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Thirteen. A Novel By David Hosier. Chapter Two, Part One.

Thirteen.

A Novel.

By David Hosier.

Chapter Two, Part One.

TIME FOR A LOVELY SPLISH-SPLOSH

I slam the door to shut off the sound of their laughter and slowly begin my walk to school, my head down. After a few steps, I see a large stone on the pavement. I kick it as hard as I can. It flies unexpectedly high into the air, bounces and rattles down the street, hits the door of a very new and expensive looking car (I don’t know what type, I’m not really that interested in cars, unlike a lot of the morons at school who are obsessed by things like how much time it takes them to go from nought to sixty) before it finally comes to rest in the gutter.

I walk on and inspect the car for damage. The stone has left a sizeable dent. That will cost a few quid to put right, I think to myself with a strange feeling of satisfaction.

Then I realize that what I’ve just done could conceivably be construed as criminal damage. Panicking, I scan the street for police cars (all clear!) and saunter on, perhaps a little sheepishly, but trying very hard to look casual and inconspicuous. Absurdly (in my last english essay I spelled that word with papsurdly – instead of a b. The teacher underlined it about, and I’m not exaggerating, fifty-seven billion times and put at least a sixty-eight million times more big, red explanation marks in the margin. But he’s an idiot who can’t even control the class, let alone actually teach), I even start to whistle a little tune like a cartoon villain trying to act innocent.

The halfway mark of my route to school is the bridge that crosses the canal. As I come to the top of its iron stairs and start to walk across it (I had stopped whistling by now because I’m not very good at it – sometimes when I blow the air out of my lips there’s no actual whistling sound, more of just a faint whooshing) I see two boys crossing from the opposite side coming towards me.

I experience a wave of fear run through my body even before I’m aware that I recognize them. They are the same two boys who had attacked me a week ago. They’d taken my brief-case from me and then had proceeded to tip its contents of my (maths text and exercise book, pencil case including pencils, fountain pen, Biro, rubber, tippex, felt tips, 6 inch ruler, protractor, compass, set square and paper clips in assorted colours and, worst of all, my Casio pocket scientific calculator with a ten digit screen and random number generating function) into the filthy, stagnant water below (that smells of shit).

‘Well! Look who it isn’t!’ snarls the smaller of the two with a look of unadulterated hatred and menace.

‘If it isn’t briefcase boy, himself!’ chips in his mate, sneering.

As usual, my mind goes completely blank so I don’t reply but just stand there frozen.

The boys move further towards me.

‘Nice weather, ain’t it?’ says the smaller one. At first I don’t understand why he says this as it’s cold and has just started to drizzle. But then, after an ominous pause, he adds, ‘Just the kind of weather for a lovely, refreshing splish-splosh in the canal. Fancy that, do you?’

Copyright David Hosier 2018

Part two of this chapter will be published very soon.