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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Family · #2220128
A bully threatens Jamie, whilst a good deed gets him into trouble
Recap. 12 year old Jamie Radcliffe is being held against his will by Pedro and Delilah in a house in an undisclosed location. During an unsuccessful bid to escape he is forced to abandon his backpack and teddy bear (Oscar) down a bank. He is taken back to the house and locked in a room in the basement, which is collegially known as the Badroom.

The next day he is released and as a direct consequence of his escape, his all clothing except pyjamas socks and underwear are confiscated to discourage him from fleeing again. After a series of domestic misadventures he falls asleep and dreams of his life back with his estranged stepfamily. He is abruptly woken by Delilah and sees out of the corner of his eye that Pedro has changed channels from the rugby game he was watching to a CTV monitor, which shows two people outside the house. He is taken back to the basement and locked once again in the Badroom.

After a flashback to picnic shortly before his nightmare began the story returns to his confinement where he discovers that Pedro’s three year-old Bull Mastiff, Major, had wandered into the Badroom unnoticed and was sleeping on the bed when at the same moment Delilah locked Jamie in there. He manages to befriend Major and is even more shocked to note that the dog has retrieved one of his hoodies and taken it into the Badroom; hinting the rest of his confiscated clothing might be somewhere close by. His best guess is that it is somewhere in the basement. He decides to check this out late at night while Delilah and Pedro are asleep.

The story turns once again to his prior life with the Radcliffes.

Of Thorns and Painted Jeans

-nine months earlier-

“I keep telling you Sebastian, I don’t know who did it,” said Jamie. “Honest I don’t.”

An array of dark clouds obscured the late afternoon sun and a cold southerly breeze smote Jamie’s unclad chest as he struggled to free his arms from Patrick and Jasper’s grip. Around him came the cruel jeers and taunts from bystanders, gathered to witness his humiliation. He looked at them with pleading eyes but if any of them felt pity it was obvious they were either too scared or impeded by peer pressure to come to his aide.

“The blackberry bushes and gorse is particularly sharp this year” affirmed Sebastian. “You sure that’s the story you’re sticking to?”

“Yeah, sorry but I just don’t know.”

Sebastian’s eyes narrowed and face hardened. He grunted and then spat onto the short grass that carpeted most of Sparks Park. A tall solid built 12 year-old thug with long dark hair reaching his broad shoulders. He wore a New York Giant’s baseball cap; a lord Voldemort top, grey stone washed jeans with a studded leather belt and dusty black running shoes.

“Last chance, Monkey boy” warned Sebastian.

Jamie reflected on the associated consequences of telling Sebastian the truth. Despite the sibling rivalry and inane squabbles he cared a great deal for Deacon. To betray his younger stepbrother for his own benefit seemed unbelievably selfish. His conscience would never allow or forgive such a violation of ethics.

“Screw you,” retorted Jamie without thinking. He braced for impact but Sebastian merely smirked.

“Please yourself. Charge him in.”

Silence ascended the spectators as Patrick and Jasper tightened their grips and walked him forward a few paces. They stopped and held Jamie in place for a brief time, allowing time for the magnitude of his penalty to sink in. He stared at the array of noxious weeds and felt a strong urge to recant his loyalty, but quickly overcame such temptation.

Sebastian’s dutiful minions started running, pulling Jamie along across the lush grass. Jamie increased his pace; despite his reluctance to suffer certain pain. The cold wind continued smiting him and crowd started cheering, like spectators at a colosseum baying for blood.

They ran faster, his surroundings jarred and bounced before his watery eyes. His heartbeat increased and nerves tensed. The edge of the bank raced toward him at a rapid. Panic ensued, and he cried out; begging for mercy but once again his words fell on deaf ears.

Jamie’s arms were released. The boys came to an abrupt halt but he continued ahead, propelled by momentum and tripped over a protruding stump. He lost balance and landed in a mass of scrub. Gorse pierced his chest whilst brambles stabbed and cut causing him to wince and shrill.

“Get me out of here?” he blubbered trying to tear himself away but the sharp spines refused to let go. “Someone help me…please.”

“Oi, what’s going on here?” sounded an all too familiar voice.

He ceased struggling and looked over to his far left. Relief calmed him as he saw his eldest stepbrother, Travis striding toward the gathering. To the left of him trotted Koromaru, who appeared to have sensed Jamie’s distress and had gone into protection mode. Up until now he had not encountered the dog’s hidden aggression and he feared that it may make the fatal mistake of biting someone. Such action would most likely lead to it being euthanized as a dangerous animal.

Sebastian’s bravado waned and the thug seemed nervous, which given Travis’s reputation around the schoolyard was not a surprise. Though far removed from what anyone may describe as a bully, Jamie’s stepbrother had a green belt in kickboxing and was not the sort of person one would wish as an enemy; especially when it came to protecting his siblings.

“We’re just fooling around. He tripped and got himself caught up in the thorns,” alleged Sebastian.

Grrrrrrr!” growled Koromaru, bearing his teeth.

“Is that true Jamie?” asked Travis.

“Yes, I accidently tripped and landed in here,” replied Jamie.

Grrrrrrr!” continued Koromaru

“Maybe you should give him a handout, Sebastian. What do you say? It’s getting late and he should be home by now,” suggested Travis.

“Yeah, sure thing…come on guys let’s help him out of there.”

“You know it makes sense.”

“Arf!” agreed Koromaru and then gave another “Grrrrrrr!”


“Melisa says you wanted a word with me, Mum.” said Jamie.

It was just after four thirty in the afternoon and Jamie’s mind was still transitioning from the thorn incident and trying day at school, to a less stressful home environment. He had usurped his drab school uniform for his Ant Man T-shirt and burgundy track pants, with a slight tear in the right knee.

"Yes Dear, have a seat." replied Catarina.

Jamie studied his stepmother’s expression for a brief period then slumped down on the chair opposite her. The table was separated by a bowl of plums. A small brown envelope and a 200 gram block of Whittaker’s Berry & Biscuit chocolate sat on his side, whilst his faded Levi’s jeans and Digital Timer Clock sat next to Catarina.

“Am I in trouble Mum?” he asked timidly.

“Why would you think you’re in trouble?”

“Most times you want "a word" with me it’s about something I did that I shouldn’t of or something I didn’t do that I should of.”

“And have you misbehaved lately.”

“Not that I know of,”

“Well if you’ve done no wrong then you’ve got nothing to fret about.”

“Yeah…I guess not. Has this got something to do with Sebastian?”

“No, not Sebastian but maybe we could leave that for another talk; unless there are any urgent issues you want to discuss.”

“Nah…it can wait, I suppose,”

“It’s about Mrs Burgess. She rang today and you’ll be pleased to know that she and I are back on speaking terms.”

“You are; that’s fantastic!”

“Yes. She rang this morning and invited me around for a cuppa.”

“She did?”

His eyes shifted from her deadpan expression to the chocolate, then over to the timer and finally back up at her. He was getting mixed messages from the objects and felt uneasy where this discussion was heading.

“She tells me she’s been painting her front gate.”

“Has she?”

“Yes. I want you to have a good look at these jeans and tell me if they are yours?”

“Yeah they’re mine….you patched the knee, remember?”

“What’s that on the back pockets?”

“Could be grass stains. They’re only play pants.”

“Yes I know they’re for play, but I don’t think that’s grass. It’s paint. {Pickle Green} to be exact. Can you guess what colour she painted her gate?

“Ummmmm, Pickle Green?”

“You went over there and spoke to her, and brushed your bottom against the gate while the paint was still wet.”

“Neither of you were willing to back down. Someone had to be the peacemaker,”

“I specifically forbade you to go over there.”

“Yeah I know; but you said you and Mrs Burgess have been best friends since like forever. I’d rather have you mad at me than see you lose a close friend.”

“And don’t think I am not grateful. The chocolate’s my way of rewarding your good deed. However you are part of his family now and are obliged to follow the house rules, and to do as you are told. There is a cautionary note in the red envelope. Please read it and I would advise you to take this warning seriously. If you have any questions or need something clarified don't hesitate to ask. I promise I won't bite your head off; but for now you need to be punished for your disobedience."

“So how many licks of the cat-of-nine tails do I get?”

“You’re getting to get a timeout and limited Wi-fi privileges until further notice. Go stand in the corner by the china-cabinet.”

“Awwww, but Harvey and Deacon and Koromaru are in the living room waiting to watch Roadrunner with me. Can’t I do my timeout after that?”

“No you’re going to do it now. They’ll have to watch it without you. Now go stand in the corner like I told you to.”

“Yes Mum.”

-To Be Continued-

Odyssey of a prodigal Stepson Part Six   (13+)
Jamie finds something of interest during his search for his missing apparel
#2220237 by lezismore-with 2020 vision

 Odyssey Of A Prodigal Stepson Index  (13+)
Twelve year old Jamie's desperate endevour to get back to his estranged Stepparents
#2220640 by lezismore-with 2020 vision

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