Wait for my signal . . . .

June 3, 2011 § 11 Comments

THERE HE IS – GET HIM, was all I heard as I walked through the main gates of my school. I looked over at my left shoulder to see Kevin Haigh and Dean Hughes running as fast as their 13 year old legs could carry them in my direction. I turned in an instance, knowing full-well they were after me, and dug the fronts of my new Reebok trainers into the pavement and started running towards home. Home was only three streets away, down New hill, but it may as well have been on the dark side of the moon. It felt like an eternity from hearing those words to seeing my front door.

As a thirteen year old, I had already experienced more than my fair share of confrontation and violence at school and at home, so a run home from the school bullies was all part of my daily grind. Anyway, it kept me fit and in preparation for Sports Day. Not that I did very well on Sports Day but I had to look at my bullying in a positive light or go through what I had gone through when I was Ten years old all over again. I wasn’t prepared to do that.

Dean Hughes was the cock of our year, for those of you that are not familiar with the term, it means the hardest, most violent kid there is in that particular year. He was a big lad for his age. I would secretly call him Dim Huge. Never to his face, that would have been suicide. He dwarfed everyone else in the school, even the year five kids. His size definitely contributed to his status. Kevin Haigh on the other hand was a short, squeaky, mixed-up kid who lived directly across from my house, in another house of course. He followed Dean around like a three-legged lap dog. He did everything Dean asked him to. The muppet.

It all started in Mrs Martins’ Pottery class. Dean was being a real pain, as usual, creating pottery willies. The rest of the class however were doing their very best to create little teacups, as per the teachers brief. In all honestly, mine looked more like a small bag of knuckles, but at least I was trying and being a good student – for once.

Dean wasn’t happy being annoying on his own, he needed an audience, and found a victim in me, to elevate his status that little bit more. He saw my teacup and decided to drive his gnarled-up fist straight through the middle of my creation while cackling like a hyena. I saw red. I stood up, grabbed my teacup and pushed it straight into the middle of his face. Every kid in the class turned to look. There were gasps and moans of disbelief. Then there was silence, deathly silence, it seemed to last for ages. All you could hear was the whirring of the kiln as it warmed, ready to receive our clay offerings. Willies and all.

Dean froze for a moment before standing up, bringing him clay-covered hand up behind his ear then throwing it into the middle of face. He must of had a lot of clay on his hand because I didn’t feel it as much as I would have expected. I immediately fell to floor from my wooden stool, I looked up and stared up at Dean and the rest of the class who’d gathered to see what would happen next. Dean stood above me pointed the gnarly clay hand at my head and said – “You’re dead you freak, you’re dead”. He appeared to mean it, but I didn’t feel dead. I did feel a little bit freaky with the other kids staring at me, but I definitely didn’t feel dead. I felt alive and, at the time very lucky . . . . . . but I was soon to discover, not for long.

I overheard as Dean turned to Kevin. “We’ll get the little turd after School, wait at the main doors, when I see him, we’ll pounce. Just wait for my signal.” Kevin nodded in agreement. I was prepared for the worst.

I spent the whole of the day looking over my shoulder and staying away from anyone who knocked around with them. I was aware that word would spread fast that I was around and what was inevitable after school would come a lot sooner. I was even tempted to skip school, but getting into trouble with my Dad would be a lot worse than anything Dim Huge and lap-dog Haigh could dish out. They didn’t use leather belts and slippers.

Every stride felt like one step forward and six steps backwards. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. They were gaining on me. They must have been quicker than I was, somehow. Dean sure could run fast for a fatty, I kept saying over and over again in my head. I dug my trainers further into the ground and leant forward to make myself more streamlined. I had seen it on TV when Daley Thomson ran the one hundred metres. He put his head down so he could go faster, but my rucksack ruined it. I couldn’t stop to take it off, it would have been curtains for me. I had to just go for it.

I must have ran through every kid walking home trying to duck and dive to lose them. But little did I know, I should have run in a straight line. The quickest distance between two points. I will never forget that, thank you Mr Woodward (my Maths teacher).

It was too late, I had managed to get to the bottom of the lane at the top of my street before Dean, or Kevin – I didn’t see who had done it, I was flying through the air, legged me up. My face hit the mud. As I stopped, the rucksack went all the way up over my head and off my back. Dean and Kevin started kicking me and punching me in the back of my head, all of a sudden my dad came out the house shouting, “What the hell’s going on here?”, he walked over to where I was laying and picked me up with one hand from the mud. He was very strong my Dad, fat but strong. Before anyone could explain, he sent Dean and Kevin packing. “Get back home you little bastards. And you, get up them stairs. I’ll teach ya to fight outside my house and show me up, you’re getting my belt. When will you ever learn?”

“But Dad . . . ” I manage to chelp before he stopped me. “Do you want me to give you it out here, in front of everyone?”, he screamed as he pulled me towards his face, our noses almost touching. He may as well have done. Everyone knew what was coming. Everyone in our street knew what would happen if I got into trouble or made him look bad.

Dean and Kevin knew what my Dad had done to me the previous night and came over the next morning to apologise for getting my into trouble.

Less than two hours later, Kevin drew a massive willy all over my Picasso-esque tree painting in Mrs Whitehouse’s art class, so I threw a pot of paint over his drawing. Sufficed to say, I made it home that night and there wasn’t an apology the following day or the day after that or the . . . . .

This piece was inspired by prompt “Wait for my signal” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon XIV page. I haven’t been writing for very long. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!


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§ 11 Responses to Wait for my signal . . . .

  • You sound like you and I went to the same school. Or should I say, in my case, schools, plural, since I cannot recall more than one school year where I actually finished the year in the same school I started in. And I swear, they must have had an underground grapevine that told the meanest kids in the schools I changed to to single me out for bullying. I hated school and I hated those kids.

    I even had the misfortune of running into one of the ones I had gone to school with where I currently live and the minute they recognized me, they started badmouthing me. And that is as a “grown-up”.

    I tell you, some people suck rotten eggs big time.

    If this was, as you said, based on real events, you have my heartfelt sympathy. You did very well on this story, I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading it. You wrote well enough it brought back some very painful…and very humiliating…memories that I thought I had dealt with.

    Some scars, though, it appears, never truly heal.

    Very, Very good job.

    Please keep writing, for with each new story I read that you post, you get stronger in your “voice”, more able to pull the reader in and along.

    And that, dear friend, is a very good thing.

    wishing you all of the best,


    • Bayley Trew says:

      Good morning Marantha. As ever, thank you for your lovely comment and your kind words. School was survival for me. And it definitely sounds like it was for you too. My mother moved 57 times before I was 15 years old, so I had no time to settle in one school and build up a network of close friends. I was always the new kid in the school, so bullying was inevitable. I was constantly being tested to see where I fitted in, but I never did. I can totally empathise and understand regarding your grapevine idea, I had never thought of it in that way but I guess it sounds familiar. I have grown up understanding bullying a whole lot more than you can when you are young and experiencing it. If you dig deepen enough you find that bullies have a lot of issues themselves and bullying others is a way of escaping those issues. I knew Dean and his parents were the centre of a very bad apple. I agree with you whole-heartedly – “some people suck rotten eggs big time.” But we can’t let them get to us. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated.

  • You have a talent for voice!

    I didn’t know whether to be sad or happy at the end of this, but I’ll settle for both. Keep at it!

    • Bayley Trew says:

      Hi BKR, thank you for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed my piece. Your prompts touch a place in me and what come out of the ends of my fingers and onto my blog feels natural. I find it a spiritual experience and great therapy. Thank you for your continued positivity and support for your network of bloggers.

  • amaliasstory says:

    A very touching story, written in an easy to read way, very fluent and flowing. Well done for the way each of the characters was outlined, helping the reader understand each of them and their story. Keep it up, I can’t wait to read the next one 🙂

    • Bayley Trew says:

      Hey Monica, again thank you for your comments. It means a lot that the writing had fluidity and you understood the characters in such a short piece. I am experimenting with how much you need to tell the reader before they can engage with what I have written. I am finding this journey an exciting one. The next one is coming today. Thank you for your support.

  • Kay Camden says:

    I was going to say that if this is based on your childhood this must be very therapeutic. Then I saw you mention that in one of your comments. 🙂
    Well done.

    • Bayley Trew says:

      Hi Kay, thank you for your kind comment. The more I put fingers-to-keyboard, the more I feel that writing from my own experiences works for me. My fictitious pieces just don’t seem to have the same resonance with the reader. Finally I may be finding my style. Thank you again.

  • pattisj says:

    Talk about tension, I could feel your pain and anxiety.

    • Bayley Trew says:

      Thank you for your comment PattisJ. There was quite a bit of pain and anxiety. I sometimes look back and wonder what kind of person I would be if it didn’t happen.

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