This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 865 words.
During the school holidays when Uncle Brian was at work, I could do anything I wanted. He liked me to be back for dinner before seven, but he never asked me about homework, where I had been, or who I had been with. I got on okay with most of the kids at school, but didn’t have any special friends there that I would spend time with during the break away from school. Paul Carpenter thought I was his friend, and he thought I was scared of him too.
He was very wrong, on both counts.
That didn’t stop me pretending, so I sought him out and started to mix with his little gang that hung around the parade of shops ten minute’s walk from where I was living. After the first couple of weeks of the summer holidays had passed, he was ready to accept me as a pal. That was when I could put my plan into action.
Stage one was to invite him round to the house when Uncle Brian was out. I enticed him with the promise of being able to look at my uncle’s collection of porn magazines, which was extensive. While he was flicking through the magazines, I asked him if he had ever been swimming in the disused quarry. Turning over to a centre page spread, and exclaiming “Wow!”, he shook his head. Then he looked round at me.
“Dangerous there, out of bounds to everyone, and swimming is banned. Besides, it’s a long bus ride from here. I go to the town pool sometimes, but that cold water in the quarry doesn’t appeal to me”. I handed him a can of Tizer, and as he popped the tab, asked if he was too scared to try swimming there. He didn’t even bother to sip the drink before replying.
“Scared? Me? Piss off! I ain’t scared of nothing. Just don’t want all the aggravation if someone calls the cops. Anyway, there used to be security patrols there, it’s not worth the bother”. I told him I was going there on Friday afternoon, and if he was too scared, I would swim across the quarry on my own. I could see his mind working, and knew what he was thinking. If I went back after the holidays and told everyone he was too scared to swim in the quarry, his reputation would be damaged. Possibly irreparably.
He gulped down the entire can of drink, then let out a huge belch. “Okay, you’re on. But you have to pay the bus fare, I’m skint”.
I arranged to meet him around one in the afternoon, at a bus stop that was an equal distance from both of us. It was a bright day, and warm but not that hot. After we got off the stop nearest to the old quarry, we had a twenty-minute walk along the former lorry track, and then we had to get over a wire fence. I was carrying swimming trunks and a towel in a duffel bag, but Paul didn’t have anything. I asked him why he didn’t bring any trunks, and he sneered at me.
“Trunks? I’m going in bare-assed. Trunks and towels are for wimps. You wear them if you want, Danielle”.
The fence was past its best, and the signs warning about security patrols and the danger of swimming were faded and rusty. It was easy to get inside, and I had to admit the huge pool in the quarry excavation looked impressive. Keen to show off, Paul kicked off his shoes, stripped off his clothes, and clambered down to the level area where the water could be accessed. He slid on the shingle a few times, but kept a brave face as he reached the water.
“Last one in is a Homo, so that means you!” With that he plunged into the water.
Taking my time, I changed into my trunks and walked down carefully. Making it look good, I went in up to my knees, reaching the spot where it fell away into deeper water that could well have been eighty or ninety feet deep. It was icy cold, even on that summer’s day. Splashing around, Paul started laughing at me, presuming I was too scared to go in after all. When I just stood there, he started to swim back to me. While his head was under the water, I picked up a pebble as big as my fist, and held it behind my back.
As he got nearer, I played the scaredy-cat, shaking my head as he shouted once again. “Come on, you baby. Come in, or I will come and drag you in”. As he reached shallow water, he ran in my direction, arms outstretched. He definitely wasn’t expecting it when I hit him over the head with the pebble. Not the first time, nor the sixth time. He slipped back into the water, unconscious. I threw the pebble as far into the quarry pool as I could, then pushed Paul gently with my foot so that he floated back out into the middle, sinking slowly as I watched.
It took me almost three hours to walk home.