by William Baker
Contains low level schoolboy language and humour
Sonny Frankenstein was a Jew. That bothered some, but not me. We were good mates. We were mates ever since the time I found him on the floor in the toilets at school, surrounded by these kids who wanted to see why his knob made him so different from everybody else.
One was on his knees, holding on to Sonny’s legs, trying to stop him from kicking, but not making a very good job of it. Sonny was always a fighter, it didn’t matter what the odds were. Another kid was stretching Sonny’s arms. He had his knees jammed hard against the top of Sonny’s head. He was making a better job of things than the other one, and it looked like it hurt. A third kid, the biggest of the three, was bent down, pulling Sonny’s belt undone. I knew him, his name was Brackley. He was the sort who likes to push other kids around, but only when he’s got some other prats around to back him up. Get him on his own and he wasn’t so big.
“What’s up, lads? Had a heart attack, has he? Trying to resuscitate him, are you?” I like to rely on humour at times like these. Most of the time it works, but I’d still got one set of fingers crossed, just in case. Brackley wheeled round to face me.
“Great,” he said, thumping one big fist into one big palm, and sounding like a thunderclap in the neat acoustics of the bog. “Nice one! Looks like we get to find out what a Mossie knob looks like as well!”
Mossies was what some kids at school called Muslims, which was daft really, as far as I was concerned, because if I was anything, I’d probably call myself C of E (elapsed,) as the last time I went to church was when I pissed on the vicar. Well, he started it when he poured water over my head. Anyway, that’s how my mother liked to tell it, when she wanted to embarrass me. Another thing was that although, true, my mother was married to a an Indian doctor named Rahul Mastry, and he came from Goa, he was more Portuguese than anything, and he was a Christian, and he was my step-father, because my father was killed in a car crash when I was two. I suppose it didn’t help that I tan a little bit too easily, and it had been a very good summer, and I’ve always found face fuzz easy to grow, even when I was fourteen. Brackley jutted his chin out, and started to clomp towards me, looking not a little unlike a bull in a Spanish bullring, only he was on two legs and he’d got no horns, and I was no matador.
I still kept my fingers crossed, more in blind hope than anything, but as a precaution I clamped the fingers of my other hand tight around the handle of the cricket bat I’d got hidden behind my back. When I’d heard on the grapevine what was going down on Sonny that afternoon, I thought if I was really going to be his white knight, then at least I ought to to get tooled up for the job.
When Brackley got near enough for me to begin questioning the sanity of my ambition to play the hero, I brought the bat around and grabbed it with both hands, all my previous faith in the power of crossed fingers gone. I jabbed at him. If Brackley had taken the warning he would have stopped dead, and who knows what would have happened next, but I guess his brain synapses weren’t firing quickly enough, and he kept coming. My bat ended up deep in his midriff and, badly winded, he stopped then alright, before falling back on his arse.
The other two got up from their knees, and I could see they were thinking very seriously about helping their bigger mate out. They quickly changed their plans when I started waving the bat at them. It made a good whooshing/swishing noise, not quite a Lightsabre, but close. They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders, then, keeping their heads down to avoid eye contact, they shuffled out, muttering a few ‘Sorry, Bracks.’
Sonny got to his feet. “Thanks, Mate. You saved my bacon. Chris, isn’t it? I’ve seen you around.”
“Yeah. Chris. Chris Mastry . . . I know. Don’t laughI – and don’t say anything either – I’ve heard it all before. Anyway, what’s this about bacon? I thought your lot didn’t have anything to do with bacon.”
“Don’t you believe everything you read in the press. Me, I love a nice bacon sandwich, but don’t let my Dad know. He’s old school. Now Marmite you can stick.”
“Why don’t you two bumboys get a room?” Brackley said, still wheezing a bit and holding his belly, but still every bit Brackley. “I’m gonna get my big bruvver onto you. He’ll kick the shit out of both of you.”
I thought about Brackley’s threat for a moment. I didn’t doubt it for one bit. I’d heard stories about his big ‘big bruvver’ and what he could do, and I didn’t fancy having to face him off, even with a bigger bat in my hand. Then I had an idea.
“Sonny,” I said. “This cock of yours that Brackley seems so fascinated with. Get it out and piss all over him.” I loomed over Brackley, smacking my bat into my palm, making sure he didn’t try to do a runner. God bless him, Sonny did exactly as I asked him, and though he struggled to get it going to begin with, he was soon at it like an Ozzie firefighter at a bush fire. Brackley’s hands went up to shield himself from the yellow flow, and I noticed he was not so thick he didn’t keep his mouth shut. Once it was safe, the last thing I wanted was piss all over my wheels, I bent over Brackley again who looked like he’d got tears in his eyes, but it might have been piss.
“Now that, Brackley, is going to remain our little secret. Just you, me and Sonny. But if you put one foot wrong – if you, or any of your mates, or your ‘big bruvver’ come anywhere near me or Sonny, ever again, I’ll tell the whole school how you cried like a baby while Sonny pissed all over you.”
Brackley jumped to his feet, and balled both of his fists. I could see he was mad. Well, who wouldn’t be? But I’d got an ace ready.
“Or if you like, you could tell your mates that you had to give us both a good kicking, after we both put up a bloody good fight, and that we’re not to be messed with again. We’ll back you up on that story, if you want, won’t we Sonny?” Sonny nodded yes. “It’s your choice, Brackley.” I said. The cogs in Brackley’s head ground slow, but I could see I was getting through, as his fists started to relax, losing the white from his knuckles, and he backed down nicely.
“Alright,” he said, “But I got my eyes on you, both of you. Right?” He left, but as he went through the bog door I shouted “As long as you keep them off my knob I don’t mind.”
Talking about knobs, the one thing I did notice when Sonny gave Brackley his wetting led me to wondering whether Mary Shelley ever met an ancestor of Sonny’s, and where she might have got the idea from for her novel.