A bit more of the tale of urban delinquency, based on the kids we see every day.

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Street Kids


"Where have you been?"

The greeting every kid dreads hearing from his Mum, but deals with about a thousand times.

"I still had a headache, Mum. I came down but I thought you were still pis -- er, angry with me, so I just went out for a walk to clear it." I said. It was half true, anyway.

"OK, your dinner's in the oven. Don't burn your fingers. Then, young man, upstairs and get your homework done, I don't want to hear about any more detentions for you."

Actually, most of those `Detentions' were spent hanging out with the lads, having a few fags or nosing round town. OK, I got a couple for missing homework, but they took less time than doing the homework in the first place, so I still felt I'd won that battle.

Dinner was fine, if a little overdone. I like crispy pastry on a meat pie anyway, and the gravy was still just warm in a jug to pour over it all, so that cooled it down enough.

I did the homework, drew the stupid graph, but didn't see the point. What job was I going to get that needed me to know the relationship between a lot of lines and the area they contained? None.

I stripped off, pulled on my night shorts and crawled into bed. I managed to sleep without dreaming about -- him. Or the fat man from the garage.


I knocked the alarm on the floor and dragged myself from the bed. The shower woke and refreshed me and I dressed in my clean uniform. Mum had done me a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, and of course I spilled egg on my trousers.

I plugged my earpieces in, switched on my MP3 and set off for school. As always, I had no enthusiasm for the place. I slouched along, hands in trouser pockets, kicking stones and generally ignoring the world.

As soon as I entered the gates, the rumour mongers were upon me.

"Have you heard about Pearson? Got knocked down by a truck Friday night!"

I must have heard it a dozen times before I reached the doors. Just as I was about to turn the handle, I was grabbed and spun round. Pie's face with the stupidest grin I've ever seen leered into mine.

"You should have come with us Saturday. Dan's folks were away, we all got paralytic!"

I smiled weakly, hoping their hangovers had been as bad as mine.

"And you'll never guess what Jay an' I did!"

I looked at that inane grin and into those glazed eyes. I guessed.

"He fucked you." I said, dead-pan.

The dismay that I'd guessed was only fleeting.

"I tell you," he said, like I needed to know, "it was like having a bleedin' telegraph pole up my arse!"

A prissy first year kid pushed between us as he said that, and spun on his heel at the door, jaw down, mouth open.

"Fuck off, turd!" I fired at him. He fucked off. I should have said the same to Pie.

"You should ha'bin there." Pie slurred. "You could have done me, too! Everyone -" he stopped dead for an instant. "You just should ha'bin there." he finished, draping an arm over my shoulder and looking serious for a moment.

"What about Key?" I asked.

The grin beamed back at me.

"Yeah, Key, he had -- er, he was there, too!" I began to understand what had really gone on.

"And Dan?"

"Dan? Nah, you know he in't into that shit. I gave him a blow, though!"

Pie lifted his head proudly, as if that was something to brag about. The movement nearly overbalanced him, though.

"What are you on, Pie?" I asked. What shit has Dan been dishing out to you all weekend?"

"I dunno. A few joints, a few pills, that's all." he leered. I just shook my head.

"Man, you should ha'come. I missed havin' your dick!" he breathed into my face.

"But you had everybody else's?" I queried.

"Yeah, man, two or three times. I still missed not getting' yours though."

Pie stared at my eyes. He probably saw five of them.

"Hey! What say we bunk off and go to mine, you can get some o'what you missed there!" he slurred.

I don't know what I felt. Annoyed? Revolted? Jealous? Well, I'd missed a fuckin' good weekend, that's for sure. Or was that a good weekend's fucking? And Pie, drugged though he was, had long been a fantasy of mine. We'd had that session the last time I skipped school, but we hadn't actually -- my cock straightened in my boxers as I thought of it -- really -- momentarily I imagined it happening - fucked.

"You comin'?" he said. You bet I am, my cock thought for me. "Yeah!" I said.

I practically had to carry Pie home, he was that bad. Once inside, though, he seemed to loosen up.

"D'yer wanna drink?" he asked, and pushed a lager can into my hand. To answer seemed irrelevant. I popped the can and took a slug. Saturday night's alcohol overdose came to mind, and I mentally swore only to have one.

"Comin' up? He said, swigging from his own can and hovering at the foot of the stairs.

"Sure!" I said, and followed. Twice he tripped, swearing at the spilt lager each time. Pie led the way to his room, and as soon as we were inside he grabbed my crotch, a little too hard to be pleasurable, and said "And what did you bring to school today, Ant? Doesn't feel like an apple for the teacher!"

His state had annoyed me from the start. I hate seeing anyone this way, which is why I don't do pills. Well, I did have one once, but that's not this story.

"Look, Pie, this isn't going to work. You're in no stare to stand, let alone --well, you know." I couldn't say the word to the guy I most wanted to fuck in my life. Even drugged as he was, I idolised his body.

"What do I know, Anty boy?" he said, tickling me under the chin. "Are you dying to do something naughty that involves your cock and my arse?"

I don't know how he got the words out, he was so out of it. He took off his jacket, went to hang it on the hook on the door, and missed - it fell with a `crump!' in a heap on the floor. "Fuckit!" he said.

He tried to take his trousers down, but fell over laughing. He lay on the floor, no doubt guessing correctly that if he stood, he'd only fall again, tried again to get them off, without taking his shoes off first, gave up and kicked the shoes off inside the legs.

He managed to get his boxers and socks off, his tie loose enough to pull over his head, but the shirt defeated him, and he ripped four buttons off it.

I watched him strip, and even drugged, his fit body turned me on. I stripped as well, and helped him onto the bed. I played with his cock, but there was no way it would go hard, and I just gave up.

"C'mon, Anty baby, is you gonna fuck me or just fuck about?" he slurred.

`You're gonna fuck him!' my hard cock said, and I believed it.

"Got any lube?" I asked.

"Msommat int' drawer." He said, closing his eyes. He was losing it again. I opened his bedside drawer, and searched. Condoms! I'd never considered before, but everyone's telling us to be careful, so -- I took one out. I found the lube at the back, behind some pages from a male porn magazine.

I rolled the condom on, and squeezed some lube on it.

"Turn over then, get your arse in the air!" I told him.

Eventually, after much giggling and falling over, he got his arse up. I squeezed some lube on my fingers, and rubbed them over his hole.

"Oofuck, that's cold!" he muttered. I put two fingers together and pushed them in. There wasn't much resistance, so I made it three.

"Mmm, tha's nice -- are you right in?" The words were more difficult to understand than that.

"That's my fingers." I said.

"Fer God's sake, Ants, stop fuckin' about an' fuck me!" he said, surprisingly coherently. I knelt between his legs and prepared to do what we both wanted.

It didn't feel like I expected. Instead of the thrill I'd guessed I'd have, I felt, well, nothing special really. My cock slid into an obviously stretched hole, and instinct told me to start moving, so I slid in and out a few times. Pie was grunting and moaning, but then I realised he really was just moaning, and not with lustful pleasure.

"Fuck'n ell, this is uncomfortable, I'm gonna puke if I stay like this. Pull out while I turn over." Hardly words of romance. I pulled out, he turned on his back and spread his legs. "Carry on." He muttered.

I fucked, but it was mechanical. I just wanted my rocks off, and eventually achieved it, no thanks to or help from him. I pulled out again, looked at the white-filled end and felt -- let down. I lifted my eyes to Pies face -- his eyes were glazed, his mouth slightly open. He probably hadn't felt anything. I didn't think I would be capable of fantasising about him again.

I climbed off the bed and went off to find his bathroom, found it first go, peeled off the condom, dropped it in the toilet, pissed after it, and flushed it away. I washed my hands and face, then after a second looking at myself in the mirror, soaped my hands again and washed my cock. After everything I'd done in the last few days, for the first time I felt unclean. I went back to his bedroom, expecting some drugged comment, but he hadn't moved.

"Pie!" I said. "Pie!" louder. "Pie! Wake up!", shaking him this time. A gurgling sound came from his throat, then he was quiet. I panicked. Was he even breathing? I listened closely. Nothing. I watched his chest, waiting for it to rise or fall. Nothing.

No, no, no, NO! This can't be happening! Not here, not now, not with me just -.

I dressed as quickly as I could, watching him all the time. What should I do? Who could I call? I had to go. I had to get out -- NOW!

I'd got my shorts and shirt on, and one sock. I pulled the other one on, then my

trousers, and went to the bed and shook him again. He gurgled again, and -- I think -- grunted. I felt his forehead, it was hot, much to hot for normal. I shoved my feet into my shoes, grabbed my tie and coat, looked at him again and ran.


I didn't know where to go, but somehow I arrived back to the school. I burst into the secretary's office, shouting whatever words my muddled mind threw out.

"You've got to help him, he's dying!"

"Who?" the surprised woman behind the office desk said.

"Pie! - Peter! - Peter Mason!" I screamed.

"Calm down and tell me what's happened." she said. "Where is he?"

"At home in his bedroom!" I managed to say. "And I think he's stopped breathing!"

"How do you know this?" the annoying woman who wouldn't do anything asked.

"I just took him home, I think he's taken something, some drug or other, and he's just lying there not breathing. For God's sake, do something" I shouted at her. She flicked some keys on her computer keyboard, then picked up the phone. I thought she had just gone back to doing her work, not believing me, so I grabbed the phone from her and screamed "Get him some help!" in her face.

She grabbed the phone back and pushed me away hard.

"Ambulance?" she said into the phone. "Can you send an ambulance to -" and rattled off Pie's name and address. "He might have overdosed on something." she added.

I sat down and was deep in -- shock, I suppose, at what was happening, when I was aware of the secretary shouting at me.


I jumped. "Yes?"

"I asked you, is there anyone else there with him?" she frowned at me.

"No, no, he's alone." I said. She repeated this information down the phone, then after saying something I wasn't listening to, hung up.

"Have you taken anything, Anthony?" she asked, more intrusively than with concern, and emphasising the `you'.

"No, of course I haven't. I don't do that shit." I threw back. She frowned hard at me, got up and walked out of the office. My mind was spinning. What if Pie was dead? They'd examine him, and see what I'd done! Thank God I'd used -- and flushed -- that condom. Perhaps they wouldn't know it was me. Perhaps -.

"Anthony? Come with me please."

I turned to face the door and saw the school nurse standing there with Mr. Terry, one of the teachers. It was him who spoke. Mechanically, I stood and followed them.


In the first aid room, the nurse told me to sit. Mr. Terry stood in a corner, watching me suspiciously.

"Have you taken any drugs, Anthony?" the nurse asked. "No." I replied. She didn't believe me, I could tell.

"Has Peter taken any?"

"I think so, yes." I said, "But I don't know what." I added.

"And you haven't?"

"No, I wasn't with him when he did." I answered.

"I want you to give me a sample, please." she said, handing me a small plastic bottle with her white latex-gloved hand.

"A sample?" I said, not understanding.

"Take the bottle and pee in it." Mr. Terry said angrily. I stood up and looked around the room, and then, not fully understanding, at the nurse.

"Behind the screen." Mr. Terry barked, sounding annoyed, waving his arm at a screen hiding the far corner of the room. "Oh." I said, and went behind it.

In my state, trying to pee a little into a plastic bottle was almost beyond my ability. Especially when I heard Mr. Terry and the nurse talking just the other side of the screen.

"It won't surprise me to find he's on something." Mr. Terry said. "Half of the kids here are."

"Oh, I think you're overestimating there, Mr. Terry!" the nurse replied calmly.

"I doubt it. Drugs and sex, that's all they think about nowadays. Did you know there's two boys in the fifth year are fathers already?" he said. The nurse said something I couldn't quite hear.

"And as for that Ryan Pearson, well, from what I've heard, he'll give his backside to anybody who wants it!" Mr. Terry said in a quite disgusted tone.

I felt the warmth as the pee overfilled the bottle and ran over my fingers, and spilt on the lino floor. I hadn't even realised I'd started. I stopped the flow, clipped the lid on, zipped up my trousers and stepped from behind the screen as Mr. Terry continued "and there's quite a few filthy brats here who've used him, I know."

"How do you know, Mr. Terry? Were you one of them?" I said as I set the bottle down on the table he was standing behind.

"Why you - " he stretched out to strike me, but the table being between us saved me. "Mr. Terry!" the nurse called out sternly, stopping him trying again. He glowered at me though, and somehow I knew I'd touched a nerve.

"You can leave us now, thank you. There are some personal things I need to sort out with Anthony." she said, coldly. "There's something creepy about that man." She said quietly as he left.

"Sorry?" I said, as if I hadn't quite heard it clearly. "Oh, nothing." she said.

I was then questioned, fairly gently, about what I knew about Pie's drug habits. Which, other than the joints and whatever he'd taken over the weekend, I previously thought was zero. I'm sure she believed me when I said I'd only smoked cigarettes and a few joints, and not taken anything else. We chatted for almost an hour during this questioning, perhaps to see if I'd slip up and admit to more, but finally I said, "About Ryan.", changing the subject.

"Yes?" she answered, appearing interested. "What about him?"

"Did you know his father -- well, was abusing him before he died?" I said.

"I wasn't certain, but I as much as guessed so." she replied quietly. "Did he tell you that?"

"Yes. And I know he likes to get beaten up now because it's the only way he can remember his Dad. That's so -"

"Sick?" she asked.

"Sad." I answered.

"Is that why he does -- if he does -- those things Mr. Terry mentioned?" she asked.

"I don't know if it's the only reason." I said, confirming by not denying what she's just heard and hoping it would lead her to realise other things about him.

"Is he gay?" she asked. It obviously worked.

"I think so." I said.

"Are you?" she said, quietly, looking away from me and at the paperwork on her desk.

"Yes." I said before I realised.

"Is that why you were defending him?" she was looking back at me now.

"I suppose so - oh, I don't know." I said, taken aback at what I'd admitted.

"Are you and he -- an item, I think you'd say?" she probed.

"Certainly not!" I spluttered, horrified that she should think that we were.

"Why bring him up then?" she asked.

"I just want to know if anyone can help him." I said.

"Be there for him. He needs you more than you realise." she said soothingly.

Why me? That did shock me.

We sat silently for a few minutes, I didn't know what else to say. And she didn't offer anything.

"Can I go now?" I asked eventually.

"Yes, Anthony, you can return to your lessons now." she said. "But anytime you want to talk about anything, please remember I'm here."

"OK, thanks." I said.

"Remember," she added, placing a hand on my arm, "that I can keep a secret better than most."

I nodded my thanks and left the room. I had no intention of returning to class, so I slipped out of a back door and the side entrance to the school yard. As I turned onto the street, I froze. There, parked at the kerbside, was an old Vauxhall Carlton which I recognised as Simon Ronson's. And standing by it, leaning in the window talking to whoever was inside, was Mr. Terry. I jumped back into the schoolyard, out of sight behind the brick wall, and continued round to the main gateway, hoping I wouldn't be seen. I walked home in utter confusion, trying to make sense of any of it, but I couldn't.

When I got home, I rang Mum at her work. "I need you here, Mum." I said. After ages trying to convince her that although I was in trouble, it wasn't serious, which I don't think she believed, she agreed to come home. I just sat in the kitchen and waited.


"What have you done now?" she said as she came into the kitchen. She walked past me, dropped her bag on the table and turned to face me. I don't know what sort of expression I had, but she instantly sat and said, "Whatever's happened, Anthony?" in a compassionate way, and I told her everything that had happened today.

Yes, everything. I was way out of my depth here, and having my dream of Pie so viciously shattered left a pain which I didn't want or understand, and for once I trusted Mum to sort it all out for me like she did when I was little.

She sat and listened, then when I finished she just sat silently. Perhaps she was trying to work out what her little boy had grown up to be, perhaps not.

Eventually she stood up, and with her back to me said "Your Father will be home at the end of the week, we'll talk about it then."

Although I trusted Mum, Dad was a different ball game. I didn't want him to know most of the stuff Mum knew about me, I don't think he'll be as accepting as she is. In fact, I'm damn sure he won't be. "No!" I said, standing and crossing the room to her, intending to plead for secrecy.

She spun round, her face like thunder.

"I said we'll sort it out when your father's home. Now go to your room, Anthony, and stay there until I call you for dinner." she half-shouted at me.

What was happening to me? Any other time I'd have shouted "Fuck you!" at her and stormed out, but I slunk off to my room, no anger, my proverbial tail between my legs. I fell on my bed and tried to sort my head out.

I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up to the muffled sound of Mum on the phone in the hall. It was difficult to hear what she was saying, but I sensed that it involved me. She hung up, then dialled another number, and spoke so quietly I gave up trying to listen. I went back to my spinning brain.

Why the fuck did Pie have to do that drugs shit? And had he really been the centre of an orgy at Dan's over the weekend? Knowing him as I did now, I supposed he had. Try as I might, I couldn't think about him in the ways I always used to, all the appeal had gone. Then I thought about everything I'd done over the last few days, and I didn't like myself much any more, either.

"Anthony! Come and get your dinner!" Mum shouted up the stairs.

When I reached the kitchen, only my meal was at the table. I sat and started to eat, then watched in disbelief as Mum put her plate on a tray and went towards the sitting room to eat it. She never eats in there, always at the table with me, if I'm home.

"Mum?" I said.

"Just eat it, then go back to your room, Anthony." she said, and went.