The Boy from Castlebay Down

by James Matthews

Chapter 5

Courage at the Boat Yard

As Zoe and I walked through the front door mum had just opened dad came storming through towards us. "Where the fuck have you been?"

"We had a small altercation with a motorbike and a rather handsome male specimen," Zoe answered. Dad seemed to calm.

"Hmph, I thought you'd gone to catch the fish!"

"No father, that will be your job soon and I hope it is one of immense success. As you can see we have returned with the food you requested and so we may now eat."

I handed the hot paper bag to dad and flicked my hand afterwards feeling it had gone a little prickly from the heat. He walked off back to the kitchen followed by mum who started gathering plates from the cupboard.

"Did I hear handsome boy?" Leah asked, creeping up behind us after coming downstairs.

"He was a cocky shit!" I announced, taking a seat at the table. "And from America."

"He was from heaven, that's what HE was from," Zoe added, letting her eyes roll back.

"So this boy… on a motorbike you say, what did he do?"

"Well he was coming far too fast down-"

Zoe cut me off. "He was riding his bike down a hill and I wasn't looking where I was going. It was totally my fault, after all, no one that perfect looking could possibly ever be in the wrong.

I looked at Leah. "She's got it bad over him!"

Leah grinned. "Looks like my handsome Corbin has a little competition in town!" she announced to the room. I let my head fall in to my hands.

"The boy from Castlebay Down," Zoe remarked dreamily. "I shall add him as such in my journal."

The next day I was awoken by the sound of "CORRRRBIN!" ringing in my ears. I opened my eyes and looked at the window. A bright sun was shining though and I immediately noticed my bed was empty. Moments later I heard thundering footsteps coming up the stairs before my dad barged through the door to my room.

"You could knock you know!" I said, swinging my legs over the side of the bed. I just had time to look at his red faced rage before feeling the back of his hand strike me sharply across the face.

"SIX FUCKING TIMES I CALLED YOU, NOW GET UP!" He screamed. I just sat there nursing my face with my hand in shock.

"I didn't hear you… and there was no need to fucking hit me!"

"I'll do more than that if you don't get your fucking ass down that stairs now. Get dressed!"

He stormed out of the room, thundering back down the stairs again. "Fuck!" I hissed, rubbing my cheek where he'd hit me.

I walked over to my closet and pulled out a fresh pair of Nike trackies and a sports top, opting to go without a t-shirt. It was my favourite grey hoodie which was thick and warm and I wore it all the time when the weather was cold.

Pulling up my bottoms I had to lever my semi-hard dick inside them due to it being in that 'waking up' phase. I was just about to pull my top on when I heard a car horn sound emanating outside. Moments later a different horn sounded, and then a third! I pushed my head through the opening of my hoodie and wandered over to the window and looked down.

"Oh… my… fucking…"

Outside, in the middle of the road was my dad's car. Behind it was a trailer on which sat a huge boat. The trailer looked to have become disconnected from the car and the side of the boat had somehow become wedged against a lamppost.

Dad looked like he was about to pass out as he ran from car to car apologising as three had backed up in each direction. Just then he left some guy he was talking to and I saw him running back towards the house.

Oh shit!

"Fucking… CORBIN! NOW!"

I pretended that I hadn't seen. "What's up dad, do you need help with something?" I said in a calm voice trying not to bust my bladder open with laughter.

"Get your shoes on…outside now, quickly!" he replied, his tone panicked.

I threw on a pair of my old shoes, got to the bottom of the stairs and went outside. A couple of the drivers had now got out of their car and offered to help him but he shooed them away opting to make me suffer for his stupidity instead. One thing was for sure, dad wasn't making friends in this town fast.

"What have you done?" I asked, eyeing the colossal boat almost outside the door. It was clearly too big for the old fashioned cobble street he so badly tried to drive it down.

"Just help me with the fucking jack handle will you, it's stuck!" he shouted running back over to it. It was a handle you obviously had to turn to lift and drop the trailer in a controlled way. Right now, it looked like it needed to go higher as it was sitting below the toe bar of my dad's Ford Mondeo.

"How did you get it on here if it's stuck?" I asked, walking over casually to help him.

"Don't fucking question me boy, just help me try and turn this fucking rusty piece of…" He bent down and I watched his bulbous belly fat fall out of his Hawaiian shirt, swinging as he tried to turn the handle. I cringed but was able to close my eyes and grab the handle to help turn it.

"Jesus!" I said as we were now putting our full arm strength into moving it. Eventually it gave way and we got a half turn out of it and then a little more on the next heave.

"There, just hold it there," dad hissed as he quickly went back to his car. "I'm gonna take it back slowly. Let me know when it hooks on!"

I looked up. "Dad, you're on a lamppost here, don't you think you'd bett-"

"Just tell me when it fucking hooks on I said!"

He got in and put the car in reverse before slowly edging backwards. I didn't think he was gonna be able to pull it off but gradually the toe bar wedged under the bracket of the trailer and clunked into place joining the two together again. Then, in what was 'pure dad' in action he honked his horn and flashed his lights now expecting those people who were idle in front of him to reverse out of his way.

I shook my head in disbelief just as I heard a motorbike buzz up behind me and stop. I had a feeling I knew who it was going to be but I didn't turn round, too mortified that everyone, including him knew I was related to the retard driving the car in front.

I heard the stand go down on the bike and the figure appeared right beside me, flipping his visor up.

"Your dad?" he asked, folding his arms as we both watched.

"Who else!" I replied, huffing.

"He erm, he looks in a bit of a pickle there.

"Yeah, no shit!"

"That's a Riggadon mark 3… it's 42ft long, he really shouldn't have tried to get that thing down this end of the road."

"Yeah well, that's my dad, always knows best."

"Where's he taking it anyway? I'm surpised he even has a trailer to put that thing on, it's a bad idea."

I rolled my eyes. "Only he knows, I was happily sleeping!"

We both winced as dad revved the engine of his car and lurched forward scraping the side of the boat coarsely against the lamppost. Troy walked over to the other side of the road to get a look at the obvious damage a sound like that would have caused. It was then I saw how short he was, he looked about 5ft 6. Mind you, to my six four frame, most people looked short.

"Yep, it's nicely scratched alright. That'll need repairing," Troy called.

"What, the boat or the lamppost?" I said, a hint of sarcasm in my tone. "Or maybe my dad's head!"

Eventually, through probable sheer force he dragged the boat off of the post and was able to drive on. Troy quickly crossed over again as the cars that had been patiently waited were now free to move again.

"So, you some kind of boat expert?" I asked, noting that he seemed to know a little.

"My dad owns the boat repair place just up there," he pointed behind us.

"Yeah, I know it. I walked past it with my girlfriend when we first got here."

"Yeah, he's got about 10 guys working for him, plus three trawlers out on the coast."

"Uh huh," I responded starting to walk back to my front door. He seemed to follow me which I found invading.

"Say, I do a little part time work on the trawlers sometimes and help a little in my dad's workshop. I dunno if you're interested but my old man is always looking for a bit of cheap labour if you wanna earn some cash," he announced in his twangy Sothern American accent."

"I'm fine thank you," I replied, monotone compared with his upey downey dialect.

"Big strapping boy like you could be useful!" he persisted.

"I said I was fine… and anyway, I'll probably be dragged kicking and screaming by my own father to help him. Let's just say I don't relish the sea like others might who live here."


"Is there anything else Troy? It's just as much as I would love to stay out here chatting, I think my bed might just be warm enough for me to get back in and enjoy."

"Your pretty little sister in is she?" He asked, looking up at the windows above. Actually, I didn't know where she was, mum OR Leah.

"No, and before you get any ideas, she's 14 and she looks it so…"

"Oh hell, I don't fancy your sister, but she sure mighty friendlier than you."

"Hmm, well she likes you so just keep your distance, I don't want her head screwed up with any fantasies she might have.

"Well Corbin… uh, did I get it right?"


"Well Corbin, you tell that pretty little sibling of yours that I said hi."

"I'll do that. Now goodbye Troy!"

"Bye for now neighbour," he replied flipping his visor back down and cocking his leg back onto his bike. I went in and closed the door before leaning back against it and sighing. After a few seconds I pushed off and went to the kitchen feeling rather thirsty from all that… chatting!

"Corbin, we're home!" I heard Leah's voice shout from downstairs. I was watching a documentary on BBC about Edgar Degas, one of my favourite artists. He was French and known as an impressionist artist… something I felt I was. Impressionists painted the realities of the world around them using bright, bold colours, concentrating primarily on the effects of light, and hoping to infuse their scenes with immediacy. They wanted to express what they saw in that exact moment and so did I. I loved painting moody scenes, like a face against a backdrop of a drab bathroom wall, a cracked mirror in the background. In fact portraits were my favourite and I especially loved to paint very elderly people, sagging skin and all!

I got off my bed and wandered into the hall landing. "Where have you been? Dad's been a nob!"

"We went to see Diamond, you were fast asleep, so I left you."

I saw mum come into view. "Did I hear you mention your father?" she asked, looking up at me.

"Yeah, he took top prize in making our family look like a bunch of morons!"

Mum frowned. "What did he do?"

"Oh, just tried to get the Titanic down out little road. While he was at it he managed to slightly bend a lamppost and piss off about 8 people from the village… plus scratch his new boat."

"Oh Christ!" mum blurted, shaking her head. "Do you know where he is now?"

"No, he just dragged me out of bed because he'd made the trailer come off the car, I helped him put it back on and he just drove away with this fucking great boat on the back. It's probably somewhere in pieces now with the amount of things he's probably hit along the way."

Zoe walked past mum and Leah and came up the stairs. "The tubby man has no spatial awareness; it is my hypothesis that there will be several parts of his little ship resting in the boot of the car on his return to us. If I am indeed correct I would imagine a locked door and some quality made ear plugs will need to be requisitioned, naturally!"

Mum laughed. "Oh Zoe, always the dramatic one, you're as bad as your brother!"

Zoe stood on tip-toes and kissed me on the cheek. "There there brother, at the very least he'll have to admit you helped him."

"Hmph, for all the thanks I got, he just drove off!"

Zoe smiled and walked into her room closing the door.

Down at the kitchen table, Leah, Zoe and I were waiting patiently for a Toad-in-the-hole to come out of the oven, with mum standing by. I could see her ready to pounce on the rising sensation she always got so proud of. That was also the time dad came in, slamming the front door.

"What a fucked up day," he announced, obviously still mad about the boy… I mean the boat.

Mum looked up at him as he came through to us. "Is it still in one piece?"

"Just about! Forty grand that boat cost us and now another 2 grand on repairing the damage."

"That you caused?" Mum said, playfully.

"Don't toy with me woman, it was the damn road, it was too small."

"That local boy, Troy? He seemed to know a bit about the boat you were towing… said it was a bad idea bringing it down this far." I stated.

I Looked at Zoe seeing her eyes light up. "Troy?" she wined.

"Oh, yeah, I forgot to pass on… he said to say hi!"

My sister almost went into hyperventilation causing Leah to giggle. "Oh Zoe, he can't be THAT good looking," she said.

"Actually Leah, even for a guy, I'd be inclined to agree, he is pretty handsome," I announced as everyone looked at me as if I had scurvy.

"You see, all that pansy painting you do has made you say things like that!" Dad said, shaking his head.

"It was just a figure of speech, and anyway, I think I am comfortable enough in my own sexuality to admit the guy is good looking."

Leah smiled. "Hmm, I'm gonna have to meet this guy."

"Yeah well, if you think I'm gonna get jealous then get back in lane bitch!" I said, laughing.

"Corbin! That's no way to speak to your girlfriend!"

"Argh mum, I was just playing!" I replied.

"It's ok Karen, it's actually nice to see a smile on his face… it's been a while. I think I can handle a few insults to keep it that way."

Dad sat down at the table and almost sent the condiments flying as his belly got jammed between the edge of the table and the back of his chair. Zoe shot her arms out to steady everything.

"Careful Daddy," she said smiling. He smiled back at her and I wondered how such a bastard could change so quick depending who the focus was on.

Mum pulled out the toad from the oven and placed it on the table along with some potatoes and summer vegetables.

"Dig in guys, just waiting for the gravy to thicken" she announced as we all waited for dad to muscle in first as always.

"So this guy Tony… you say he knew about boats?" Dad asked. I almost fell off my chair at his civil tone.

"It's Troy, father," Zoe said.

I chewed fast to try and swallow a bit of food allowing me to speak. "Uh, yeah that's right. Well I dunno how much he actually knows but his dad is the owner of the boat repair shop plus he has three trawlers that he owns."

"Huh, by the looks of this town he must be the biggest local employer, why don't you go see if he has anything work wise for you to do?"

"Troy already offered something along the same lines."

"And boy, I hope you said yes!" Dad shot back.

I shifted in my seat. "Well, no… I mean I didn't know if I would be needed."

"By whom?" dad asked, his tone exasperated once again.


Dad laughed evilly. "Fuck boy, I won't be paying you. If you want work that pays you better go and see your new friends' dad!"

"You should go see, Corbin, like you said, there may be limited opportunity to get a little job in such a small place," Leah added.

I looked at my dad. "Ok, I'll do that seeing as you don't need me," I said, relieved and rather happy.

"I didn't say I wouldn't need you, I just said I wouldn't be paying you. If you wish your mother to keep putting food in your belly and me to keep a roof over your head then you need to pull your finger out of your ass and help with the family business."

"See you are doing it again, giving me impossible choices. You either want me to work for money so I can semi-support myself or you want me to help you for free so I can live here! Which is it?" I asked, frustrated.

"BOTH! Now shut up and let me eat!" he said, using his knife to remove a piece of sausage meat from his tooth.


I walked through the noisy interior of the boat shop and made my way to the back, stepping over power tools and blocks of timber and metal as I travelled. It was mid-morning and I had finally been confident enough to make the short walk to the building to ask about some work.

I approached a small non-windowed office that looked like it had been fabricated quickly and cheaply. Seeing the door was open I knocked on the thin wall and stepped in. A single florescent light lit the sparsely filled room containing a man in his forties chatting on the phone to someone. Upon hearing my knock he swung round in his black tatty office chair. He stopped talking and placed his hand over the mouth piece of the phone but left it clamped to his ear and smiled.

"Can I help you, kid?"

"Yeah, uh, I'm looking for the guy who owns this place, but if you're busy I can-"

The man put his finger up to me and turned round. "Bobby, I'll call you back," he said before placing the phone down and tuning again to face me. "You're new here?"

"In the village? Yeah my family just moved here."

"Uh huh, and what's your name?"

"Corbin… Corbin Waite,"

"Corbin, how much do you know about boat mechanics?"


"How old are you?"

"Seventeen… and a bit!"

"Hmm, you're tall, but not skinny… do you do weights?"

I shrugged. "Nope, I paint."

"Paint?" the man asked, raising a brow.

"I paint portraits mainly… you know, people and stuff."

"What's your shoe size?"

I pulled my chin in. "My…"

"Shoe size?" The man repeated.

"I'm a twelve… look can I ask why this is important?" I was becoming mildly irritated.

"Working on these boats sometimes means you have to place yourself in tight spots to reach another part of the boat. Since I assume you are here to ask me for a job, no matter how irrelevant you think the questions are does not matter."

"But how did you know I was-"

"Here for work? Because you looked slightly uneasy. People who want or need something often appear that way before they ask for something. So?"

"So?" I repeated.

"So do you need a job?"

"Yes, but I need to speak to the owner I presu… oh wait, I guess you are the-"

"Owner yeah, you're a bright kid!" The man started to laugh. He then held out his hand. I stepped forward to shake it.

"Jerry Winters, good to meet you," he stated as we shook firmly.

"Corbin Waite," I replied smiling stupidly.

"Yeah kid, we did that part. Now, I have a phone call to make, go out there and say hello to some of the guys and be back here tomorrow at seven sharp!"

"Wait, are you offering me a job?"

"You really need to work on your perception skills Corbin, see you tomorrow at seven right?"

"Yeah… seven, right." I replied dreamily before starting to step out of his office.

"Oh, and Corbin?" Jerry called. I put my head back in the door. "Bring one of your paintings along."

I nodded and grinned. "Sure!"

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