The Bully? an excerpt of an (as yet) unwritten story by Abigail Ann
Walking round the playground holding a dinner-lady's hand or standing as near to her as possible was part of my lunchtime routine at primary school. Looking back on it I'm never sure whether it was because I was scared of him, because I was afraid of admitting I wasn't (and thereby feeling left out) or because I was trying to support my best friend who definatly was. Whatever the reason, simply his presence was enough to send shivers down my spine by the end of it all. It was as if everytime I wanted to just be with the other girls I would turn around and there he would be, lurching his was towards me. And then, as he approached, the sudden dash to subtly get away would end our fun and games.
I do remember trying one day (or possibly on more than one ocassion) to talk to him, to persuade him to go away. But then the smell had got to me, overpowering my sensory glands and somehow getting worse as he leaned into me for an attempt on a hug. Then I'd turned and retreated to the side of my protector, knowing that was the only way to avoid his stench.
Maybe if I'd reacted less he wouldn't have been such a problem. The leer that fills my mind when I think if him tells me that it was our screams that he was searching for. What must his life have been like to resort to such actions as stalking two 10 year olds just for a brief reaction? More to the point, what lack of care must there have been to allow him to walk into school with such a reek?
To be honest, that was the problem- ours and his. Everytime I picture him my smell receptors jump into action- and its that which really stands out in my memories. It was as if he had been smoking cigarettes ontop of a garbage heap and had somehow managed to add the smell of burnt toast to the mix. Add half a bucket of marmite, a ton of raw sewage and rotting meat and you'd come somewhere close to the overall effect. It was no wonder we'd alwaus wanted to keep our distance of him.