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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Out-takes XVII

Danny couldn’t believe it when Turner came around. He remembered his first sighting of him, swaying in the doorway to their house. Big shoulders and he wore his hair long, then. A dirty silk scarf around his neck, the rogue’s smile planted on his face.

‘Well isn’t this cozy,’ he’d said. ‘Get the bottle out, girl, and we’ll have us a drink.’ And he’d turned his attention to Danny while she found the whisky bottle in her case. Turner was on his haunches, bringing himself down to the level of the boy and reaching for him. But Danny was already backing away.

‘Go and fuck off,’ he told the man. ‘We don’t want you here. Just go and fuck off.’

His mother was shocked by the word. It was a word that had never been heard in the house before, not by Danny anyway. Everybody used it at school but Danny’s mother and his father before he left, had never uttered it in his presence. He could tell that Turner wasn’t shocked by it, not at all. If anything he was amused.

Danny’s mother towered over him. ‘Go to your room, Danny,’ she said. ‘I won’t hear language like that in my own sitting room.’

But Danny stood his ground. He raised his voice like his father. ‘I want him to go and fuck off,’ he shouted, pointing at Turner. ‘He doesn’t belong here. Everything’s his fault.’

She took him by the arm and dragged him towards the stairs but Danny shook her off. ‘I’m not going upstairs while he’s here,’ he screamed. ‘I don’t want him in our house. Get him out of here.’ His face was wet with tears but he could feel the blood coursing through his heart and his chest and he wasn’t going to give in. Turner had done enough damage to his family and Danny wasn’t going to let him get away with anything else. He had to make a stand.

His mother tried to take hold of him again but Danny wasn’t having any of it. ‘Go and fuck off,’ he yelled at the man. ‘Go on. Just go and fuck off, and don’t come back. We don’t want you here.’

‘OK,’ Turner said eventually. He winked at Danny’s mother and said he’d catch up with her later. He took the bottle of whisky she’d brought from Whitby and went out the door.

And he never came back.

2 Responses to “Out-takes XVII”

  1. Thomas says:

    I loved this. It shows that you can go against everything that is inbred. It makes me believe that (if you are prepared to fight for it) you can achieve anything whatever your life situation.

    jb says: This extract was originally part of my novel, The Meanest Flood, but came out around the third edit. Not that there’s much wrong with it in itself, but it didn’t fit into the overall scheme of things.

  2. Hi John,
    That was one good fuck-off send-off, I have to add.
    Made me remember,
    When we were small we were not allowed to say ‘shut up’ but ‘shut your mouth’ was alright.
    You risked no pocket money if you dared scream, ‘bloody fool’.
    If a child sweared, ‘hell’, then he would end up in one.
    But one day, we all grew up…embraced all these words as if they were longlost friends, and worse. 🙂

    jb says: Hi Susan, Yes we had those taboos and many others. It was as if our parents didn’t realise that whatever you suppress becomes incrementally more and more desirable.