Tales from the Derpside: Comics

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Lyca

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« on: 07:26:21 PM 05/01/18 »
Comics.

As a kid I lived on a quiet little cul-de-sac. There were only about 18-20 houses in total. And of those 18-20 houses only 4 of them had kids. There was my house that had me and my sister. I was four, my sister was six, the Hall twins, Jake and Jillian who were seven, and John Grey who was also seven. Then there were Laura and Tony, two babies that lived with their grandma, a huge old lady who we only knew as Mrs Morgan.

Mrs Morgan was so big she could barely move. She had a sofa in her front garden which she sat on almost all day, every day. Laura and Tony would crawl around the front garden digging in the soil with their little hands and eat any bugs they dug up.

We pretty much ignored them. Babies.

As the 'bigger kids' we hung out together. John was the eldest. He was a skinny, pale kid with hair so blonde it looked almost white. He wore little shorts and tee-shirts most of the time and was pretty much covered head to toe in eczema. The Hall twins were about as different as you could imagine two people could be. Jake, the younger twin was small and skinny. He had dead straight black hair and the darkest eyes and palest skin you had ever seen. He looked kind of sinister but was the funniest, dopiest nerd ever. Jillian was a couple of inches taller than her brother, had millions of freckles and the longest, frizziest, brightest red hair ever. She was quiet and a lot more serious than her twin. She also had bright green eyes. My eyes were green too, but mine were a kind of blue green, and hers were full on bright green, like a cat.

I was the smallest kid in our little group by some way. I was the youngest and also tiny for my age. I was super skinny, with pale brown straight hair and (according to my own mother) the ugliest child she'd ever seen. My sister was beautiful. Big brown eyes, darker skin and long, thick, naturally curly hair. My mother never tired  of telling me how disappointed she was to give birth to me after having my sister.

Anyway as a little group of kids we hung around and played together. We mostly played on our street but sometimes we would venture round the corner, a little way down the street and to the old graveyard that was behind the local church. I've no idea why we played there, but we did, and we liked the place. I've no idea why we liked it either. Kids are strange.

We'd walk around the graveyard and sometimes read the gravestones. We'd play tag, hide and seek and sometimes just sit around talking.

One day two bigger kids joined our little group, Duncan and David. They lived on the next street and were almost eleven. Big boys. They immediately said that I shouldn't be in the 'gang' We were apparently a gang now. I protested that I was part of the gang but they just laughed and ran off and left me. My sister and friends followed Duncan and David and I tried to run too but I was too small and slow and I just ended up sat on the grass blubbering in a sappy snotty little heap until I went home on my own. Much later my sister came home all excited that the bigger boys had taken them all to a park several streets away that we weren't really allowed to go to. I whined that I would tell on her if she ran off and left me again and she promised she wouldn't.

However the next day and the day after that a pattern emerged. We'd go to the graveyard to play, Duncan and David would show up, ask the other kids to go and play with them and they would run off leaving me on my own. My sister pretty much knew I wouldn't tell even if I said I would.

After this had gone for a while I stopped going to the graveyard. I just stayed at home reading. I was miserable but at least I didn't have the older kids and my sister and supposed friends running away from me all the time. And as I was sat in my front garden one August afternoon, my sister and John came running up to my gate panting.

"Duncan and David want you" they'd said. I wondered what they wanted me for but I went along anyway because I still just wanted to be a part of things.

"We've found some comics" they said "and if you get them for us you can be in our gang"

I asked why they needed me to get them and without talking they walked me over to a huge gravestone, flat on the floor and pointed towards it. The twins were already there, staring. I walked over too and looked. The gravestone was super old. It was right at the back of the little cemetery close to the wall, overshadowed by trees. All the oldest graves were in that part. We didn't really go to that part because it was so unkempt and dank. The ground was always damp as no sunlight ever got through the trees and it always seemed a little misty.

I saw what the others were looking at. The ground around the giant slab of concrete had shifted. Maybe subsidence, maybe the tree roots had caused it. I had no idea, I was just a little kid. But there was a gap in the soil, a kind of mini chasm between the gravestone and the surrounding earth. The gap looked to be about six to eight inches across, a little shorter along the side and maybe about five feet deep or so. I couldn't tell. But what was clear to see were the comics. There looked to be a ton of old comics down there, Beano's and Dandy's. The kind of comics young boys like to read. None of us had any clue how they got there.

"If you get them for us, you can be in the gang and we'll never run off and leave you again." Duncan told me. They all promised, one by one, and I, so desperate to be a part of things agreed to help.

I was confused though, why they wanted me to reach them when I was so much smaller but I tried anyway. I laid belly down on the damp, cold grass and reached down as far as I could. I was nowhere near.

"Not like that, idiot." John had said. "Duncan and David want you to go all the way down. We're all too big to fit."

Then they explained what they meant. Duncan and David wanted to each take hold of one of my ankles and lower me head first into the dark, deep terrifying grave chasm. I'd reach down and grab the comics, they'd pull me up and I'd have friends for the whole summer.

I didn't want to do it, not one bit but I agreed I would. The boys grabbed my ankles, turned me upside down and lowered me into the gap. I wanted to stay calm but I was so immediately terrified that I screamed, I panicked and thrashed my arms and hands around looking for something to grab. There was nothing to grab, just soil and worms. The gap I was head first in seemed like it was collapsing and I felt soil falling in on me and I completely lost it. Everything was pitch black. I couldn't see and it felt like my mouth was full of soil. I tried to scream but couldn't. More soil started to fall and then (probably because I was thrashing about so much) I felt Duncan and David let go of my ankles and I fell all the way down. It was probably a couple of feet at the most but it felt like I was falling forever. I was kicking, grabbing, clutching anything I could but all I could feel was more soil falling. I was being buried alive. I couldn't breathe and I thought I was dying.

Right at that moment I felt two massive hands grabbing each of my ankles and pulling me. I was pulled so hard and so fast I shot right out of the hole and into the air. I couldn't see very well because so much soil was in my eyes but I could just about make out it was a man that had a hold of me. He put me down on the grass and then stood me up. He brushed the soil out of my hair with one of his big hands and asked if I was alright.

I didn't feel alright, not one bit, but I managed to mumble "Yes, thanks"

"Bloody stupid kid" he said. "Now go home and don't let me catch you here again." He needn't have worried. I definitely wasn't planning on going there again. Ever.

I ran home, scared, tired, crying and filthy dirty.

"Where have you been? Just look at your dress" my mother yelled at me as I went through the door. "Your sister has been home ten minutes and she said you ran away from her." Turns out that when the boys had let me go, all the soil had fallen on top of me and the old man (who was the graveyard caretaker) had yelled at the rest of the kids and they'd all ran off, scared, my sister included. She'd gone home too scared to tell our mother what had happened so she'd said that I'd ran away.

"What's that in your hand?" my mother asked. I realised I was holding a comic. Just one. A dirty, damp copy of the Beano.

"Nothing." I replied. "Just rubbish"

And I threw the comic onto the fire.


« Last Edit: 04:14:48 PM 05/04/18 by Lyca »
Lyca