Justboy, part 4

I turned the light on and lay on my bed staring up at the ceiling. I’m such a fuck up I thought to myself. Why did I let the boys talk me into it? I was just a push over and nobody cared about me. Hannah cared about me but now thanks to the boys she hates my guts. Not even Harry cares about he couldn’t find the time to write back. If I’d have had his advice none of this would’ve happened but he doesn’t care. I turned and looked at my bedside table. There was a tub of paracetamol there and I didn’t even think before I’d grabbed it poured them all in mouth. I crunched through them all eating nearly the entire tub. There was no point me being here anymore, nobody cared. I sat there and didn’t feel anything for a while. I thought it probably hadn’t worked so I went to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later, it was still dark outside but I was thinking more clearly. I must have sobered up mostly. And then I realised what I’d done. I didn’t want to die, what was I thinking? Now what do I do? Is it too late? I shouted to my mum. She came running in and looked at me, shocked. “I thought you were out tonight, Jason? When did you get back?”

I looked up at her from my bed, I’d never felt so helpless, I couldn’t even speak. Then she spotted the open paracetamol tub on the bed next to me and a couple of pills that had dropped on the floor. She knew then what I’d done. She called me an idiot and ran downstairs to ring an ambulance. They cam quite quickly and I was bundled off to A & E. When I got there I was rushed to this room and they said they were going to pump my stomach. It was horrific. They shoved this tube down my throat and kept pushing it down deeper and deeper making me gag and choke. Then they poured something in and I felt pour into my stomach. Then they pulled the tube out and I threw up more than I ever have before. There were even still bits of un-chewed tablet in it. After that they put me in a bed and told me to get some sleep.

I had some really strange dreams that night and the dreams all combined with reality. I had this weird memory of the doctor giving me a lecture and I wasn’t sure if it was real or not. “”You’re a stupid boy Jason, you should never do this again. Death by paracetamol is a very painful and drawn out process, I’m going to assign you to a psychiatrist.” Then I felt more ashamed than anything I didn’t know why I’d done it.

The next day I woke up and Harry was sat next to my bed. He was looking at me sympathetically. “What are you doing, mate? How did you end up here? It wasn’t because of Hannah was it?”

I didn’t answer his questions because I didn’t care. All I wanted was an answer from, “Why didn’t you write back to me Harry?” I said.

“I did write back to you. I wrote back the day your letter arrived. It brightened my day up so much, Jase. Haven’t you got my letter?”

“No I haven’t, I thought you didn’t care. I thought no one cared.”

“Of course I care Jason. I’m always here for you, mate.”

I got home later that day and as I went into the lounge there was a letter addressed to me sitting in the coffee table. I sat down and opened it:

Dear Jason,

Uni’s been going great thanks. I’ve been partying every day, don’t tell mum and dad but it’s awesome. You should come stay some time and I’ll show you what it’s all about.

Glad to hear you’re liking the Biffy Clyro stuff. If you have a look on YouTube there’s some songs up that are going to be on their new album, let me know what you think of them!

Can’t believe an ugly little rat boy managed to get a girlfriend! No I’m only joking, I’m proud of you mate. I’ve taught you well. My advice is to not try and make anything happen. Just see her every now and again and play it cool. If you keep at it I guarantee you in a few months she’ll give you something back and trust me, it’s worth the wait!

I’m going to be coming home for the weekend in a couple of weeks and you’ll be able to tell me all about her then, maybe I’ll even get to meet her! See you soon,

Love Harry.

Justboy, part 3

Then the boys walked over to me, they didn’t actually mention anything about me and Hannah but I knew they knew. We just chatted about this one time when Peanuts had eaten a worm and thrown up and the worm was still alive in his sick. It was hilarious the way Peanuts told it but I always wondered how true his stories actually were. Then Chris pulled out the bottle of vodka that the girls hadn’t finished and said they’d said we could have some so I took a big gulp. I wasn’t expecting it to be as horrible as it was, it felt like my throat was burning and the taste it left in my mouth was absolutely disgusting. It hit my head immediately too, I lost a bit more control of what I was doing and saying. Then Sarah came over and asked if we fancied a game of hide and seek in the woods and we thought that sounded like a laugh.

We all congregated in the middle of the site and worked on some rules. Everyone must have their phones on for emergencies and no jumping out on anyone because it would be far too scary. Still, none of us wanted to be first to be the seeker and we decided it by rock paper scissors, thankfully it was Peanuts who lost. We all ran off in different directions tripping over things and scrabbling around in the leaves finding the perfect spot. I found this bush that seems to have a big chunk missing out of it so I could get right inside. I could hear Peanuts counting and he was missing out numbers so he would get to 100 quicker. Then I saw him just run past the bush I was in and go in search of the others.

As I sat there I thought how much I’d actually really like to give Peanuts a good scare, he’s ruined what I had with Hannah and he needs to get what’s coming to him. I heard him find Hannah first actually she must have been in a pretty shit hiding place, then he found Chris, then the other two who were hiding together because they were too scared . The others had all gone back to the camp and I could hear Peanuts padding around sneakily trying to find me, by now I knew I was definitely going to try and scare the hell out of him.

I heard him start to get close to the bush I was in and I shook to draw his attention slightly, I knew he wouldn’t be able to see me in there. He heard the leaves shaking and turned to look at the bush. “Got you, Jason, you can come out now,” he shouted confidently. I remained as still as I could and waited silently for him to come closer to the bush and start to inspect it. He came right in close and I thought he was going to spot me, but he didn’t. He was just about to turn back around and look elsewhere when I burst through the top of bush screaming at the top of my lungs. He jumped so much that he actually fell over, it was so funny. I burst into laughter as he lay there in the leaves and collected himself. I saw in his face that he wasn’t pleased and was actually quite angry so I jumped out of the bush and began to run back to the camp. He got up and chased after me.

When I reached the camp site I stopped, I thought I was safe there and needed to catch my breath. As I was panting he caught up but he was still genuinely mad and he shoved on the floor from behind. I managed to get my hands out just in time to stop my face hitting the ground. Then he dragged my back up and swung for me, he smacked me right in the eye and I fell back down. The others all ran over to stop him from hitting me again.

“What are you doing, mate?” Chris shouted at Peanuts.

“He deserved, we agreed no fucking jumping out and what did he do? He fucking jumped out at me!” Peanuts shouted back. I’d never seen him quite so angry before I thought it must’ve been down to the alcohol. I wanted to say something back to him like, ‘you shat yourself you pussy,’ but I bit my tongue because I didn’t want to get hit again.

Hannah came over to see if I was ok but she seemed to notice something on the floor next to me. I hadn’t noticed but when I’d fallen the condom must’ve fallen out of pocket and she’d spotted it. She bent down to pick it up and all I wanted was to be curled up in bed with no one around, I wished I hadn’t come out at all. She picked it up and stared at me right in the eye. She didn’t even need to say anything; she said it all in her eyes. But then she did speak, “Jason, what the fuck is this? Did you actually think we were going to have sex tonight in these woods? Who do you think I am, Jason? We’re only fifteen, we can’t be having sex yet, and who the fuck wants their first time to be in the woods and drunk? You’re a bastard Jason, I actually really liked you but you’re just a bastard.”

This time I couldn’t stop it and tears starting rolling from eyes and down my face. I opened my mouth to defend myself but nothing came out. I turned and looked at Peanuts and he had this smug grin plastered across his face like this is what he’d planned all along. I just turned and ran away. I ran all the way through the woods all the way back home. It was really late now, must have been about two in the morning so I snuck in through the back door and made as little noise as possible going up to my room.

Justboy, part 2

The next day at school I couldn’t wait to brag about my achievements to the boys. At break time we sat on a bench just outside our classroom and I told them. Peanuts laughed at me and made fun of me first of all, “Haha, you soppy bastard,” he said which made all the others laugh. They all threw some insults at me after that and I laughed along with them. I knew they were all jealous we’d all spoken about how much we’d love to kiss Hannah Stanthorpe and I’d actually managed to do it. Well, their jealousy wasn’t going to get me down. Then Peanuts realised he wasn’t the centre of attention anymore and decided to up the ante. “Well, when are you gonna shag her then, Jase?” I didn’t really know what to say at first I hadn’t really thought of that as a possibility, I was only fifteen I thought to myself, that’s not old enough is it?

Then Chris piped up, “Yeah, Jase, surely you’re not going to waste such an opportunity?” He had a teasing smile plastered across his face. I still didn’t know how I was going to reply. Then it all of a sudden just blurted out my mouth,

“Well, obviously I’m gonna shag her. That’s what you do with your girlfriend isn’t it?” I had to appear confident, I couldn’t let them know I actually cared about Hannah, I had to give them the illusion I was just with her because she was fit. And sooner or later, yeah, I’d shag her and that’d show all of them. After I said it Chris gave me a massive pat on the back, it hurt it was so hard and I wasn’t far off turning round and smacking him in the face but I stopped myself. I regretted even telling them now but still, Hannah Stanthorpe is my girlfriend!

At lunch I decided to go and see Hannah instead of getting more stick off the boys. She kind of seemed like she’d rather be with her girls but she didn’t say anything. I think she was still just trying to figure things out about us. But we could chat for the world. I’d never had it before where I could just talk and talk and talk to a girl. She even made me laugh, which was even more weird, since when was there a girl that was fun? She’d laugh at the stuff I said too. She actually found the stupid stuff me and the boys do funny. I thought to myself she could be my best friend as well as my girlfriend, we got on so well.

I went home that day with the smile on my face well and truly back to how it was the last night. After dinner I got a text from Peanuts, he said his brother had said we could borrow his tent and go camping in the woods at the weekend. He said I should invite Hannah and some of her friends and his brother would get us some bottles of cider. We’d never done anything like this before but my brother used to do it before he turned eighteen and he always told me it was fun. Come to think of it, it had been a good few days since I wrote to Harry and he still hadn’t written back yet, hopefully it’ll get here before the end of the week.

When Saturday came excitement had got particularly high. Hannah had invited Sarah and Emily and they were all excited as well. Hannah told me she was going to try and steal some alcohol from her parents’ liquor cabinet and Peanuts was going to get his brother to get as many bottles of cider as £20 could buy, we’d all chipped in a couple of pounds. Chris came over to mine with his stuff and we spent the day playing FIFA and getting each other even more excited about the night. I’d never got drunk before but I couldn’t wait to know what it felt like. I’d told my mum I was staying over at Chris’s; I knew she wouldn’t be happy with me staying in the woods. She always used to stop Harry from going out if she knew he was planning on going to the woods. Hannah and her friends waited down the end of the road for us and texted me when they were there at the end of the road so mum wouldn’t have any suspicions.

We found a decent spot in the woods with room to put up the tent and set up a little area for the fire. We realised the tent was nowhere near big enough for us all to sleep in but it didn’t bother us all that much, we weren’t expecting to get much sleep. There were six of us all together and Peanut’s brother had managed to get six big bottles of cider, the girls had vodka from Hannah’s parent’s cupboard. The boys tried a bit and said it was disgusting so I chose not to. Then Chris revealed a bottle of coke he had in his bag so the girls mixed it with that. I finished my first bottle of cider really quickly and I started to feel strange. It was good. Things were a lot funnier than normal and I was speaking a lot more too. Peanuts was just even more crazy than normal and Chris was playing up to Peanuts like he always did. Showing off to him but they were being more stupid than usual. I always felt like I had to be someone else for them to like me as much as they liked each other. I mean, when they were on their own it was fine but when they’re together they just spur each other on to be more and more ridiculous and I end up getting sucked in.

There was a clear divide between the boys and the girls at first. I didn’t really know how to involve Hannah in our conversations and once most of the drink was finished the three of them went off into the woods giggling with each other. I was left now for the boys to intimidate some more about Hannah. “I think you should fuck her tonight, Jase.” Peanuts started with.

“Yeah, go on, Jase, take her off over there and do it. It would be amazing, you’d be a legend,” Chris chirped in as always.

“Not tonight, I can’t do it tonight. I…don’t have any condoms or anything,” that was the best excuse I could think of quickly enough. It seemed like quite a good one as well.

“Well I brought one just in case,” Peanuts said and he chucked a wrinkled wrapper at me from out of his wallet. Then I knew I was probably going to have to go through with this. I picked up the condom and put it in my pocket; I didn’t really need to say anything else.

We finished off all the cider and I’d started singing Biffy Clyro songs loudly and Peanuts and Chris were laughing at me. Then the girls came back over they were looking at us and giggling. Hannah came over and held my hand, Emily quickly rushed to sit down next to Chris and Sarah sat with Peanuts, although she looked the most unhappy to be doing so. Hannah led me off down to an open patch and we sat on a log alone together. I didn’t know what to say and it seemed like she didn’t either.

I thought about how much I wanted to kiss her but I didn’t quite have the balls to do it. Once the silence had gone on for slightly too long, I went in. She kissed me back and this time it felt so much better than last time. I even tried to put my tongue in but it made her jump so I stopped. I started feeling excited again and then I felt my phone vibrate. It was Peanuts he’d text me just saying, ‘Seal the deal.’ I knew they were going to find out if I didn’t so I decided I was going to have to try it on. We started kissing again and I put my hand on her thigh. She didn’t do anything so I took it is a sign to go further. I stroked up her thigh and my fingertips began to slide up her top and on to her belly. I could feel she was tensing it and then she stopped kissing. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing,” I knew now that I’d probably blown it, “sorry, I just thought that’s what I was supposed to do.”

“We’ve only been together a week, I’m only fifteen and you’re trying to touch my tit already. Now I know why people say boys are only after one thing!”

“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I won’t do it again I promise,” I felt myself almost start to cry but managed to stop any tears from coming and then Hannah got up and stormed off back to the camp.

I sat there for a minute and had to really stop myself from just bursting into tears. When I went back Chris and Peanuts were giggling with each other and the three girls were all huddled together whispering and looking at me. I knew everyone knew what had happened. I sat on my own on a separate log from the boys I didn’t want to hear what they had to say. It was their fault this had happened in the first place. Harry wouldn’t have told me to do that, he would’ve told me to play it cool for a while but he hadn’t written back yet so what was I supposed to do?

Justboy, part 1

Dear Harry,

Mum told me I should write you a letter since apparently I don’t contact you enough. So, here I am, writing you a letter.

Things are just as boring here as they were when you left. I’ve really liked those Biffy Clyro albums you left me. I know all the words to Blackened Sky now, Justboy’s my favourite song. It must’ve been awesome to go and see them, send me some pictures.

Actually thinking about it there is something that’s interesting. I have got a girlfriend! Her names Hannah, she’s got blonde hair and the biggest tits in the whole of year nine. I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how, maybe, I’d get to touch them one day, I know you’ve touched loads of girls! But, yeah, Hannah is awesome when you come home for Christmas you’ll meet her and hopefully you’ll be just as impressed as all the boys were at school.

Write back and let me know how uni’s going and don’t forget those tips,

Love Jason

I hadn’t spoken to Harry since he left and I didn’t want to let anyone know but I missed him so much you couldn’t imagine. It wasn’t Mum that told me to send him a letter I decided to do it of my own accord; this place wasn’t the same without him around. I felt much more vulnerable at school without him there to stick up for me.

I remember this one time when I’d just started at secondary school and Luke Hannigan tripped me up in the playground. I got really angry and started trying to swing for him. I got him square in the nose and he was about to punch back, he was a lot bigger than me and I wouldn’t have stood a chance. But just before he could get me Harry turned up and came to my rescue. He stood right in front of him towering over him and just said, ‘You’re going to go back to your mates and forget this ever happened or you’ll have me on your back every day for the rest of your days at this school.’ After that Luke never bothered me again and, as a matter of fact, no one ever bothered me after that day. Everyone knew that Harry had my back.

I suppose that now I’m in year ten I could look after myself. I can look after myself to the extent that I’d managed to pull Hannah. I still can’t quite get over what I’ve done; I’m going out with the hottest girl in the year. I would like us to go somewhere, get serious. I’m probably never going to get anyone better-looking in my whole life!

Things had been really shit actually since Harry left but now I’ve got Hannah I think things are finally going to get good. She’s coming round in an hour so for the first time, I better get ready, I’m actually really nervous.

She got here at about half past six and mum had cooked us fish fingers and chips. I know, right, the most romantic date meal ever. While we were eating it mum kept asking these stupid questions that even dad was getting bored by. So then he started making these terrible jokes and I felt like face planting my dinner. Luckily now it was over and me and Hannah were cuddling and watching TV in my room. The door was on the latch because mum told me I wasn’t allowed it shut with any girl round but I thought we’d be pretty safe from intrusion. The cuddling was nice, I had to hide from her the fact that I was getting over excited I don’t think she’d noticed though. She looked stunning, she’d put on this bright red lipstick and straightened her hair and she looked just like a model.

We were watching some random programme but I wasn’t paying attention I was looking at her the whole time then when a break came I decided it was time to make my move. I slouched down so I was lying face to face with her and stared right into her big blue eyes. She has the most beautiful eyelashes I’ve ever seen. There’s a part of me that wants to tell her I love her but I stop myself, I know I can’t say that yet. But she stares back at me as if she wants to tell me as well. Then I go in for the kiss. It was one of the best moments of my life. I had my eyes open so I could see her but every now and again she’d open hers and I’d have to shut mine so she didn’t think I was weird. I was getting even more excited down there, it was quite hard to hide now but I don’t think she minded anyway. That night when she left I had the biggest smile on my face. She said I looked like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. She looked pretty happy as well. That night I had the best sleep I’d had since Harry had left for uni.

A Scholar, A Peasant and a King, part 4

She woke the next morning having slept through the night fully and felt on top of the world. Her newborn was no longer with her and she assumed that her mother must have put him in his crib. She got up and went to see her little hero. He lay there peacefully with a blanket over him and his back to her. She approached him slowly and lovingly.

But when she reached him and looked down into his eyes she no longer saw her son. Deep within his pupils she saw a glowing red fire and she felt that this fire was going to get her. She examined him further, moving the blanket from his naked body. She was struck by an overwhelming fear as she saw he had no belly button. She immediately knew that this was not her baby, he had been replaced. Ever since Dai had got that job she had felt she had been under a curse and now looking down on this small creature that had replaced her newborn she knew that this is what she’d been anticipating.

As the fear left her so did the remainder of her emotions. Her face appeared blank and lifeless and there was no spirit left inside her. She took the small creature from its crib and left her mother’s home silently, with no supplies. She walked for days and days drinking from sewers and such to keep what little life she had left going. Then she reached the desert. She built a small bonfire with some dry wood she had collected and eventually managed to get it alight. She held her baby creature by its ankle and stuck it out over the bare flames. It didn’t scream. It just accepted its fate and slowly burned away. Once the creature was dealt with Hao herself took one small step and stood motionless amongst the flames.

The king of the dead had finally got his way.

A Scholar, A Peasant and a King, part 3

The king of the dead had just discovered that he had not fully got his revenge on the old scholar. Upon an examination of his victim it became clear to him that his soul had escaped and was occupying another being. In a fit of rage he stormed through the gateways of hell towards the pit of fire where his minions resided.

He stood looking down on them all. His face was a dull grey colour and his eyes bent his skull inwards projecting haunting, bright blue indents amongst his withering face. Parts of his flesh on his cheeks weren’t fully attached to the bone and so hung loosely in a sickening manner. His mouth acted as a haven for every imaginable kind of gum and tooth decay. The few teeth he had remaining were black stumps, one of which, was literally hanging out of its socket by a short nerve thread. He wore a long grey linen cloak over his body and his arms which were little more than skeletal poked out from underneath the fabric. He did not have legs, he simply hovered across the floor but from underneath his cloak there was always a dusty cloud which obviously was some by product of his movement. As he entered the area the demons who had been joking around with each other all snapped to attention sensing his anger.

He grabbed a small fire demon by the throat and ripped his head off with a burst of fire and fear before dispensing of his body onto the hard, stone floor. All the other demons fled from his presence fearing for their own miserable lives. However, shortly afterwards the king had calmed himself down. He sensed something significant had happened. He could feel it within, that the old scholar’s spirit was on the move again. He honed in on this supernatural feeling to see Dai with his wife, in bed together. The old scholar’s spirit that had been transferred to Dai was moving again, into the womb of Hao. A disturbing grin appeared in the corners of the king’s mouth as he hatched his plan.

* * *

That night Dai was taken in his sleep. Hao woke up to find him not breathing. Her devastation could not be described adequately in words but, little did she know, it was going to get even worse. She had been impregnated the night before and was now carrying Dai’s child with the spirit of the old scholar. The king of the dead had no business killing Hao but what he had planned was much, much worse.

That day Hao packed her things and left their home, she travelled to the other side of Beijing to her widowed mothers’ shack that was within another urban village. She asked to stay there and explained to her mother what had happened. That night neither of the women got a wink of sleep. There was a horrible sense that something was going to happen.

For the next nine months sleep became an unusual past time for Hao, who constantly sensed herself being watched. The king had his eye on her throughout her pregnancy and she had now become exhausted to an alarmingly dangerous level. Her mother had tried her best at looking after her but she did not expect her to live through labour. The day had finally come and Hao was weaker than ever but it was time for the baby to come.

The birth was one of the most horrific scenes her mother had ever witnessed. But, somehow, Hao and her healthy baby boy came out the other side. Once the six hours of labour had finally passed for the first time in nine months Hao felt like something good had happened. She was filled with a sense that things were going to be okay from now on. That this baby was going to help her through her grieving which had, so far, gotten the better of her. She felt undying love for her child and that first night she slept with him in her arms.