Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Entangled Tales - 62 - Tony

They went back a few meters along the road, and then through a gap in the safety fence and down a steep, rough, track under the trees, into the valley.

"What have you got in the bag, Boy? Is that your teddy-bear?"

"No," Tony grinned. "I haven't got a teddy-bear. It's just some clean clothes."

"Ooh, that's clever. That's nice, isn't it, Fellas? The boys got some clean clothes in his wee bag."

They stumbled down the hill in the dark, the old guy and the kid were in the lead and the other two at the rear, following Tony. At the bottom, where the ground flattened out, they came out into a circle of fire-light in a small clearing in the trees.

Several more rough-looking characters were sitting around the fire. The oldest one, Tony recognized as the derelict he'd seen in the railway station.

"Good evening, Gentlemen," Tony's old guy walked up to the fire. "We've brought some fresh meat for you."

Tony stood looking at the rough, weather-beaten faces surrounding him. 10, 11, 12 of them. 'Oh shit! How can I get out of here?'

"Relax Boy. Make yourself at our place." One of the younger men pushed him down to sit on the grass by the fire.

"Here, Kid, get some of that down you." One of the others shoved a half-full bottle at him.

He took the bottle without thinking, and then, seeing all the faces focused on him, tipped it up and took a large mouthful. 'Whoar!"

Resisting the panicked urge to spit it all out, he swallowed and swallowed and could feel it burning all the way down to his gut.

"Good Boy. Good Boy." The guy laughed and thumped his back. "That's the way - that'll warm you up. Have some more - put some hair on your chest."

He had another, smaller, mouthful; it didn't feel so bad this time. Then another, and another. This stuff wasn't so bad - he could handle it.

"Come on, pass the bottle. You're not drinking it all." The guy on his left took the bottle and the one on his right passed him another, smaller, one. He took a drink from that. Yuck! He handed it back.

"So what have we got in here then?" the old guy picked up Tony's supermarket bag and peered inside. "Been to the Supermarket, have we? Ah, look! Mummy's packed him a picnic."

He took out a handful of broken sandwiches and stuffed them onto his mouth. Tony tried to protest, but his mouth didn't seem to be working properly. He reached for his bag, but another guy took it from the first.

"Don't be selfish, Boy. It's called sharing. Ohh look! Party food."

He took a grimy handful and passed the bag on. Tony gave up and sullenly watched as his food disappeared into their ugly faces. He had another drink of the good stuff.

The bag finished going around the circle and the last guy stood up and tipped the rest of his food into the big stew-pot, and threw the bag on to the fire.

'Ah, whatever. I can get some more.' He had another drink. This was not so bad - a bit like boys camping out.

But then, the other old guy took his bag and cut the duvet-roll off it. "Just like Christmas," he leered as he shook the duvet out and draped it around his bony shoulders.

"Nice!"

"No! Thass mine!" Tony slurred as he wobbled on his knees. "I need it."

"Shut up, Rich Boy!" The old guy kicked at him, narrowly missing. "Was yours. I need it now. Here, Jackie", he threw the schoolbag to the other kid. "Have some nice, clean, little-boy clothes. You could do with a change - you stink!"

"All right! It is Christmas!" Jackie ripped the bag open and sat sorting through the clothes. Those he didn't want, he casually tossed onto the fire, the bag went on last.

"Ah, cut it out, Jackie. You're stinking the place out!"

"Saves on firewood," he shrugged, throwing on another t-shirt.

"Now," the old guy shrugged off the duvet and someone else grabbed it up. "What has it got in its pockets?" He grinned a menacing smile as he came up to Tony.

"No," he squealed. "I'm not rich. I've got nothing." He tried to curl up on the ground, but two of them pulled him to his feet and held him while the old bastard pawed through his pockets.

"Ahh, look, a toothbrush and a wee comb. Anybody want them? No?" He tossed them into the fire. He kept searching until he found the money. He didn't say a word, just palmed it and slipped it into his own pocket with a wink at the other two holding him.

"That's it? That's all you've got? Fuck off then, Little Boy. Go home to Mummy." He punched him in the stomach and walked away.

The others threw him on the ground and also walked away. He lay curled-up and cried. It wasn't a king-hit punch, but he was still a bit tender and it hurt. He crawled away, out of the firelight, climbed to his feet and staggered off, back up the hill.

He was more than a little drunk and hadn't a clue where the track was, but as long as he was going up he'd find the road and safety. But he hadn't gone a dozen steps when he was hit from behind and he hit the ground again.

"Not so fast, Pretty Boy. I haven't had my share yet."

He lay, gasping, on the ground and he could feel his pants being roughly pulled down behind him. This could not be happening to him! But it was.

There were three of them. One held him down while the others peeled his sweatpants off of him. Then he felt a crushing weight lay over him, his legs were pulled apart and he was dragged back up onto his knees. He screamed as, what felt like a baseball bat, forced its way into him.

"Shut up, Kid. No-one can hear you anyway. Be nice or you're dead." One of them slapped him into silence.

They took turns at fucking him and then went back to the fire, laughing. Another one came over, dropped his pants and fucked him without saying a word. He was all greasy with cum now, but it still hurt.

That guy finished and walked away and the kid, Jackie, came over to him. He was expecting more of the same, but the kid rolled him over and sat gently fondling his dick and balls. "What a shame. Such a pretty little boy."

He flashed a cigarette lighter a couple of times and found Tony's pants.

"Here. Take your pants and go. Fuck off, Kid, before they kill you."

"Thank you. Oh, thank you," Tony gasped. He grabbed his trousers and clawed his way up the bank as fast as he could go.

He came to the low safety-fence at the top and scrambled and fell over it, landing on the sidewalk. He staggered away down the road, one hand holding his jacket down at the back, while the other clutched his pants in front of him.

Several cars tooted and the people in them waved and laughed at him as they passed.

He stopped and put his pants back on, in the recessed doorway of a shop, then lurched off again. His only thought was to put as much distance as he could between him and those bastards.

He came to a place where there was a low concrete wall with a big hedge behind it. He sat on the wall and puked on the sidewalk, and then rolled over the wall to lie on the dirt underneath the hedge.

He lay there, shocked, frightened and imagining sounds of pursuit - but there were none. They were finished with him. He curled up on the damp ground and cried himself to sleep. "I want to die! I just want to die."

He woke in the morning and laid there wishing that he hadn't. He was cold, wet, had a sore guts and a sore head.

'If this is a hangover, why would anyone drink? This is the pits! Fuck it, I've had it. I'm not moving; I'll just lie here and die. I could die from exposure. What's it called? Hypothermia? Something like that.'

He lay there, waiting to die. Anything would be better than this. But it wasn't happening - his body had other ideas. 'I have to pee. I need to piss. I'm not moving, I'll do it in my pants. Stuff it.'

He lay there and tried to go, but couldn't. He needed to pee, but couldn't just let go - 13 or 14 years training and habits wouldn't let him do that.

He peeled himself off the ground and stood up in the hedge, opened his pants and let go while he leant against a tree. His head was reeling, but the relief was great. Then his guts started heaving and he dropped to his hands and knees and spewed and spewed.

All yesterday's food came gushing out of him.

'Carrots? I didn't eat any carrots.' He heaved and heaved until there was nothing left. Nothing!

"I will survive? I don't think so, I'm gonna die. I'll get it over with - go and drop in the harbour. At least there'll be a clean corpse if anyone wants it."

He fought his way out of the hedge and fell over the low wall, landing in last night's puke on the sidewalk. He staggered off down the road to the harbour. Maybe he'd die before he even got there.

He passed the crowd of happy students heading to the university. Most of them didn't even seem to see him, but there were a few disgusted looks his way.

"It doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter."

After a painful, miserable, eternity, he finally found himself standing on the waterfront, looking down at the murky, green, water of the harbour. He was back in the place where he'd gleefully run to with his bag of food yesterday. Was that just yesterday? It seemed like a lifetime ago.

He took a deep breath, looked down at the water and - he couldn't do it.

'If I drop in there, I'll just swim. I'm a good swimmer - thanks, Danny. My body wouldn't let me - I'd just crawl out, colder and wetter and probably dirtier than I am now.

I'll go over to the railway station, that's what I'll do. I'll drop in front of a train, and it'll all be over quick. There'll be no crawling out of there.'

He made his way back to the railway station and nearly got run over when crossing the road. "That'd be great! Just frigging wonderful!"

Outside the station, he stopped and slumped against the wall. He slid down and sat for a minute on the sidewalk.

'Tony Duncan - this was your life.' He sat there, head hung low while the tears flowed. He was surprised that there were any left to cry.

"Hello there. Here's someone who's got his troubles."

Tony lifted his head and looked into a pair of kindly, blue eyes. A smiling, clean face. As he slowly focused he saw a middle-aged man, squatting down in front of him.

He had tidy, grey hair and a uniform - a Salvation Army uniform. This was a Sallie Army guy, squatting down and smiling uncertainly at him. He dropped his head again.

"Good Lord," said the guy. "It's just a kid - a boy. What's wrong, Son?"

"I'm all right. I'm okay." He mumbled to his shoes.

"Sure you are, Son. And the Pope's a protestant too!"

The Sallie Army guy reached out and laid a hand on Tony's shoulder. At this kindly, human, touch, he couldn't contain himself any longer and he broke down completely.

The rest of the day passed in a blur - he could never remember the details. There were Police involved, and doctors and Social Workers. There were interviews, a thousand questions, shots, medicine and food - wonderful food.

There was a wonderful, hot shower and someone - a nurse? - helping him to get clean clothes on. There were more questions, and finally, he found himself lying in bed - a clean, dry, wonderful bed.

It was such a relief! Like a mountain had been lifted off him. He was not alone. Someone was there - someone cared. He might survive after all.

He slept.

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