by Simon Evans
When Debbie came home from school I was devastated. Those bastard boys had picked on her again. To think that they’d actually pulled out a clump of her hair! Needless to say she was inconsolable. I thought the tears would never stop. She sounded so distressed it just broke my heart. When she told me that they had toppled her out of her chair I was fuming. I said to Nigel when he got home ‘Are you going to deal with these shits or am I?’ He’s not the sort to confront anyone as you know but he was shaking with rage. Shaking he was. He said ‘Let’s call the school’ and I said ‘Well we’ve called the bloody school before and where does that get us? It just seems to get worse.’ I told Nigel – ‘You go down there in the morning and have a word with them.’ They all hang around the school gates smoking before the bell goes. That Craig Banton is the worst one. He’s a spiteful little toad and from what Debbie has said he seems to be the ring leader. A right vindictive little nutcase if you ask me. Well I could tell Nigel didn’t want to, not really, these kids are nasty buggers so you don’t know what they’re capable of but what choice did he have? We’re not going to pull Debbie out of school, not in such an important year, so we have to fight the bullies don’t we? I said to him ‘This has gone on too long, go and put the fear of god in ‘em.’ In the morning he was pacing, he seemed really nervous but more and more angry with every minute. Debbie was in her chair just snivelling, poor little mite.
On our way to school Dad seemed different. His knuckles were all white on the steering wheel and he was shaking a bit. He didn’t say much apart from asking if I was alright a few times. I didn’t want to go to stupid school but Mum said I had to, that I shouldn’t let the bullies win. Mum and Dad had been talking quietly and seriously all evening and all morning and then Dad said he would take me to school. It made me nervous, everything was horrible and different. I was scared I suppose and my head hurt where they’d pulled my hair. I hadn’t told Mum about the other stuff. The dog shit in my bag, or when they took my knickers off and threw them on the roof, or when Craig showed me the knife and told me what he would do with it. I hate Craig so much. When I saw him and his stupid mates I thought ‘they’re just like a group of crows’. They all dress in black and look mean with beady eyes. My heart sank when Dad pulled the car up by them and got out and went up to them. His fists were clenched. He was shouting at them and waving his arms and then he was pushing his chest against Craig’s chest. Then they – the crows – all sort of grouped around Dad and then Dad was on the floor and they all ran off and Dad was bleeding. I was still in the car so I couldn’t get out. I screamed and banged the window and Dad was lying all still. Mr Trotman ran over and was leaning over Dad and waving for help and a man rang the ambulance. I rang Mum and she was crying and shouting on the phone.
When the phone rang something told me it was trouble. Nigel had seemed so wild that morning when he left. He’s normally so controlled but even when he was pushing Debbie’s chair out to the car I could see he was shaking. When Debbie started talking it was all so hard to take in. I was ranting down the phone and was out the door within thirty seconds. I swear I didn’t stop running all the way. When I got there the ambulance was pulling away and my heart was racing ten to the dozen. The keys were still in the car so I followed it to the hospital. It’s all a blur after that. Nigel attached to machines, people rushing about left, right and centre, Police asking me questions, Debbie crying all the time, blaming herself, poor little sod. When the doctor said that Nigel would be alright and when his Mum turned up and took Debbie I just went into auto pilot. I got in the car and I drove round there, to the parade. That’s where they hang out, those evil scum. I saw that Craig with a bag of chips outside the Co-op, he had his hood up but I could see it was him. I swear it just felt right that I put my foot down. As my car went up the pavement he looked round at me with those beady little eyes. I was yelling when the car hit him. His legs snapped up and his head smacked the windscreen and his chips went everywhere. I heard him bang on the roof and then he fell behind the car. I think that when I stamped on his head he was already gone. People were gathered around and someone was holding me back. I am a murderer.