A Time of Change

by Andrew Passey

Chapter 1

The hot sun warmed my skin as I lay in the garden looking up at the clouds scudding across the blue sky. Shifting their shapes as the winds sculpted them, I'd see recognisable shapes in the clouds which would then change into something else that just looked like a normal cloud. I guess it was a good metaphor for where I was in my life. It was a time of change. Almost everything was about to change for me, I'd left the relative comfort of my primary school and tomorrow I'd be off to secondary school. It was the tail end of my childhood I suppose, I'd grow up, my friends would grow up. And maybe I'd eventually get out of this small boring town and go somewhere exciting!

Being fair though, there were worse places to grow up than a small town in the Midlands but then again I guess I wouldn't know, all I knew was life here. Well I say small town but technically as we had a cathedral we were a city but the population was small enough that it felt wrong to think of it like a city really.

We weren't a million miles away from Birmingham though, just a train ride away, now that was a city. Thronging with the unwashed masses, all squeezed in doing their shopping in the busy city centre, I hated shopping and didn't like the crowds so was pretty relieved we didn't live there! It was bad enough going there with my Mum to get stuff, having to do it all the time was definitely not for me. What boy likes shopping after all?

I got up from the garden and went inside, double checking again I had everything ready for school tomorrow. My first day at secondary school. A big step in a boy's life. In my life. I went into the bathroom and I looked in the mirror, my nervous looking face looking back at me. I guess I was ok looking, I had a fairly large mole on my cheek which I bloody hated but my jet black hair and blue green eyes twinkled at me, I liked those parts of me even if the bloody mole felt like it took over my whole face. My hair was scruffy as always but I liked it that way, my Mum always wanted to have it cut like a page boy but luckily on this I always got my way. I was average height for my age I suppose, although all my friends were around the same size which I guess was no surprise.

I was pretty nervous about going to school tomorrow but at least I'd have most of my friends from primary school going, including my best friend Rob. We'd been friends for years, it felt like we'd always be friends but I knew that would probably change as we grew up. I didn't really like to think about growing up, adults seemed so stressed all the time, I liked my life as a kid. Already though it felt like things were changing, my childhood was running out and going to secondary school would be one of the key stages on the way to it ending.

Rob was like the yin to my yang. I had black hair, he had blond. He was blue eyed and seemingly had none of the family hang ups that I did although like all of us he would complain about his situation. He was a swimmer and was very active, there wasn't an ounce of fat on his body. There wasn't really on my either but he swam so much it gave his muscles' tone and form that I certainly didn't have. Sometimes I wondered why he was best friends with me, everyone liked him while I was a bit less popular. I'd had a hot temper that I would sometimes lose and had been known to throw a punch or two but I'd got it under control pretty much. I guess I was growing up, managing to control my emotions somewhat, I knew tomorrow would be a shock but then again how hard would it be? Well hopefully not as hard as it could be!

Admittedly I was 11 years old, it wasn't like my life had been hard up to now, and as for change, well my parents had divorced when I was only 6 years old so I was no stranger to disruption. The only kid in our class whose parents weren't together, it had sometimes made me feel like an outsider. No siblings either, I guess this had led me to latch on to older kids as I grew up, liking to see them as a protective older sibling.

It's hard when you grow up in a single parent family, particularly when everyone had the perfect nuclear family. You get used to fending for yourself, used to independence and being on your own. My Mum worked hard and long hours to make sure we had a decent standard of living but it did mean I was left to my own devices at times. I'd mostly hang out with Rob or one of my other friends but I also liked to walk through the countryside and woods that bordered our part of town, daydreaming of a world where I was important, like one of the fantasy books I'd read. An orphaned child that becomes the king and in charge of everything, that's the sort of thing my ego would have liked! Or a fantasy where there was a knock on the door and my real father was there, a powerful wizard or a warrior, come back to claim me as his son rather than the Dad I thought I had,

Thinking about the shock of my Dad leaving was hard, over time I'd come to terms with it being permanent but it was tough at times. I had no real male role models in my life unless you count the odd teacher and I knew my mum was worried that would become even more of an issue as I grew up. Dad has his new life and while I saw him fairly regularly I knew we were second best to his new life. That was fine by me I guess, I can't lie that I was angry at him, that I had abandonment issues. That it made me at times too trusting, desperate for attention and affection, at other times too standoffish, petrified that I might get too close to someone and get hurt again.

Aside from that pretty major life event though my life had been pretty easy up to now I suppose, if I had to think of major change, well trivial as it seems probably the biggest change aside from Dad leaving was when I'd moved up to scouts from cubs a while ago, going from the oldest around to the youngest. And that all worked out fine, I guess school would be the same. Not that it helped the butterflies in my stomach, the nerves were still there about moving to a new school.

As the thought of moving up to scouts crossed my mind, it did take me back to a strange experience I'd had at scout camp earlier in the year. An experience I'd not thought too much when it happened but I found myself dwelling on more and more as time went on. It was a weekend away where we were there with other scout groups, all staying out on a big residential complex near Cannock Chase. Some regional event with lots of scout groups, utter carnage, full of loads of kids running around causing chaos.

It was only for two nights and the second day we were split into smaller groups within our scout groups and had a big competition. There were loads of scout based tasks to do to earn Shekels, a fake currency that was given out for successfully doing them. There were loads of different ones, some easy, some tough, some fun, some boring . The idea obviously being to get as many as possible. A lot of it was knot tying, problem solving etc and there were also a few "Wizards" wandering around who had more fun stuff to do, well anything was more fun than knot tying.

They were hard to find, flitting in and out of the woods that surrounded the complex. They were older scouts who had specific tasks that if you completed them you got more shekels, if you failed they'd put a "spell" on you and you'd be out the game or the team would have to pay lots of shekels to get you back so it was a gamble dealing with them. We were cautious and only did one wizard task and barely completed it. I wasn't particularly competitive but the rest of the team was so I was doing the best I could! I hated to feel I was letting people down, I guess I was eager to please.

The whole game was great fun and ran all day and into the evening after dinner when it was dark. The final deadline for tasks was at 8pm with tallying up soon after, the last couple of hours when it was dark were chaos with teams trying to get what last minute currency they could!

I was sent off to try and track down a wizard to see if we could nab some extra shekels. I wandered off through the trees bordering the centre and spotted what I thought was a wizard lurking around. I got closer and I could tell it was, he was doing something up against a tree. He turned round and saw me, "Shit, you scared me, I was just having a piss" he said. "You here for shekels?" He asked.

I couldn't really see his face in the dark of the evening, particularly in the wood, I didn't recognise his voice so he must have been from one of the other scout groups, he was much bigger than me, I guess 14 or 15. Still, I was keen for shekels and here was my chance!

"Yes please!" I said excitedly.

"What's yer name?" He asked

"Tom" I replied.

"Ok Tom, I've got quite a few left. I'll give you 100 if you can complete this task" he told me. I nodded, "Ok"

"You ready?" He asked.

"You bet" I fired back with a grin, not that he could really see that in the dark of the trees.

"You have 1 minute to describe something to me without repeating yourself or running out of words, when the minute is up you win, if you don't make it you lose" he said. I'd lucked out! This would be a piece of piss as one thing I liked to do was talk.

"Last chance to say no" he said but I wasn't going to lose this chance.

"I'm ready"

"Ok...from when I finish this sentence you have 1 minute to describe.....the inside of a ping pong ball"

"Er...it's...er white...and ....smooth....and er.....shit" I said, realising I was fucked.

"Sorry, you failed. I could cast you out of the game but I think I'll just take the shekels off you that you already have" he said.

Fuck, I didn't want that to happen.

"Really? Can't I have another go?" I protested.

"Rules are rules, except....hmmm maybe there's a way, an old wizarding way. It's difficult though and it's a secret. If I tell you and you do it, then you must never tell anyone" he said seriously.

"I won't" I replied.

"You swear?"

"I swear" I said.

"On your mother's life?" He asked.

"Er yeah" I told him, this was all getting a bit silly but I loved the intrigue!

"What do all wizards have? It shoots things out the end" he asked. Fucking hell, this was easy!

"A wand" I said firmly.


"Do I get the shekels?!" I asked excitedly

He laughed, "That would be too easy! No, I was checking you knew about wizards and their wands. So I have a wand and you need to make things come out it's end. If you do I'll give you 500 shekels!"

"Ok,how do I do that?" I asked in confusion.

"I'm going to put your hand on my wand, you need to rub up and down it very quickly until the sparks fly out the end" he said.

"Ok" I said slightly confused but I let him take my hand and put it on something hard and fleshy...

"Is that your dick?" I squeaked in shock.

"It's my wand, now move up and down, yeah.....like that...oooh....." he started to go. I concentrated on doing what he said, my hand gripping it tight and moving it up and down while he made some strange noises. Then his breathing got ragged and he made louder grunts and groans before I made sparks fly out the end. Or something anyway, it was a bit sticky and all over my fingers, but he cleaned my hand off, gave me the shekels and swore me to secrecy. I was ecstatic, I rushed back to the group to give them the 500 shekels. They were delighted and even though we didn't win we did finish the highest in our group. More importantly for me I gained new found respect within the scout group for having got so many shekels. I didn't need to tell them how I did and I didn't really consider what I did was particularly unpleasant or wrong.

Of course in retrospect I'd wanked off a boy for money but I didn't think of it like that, I was so naive so that I didn't really give it a second thought, that really only came down the line when when I started puberty, but that for me was still a while off. It popped up in my mind every now and again with increasing frequency but never as an unpleasant thought, just a bit of a strange one! My dick sometimes hardened when I thought of it, like the boy's did. This confused me no end but with no older brother to talk to and the very limited relationship with my Dad I would just have to figure it out for myself. I focused back on the matter at hand and double checked my school bag for tomorrow, trying not to get too anxious about everything. After all, what was the worst thing that could happen?

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