said the leader. “And I suppose we came here to try something different… it’s a pity we haven’t got towels, but I suppose we can just lie in the sun for an hour or so afterwards… Okay, Kyle, if you can do it, I reckon I can….”
He stood up and started to throw his clothes off until he was only wearing a pair of psychedelically-coloured briefs, and then he stepped back a couple of paces and prepared to take a running jump into the water.
“It’ss up to you,” said Sim, who was no longer bothering to hide himself (and he was aware that at least three of the boys were eyeing him up, too), “but I think you’d be better off naked. I think this boy’th pantsss will take a long time to dry, and I don’t think they’re very comfortable at the moment…”
Kyle, who loved the idea of his friends being made to strip right off as well as getting half-frozen in the pool, quickly endorsed this.
“I’m going to leave mine off next time,” he said. “They feel bloody horrible clinging to your balls.”
“You haven’t got any balls,” the leader said, grinning at him. “But… okay, why not?”
He threw off the dazzling briefs and hurled himself into the water, yelling with the shock of it, and of course once he had felt how cold it was he was determined that everyone else was going to share the experience. So he chivvied them along until all six of them (Kyle had slipped off his pants and joined in without argument) were jumping about in the pool, splashing each other, ducking each other and shivering their balls off – at least to start with. But, like all outdoor swimming, once you move about you get acclimatised fairly quickly, and soon they were all enjoying themselves.
“You, too,” said Sim to Uzzy, who was sitting on the bank.
“I don’t think so,” said Uzzy.
“Hey; my friend doesn’t want to come in,” said Sim to Kyle. “Come and help me perthuade him.”
“Don’t you dare!” cried Uzzy, getting to his feet. “You’re going to be in so much trouble…”
“I don’t care,’ said Sim, advancing on him from one side while Kyle and one of his friends climbed out of the pool and closed in from the other. Uzzy turned and tried to run, but he’d left it too late, and soon he was being held in a grip of iron while Sim pulled off his shorts and sandals and carefully removed his glasses.
“Chuck him in,” he said, and they did.
None of them stayed in too long – even moving about it was pretty cold – and soon all eight of them had moved out into the sun and were rolling about in the grass to get partially dry and then lying in the sun to finish off. The leader didn’t put his underwear back on and consequently a chorus of scorn and insults greeted the two boys who tried to do that, so in the end they all stayed naked, lying on their backs in the grass and soaking up the sun.
Only the leader had any appreciable amount of pubic hair, though the mixed race boy and one of the other white boys had some visible peach down, rather like Uzzy’s. The other three were, as far as Sim could tell, hairless. Of course, he had to carry out this furtive inspection lying on his stomach, because just looking at the naked boys had given him another erection.
While they were drying off in the sun the leader told them that his name was Ryan and introduced the others as Calvin and Kyle (the two black boys), Sam (the mixed race kid), and Eddie and Richie (the other two whites), and told them that they lived in a part of north-east London called Walthamstow, and that the youth club they belonged to ran a holiday fortnight every year, usually in this area.
“They can take twenty of us,” Ryan explained. “There’s another group of around our age and one of some older kids. There aren’t enough places for everyone at the club, so they give them to kids who have basically behaved okay through the year – not too much bunking off school, no getting caught doing graffiti, and obviously no trouble with the Old Bill. It’s worth keeping your nose clean, ‘cos these holidays are a good laugh – this is the third time I’ve come. They send us out in groups like this – we can pretty much go where we like as long as we’re back by three o’clock, but we have to try to collect stuff that’s on a list they give us – different sorts of leaves and plants, stuff like that.”
“It seems really strange out here,” said Kyle. “I’ve never been out of London before, and it’s weird how quiet it is – and all this open land with no houses on – okay, we’ve got Tottenham Marshes, but it isn’t the same… you two are really lucky to live in a place like this.”
“Well, we don’t live here, exactly,” said Uzzy. “I live in a town about ten miles away, and Sim lives in a village not far away from me – but we can get out here easily on our bikes. But I reckon if you lived here you’d get bored – there must be loads more to do in a city. We’ve only got one cinema, and obviously where Sim is there isn’t anything to do, really. And we haven’t got a youth club like you lot, either.”
“Maybe we should swap for a bit,” said Kyle. “I’ll come and live here, and you can go and live on my estate in Walthamstow. I reckon I’d be happier, though.”
“Come on,” said Ryan, looking at his watch and standing up. “Let’s go and get dressed and finish eating, then we’d better get back on the trail. There are a few leaves we haven’t found yet.”
They went back to the clearing and got dressed, all except for Sim, who found that he couldn’t.
“Okay,” he said, looking at Uzzy, “Who’th pinched my clo… clothes?”
“Why are you looking at me?” asked Uzzy, grinning and doing up his shorts.
“Becau… because I know you, Uzzy. Where are they?”
Getting no answer Sim checked around the trees at the edge of the clearing, but without success. By the time he had finished doing that everyone else was fully dressed, including Uzzy, who was leaning on a tree smirking at him.
“Are you looking for these?” he asked, producing Sim’s shorts from his saddlebag.
Sim strode towards him, and Uzzy let him get quite close before wadding the shorts up and throwing them to Ryan, who taunted Sim with them for a couple of seconds before chucking them to Calvin… and now Sim found himself playing piggy-in-the-middle, trying vainly to catch his shorts as they were thrown back and forward across the clearing by seven laughing boys. At first he was just embarrassed, but after a bit the usual strange Sim-type thoughts kicked in and he started to find this sort of exciting, in an embarrassing kind of way: he could imagine what he looked like, running and jumping about the clearing completely naked, with his private parts bobbling about and completely on show… and, of course, as soon as he started thinking like that he began to get an erection.
Once the boys noticed, of course, they really started laughing, and could barely keep throwing his shorts from one to another – and then Kyle grabbed the shorts and said that they ought to stop.
“Come on, guys, give him a break,” he said. “How would you like it if it happened to you, getting a boner in front of a gang of boys you’d only just met?”
“Nobody would notice if it was you, Kyle,” said Ryan. “Your prick’s too small for anyone to be able to tell if it’s stiff or not.”
“Fuck off, Ryan, it’s not that small. Anyway, I reckon Sim deserves a break, okay? He’s been a good laugh, and maybe we shouldn’t take the piss any longer.”
Sim noticed that he didn’t actually hand his shorts back until Ryan agreed to it, but he was grateful, all the same – as well as being perversely disappointed at the same time. He took the shorts from Kyle’s hand but before he could put them on Uzzy retrieved his pants from the depths of his saddlebag and gave them to him so that he could put them on first.
“We’d better go,” said Ryan, as Sim finished dressing – his shirt and socks had also somehow turned up in Uzzy’s saddlebag. “It’s been a laugh, though… have you seen any oak trees around here? I’m sure there are loads, but we just haven’t seen any yet.”
“There’s a big wood up the side of the valley,” Uzzy told him. “There are probably oaks there.”
“Okay, thanks. Bye, then…”
Ryan led his troop off, though Kyle held back long enough to scrawl his address on a piece of paper and pass it to Sim.
“Write to me if you want to come and see what London’s like,” he said.
“Thanks,” said Sim. “Give me that book a moment...”
He took Kyle's notebook and pencil and wrote his own address in it, adding his phone number underneath, and then handed the book and pencil back.
“If you do come down thith way again, call me and I'll meet you and show you round,” he said.
“Okay, thanks. Course, if I do see you again I might just have to beat you up again.”
“You couldn’t beat me up,” said Sim, tucking the paper carefully into his shirt pocket.
“I’ve done it once, remember? And next time maybe I really will piss in your face.” And Kyle grinned at him and ran off to catch up with the others.
“They were fun, weren’t they?” said Sim, watching him go.
“Yes, they were… but that doesn’t change how much trouble you’re in,” Uzzy told him.
“Why? What have I done now?”
“Apart from stripping me and throwing me in the pool, you mean?”
“Yes, that. You just wait, Simeon Lewis, you’re going to pay for that… hey, I didn’t tell you, did I? I’ve managed to borrow a tent from one of my uncles, so we’re going to be able to camp out.”
“Brilliant! I’ve always wanted to do that;”
“Me, too. And I’ve even found a good place, too.”
“What, you mean we won’t have to stay in your garden?”
“No. Mum and Dad have already agreed. Of course, it’s not far from home, but there’s a wood and some fields a quarter of a mile away and they say we can camp there – apparently the field is common ground, or something. I didn’t really understand that bit, but it means it doesn’t belong to a farmer, so we don’t need to ask for permission…so, can you do Wednesday night? That way we won’t have to worry about me needing to be home to go to mosque on Friday, and you won’t be away on your Sabbath, either.”
“Yesss, I’m pretty ssure I can. I’ll ask when we get home – you can come in with me and find out. S.. so, what are we going to do?”
“Well, obviously we’ll spend most of the time punishing you for throwing me in the pool, but maybe we can find a few minutes for other stuff, too… we can go on a night march, perhaps, or try making a fire to cook on… or we could just go to the chip shop, which would be easier… anyway, I’m sure we’ll think of plenty of stuff to do.”
“Great! Ecthept… I want a camp site where there aren’t any nettles. Or holly, either.”
“No, I think we’ll have to find one with lots and lots of nice stingy plants… after all, I have to make sure you realise what a bad idea it is to attack your master in future…”
“Then maybe I should just do it now while I can. I could throw you back in the pool if you like...”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“If I’m going to get puni… punished anyway, I might as well.”
“Okay, then, no holly. Or nettles. Or anything else with thorns or stingers. Deal?”
“Deal,” said Sim, and they shook on it, pushed their bikes back towards the track and headed for home.
We’ll have to wait a while before we find out how the camping trip works out, though, because next we’re going to be following Jeremy as he heads off to the States in search of a break from all the things that have been weighing him down - Adolf, his feelings for Bilal, Tony’s feelings for him... And he’ll also be hoping to get some advice on where he should go from here.
So, is it still working for you? Write to the usual place - firstname.lastname@example.org - and let me know. I’m asking now because by the end of the next chapter all you American readers will no doubt be bursting with indignation about the complete travesty of American thought, accents and culture that I’m about to (completely unintentionally, honestly!) perpetrate in the next chapter, and so I probably WON’T be asking for feedback then!!!
Copyright 2008 – all rights reserved. Please do not reprint, repost or otherwise reproduce this or any part thereof anywhere without my written permission.