The story so far: Blakey squandered the last of his family’s financial reserves on strange, magical beans – with rather a high street value – which earned him banishment from his mother’s council flat. He found a bottle of Buckfast and discovered a genie inside. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan and Blakey was left without a single wish fulfilled. Well, sort of. As we left him, he was off on a journey to his grandma’s house: his last hope. This is part 3, something you’ve probably deduced from the title of the post.
Catch up with Part 1: http://www.jamieandrew-withhands.com/2012/06/10/btjp1/
It was nearing lunchtime and Blake was on his way to grandma’s. The sun peeped its head out from behind a huddle of clouds, draping a warm sheen over the maze of cloned streets. Blake wiped his brow and licked his dry lips. A hackle-rising niggle began to gnaw at his limbs and head, as his bloodstream screamed out for a fag. No money though.
But there was always a way to get fags. It took him close to forty-five minutes to forage for glass juice bottles, the length and breadth of the neighbourhood, so that he could afford a packet of Mayfair with the twenty-pence-a-time glass deposits. Not a wheely-bin nor a hedge nor a single lawn was left unturned in the frantic search.
In one of the gardens along the way he saw a group of five students, four of them mad-eyed and rolling in the grass. The fifth was sparking his lighter and staring at the flame slack-jawed, as if it was the most impressive thing he had ever seen, or ever would see.
They were like a gaggle of extras from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.
‘Terry, the sky’s falling down, the sky’s falling down, man! Look!’
‘So it is! What are we going to dae? The sky’s falling doon!’
‘Some’dy huz tae tell the Queen!’
‘Christ, we have to tell somebody!’
‘Wow. Better tell them it’s green too, man.’
‘Where are we going?’
‘Maybe that buffalo over there’ll know the way,’ whined one of them, pointing at Blake.
After suggesting that they go and procreate with themselves, Blake made his way briskly to the convenience store: rucksack, coat and arms bulging with clinking, bulky bottles.
A drooling pack of seven little teenage boys – average age twelve – were crowded near the entrance to the store. A battery powered ghetto-blaster lay in their midst, pumping out the aggressive thump of American hip-hop – a musical message from one ghetto to another. Here were seven mini-Eminems in the making.
Blake watched as a gaunt young woman, clad in a sheepskin coat and a belt-like mini-skirt, took a slightly off-balanced journey across the precinct from the doors of the motel to the pub adjoining it.
The seven little hip-hoppers saw her and began wolf whistling.
‘There’s that prossie again!’ one of them jeered.
‘Look at her, she’s well off her tits on somethin’!’
‘Go’n yersel, hen!’
‘She’s a ho!’ one shouted.
‘Aye, a high ho!’
‘High ho!’ another one laughed.
‘Get yersel’s a job, ye cheeky wee buggers, off tae work yez go!’ yelled an old man at the bus stop, raising a fist and waving his walking stick.
‘Fat chance, ye auld duffer!’ one of them screeched.
The prostitute waddled through the double swing-doors of the bar, disappearing with two fingers aloft, directing them back at the menacing rabble.
‘Aye, we ken whaur they fingers hiv been, hen!’
Riotous laughter erupted.
As soon as they saw Blake approaching the doors of the shop, the seven wasters flurried deeper into activity, bouncing around and howling his name out.
‘Blake, man, Blakey pal!’
‘Go’n get us a bottle ay Buckie, sir!’
‘Aye, we need Buckfast, like!’
It was almost a rite of passage in the town: the misappropriation of Buckfast for the too young by the almost old enough. No doubt in some distant pocket of the future, Blake’s children would be buying Buckfast for their children and so on and so forth. Almost tradition. Blake agreed to their request and took their money, which was more a fistful of coppers than a fistful of dollars.
Blake first approached the serving counter to off-load the glass bottles and then slipped the reciprocal packet of fags into his coat pocket. Result! As he sauntered off and started perusing the drinks aisle, Blake received a few askance glances from the husband and wife duo behind the till.
‘What the Hell is he doing?’ whispered the wife.
‘I’ve no idea, Margaret,’ replied Johnny, her husband. ‘Each generation’s getting scarier than the next.’
They kept watching him, glad that they had never had children of their own.
‘Come oan, ye wee buggers, I ken yer in there,’ Blake snarled, rubbing vigorously at every bottle on the shelf. ‘Come oot! Come oot and gee me a million poonds!’
‘Shall I phone the police, Johnny?’ she whispered, a hint of fear shadowing her features.
‘No, Margaret,’ he sighed, ‘I think it’s the doctor that boy needs.’
A flash of fake ID and a sigh of relief later, Blake was presenting the Buckfast to the seven thirsty little skivers. They were characteristically grateful.
‘Effin’ magic!’ one cried.
‘Top-class, sir!’ yelled another.
‘Woooo!’ another one simply said.
‘Aye, cheers, Blake. You want a swally?’
‘Nah, better no, lads,’ said Blake, ‘ah’m goin’ tae ma grans. She’ll hae sum in the fridge, like.’
A chorus of chuckles. ‘Nice one, big man.’
‘So whit ar yoose boys goin’ tae dae?’ asked Blake, taking out a fag and jamming it in between his lips.
‘Sum guy’s gonnae meet us behind the joab centre. He’ll hae Snow White way ‘im.’
Blake raised his eyebrows. ‘Whit?’ he asked.
Seven little fingers reached to seven little nostrils and they all gave a heaving, over-exaggerated sniff before descending into manic laughter once more.
‘Snaw White,’ winked the ringleader.
Blake resumed his trek to grandma’s, shaking his head as he left behind Dopey, Flunky, Junkie, Cokey, Skin-full, Ear-full and Doc (on account of his Doctor Marten boots).
TO BE CONTINUED
PART 4 COMING NEXT WEEK