(A short story)
Halloween this year was the best. Me and my pal Mark had been planning it for ages. Since we made up after he said sorry for not swapping me Aston Villa's Gary Shaw so's I could complete the Panini '82 sticker album. I completed it anyway. My big brother got me Gary Shaw. Our costumes were practically real SAS uniforms. I got the SAS annual for my birthday so we knew exactly what we needed - black combat trousers, black army jumpers, black balaclavas, black ammunition belts, black backpacks (for our sweeties) and black paratrooper boots, although they don't make them in kids sizes so we just borrowed some of my big brothers old Doc Martens which were still far too big. We were doing bob-a-jobs for months to get the money for everything. We even made a bazooka out of an old drainpipe and got climbing rope for Mark to wear it over his shoulder, and I had a belt of grenades over mine. That's what we decided, Mark got the rockets, I got the grenades, all made out of fireworks. Well, the rockets were just normal rockets but the grenades were real grenades because we got loads of bangers and split them open then put them back together with ten bangers worth of gunpowder in each one, wrapped in tin foil and sealed with that white papery-tape my dad uses to not paint over the edges when he's decorating the house. We had five grenades and two whole packets of rockets so twenty rockets. We didn't pay for them ourselves, though. My big brother promised to get us the fireworks if we managed to get our own uniforms.
We got ready and went to show my big brother. Him and his pal Skeesh were out the front fixing their scooters again. They're always fixing their scooters. He said we looked cool but told us we shouldn't have dressed as SAS men because we're Catholic so we don't like the SAS, but that it was too late now and the Iranian Embassy siege was pretty cool anyway. Pretty cool anyway? It was the best thing ever! I tried to ask why Catholics don't like the SAS but he wasn't even listening, he just started going on at us saying we shouldn't go out on Bonfire Night either because Guy Fawkes was a Catholic like us and we shouldn't burn the Guy, but then Skeesh started saying Guy Fawkes wasn't like us because he hated Scottish people, so then my big brother and Skeesh started arguing and we just left them to it. Me and Mark still don't know how being a Catholic means you don't like the SAS, or why Guy Fawkes hated Scottish people, but there's no way we're missing Bonfire Night. My big brother's off his head if he thinks we're not going to set fire to stuff on Bonfire Night, Bonfire Night's amazing. Although it wont be as good as this Halloween was, it was even better than the time me and Mark broke into the old Town Hall and found all those boxes of light bulbs, then went to school the next day and told the boys. We all put on our camouflage gear and went back that night then split up into two armies, hid all over the Town Hall and ambushed each other in the dark, using the light bulbs as grenades. It was like a real war with proper explosions and everything. Nowhere near as good as this Halloween was, though. It was ace, and because we had balaclavas on we could chap any door and people just thought we were their grandsons. We got pure tons of sweets. We were out til dead late without even having to fire off hardly any shots. Although a couple of people didn't answer their doors so we blew up their letter boxes and opened fire on their windows. This old guy came out one of the houses and chased us so he was definitely in and totally deserved it.
Anyway, we were on our way back to our den next to the old pigeon coops to get stuck in to our sweets when we turned a corner and one of the skinheads was leaning against the wall across the street. It was either Steelie or his clatty pal Neil Fullerton. It's dead confusing because everyone says Neil Fullerton's the one with the Nazi thing drawn on his forehead and Steelie's the one with NF written on his but that doesn't make sense because why would Steelie have his pal's initials tattooed on his forehead, so we figured it must be the other way around.
"Here, ya wee fannies, happy Halloween is it, aye? Gie's yer sweets or I'll kick yer heads in." He's much older than us so it wasn't fair. We could've just legged it and got my big brother to batter him but SAS men don't run.
"Nut, fuck off ya dildo!" Mark's pretty tough so he wasn't scared even though we're only in primary five and everyone knows Steelie got expelled from the academy for punching a teacher.
"Wee man, you're dead." He started walking over, wobbling from side to side like he was drunk, then he just ran at us and grabbed Mark so I jumped in and started kicking him in the shins. We both set about him but he was just laughing, then he grabbed our bags off us so I got out my Zippo.
"The Iranian Embassy siege, Mark!"
"Aye, save the hostages!" Steelie was looking through my bag while I loaded Mark's bazooka and he took aim.
"Here, Steelie, ya fuckin' tampon!" He looked up just as the rocket toar out. Fuck-ye! Point-blank right in the face, it was amazing! He went pure arse-over-tit then decked it a dulyin, so I lit two grenades, stuck them down the front of his denims, grabbed our bags and ran.
"Who dares wins, ya fuckin' pokey bum wank!" Then all we heard was this massive explosion and him screaming his head off! It was hilarious, we could hardly run for laughing!
That was two nights ago. This morning my big brother asked if I knew anything about what's in the paper. He said Neil Fullerton's in hospital with no balls and one eye, and that some old granny saw two masked men running away, and that the police suspect it might be something to do with Irish paratrooper military groups because Neil Fullerton's dad's in jail for something to do with a UVF or something. So, aye, too right me and Mark are joining the SAS when we grow up.
Copyright Roddy Smith 2015.