This is a rewrite and replacement of the present story. Jamie has problems with bullies.
The Bully and the Game
A cold southerly breeze smote eleven year-old Jamie Radcliffe’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. He looked at them with pleading eyes but if any of them felt pity, it was obvious they were too scared to come to his aide.
“I keep telling you Sebastian, I don’t know who did it,” he said. “Honest I don’t.”
“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. 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 and a lord Voldemort top. His grey stone washed jeans were fastened by a studded leather belt; the same colour as his dusty running shoes.
“Last chance, Monkey boy” warned Sebastian.
“Screw you,” retorted Jamie. He braced for impact but Sebastian merely smirked.
“Please yourself. Charge him in.”
Silence ascended the spectators. He could hear distant squeaking swings and the shrills of younger children at play. Patrick and Jasper tightened their grips and walked him forward a few paces, then stopped. He stared at the array of noxious weeds. It seemed doubtful his navy blue Adidas track pants would protect his legs against such prickles. The urge to recant his loyalty intensified.
Sebastian’s dutiful minions started running, pulling Jamie along across the lush grass. Jamie increased his pace; despite his rluctance to suffer certain pain. The cold wind continued smiting him and crowd started cheering, like spectators at a colosseum; baying for his 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. Panic ensued and he cried out; begging for mercy.
Jamie’s arms were released. The boys came to an abrupt halt, but he continued ahead and tripped over a protruding stump. He lost balance and landed in a mass of scrub. Gorse pierced his chest whilst blackberry bushes ensnared his arms and legs. 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 to his 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. 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, he had a green belt in kickboxing and was not the sort of person one would wish as an enemy.
“We’re just fooling around. He tripped and got himself caught up in the thorns,” stated 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.”
“Grrrrrrr!” agreed Koromaru.
“Let go!” said Jamie, shifting back and forward on a chocolate brown armchair, “It’s not your turn yet!”
“Is too,” retorted Deacon, trying to prize the controller out of his stepbrother’s sticky hands
“You can have it when I’m finished this mission.”
“That could be like forever…oh come on Jamie, I wanna play Spyro.”
Jamie’s tardy homecoming from Sparks Park, had earned him a temporary loss of Wi-Fi privileges. Tavis and he had decided it best not to mention his run-in with Sebastian to his stepparents whom were presently out at the movies .
“Spyro’s a spastic game for little kids,” alleged Jamie.
“I don’t care…I wanna play it,” continued Deacon.
“No let go!”
“Stop it!” scolded his older Stepsister, Melissa. “I can’t concentrate on my book.”
“Yeah, Jamie; give me the controller, so she can read her stupid girly book,” said Deacon.
“You’re the one making the fuss,” retorted Jamie. He felt the controller slip through his fingers but could do nothing to prevent it. Seconds later he saw Deacon stumble backwards. The boy tripped over his own feet and landed hard onto the floral carpet.
“Victory is mine!” cheered Deacon. He got back up and holding his ill-gotten spoils above his head. “Ha-ha, I’m playing Spyro. Your “Spiderman-for-dingbats” game will have to wait…nah-nah na nah-nah.”
“Give it back or you’ll be sorry,”
“No, it’s mine, my birthday present…my prrrrrresh…shuz.”
Rage seethed and Jamie whacked the left side of Deacon’s m head with the cushion. Though taken by surprise, his stepbrother responded with a taunting grin. He hit him again with the same result.
“Give it back Deacon!”
“Not gunna happen.”
He abandoned the cushion and thumped Deacon’s left shoulder twice. The controller dropped to the floor. His heart chilled as the boy omitted a high pitched squeal. Moments later, the sound of bawling filled the living room.
“Jamie, come here!” ordered Delilah; slamming her book down beside her, on the couch.
Jamie’s mouth opened to say something in his defence but his words seemed trapped. Experience deterred him from defiance. He wiped his own misty eyes and approached her with caution.
“I’m sorry,” he offered, coming to a halt a few meters from her.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to hit your little brother?”
“I like, hardly ever hit him.”
“Hardly ever is far too often. You deserve an early night for the way you treated him. Put your pyjamas on, brush your teeth and go to bed.”
“It’s not even eight o’clock,”
“Take it up with Mum and Dad when they get home from their night out. Until then, as your babysitter, and older sister, I am ordering you to go to bed, right now.”
“Deacon ought-a get a early night too. He hit me with a cushion, and was being naughty and stuff, and whatever.”
“I don’t care what Deacon was doing, I care what you did!”
“That coz he’s your real brother and I’m not.”
“Just do as you are told, or you’ll get an eleven minute timeout as well.”
“I hate you!”
Tears trickled down Jamie’s cheeks as he stormed out of the living room, mumbling under his breath. He hastened up the staircase, then down the corridor to the third room on the left.
“I’m through with this stupid family, they can all go screw themselves,” he grouched. He slammed the door behind him and lay face down on the bed. “And if Jamie thinks I’m going to stick up for him, he can just forget it. Next time Sebastian asks, I’ll tell him which exactly who betrayed him. Just see if I don’t.”
To be continued