Timmy and the Travellers – Chapter 6
In the last chapter we saw the travellers introducing Wood to the concept of slavery; this time it's Truscott's turn. We already know that Michael doesn't like townies, of course, and I can tell you that he doesn't like bullies either, so the future doesn't look rosy for Truscott at the moment. Okay, Truscott's the really nasty one, and you may well think that he deserves everything that's coming to him, but personally I think Michael does go over the top, and I feel I should state that I in no way condone his behaviour here. Please remember what I said in the preamble to Chapter Three.
Once Wood had gone the others sat down to decide how to deal with Truscott. They all agreed that he was the real bully: Wood was simply there to scare the kids into obedience, and his only motivation was money, no doubt due to his current straitened circumstances. Truscott, they decided, would have to be dealt with much more severely.
Next day Timmy sneaked into their classroom during break and removed the notebook and photos from Truscott's bag, and at the beginning of the lunch break he went through the same "I've got something you need to see" routine with him as he had previously used on Wood. Truscott was similarly curious and similarly shocked when he saw the tape.
"My friends - the ones who've got the original tape - aren't very happy about this and they want to see you after school," Timmy told him.
"I'm not talking to anyone," said Truscott. "I'm going straight home."
"Fine. In that case the original tape will be on the headmaster's desk on Monday morning. That'll give you the whole weekend to think of what you're going to tell your parents when you get expelled."
Truscott looked sick and scared. "They wouldn't do that... would they?" he asked.
"Oh, yes, they would. The only reason they haven't already done it is because I asked them to give you a chance, but if you want them to listen to you you'll have to come with me tonight. Okay?"
"Well... okay, I suppose I'll have to."
"Right. Meet me at the west gate straight after school."
By the end of the school day Timmy had spoken to Wood and given him his instructions. At four o'clock Wood went to wait at the end of the footpath while Timmy met Truscott at the gate and pulled him to the nearest rhododendron bush.
"They don't want you to know where you're going," he explained, "so you're going to wear this."
Timmy wrapped the long bandage over Truscott's eyes, and by the time he pinned it closed there was no chance of Truscott being able to see anything. Timmy picked up both their bags in one hand and used the other to guide Truscott back out of the bush, through the gates and along the footpath to the lane, where Wood was waiting.
"Now we're going to carry you," said Timmy. Wood bent forward and Timmy guided Truscott into position so that Wood could pick him up in a piggy-back – though of course Truscott had no idea who it was that was carrying him. Wood then went fifty yards up the lane, turned slowly using the full width of the road so that Truscott couldn't tell that he was turning round, went back down the lane a hundred yards past the abandoned house, made another slow turn and returned to the end of the drive. Timmy retrieved the old broom handle the travellers had hidden under the front hedge and used it to move the brambles aside so that Wood could carry Truscott down to the garage. Between them they got him into the garage, where the four travellers were waiting for them.
"So you're Truscott?" said Michael.
"Y... yes. Who are you?"
Michael stepped forward and slapped Truscott's face, not all that hard, but of course Truscott couldn't see it coming. He gave a yell of shock.
"I ask the questions," said Michael, enjoying himself. "Do you know why you're here?"
"Well... I think so..."
"Tell us, then."
"It's because... I suppose it's because of those kids."
"What about them?"
"Well... Wood and me, we... we took money off them."
"Correct. Why did you do that?"
"Well... I don't know, really."
"So you scared those little kids and stole from them without knowing why?"
"Have you any idea how much trouble you're in?" Michael asked him.
Truscott said nothing.
"Okay, let me explain it to you, then. We've got a few copies of the tape you saw today, and we've got a list of people we think would like to see it: your headmaster, your parents, the police... maybe Shabbir's parents would be interested, too. What do you reckon?"
"No! I mean... please don't show it to anyone!"
"Oh, but we really ought to. I'm sure your headmaster would like to know what's going on in his school."
"No, please don't... my parents would kill me if I got into trouble..."
"But don't you think you deserve to get in trouble?"
"No... I mean, not like getting expelled trouble."
"Oh, come on! You've been horrible to those kids, you know you have."
"What... what do you mean?"
"Oh, you thought we didn't know about all the times you made them strip just to give you a thrill?"
"How... I mean..." Truscott swallowed. Wood looked like he wanted to say something, but Timmy put his finger over his lips to shut him up before Truscott could hear his voice.
"So it's not just stealing from them you've got to worry about," Michael went on.
"Yes, but that was Wood's idea."
Again Wood opened his mouth, and this time Timmy slammed his hand across it just in time.
"Really? So it was Wood who chose the kids and decided to take their photos and everything?"
"Yes! It was all his idea! I only went along with it because he asked me to."
"He says it was you who chose the kids, and it was definitely your idea to take pictures of them undressed."
"He's lying! I swear!"
Now Michael nodded to Wood, inviting him to talk.
"Do you want to have a think about it before you answer that question again?" Wood asked.
Truscott jumped when he heard Wood's voice and then he started to tremble. "No... I... I mean... that is..."
"So whose idea was it?" Michael asked him.
"Mine," said Truscott in a tiny voice.
"Mine. It was all my idea. Wood didn't really want to do it at first, but he needed money, so in the end he said yes."
"Okay, I've heard enough," said Michael. "Bullying, stealing, making little kids strip whenever you told them to, and now trying to betray your friend and make us think it was his fault instead of yours... I reckon it's gone way beyond just getting you expelled. I think we'll do everyone a favour and kill you. Christy, could you lend me your knife? It's sharper than mine. Okay, grab his arms for me...”
Truscott was already very scared before he heard this, and when Michael held the blade to his throat it pushed him over the edge: he gave a shriek of terror and his bladder let go: urine ran down his leg and a stain spread across his trousers. A second or two later they could all smell that his bladder was not the only thing to fail.
"Fuck, he's shat himself!" announced Danny, in case the other boys' noses had failed them.
Christy let go of his arms and Truscott collapsed to the floor, making noises of extreme distress.
"Stop that racket or I'll do it for real, you baby," snapped Michael. Truscott tried to control himself, with mixed results.
"Take the blindfold off, Mikey," suggested Timmy. "It'll be easier for him if he can see what's happening."
"Don't see why we should make it easier... oh, okay then, take it off."
Timmy unpinned the bandage and unravelled it, revealing a swollen-eyed mess of a face.
"Okay, Truscott, now you get the idea: you're in deep, deep shit, and if Tim... Collier hadn't asked me to give you a chance to defend yourself we'd have already sent the tape to everyone - or maybe we'd have killed you for real. So, tell us why we shouldn't."
"Because I'm really, really sorry," Truscott managed to get out.
"Only 'cos you got caught," said Michael. "But... okay, say I believe you. What will you do if we decide not to show anyone the tape?"
"Anything! I'll do anything at all, I swear!"
"Okay. In that case, here's what's going to happen. First, you're going to repay all the money you stole. Wood's going to do that too, even though he's short of cash at the moment, so I'm sure you won't try to make excuses. You're both going to pay back the same amount - so for every twenty pence each boy handed over he's going to get back twenty pence from each of you - in other words, double what was stolen. Okay?"
Truscott nodded, numbly.
"Second, you're going to be our slave from now until you start at your new school in September, and that means you do whatever we tell you without arguing, no matter how much you hate it. If you don't, the tape will still do the rounds, okay? Wood's already agreed to that, too, but there's a difference: Collier and Wood are already our slaves, but they're both honourable slaves. You're a total shit, so both of them are allowed to tell you what to do, too, and it counts the same as if it was one of us telling you. I reckon Wood's not very happy with you dragging him into all this, so he might want to get you back - and you have to let him if he wants to. That's what being the lowest of the slaves is all about. Understand?"
"I suppose so."
"Good. Third - and we're not making Wood do this, 'cos he's not the real guilty party here - you're going to apologise to all the boys you terrorised, and you're going to be their slave, too. I'll get Timmy... Collier to sort that out next week. And at least once a week those little kids are going to be allowed to beat you, as hard as they like, whether you behave or not. Of course if you don't they'll have to beat you a lot more often. Agreed?"
"P...please," stammered Truscott, starting to cry again, "p... p... please don't make m... me do th... th... that. They'll kill me."
"It's what you deserve. And it's still better than getting expelled or arrested, or both, isn't it?"
Truscott just stood crying.
"Okay, let's get the paperwork done. Sit down."
"B... but I can't... I mean, my pants..."
"SIT DOWN!" yelled Michael.
Truscott shuffled over to the chair and tried to perch on the edge, but Wood - who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying things - picked him up, dragged him back and shoved him down, pressing down hard on his shoulders.
"Now write down your full name, address, phone number, your birthday, how old you are and whether you've got any brothers or sisters." Michael ordered, and Truscott, his hand trembling, managed to write "Graham Peter Truscott, 37 Cedar Avenue Shortham, 76457, 23 October, age 13, no brothers or sisters."
"Parents couldn't stand the thought of more than one like you, I expect," commented Michael, reading the last line. "Okay, stand up and strip off."
"N... no, puh... please," begged the boy.
"If I have to repeat one more order you'll get fifty strokes of the belt before you go home tonight. Get those fucking clothes off!"
Sobbing, Truscott stumbled to his feet and started to get undressed. This time nobody offered him the clothes hanger, and when he put his blazer on the table Tom swept it onto the floor. Slowly he stripped, peeling off his wet trousers and then stopping.
"And those," demanded Michael, pointing at his wet, stinking white briefs.
"Please," whispered Truscott. "Nobody's ever seen me naked...please..."
"Should have thought of that before you made all those little kids strip off, shouldn't you?" said Timmy.
Sobbing, Truscott peeled the filthy garment down his legs and dropped it on the floor. He hunched down, trying to cover himself.
"Stand up!" shouted Michael, and Wood took hold of a handful of Truscott's long, greasy hair and dragged him upright. Tom and Danny gleefully grabbed an arm each and forced his hands away from his groin.
Although Wood was getting on for six inches taller, Truscott was a lot bigger in the trouser department: his big penis was darker in colour than the rest of his body and it curved markedly to the left. The foreskin gaped a little at the end, revealing his slit, and his balls hung down, one lower than the other, in a soft, hairless bag. Straggly black hairs sprouted around the base of the ugly penis.
"God, that's disgusting," exclaimed Christy. "That thing looks fucking horrible."
Truscott burst into tears again, but he could do nothing to hide his disgrace. To make things worse for him, Tom and Danny turned him round to expose his filthy bottom, and they all shrieked with laughter at him.
"Fucking baby can't even wipe himself properly," commented Christy.
"Okay," said Michael, once he managed to rein in his laughter, "bring him outside."
They threw his shirt at him and told him to use it to wipe his face, and they dragged him out into the garden, where Michael took the usual three photos. Then they dragged him back into the garage and pushed him to his knees.
"Now you can swear obedience," said Michael, producing the Bible that Timmy had this time remembered to bring. "Put your hand on the Bible and say after me: 'I, Graham Truscott...'"
Truscott repeated it in a dull voice.
"Do hereby swear to be a good, faithful and obedient slave to Michael Kelly, Christopher Smith, Daniel Kelly and Thomas O'Leary..."
Truscott repeated it.
"And to Timothy Collier and..."
"Stephen," supplied Wood.
"Stephen Wood, and to do whatever they tell me straight away and without argument," concluded Michael, and Truscott repeated it with a complete lack of enthusiasm.
"Timmy, you can make him swear to the younger kids on Monday," said Michael. "Don't forget to take your Bible. Okay, you piece of shit, put your clothes on and fuck off."
Truscott showed no inclination to put his pants on, reaching instead for his trousers, but they insisted, forcing him to put the disgusting wet underwear back on. Finally, wet, itching and stinking to high heaven, the sobbing boy was able to pick up his bag and stumble out into the garden. They gave him time to get up the drive and then grinned happily at each other.
"It's almost worth being a slave to have been able to watch that," said Wood. "To think I used to like that bastard... so what exactly was he doing to the kids?"
So Timmy passed on what the younger boys had told him, and Wood was indignant. "If I'd known, I'd have smashed his bloody face in," he said. "Okay, it's bad making them pay protection money, and I am sorry about that now, but making them do that... it's bloody disgusting."
"He'll be a lot more sorry on Monday," said Timmy. "I've got his notebook, so I know who I'm looking for - and we can see how much they all paid, too. Let's see:"
He pulled the notebook from his blazer pocket and sat down at the table.
"First we have Carlington," he said. "He's been paying twenty pence a week since October 1st - that's twenty-five weeks..."
"Don't forget Christmas," said Wood. "We didn't charge them during the holidays..."
"Big of you," muttered Michael.
"So that's two weeks at Christmas, one week in October and one in February," Wood went on, rather shamefacedly.
"Okay, twenty-one weeks, then," said Timmy. "So you owe him £4.20. Williams, started October 22nd, eighteen weeks, £3.60. Gwyn-Thomas, since November 19th, that's fifteen weeks - no half-term break in October for him - so £3.00. Lewis, January 14th, nine weeks, £1.80; and Jenner, last week, twenty pence. And I reckon you should have to pay Shabbir, too: he hasn't actually paid anything yet, but I think he deserves something for going through all that nasty business on Wednesday. So you can both pay him 20 pence. So that makes a total of...thirteen pounds."
"Shit, is it really?" said Wood. "I'm never going to be able to pay that back, even if I put all my pocket money into it."
"I'm sorry, Wood, but you're going to have to,” Michael told him. “When you get home see if there's anything you can sell."
"I don't think I've got much... but I'll look, I promise."
"Good. Okay, you can go now - come here on Monday after school and we can start you off properly."
Wood nodded and left.
"I like having three slaves," said Danny. "Maybe we can catch one more so we have one each."
"No, we'll just make Truscott do twice as much work as the other two," said Michael. "He really is a cunt, that kid. I'm really looking forward to whipping him."
"Well, I'm not waiting till Monday," said Danny. "I want a suck now. Timmy..."
"Yes, you are, and no, he isn't going to give you one," said Christy, firmly. "Both him and Wood helped us with Truscott, so tonight nothing nasty happens to them. Timmy, you can go - if you run you can catch the bus at quarter to."
So Timmy ran off to catch his bus, while the travellers tidied up and, leaving the garage door open to help get rid of the smell, went back to their encampment.
During morning break on Monday Timmy made his way around the six boys who had been victimised and told them to come round the back of the pavilion five minutes after the start of the lunch break. He also told Truscott to be there the minute the bell went for the start of the lunch break. He had borrowed Wood's knife and found, as he had hoped, that he had learned enough from watching Michael to be able to open the side door to the pavilion.
As soon as Truscott arrived he ordered him to go up to one of the small changing rooms on the top floor and to strip to his pants, and then to wait quietly until he was called. Then Timmy went back outside to wait for the younger kids.
Once they were all there - and they all looked at each other in some confusion - Timmy took them all up to the back changing room and told them to sit down.
"The first thing you need to know is that nobody's going to be taking money off you any more," he said. "Like I told you last week, everything's been taken care of."
"You mean..." said Carlington,. looking at the others, "it wasn't just me? They were doing the same thing to all of us?"
"That's right. They arranged for each of you to pay at a different time, some to pay Truscott and some to pay Wood, so none of you knew about the others. They wanted it like that so that you would all feel alone and helpless. But it's all over now: Wood's been dealt with already, and you'll get the chance to sort Truscott out yourselves. First, I need you all to write your names on this piece of paper - I know your surnames, but I need your Christian names... sorry, Shabbir, I mean your first names... too. You'll see why in a minute."
Carlington stepped forward, and wrote his name on the paper, and one by one the others followed him. Lewis paused long enough to tell Timmy "It'th not jutht Thabbir who hathn't got a Chrithtian name: I haven't, either. I'm Jewith."
"Oh. Sorry," said Timmy.
He watched them as they each came up to add their name. None of them was very tall: Williams was fat, but the others were all skinny and weak-looking. Carlington was the smallest boy there, and with his bright red hair and large plastic-framed glasses he was a bully's dream; Williams was seriously overweight; Gwyn-Thomas was a short, dark-haired boy with a squint and an accent that had "Welsh Valleys" oozing from every syllable; Lewis, in addition to being Jewish – which on its own was enough to make him 'different' - had huge front teeth and spoke with a serious lisp; Jenner had sticking-out ears and a bad toilet brush-type haircut; and Shabbir was a short, bespectacled Pakistani with his hair in an old-fashioned side parting.
Once he had the full list of names he said, "We've arranged for you to get back all the money they took from you. It'll take a while, I'm afraid, because they've spent it, and Wood in particular is really short of money at the moment, but you will get it before the end of next term."
They broke into excited chatter at that, and Timmy had to tell them to settle down.
"And finally, here's the proof," he told them. He went to the front room and called "Come down" up the stairs, and when Truscott appeared he pushed him into the back room. Truscott stumbled in, head down, and Timmy shoved him to his knees in front of his erstwhile victims.
"He doesn't look so tough now, does he?" he said. "That's because we've got him trapped. See, when they were threatening Shabbir and all that last week a friend of ours was up here with a tape recorder and a video camera, so we've got the whole thing on tape. If the headmaster saw it, they'd both be expelled straight away..."
"Well, show it to him then!" interrupted Carlington.
"We could do that," said Timmy, "but we thought it might be more fun to just keep it hanging over them and organise our own punishment. This way you all get to treat Truscott like he treated you, only a lot worse if you want, and he can't do anything about it, because if he doesn't accept your treatment we can get him expelled and probably arrested as well. Don't you think that's a better way to deal with it?"
They looked at each other, their eyes lighting up.
"You mean... we can do anything we want to him?" asked Lewis.
"Well, not quite. You can't injure him so badly he ends up in hospital, or anything like that. But you can still have a lot of fun, I think."
"Yeah!" cried Williams. "When can we start?"
"In a minute. But first we've got to make it official."
He pulled the Bible from his bag, put it on the table, guided Truscott's right hand to it, and said to him, "Repeat after me: I, Graham Truscott, do hereby swear to be a good, faithful and obedient slave, to..."
He picked up the list of names.
"... Colin Carlington, Matthew Williams, Owen Gwyn-Thomas, Simeon Lewis, Luke Jenner and Usman Shabbir, and to do whatever they tell me straight away and without argument."
Truscott repeated it, stumbling over some of the names, and Timmy forced him to repeat it until it was perfect.
"Okay," he said, "now it's official: he belongs to you. What do you want him to do first?"
"Take your pants off!" demanded Carlington, loudly.
"No, please, I... please don't make me," begged Truscott, pathetically.
"That's what I said, remember?" said Carlington. "I don't remember it ever doing me any good, though. Take them off, now!"
Trying not to cry, Truscott took his pants off.
"Now stand up straight and put your hands on your head," ordered Carlington.
Slowly Truscott obeyed. The junior boys stared at his ugly misshapen cock and howled with laughter, and Truscott began to cry.
"How does it feel?" Carlington asked him, but he just sobbed.
"Now bend over the table," Timmy ordered him.
He knew what would happen if he did, but there was nothing he could do about it, and at least once he was in position they couldn't see his nakedness any longer. Timmy took his own belt off and offered it to them, and they clamoured for the chance to be first. Gwyn-Thomas won the scramble, doubled the belt over and took aim, delivering a blow as hard as he could. Truscott squealed but managed to stay in position. Gwyn-Thomas gave him a second one, and that drew a louder squeal.
"Two each, this time," said Timmy. "Obviously normally it'll be six each, but let's break him in easily. Who's next?"
One by one they beat the older boy. After five blows Truscott couldn't hold the position any longer, jumping up and clutching at his bottom, but Timmy ordered him pretty sharply to get back down unless he wanted them to start again.
After eight he jumped to his feet again and hopped about, clutching his bottom and howling, while his big penis flopped about comically. The juniors laughed, cheered and mocked him, and after thirty seconds they forced him back over the table and Williams, who was very heavy, sat on his shoulders to stop him from getting up once more. The last four blows were administered, hard, by Shabbir and Lewis, while Truscott howled and begged and tried vainly to shift Williams' bulk.
Once the last blow had been delivered Williams rolled away, and Truscott stood up, clutching at his bottom. His face was a mess of tears and snot, and the junior boys stared at him, enraptured.
"Stop that noise, you baby," demanded Carlington, enjoying the feeling of power. "If you don't shut up we'll start again."
He was delighted when Truscott obeyed him, tailing off into sniffs and sobs.
"Okay," said Timmy, "you're obviously getting the hang of this. Right, let's get rid of him, and then I want to talk to you for a few minutes. Go and get dressed, Truscott."
"No, wait!" said Carlington. "There's one more thing I want to make him do first. Go and stand in the showers, slave."
Truscott walked to the shower area.
"Now do a pee," demanded Carlington.
"No! Oh, no please, not that..." begged Truscott, horrified.
"Do it, or we'll give you a hundred belts," insisted Carlington.
"I don't think I can."
"Well, you'd better make yourself, because if you don't start inside the next minute you're getting the belt instead."
Truscott begged for a few seconds more, then took hold of himself. He tried to turn his back, but of course they wouldn't allow him to do that.
"And let go of it, too," added Jenner. "Put your hands on your head - that's how you made me do it."
"And me," added Lewis.
Truscott started to cry again, but he obeyed, and a few seconds later he started to piss. The kids all cheered and jeered while Truscott's water spurted out. His foreskin just reached the bottom of the slit and it interfered with the flow, so that in addition to the main stream there was a continuous dribble that went straight down. The juniors made noises of disgust at him.
It seemed to go on for ages, but at last the flow slowed to a dribble and stopped. Truscott reached for his penis to shake it off, but Carlington stopped him: instead he threw Truscott's pants to him and demanded that he out them on without touching his thing. He did so, and at once a wet spot appeared on the front of his white briefs. They mocked him some more, and then Carlington told him to get lost. He stumbled to the door and ran back upstairs to get dressed.
The juniors were laughing and talking to each other excitedly about what had happened, and Timmy let them do so until Truscott had dressed and run back down the stairs and away from the pavilion.
"Well, from now on it's pretty much up to you how you deal with him," he told them. "You should make sure you all get together to beat him at least once a week, though, and I suggest you make him undress as often as you can. He hates that. And make him pee in front of you, too... in fact, let's tell him he isn't allowed to go to the toilet unless one of you goes with him to watch."
"Not just one, all of us," cried Williams. "Let's always make him do it here, so we can stare at him like he did with us."
"How do we get in?" asked Carlington, "Isn't the door usually locked?"
"Yes, but it's an easy lock to get past if you can get hold of a knife like this one. I'll show you how on the way out," said Timmy.
"Then we could make him come here every break," said Carlington. "We can strip him and torment him as much as we want!"
"Make sure he asks for permission before going to the toilet," said Timmy. "You'll have to take it in turns to make sure someone's with him from the moment the bell goes so that he can't sneak off to the toilets on his own. Me and Wood can make sure he doesn't go during school, because he's in our class."
"Hang on," said Gwyn-Thomas. "Isn't Wood the one who..."
"Yes, but he's really sorry now, and he's going to make sure you get your money back. He didn't know about all the other stuff Truscott was doing to you, and he's pretty angry about it, too. He's on your side now, and he'll help me keep an eye on Truscott during school. So you can make sure he only gets to go to the toilet under supervision."
"What if we refuse to give him permission?" asked Jenner.
"That's a brilliant idea!" said Timmy. "Every now and again you refuse him permission, and we tell him that if he goes without permission he'll get a hundred belts in front of every kid in your year. He won't dare disobey, which will mean that..."
"He'll have to wet himself!" exclaimed Williams in delight. "He'll have to go to classes with wet trousers, so everyone will know he's wet his pants! Everyone in his class will laugh at him!"
"Starting with me and Wood, and we'll make sure everyone knows about it," agreed Timmy, grinning.
"Wow! This is going to be so much fun..." said Carlington.
"Okay, I'll let you decide how you go from here," said Timmy. "If you need any help, let me know - and maybe I'd like to come and watch his punishments sometimes, too."
"Of course you can," said Williams. "This wouldn't have happened without you. Three cheers for Collier! Hip, hip..."
"Hooray!" they cheered. Timmy felt quite embarrassed.
"Come on, then, I'll show you how to work the lock," he said, and led them back downstairs. He demonstrated how to open the lock and then let each of them try, and after a bit of practice they all managed it.
"Now it's all yours," he told them. "Just one more thing - which one of you is the oldest?"
"Me," said Carlington. He was the smallest of the whole group, so Timmy was a bit surprised to hear that he was the oldest - but then again, he supposed that he himself didn't look much like a thirteen-year-old.
"Colin," interrupted Carlington. "You're our friend - you can use our first names."
"Okay. I'm Timmy. Anyway, Colin's in charge. I'm sure you can sort things out amongst yourselves without arguing, but if you can't agree on anything Colin gets to make the decision."
"Okay. Can we stay here for a bit, then? We'd like to sort of work out what we're going to do, and it'll be easier if we can stay here where it's quiet."
"Sure. I'll let you back into the pavilion - just make sure you close the door when you leave, and don't tell anyone else about it: this is just between the seven of us and Truscott, okay?"
He opened the door for them and they went back inside. Timmy trotted off, more than satisfied with how things had turned out.
The others went back upstairs and sat down in the back changing room.
"We're going to need to organise this a bit," said Carlington. "Let's split into three teams of two, and each team with take it in turns to look after Truscott. At the start of each break the first person in the team comes here to open up and the second person goes to collect Truscott and to make sure he doesn't sneak off to the toilets. We can ask Timmy to escort him out of class and hand him over. Then the second person brings him straight here. The off duty teams can just come here when they get out of class. Of course, we might get bored with it after a bit, and then maybe some of us who are off duty will decide not to bother coming - though I can't see me feeling like that for a long time..."
They all made noises of agreement with that sentiment.
"Each team is on duty for a week," Carlington continued, "then we swap over. Does that sound okay?"
They all agreed that it did.
"Okay, let's do it alphabetically: that way I'll be in the first team, so you can't accuse me of trying to avoid my turn. So that'll be me and Luke, then Matt and Owen, then Simeon and Usman, okay?"
Shabbir timidly raised his hand, and the others laughed.
"It's okay, Usman, we're not in class now," said Carlington. "What do you want?"
"Well... it's about Lewis. Did I hear him tell Timmy he was Jewish?"
"Yeth, I am," said Lewis. "What about it?"
"Well... my dad says I shouldn't play with Jewish boys. He says Jews are bad, and that they hate all Moslems."
"Doth that mean you're thort of like an Arab, then?" asked Lewis.
"Well, no... but we're the same religion as the Arabs."
"Oh. Thee, my dad thayth I'm not thuppothed to play with arabth, either, 'coth they hate Ithrael..."
"Oh, shut up, both of you!" interrupted Carlington. "Don't be so bloody stupid. This isn't the Middle East - this is England. You were both born here, weren't you?"
They both nodded.
"So you're both English, which means there's no reason for you not to get along with each other. What you're saying is like if someone told me I couldn't play with Owen because I'm Catholic and he's some sort of Protestant..."
"Chapel," Gwyn-Thomas put in.
"Yes, chapel, whatever that is. Or like saying I can't be friends with Luke because I've got red hair and his is brown. That sort of stuff is like the names Truscott called us, making us out to be useless and worthless, and we're not doing it to each other, okay?"
The others stared at him: they had never heard Carlington get worked up about anything before. But he was tired of being bullied: he'd been under Truscott's thumb for longer than anyone, and as far as he was concerned, judging someone on their appearance, or accent, or religion, and discriminating against them on those grounds was just bullying in disguise, and he wasn't going to let it happen here, not now Collier had said he was in charge.
"So you can both forget everything you've heard from your parents and forget about religion," he went on. "Once we start saying things like 'I'm not playing with him because he's a Jew' or 'I don't like him because his hair's a funny colour' or 'He's ugly, I'm not talking to him,' we're no better than Truscott. You're not a Jew and you're not a Moslem - and Owen isn't Chapel, come to that, and I'm not Catholic - we're all just kids who go to school together and live in the same area, and that's what really matters - isn't it?"
"I thpothe tho," lisped Lewis.
"Good. Then team three is you and Usman, and I don't want to hear anything else about religion.
"Now, anyone got any ideas about what else we can do to him?"
"I was thinking," said Jenner. "We want everyone to laugh at him, don't we - I mean, not just us, but the whole school."
"Yes, I suppose so."
"Well... how about we make him wet himself, like we were saying earlier - not every day, but maybe once or twice a week - and then in a couple of week's time - after the Easter holidays, perhaps - we make him wear shorts to school instead of long trousers? The rule says final year boys are allowed to wear long trousers, not that they have to - I know that because my brother was in the top class two years ago, and one of his closest friends still wore shorts, because he said they were more comfortable. But this year I'm pretty sure everyone in the top class wears long trousers, so he'll look odd if he's the only one in shorts.
"And - this is the funny part - when the teachers, or the other boys, ask him why he's started wearing shorts again, we make him say it's because he wets himself all the time, and his mum's fed up with having to wash his long trousers every couple of days. Shorts are easier to wash, so he's having to wear them until he stops weeing in his pants."
"That's brilliant!" said Carlington, grinning. "God, can you imagine how embarrassed he'll be having to say that in front of the whole class - and they'll believe it, too, after we've made him pee himself a few times. Magic idea, Luke!"
"There is something worrying me a bit," said Williams. "Next terms we've got exams. I know they're not as important as final year exams, but we will have to work hard, and... I don't think we'll all be able to spend every morning and lunch break here. So maybe next term we will have to use your teams - except that if there's only going to be two of us teasing him at a time, maybe we should change over every day instead of every week? So you and Luke do Monday, me and Owen do Tuesday and Sim and Usman do Wednesday? Obviously the rest of us can join in if we've got time, but that would give us all plenty of time each week to get our work done."
"Maybe you're right," said Carlington. "Okay, we'll think about that and see how things work out. Anyone else?"
"Well.. we've got exams next term," said Gwyn-Thomas, "but Truscott's got the really important one. I'm sure if we want to we can make it impossible for him to do any revision, and we can whip him really hard on the morning of his exam so that his bum hurts and he can't sit down, and stuff like that... we could make him fail the exams so he has to go to a really bad school next year."
"That might be a bit too much," said Jenner. "Okay, he's a bastard, but that would ruin his whole life."
"He detherveth it," muttered Lewis.
"Perhaps,” said Carlington. “Look, I'll talk to Timmy about it and see what he thinks - or maybe we could see how Truscott behaves. If he does what we tell him and doesn't try to get out of stuff, maybe we could let him take his exams in peace; if he messes us about or refuses to do what we tell him, then we could wreck his chances. Let's leave that for now."
"About what Matthew was saying," said Gwyn-Thomas. "You know, about teams and that. How about if we all join in with punishing him on Mondays and Fridays, and then each team takes one of the other days? Let's try that for the rest of this term and see how it goes."
"Okay – except we won't be able to use this place on Tuesdays, because the caretaker will be getting it ready for cricket matches. Let's say that on Tuesdays he has to come and meet us outside our form room, and we'll decide what to do with him then. For the rest of the week it'll be me and Luke on Mondays, Matt and Owen on Wednesdays and Simeon and Usman on Thursdays, and on Fridays we can all join in," said Carlington. "Except I know there isn't a match this week, so this week only Team One - that's me and Luke - will bring him here tomorrow - but can you all come at the start of break? I want to tell him the rules then, and if you're all here we won't forget anything."
They all agreed on that. Carlington checked to make sure they hadn't forgotten anything, spotted the puddle in the shower and turned the showers on for a few seconds to flush it away. Then he followed the others down the stairs, locked up behind him and went to find Timmy to tell him what they had decided.
Are we feeling sorry for Truscott yet? Probably we shouldn't be – after all, he's been making life hell for some of the juniors for months. On the other hand, it looks as if he's going to get treated a lot worse than he treated them.. Perhaps we should just wait and see how things work out in practice...
I'm still open to comments, etc, at the usual mail address – email@example.com.
Copyright February/March 2007 – all rights reserved. Please do not reprint, repost or otherwise reproduce this or any part thereof anywhere without my written permission.