Timmy and the Travellers – Chapter 22

It's almost time for the start of the summer term, but one of our couples intends to go on enjoying the holiday right to the end...


The week rolled on, and the start of the summer term grew closer. The senior boys, with the spectre of the CE exam looming over them, all got down to some serious revision, but the rest of the school had no such worries: they would be taking the usual school exams at the end of term, but these would not have any permanent impact on their future. They were therefore able to go on enjoying the holiday right to the end.

Simeon and Usman had kept the final Sunday of the holiday free: they were determined to make the most of their time away from school, and getting together on the last day before the start of the new school term seemed an excellent way of doing that. They had arranged to meet at Uzzy’s house at two o’clock, and as usual Sim arrived a little early, having bolted lunch and grabbed his bike the moment his mother told him he’d waited long enough after eating for his food to have gone down.

Uzzy greeted him happily. ”Wait a moment,” he said. “I’ll just go and tell my mum that we’re going.”

He went back into the house and closed the door, appearing a minute or so later from the side of the house and pushing his bike.

“I hope you’ve been practising your goalkeeping,” he said, closing the gate and getting on his bike. “Otherwise you might be sore by the time you go home.”

He led the way to Kamran’s house. Kam, too, was happy to see them, telling them to put their bikes round the side of the house and to come on up to his room. They followed him upstairs, where they found that the bedroom had an important addition to it today: it had an extra inhabitant.

“Hi, Awais,” said Uzzy. “This is my best friend from school: his name’s Sim. Sim, this is Kam’s brother Awais.”

“Hello,” said Awais, standing up. In some ways he was a smaller version of his brother: they both had the same wide smile, and longish hair cut in the same way. But Awais’ ears stuck out a bit, and he was missing one of his front teeth, and obviously he was quite a bit shorter – though he was only a couple of inches shorter than Uzzy.

“Can you go out and play for a bit?” asked his brother. “We need to… talk, and stuff, in private.”

“Ooh, you want to have a big boys’ talk,” said Awais, sounding thoroughly unimpressed. “Gimme ten pence and I’ll go.”

“Go, or we’ll gang up on you and tickle you till you wet your pants,” threatened his brother.

Awais made a rude noise at him, but got up and left the room nonetheless.

“OK,” said Kam, once he had gone, “so what are we going to do with naughty little Sim today, then?”

“Nothing,” said Sim. “I haven’t done anything wrong yet, tho you can’t punith me.”

“Don’t bet on it,” said Uzzy. “But I thought we might start with the serious stuff first: what we do to you later will depend on how well you play football. So we’re going to start by doing something about your lisp. Get undressed.”

Sim still wasn’t sure about this: he was willing to try to lose the lisp, but he didn’t fancy being hurt in the process. But he took his clothes off and waited for further instructions, and it was a measure of how nervous he was that when he removed his pants his penis was soft and dangling.

“Lie face down on the bed,” said Uzzy. “We’ll trust you not to fight us, so we’re not going to tie you up this time. Put your hands on either side of the pillow, as if you were tied to the headboard, and keep your feet still. Now, I’m going to give you something to read, and you’re going to try really hard to get all the S sounds right, because if you don’t, we’re going to punish you.”

“How?” asked Sim, nervously.

“By sticking a pin in your bum. And if you get more than five wrong, we’ve decided that we’re going to embarrass you by making you strip in front of the others when we play football later on. We won’t hit you, or do anything bad with you, but we will make you take all your clothes off and run about.”

“And I think everyone’s going to be there today, so that’ll be a big audience,” added Kam.

“Look, Sim, you know you can do this if you try,” said Uzzy. “Just think how much better it’ll be when people don’t call you names all the time.”

Sim took a deep breath. “Okay, then,” he said, “I’ll try. But it’th difficult for me…”

“I know,” said Uzzy. “Just do your best, okay?”

He fished a copy of Alice through the Looking Glass out of his pocket, opened it and put in on the pillow in front of Sim’s face. “Read the poem,” he instructed.

Sim took another deep breath, and began, “’Twa… twasss brillig, and the thli…’ - OW!”

Kam had jabbed a pin into his left buttock, and it hurt.

“Carry on,” said Uzzy.

“’…and the… the… ssslithy toveth…’ Ouch, Kam, that really hurtth!”

“Get it right, then.”

Concentrate, Sim told himself. Keep the tongue back, away from the teeth – you know how to do this...

“’…the sslithy tove… tovess, did gyre and gimble in the wabe. All mimth.. -sssy were the borogoveth…’ – oh, hell, Kam!”

“That’s three,” Kam told him. “Think about my brother laughing at you later on, and concentrate.”

“Watch out for the S’s at the end of a word,” advised Uzzy. “You”re thinking about the others, but missing those.”

“’…the borogovesss, and the mome raththss’ – come on, Kam, that wathn’t wrong!”

“Sorry, you’re right,” said Kam, peering over his shoulder at the word. “I won’t count that one.”

“’…the mome rathss outgrabe.’ Do I carry on?”

“Yes, obviously – you have to read the whole poem.”

“Oh, come on, Uthy… okay, okay, I’ll try. ‘Beware the Jabberwock, my… my th… my sson, the jaw… jaws that bite, the clawth that' – OUCH!!”

“’Claws’,” Kam pointed out. “Not ’clawth.' You just got caught by a claw that catches.”

Sim swallowed: this poem had a long way still to run, and he had already failed four times. He’d been pricked five times, but he didn’t want to waste his energy trying to suggest that he should be let off next time he messed up. There won’t be a next time, he told himself. I can do this…

“.’…the clawss that catttch. Beware the Jubjub bird, and… and… sshun the fr…’ how do you pronounth that word, Uthy?”

“’Frumious’, I think. You try it. And stop calling me 'Uthy' – you’re just being lazy.”

“’…the frumi… frumiou…'” He swallowed. “'Frumious Banderthssnattthchhh.'” He waited for the jab, but one was not forthcoming: obviously Kam had felt this was close enough.

“’He took his vorpal blade…'”

“Brilliant!” interrupted Uzzy. “You didn’t even hesitate over that one, Sim! See, I knew you could do it!”

Sim looked at the line he’d just read, and realised that he’d just read the word ‘his’ with an S at the end. Gosh, maybe I really can do this, he thought.

“’…vorpal blade in hand, long time the mancthth… mancccth… ma '– SHIT, Kam!”

“That’s five,” said Kam. “But did you notice you just said ‘shit’ and not ‘thit’?”

That was true, Sim realised, though it didn’t stop his bum hurting from yet another jabbed pin. He took another deep breath. “Manc… manccssssome,” he managed. “’Long time the mancc…mancsssome foe he th… ssought. Then re… ressted he by the Tumtum tree, and sstood awhile in thought. And, a… asss in uffith’ – WAIT! – ‘uffisssh thought he ssstood, the Jabberwock, with eye… eyes aflame, came whiffling through the tul… tulgey wood, and burbled ath… as it came…'”

“OK, that’s enough for now,” said Uzzy. “We’ll finish the poem next time. See, Sim? If you think about what you’re saying, you can do it, and if you keep concentrating I’m sure it’ll get easier, too.”

“You made five mistakes, or probably six or seven, but you corrected the others in time,” said Kam. “So we’ll give you a chance to get out of being stripped - if your goalkeeping is good enough, you won’t have to undress.”

“Stay there for a minute,” said Uzzy, and he took a tissue and wiped the couple of spots of blood on Sim’s bum. Kam took a roll of plaster and cut off a piece to cover the appropriate area: he had restricted his pin jabs to a small area to make it easier to cover them afterwards.

“You won’t need the plaster on for long,” he said, sticking it down. “You’ll have stopped bleeding before we get to the car park, but at least it’ll keep the blood off your pants in the meantime.”

"Stand up,” said Uzzy, once the plaster had been applied. Sim got to his feet, and Uzzy came and stood right in front of him.

“You’re not too mad at us, are you?” he asked.

Sim shook his head. “I didn’t like it, but it’th… it’ss a good idea,” he admitted.

“Prove you’re not angry with me,” insisted Uzzy, opening his arms, and Sim hugged him willingly. Uzzy hugged him back, and after a moment Kam came and stood beside them, and Sim drew him into the hug as well.

“Uth… Uzzy, you’re my betht friend,” said Sim. “I’m never going to get mad with you, you know that. And Kam, you’re my friend, too. If it helpth… helpsss me to be normal, I don’t mind at all what you do to me.”

“You’d better get dressed,” said Kam, breaking out of their three-way embrace, “before Awais gets bored and comes to see what we’re doing. Then we might as well go round the car park.”

So Sim put his clothes back on and they went downstairs, collecting Awais from the living room on the way past. Kam picked up his ball from the hall cupboard and they set off for the pub car park.

“Try really hard to speak normally while we’re playing,” said Uzzy, quietly, not wanting Awais to hear. “See how long it takes the others to realise you’ve got a lisp.”

They reached the car park and found Tony already there, taking penalties against a boy of about Sim’s own age that he hadn’t met before. At first he thought it was another Pakistani: the boy had black hair and dark eyes, and his skin was darker than either Tony’s or Sim’s own. But alongside Kam, Awais and Uzzy his skin looked lighter.

“This is Miguel,” said Tony. “He’s Spanish, but his name isn’t Manuel and he doesn’t come from Barcelona, OK?”

This confused Sim, who hadn’t seen Fawlty Towers, but he didn’t bother querying it: if he was going to try not to lisp, the less he said, the better.

“Hello,” was all he said.

“This is my best friend from school,” said Uzzy, doing the introduction for him. “His name’s Sim.”

“Hello,” said the Spanish boy, offering his hand. Sim wasn’t used to this continental handshaking business, but he took the offered hand and shook it nonetheless.

Kam looked at his watch. “Jeremy and Bilal are supposed to be coming,” he said. “We might as well have a quick match while we’re waiting for them. How about me, Awais and Uzzy against you three?”

“Okay,” said Tony, straight away. “Sim, you’re not too bad in goal, so you can start there; me and Miguel will go outfield.”

They had been playing for about five minutes – Kam’s team was winning 3-2 – when they were interrupted by the arrival of another white boy. This one had very short light brown hair and looked to be about the same age as Tony.

“Hi, Jeremy,” Kam greeted him. “Where’s Bilal?”

“He’s probably trying to catch up on lost sleep. Probably their plane was late getting away from Karachi, or something, because they didn’t get back until well after midnight. I heard them come back home, but I haven’t seen them since, and when I went to knock for him they didn't answer the door.”

“Pity,” said Kam. “That leaves us with odd numbers.”

“That’s OK, I’ll watch this one and play in the next.”

So Jeremy went and leant on the fence and the game resumed.

Over the next hour or so they played several matches, and Sim managed to say so little than nobody could possibly have guessed he had a lisp. But after the latest game he suddenly found himself the centre of attention.

“Sim was getting all mouthy before we came round here,” Kam told them. “He reckons we were just lucky last time, and that normally we’d never score five in a row against him. So we said prove it, and he’s made a bet with us: if we score five before he catches one, he’s going to strip naked and run the length of the pitch and back.”

That drew a chorus of scornful comments, especially from Tony, who had already seen what Sim’s goalkeeping was like.

“As there’s six of us this time we’re going to split up and have two teams,” Kam went on. “If both teams score five before he catches one he has to do his streak, but if neither team scores five then me and Uzzy have to do it instead.”

That was news to Uzzy, who didn’t look too pleased with the idea. But then he’d seen Sim in goal, too, so he thought it wasn’t likely to happen.

“What if only one team scores five?” asked Tony.

“Then it’s a draw and nobody has to do it. And I think it would be fairest to let Sim pick the teams, to try to give himself the best chance.”

Sim wasn’t sure what to do here: he reasoned that the best thing to do would be to have one very good team and one bad one, and then to try really hard against the bad team. But he didn’t really know the players well enough yet. Okay, he’d seen them kicking around this afternoon, but even Uzzy had looked quite good at times during the matches: being able to head and volley the ball was a different thing. In the end he decided to team together the players he knew were good and hope that Miguel and Jeremy were less able.

“Kam, Tony and Awai… Awaisss,” he said.

“Okay,” said Kam. “We’ll go first.”

And they slaughtered him, scoring five without even coming close to offering a catch: Awais turned out to be as good as Tony had said he was the previous week.

The teams swapped round and he rolled the ball out to Uzzy, who flicked the ball into the air, and Jeremy ran in and met it perfectly, sending an unstoppable volley past Sim’s knee. Then Uzzy shocked him by scoring a header: normally Uzzy wouldn’t risk using his head in case he damaged his glasses.

Miguel then almost offered a chance with a volley that he got his left hand to but couldn’t hold, and while he was still off-balance Miguel flicked the rebound up for Jeremy to head in. Jeremy scored a fourth, and Sim took a deep breath, determined to catch the next one. And he almost did: Jeremy crossed the ball a little too close to him and he got both hands on it, but he couldn’t hold it: it bounced up and over his shoulder, and as he turned to try to catch the rebound Miguel came in with an almost suicidal diving header. The ball went into the goal while Sim and Miguel collided and ended up on the ground.

“Five-nil!” cried Jeremy in delight. “Oh, dear, Sim – good thing it’s warm today, isn’t it?”

Sim helped Miguel to his feet. The Spanish boy had grazed his hand when he landed, but it didn’t seem serious.

“Why did you go for that ball?” Sim asked him, choosing his words carefully. “You might have got badly hurt.”

“I want to see you streak,” said Miguel, grinning at him. “That will be funny. I do not mind a little of pain for that.”

“Come on, then, Sim, get them off,” said Kam. “Awais, just go to the corner and check that there isn’t anyone about round the back of the pub.”

With a sigh Sim undressed as far as his pants, waiting for Awais to signal the all clear before stripping them off and running to the other end of the overflow car park. The others cheered him on, laughing and pretending to try to attract the attention of the people whose gardens backed onto the car park, though the fences and hedges were so high that nobody could have seen over them.

He got back to the start and reached for his pants, but Tony stopped him.

“You’re not naked,” he pointed out. “You’ve got a plaster on your bum. Take it off and do it again.”

“Oh, come on, Tony, that’s not fair,” protested Uzzy, but Sim pulled the plaster off.

“He’th right,” he said. "I’m meant to be naked.” And he set off once more.

This time Awais ran back from the corner alongside him. “Race you,” he said, and put his head down. Sim grinned and took up the challenge, beating Awais to the fence by a couple of yards.

“I want a rematch,” demanded Awais. “Ready, steady…”

“Shut up and let him get dressed, Awais,” said his brother, and he handed Sim his pants. “He can race you when he’s dressed if you want – that’ll be fairer.”

Sim started to put his pants back on. He was very much aware that everyone was looking at his private places, and his initial embarrassment had now faded and been replaced by a strange feeling of excitement: he could feel his penis starting to twitch, and he knew that if he didn’t cover it quickly it was going to get properly hard – and that really would be embarrassing.

“How come your skin’s been cut off?” Jeremy asked him. “You’re not a Muslim too, are you?”

“No,” said Sim, getting his pants back on properly. “I’m a Jew.”

He couldn’t understand why this made Tony and Jeremy look at each other and then burst out laughing.

“What’th wrong with being a Jew?” he asked.

“Nothing,” spluttered Tony, between bursts of uncontrolled laughter.

By the time the two of them had recovered their composure, Sim was fully dressed once more and feeling a bit miffed: he didn’t like being laughed at, especially for no reason.

“I’m sorry, Sim,” said Jeremy, when he could speak again. “But it’s just too perfect. Look, let’s sit down and I’ll tell you all about it.”

There was a low wall running along the base of one of the fences, which enclosed an area of bare earth that had once held a flower-bed. They all sat on the wall and listened to Jeremy’s explanation.

“My parents are divorced,” he started. “I don’t know all the reasons, because it was a few years ago and I was too little. I think it was because my dad got offered a really good job in the USA and wanted to take it, but my mum refused to go to live in America. There’s probably more to it than that, but anyway, they got divorced, and now I only see my dad in the summer holidays, when I fly to America to live with him for a month or so.

“Anyway, about a year ago my mother met this man and I supposed they fell in love, or something, because they got married six months ago. But I don’t know why my mum likes him, because he’s a total prick. See, he runs the local branch of the National Front, and he’s always rattling on about how disgusting it is that the country is crawling with immigrants, and stuff like that. Bilal’s been my best friend for years, and he used to come round all the time, but after the marriage Adolf… his real name’s Andrew Jordan, but I call him Adolf. And he wanted me to change my surname to Jordan, too, like mum has, but I refused – which I’m allowed to, apparently – so I’m still a Fielding. Anyway, after the marriage Adolf told me he didn’t want “that immigrant boy” coming round any more.

“’Do you mean Bilal?’ I asked. ‘He’s not an immigrant – he was born in Poundford Spa.’

“’You know what I mean,’ he said. ‘And I bet his parents weren’t born here. Anyway, I don’t want him coming to this house any more. It’s bad enough that the country is awash with them – I don’t have to have them in my own house.’

“I told him it wasn’t his house, that my real dad had paid for it, and that in any case Bilal had been coming round much longer than he had, but he just hit me, hard and several times, so I decided to shut up. But since then I’ve made a point of making friends he won’t approve of. He doesn’t like Tony, though he can’t make up his mind if he’s a long-haired hippy layabout, a drug-using rocker, or a girly poof – he lets him in the house because he’s white, but he always has a go at me for it afterwards.”

“I’ve told you before,” Tony put in, “if you like I’ll put on some lipstick and a bit of make up and make out I’m a total queer, if you think it’ll wind him up.”

“It would, but he might lose it and hit you,” said Jeremy. “He hates poofs almost as much as he hates coloured people. And communists. And the Trade Unions. And foreigners. And pretty much everyone except his stupid, brain-dead NF mates. Anyway, Sim, you’re a perfect addition to the Jeremy Fielding Collection: now I can go home and tell him I’ve been playing football with a long-haired queer, a Dago, three Pakis and a Yid. With any luck he’ll get so mad he’ll have a heart attack and drop dead.”

Sim didn’t know what to say to this.

“Anyway,” Jeremy went on, “the JFC has rules – well, one rule, really: we stay friends, and nobody ever takes the piss out anyone else because of his colour, or where he comes from, or anything like that. We can make jokes about other stuff, like Tony’s metal mouth, or Awais’s elephant ears, or your front teeth, Sim, or Uzzy’s specs, because that’s nothing to do with race, but that’s all. So we’ve all sworn never to called Miguel ‘Manuel’ or do any Fawlty Towers jokes…”

“What’th Fawlty Tower… Towersss?” asked Sim.

“What, you haven’t seen it? I suppose it is on a bit late... anyway, it’s a comedy programme about a mad hotel owner – he’s played by John Cleese – and there’s this stupid Spanish waiter there called Manuel, who messes everything up, and every time he gets something wrong they say it’s because he comes from Barcelona. And Miguel gets teased about it all the time at school – don’t you, Miguel?”

“Even the teachers do it – if I get a low mark in a test they say is because I come from Barcelona,” said Miguel. “But is not true – I come from Algeciras in Andalucia. And in football I support Real Zaragoza, because is where my father born. I hate Barcelona.” He clutched the badge on the white football shirt he was wearing proudly.

Of course, he said all the names as they sound in Spanish, so Sim heard ‘Barthelona’ and ‘Alhethiras’ and ‘Andaluthia’ and, above all, ‘Tharagotha’, and he found himself wondering if he wasn’t the only one with a lisp.

“So the JFC rule is: nobody calls him Manuel, and nobody mentions Barcelona, OK?” Jeremy went on. “This is the only place he can get away from all that." He stood up. "Come on," he said, "we've got a new member. Group circle."

They formed a circle, facing inwards, put their arms round each others' shoulders and pulled forward into a football huddle.

"Friends?" asked Jeremy.

"Friends," they all agreed.

"And no bloody fascists are gonna stop us, right?"

"Right!" they agreed, although Miguel's response was a mere mumble: his father worked at the Spanish Embassy, and although Franco had died the previous November, Miguel was aware that his father had been working for Franco's government for several years before the dictator's death. Of course, his father wasn't a racist, like Jeremy's step-dad, but technically he might have been considered to be a Fascist.

"Okay," said Jeremy, breaking up the circle. "Right, then - welcome to the Collection, Sim. Now... we've all laughed at Sim, but does anyone else think he's good enough in goal to keep out five in a row?"

They all looked at each other: this was an interesting challenge, because they didn't need Jeremy to say that anyone failing the challenge would be expected to do a streak of his own.

"Okay, then," said Kam. "I know I'm better than Sim, anyway."

"A dead snail would be better than Sim," commented Awais.

"Watch it, Jumbo," said Sim - after all, jokes about Awais's ears were apparently allowed.

“Tombstone Teeth,” retaliated Awais.

"Come on, then," said Jeremy. "We'll give you a chance - you can take on me, Sim and your brother."

"Yeah!" cried Awais happily. "I'm gonna make you strip, Kam!"

Sim didn't think he'd be much good at volleying, and he usually closed his eyes when heading the ball, so he stayed wide and chipped the ball up for the other two to hit. They scored three, but then it was Awais who mis-hit a volley straight into his brother's arms. he was absolutely furious with himself, kicking the fence in frustration.

"Next?" said Jeremy.

Nobody moved.

"Come on, you bunch of pussies," said Jeremy. "Am I gonna have to show you all up myself?"

"Yup," said Tony, before the offer could be withdrawn. "Get in goal, Jer. I can't wait to see if you can run faster than Sim with your balls swinging about. Me, Miguel and Kam, I think."

Jeremy blocked a few but couldn't catch any, and eventually a fifth goal flew past him. Without argument he started to get undressed.

"Someone check the pub," he said, when he was down to his pants, and Kam trotted off to the corner and gave him a thumbs up. Jeremy slipped his pants off and sprinted off, reaching the end and coming back equally quickly. He looked for his pants, and found Tony twirling them round his finger.

"Sim went twice, remember?" he said.

Jeremy sighed and ran again, not quite so quickly this time, and he paused for a moment to get his breath back before putting his pants back on. This gave Sim a chance to see that Jeremy was about the same size as he was, the only difference being the fact that Jeremy had a foreskin. He also had quite a few bruises on his bum, and also in other places, on his chest and back and one arm, and now Sim had heard his story he could guess how he had got them. The fact that nobody else commented on them supported his theory.

"Anyone else?" asked Jeremy, pulling his shirt on, but again there were no takers.

"Bunch of girlies," grumbled Jeremy. "You're cowards, all of you - except Sim and Kam."

"Nah, we just fancy another match," said Tony. "But this is a good laugh - we'll have to do it again next time. And what about this as an idea: if the keeper wins the game, he can make anyone else he chooses do the streak for him. Bet that'll encourage people to volunteer."

"That's a brilliant idea," agreed Jeremy. "And I can promise you that the first time I win, you'll be the one with his willy in the cold."

They played for another half hour or so and then they broke up and headed for their homes, and Sim walked back to Kam's house thinking that he had definitely made some new friends today.

"Did you know all that about Jeremy?" he asked Uzzy.

"Most of it. Bilal told us what he knew at mosque, and Tony's dropped hints here and there, too."

"And... all thothe bruitheth...brui... bruisseth - oh, thod it, you know what I mean - doeth hith dad hit him a lot?"

"Don't ever let him hear you call Adolf his dad," advised Kam. "He's his step-father. And, yes - at least, that's what we all think, which is why nobody talks about it - we don't want to embarrass him. I think it's almost like we're his real family sometimes. That's why it's so important to him that we all get on with each other: he seems to spend all his time at home fighting, and he doesn't want the same thing happening with us."

"He can be quite funny about it sometimes, too," said Uzzy. “I mean, joking, and that. Once he told me and Tony that when he grows up he's going to join the communist party, turn queer, dress up in women's clothes and run off with a black boyfriend, just to see the look on Adolf's face."

"Yeah, he jokes about it, but he's really not happy," said Kam. "That's why his Collection is so important: we're a bunch of friends who won't let him down."

"Why doethn't he go to live in America with hith real dad?" asked Sim.

"I wondered that, too," said Kam. "I think it's 'cos he loves his mum and doesn't want to leave her on her own - or, worse, leave her with Adolf, even if she did choose to marry him."

"Race you the rest of the way," challenged Awais, suddenly. "Come on, you've got your clothes on. Loser gets tickled till he wets himself." And he darted away. Sim grinned and chased after him, confident he could win easily - after all, he'd already beaten him once, and that was in bare feet - and soon he was alongside. And then Awais deliberately barged into him, and Sim lost his balance and ran into the hedge, spun around and fell over. Awais made a rude noise at him and trotted the rest of the way home.

"That'th cheating," said Sim, when he reached the door.

"Tough. You're gonna get tickled, you're gonna get tickled..."

Kam and Uzzy caught up with them: they were trying not to laugh. They all went back up to the boys' bedroom.

"Come on, then," said Sim, "come and try to tickle me."

"You're not allowed to fight back."

"Thayth who?"

"Me. Come on, Kam, hold him down for me."

"If I do, we're doing it on your bed," said Kam. "He's not peeing all over mine."

"That's not fair! I don't want to have to sleep in his pee!"

"Then you'd better not tickle him, had you? But... how would you like to spank him instead?"

"Hey!" started Sim.

"Come on, Sim, he did win the race. Besides, he's already seen everything you've got - and you have been lisping a lot since we left the car park."

"Well... he won't tell anyone, will he?"

"No, he won't. It's one of the best things about him: he knows how to keep secrets. I mean, Jeremy wouldn't have said anything with him there if he didn't think he'd keep quiet about it."

"I'm in the Collection, remember?" Awais put in. "We're friends - we never tell on each other."

"Well... okay, then."

"Great! See, Awais, Sim's got this speech problem - sometimes he messes up the letter S. I expect you've noticed..."

"Once or twice. I thought it might be because he's Spanish - Miguel does that all the time, but he says that's what Spanish sounds like."

"I'm not... SSpanith," said Sim. "I jutht have trouble with the lettter eth."

"We're trying to help him to stop," said Kam. "And if he doesn't do very well, he gets punished - which is why we're going to spank him now. Get undressed, Sim."

So Sim stripped off for the third time that day and bent over the bed. Awais started by spanking him really lightly, so the other two had to show him how to do it properly, and soon Awais had the hang of it.

By the time the three of them had finished, Sim's bum was going red again.

"This is fun!" commented Awais, happily. "Can I help spank him next time he messes up?"

"I ecthpect... expect...sso," said Sim. "I thpo...ssuppothe I trusst you enough."

"Goodie!" cried Awais, and he jumped on Sim's back and bounced. Sim bucked and dislodged him and rolled over before he could get back on.

"Hey, look, Sim's thingy's all hard and sticking up!" commented Awais.

"I can't help it," said Sim, somewhere between embarrassment and excitement. It was pretty humiliating being seen like this by an eight-year-old, but there wasn't much he could do about it now. Besides, he was starting to really like Awais, who was fun to be with, and part of him at least didn't mind the younger boy looking at him.

"Here's a useful lesson for you, Awais," said Uzzy, correctly gauging Sim's mood. "If you can get him like this, anyone can spank him on their own - even you. Watch this."

He grabbed Sim's erection with his left hand and used it to pull his friend to his feet. Then Uzzy sat on the bed and pulled Sim down over his lap.

"If you keep hold of it, you can thrash him with your other hand and he won't be able to do anything, 'cos if he struggles you just squeeze it really hard, and twist a bit..."

He did that, and Sim gave a gasp of pain and stopped wriggling.

"See? And then you just spank him until you're too tired to carry on. Want a try?"

"Yes, please!"

Uzzy stood up, pushing Sim up at the same time, and then carefully handed over the contents of his left hand to the younger boy. Sim struggled a bit for form's sake, but stopped pretty quickly when Awais wrenched at him, far harder than Uzzy had done.

"Aahhh! That hurtth!" he protested.

"Stop struggling, then," said Awais, sitting on the bed and dragging Sim down over his lap. He then delivered yet another spanking, distinctly harder than the first one - and once again Sim found it incredibly exciting, even more so than when Uzzy had done this to him: this time the boy who was spanking him was three years younger than him, and he was also holding him in a humiliatingly personal way.

By now he was starting to wonder quite seriously if there was actually something wrong with him - after all, the spanking hurt, and so did the way Awais was squeezing his thingy - and getting hurt shouldn't make you feel excited, surely?

"Okay, Awais, that's enough," said Kam, to Sim's disappointment. "Let him go."

"You look really funny - it's all big and hard," said Awais, as Sim stood up. "I'm going to do that to you again every time you lose a bet with me."

"Maybe he won't come round any more, then," said Kam.

"You will, won't you?" said Awais, looking worried. "I like you - you're fun."

"I ecthpect tho," said Sim, starting to get dressed once more. "I mean, I'm th... ssure the Collection aren't thu... ssuppo... suppossed to abandon each other."

"Brilliant!" said Awais. “When are you coming next?"

"Ssoon, I ecth... ecccsspect. But we've got to go back to..."

"School," put in Uzzy, who was worried that constantly fighting those recalcitrant S's was going to make Sim choke, or something. "We're back to school tomorrow, and I don't think Sim will be allowed to come over here every weekend."

"I'll try, though - and I'm bound to be allowed at half term," said Sim. "Bethidesss, Kam owes me ssome punithmentth, too, tho I have to come back ssoon."

"Magic!" said Awais.

"I'm still looking forward to it," said Kam, grinning at him. "Maybe next time, huh?"

"Yeth, next time," agreed Sim. "That'th a promi...promise, Kam."


Well, maybe Sim's lisp is improving a little, but his idea of excitement certainly isn't getting any less strange. Still, if he's enjoying himself, who am I to argue? And then there's Jeremy, and the rest of his Collection: with only a couple more chapters to come, this story is too close to the end for me to tell you much about them now, but I think that theirs could be a substantial story in its own right, and if there's sufficient interest I might try writing it once I've finished “Timmy”.

Write and tell me what you think – the address, as ever, is gothmog@nyms.net – all comments, pro and con, are welcome.

Copyright June 2007 – all rights reserved. Please do not reprint, repost or otherwise reproduce this or any part thereof anywhere without my written permission.

David Clarke