September 4, 2011 by markstani
the third sample from my novel, ‘The Dukes Of Fryup’
The Outlaws had ridden along the ridge before, but not in a race or at night. There was a bit where you had to swerve out to get round a big tree stump. Once we double-dared Wayne to ride his bike along it. We’d official dared him to kiss Sally Morris but he wouldn’t. He said he’d rather do a double dare than get the lurgi. Wayne did it but not round the tree stump. If you got on your belly and crawled up to the edge and looked over, it made you go all dizzy.
Bobby Allan said it was a deal. He started doing a Frenchie with Frog Eyes again. Wayne’s brother got up and walked off. He gobbed on Bobby Allan’s bike again when he walked past, but Bobby Allan didn’t see. Kenny The Cormorant got up and followed Wayne’s brother.
After a bit Bobby Allan and Frog Eyes got up to go. Bobby Allan gave us his beer. There was still half in. He said, there you go guys, see you later. You could tell Holly Hewlett and Chantal Brown were jealous cos Bobby Allan had talked to us and not them. We drank the beer and Dazzler said he was keeping the can as a souvenir. We made plans to go up and watch the race.
We told our mums we were going to each other’s houses. Except Wayne whose mum didn’t mind. If Wayne went off and didn’t come back for two whole nights his mum didn’t care, unless she wanted him to go down the Liptons for some fags. Wayne was allowed to buy fags from the Liptons cos his mum used to work there. Wayne’s mum never went down to get them herself cos she was on the sick. Wayne said she wasn’t really sick, she just acted it to get money. Fat Gavin said when he was older he was going to stay in bed all day and say he was sick and get rich. Every time Wayne got a pack he opened them and got two fags out. Then he sellotaped it back up to make it look like new. Wayne’s mum got the pack and counted them and said, robbing bastards. She meant the people who made the fags, not us. Wayne’s mum thought every single pack of fags had eighteen in, not twenty. She said, I suppose that’s how they make their millions.
We got to the bottom of the lane but we didn’t go up. The lane went up from the top of the village. It went past the rockpool and the quarry and the gypo camp and the trout farm and the big lake, where the older lot went to swim and have parties. They drank loads of beer and went skinny dipping. Skinny dipping is swimming in the nude. Fat Gavin said, if Holly Hewlett and Chantal Brown said they’d go skinny dipping but only if you did too, would you do it. Dazzler said yes, but I’d take my clothes off real slow so they got nude first, then I’d say it was too cold. Next time there was a party we were going up to spy. Wayne said, you wouldn’t go skinny dipping, you’d go fatty dipping.
We’d never been up that far. Further on was the forest. It was full of tramps and gypos and murderers like The Man On The Run. The Man On The Run shot some people and some coppers and ran off into the forest. It was on the telly. Wayne’s mum got on the news. It was before she got pretend-sick. She said, you shudder to think. The telly said he was an army deserter called David Smith. He knew how to live for ages on nuts and berries. We had to stay in and we weren’t even allowed out in our gardens at night. The newspapers said, A Village Living In Fear. We tried to get on the telly too but we never could, not even when Wayne said David Smith was his cousin. The telly person told us to fuck off. Next time they were doing the telly we chucked apples at them. One hit the big fluffy microphone and they had to start again. In the end The Man On The Run got surrounded. He wasn’t The Man On The Run any more, he was The Man In Prison.
It was dark at the bottom of the lane. There should have been a street light but Wayne’s brother smashed it with a catapult. The wind was ruffling our hair up. We were daring each other to go up into the black. We heard the noise of the scramble bikes. They stopped when they saw us. They were in a line wearing their yellow bandanas. Bobby Allan looked cool wearing his but Wayne’s brother and Kenny The Cormorant looked like dicks. Frog Eyes was on the back of Bobby Allan’s bike. Wayne’s brother shouted, fuck off home to bed you little fuckers.