Copyright jim ferguson 2017
It was that same auld dream. There it was back again. He’d wakened in the night sweating but then he couldny be sure if it wisny the drink or, in fact, something else entirely. The thing with this dream was that it had started way back, just around the time of his first day at school. It had been left to his aulder sister to take him. They’d put on their new black shoes and skipped out the house at 8.30 in the morning; plenty of time for them to get in at the Infants school by 9 o’clock.
If we’re late we’ll likely get belted, his sister said.
Naw, surely no… We better hurry up then.
Don’t panic wee man, she said, I’ll no let any teachers belt you. I mean look at ye, you’re just too wee.
Am I? he said.
Aye, ye are.
As they got closer to the school there were more and more wee weans on their way. All dressed smart. All excited about their first day back after the long summer holidays, or for the likes him, nervous about their first ever day at school. A group of aulder boys were standing in the road kicking a ball about and laughing.
Jeez oh, he said to his sister, it’s busy, lots more folk than I thought.
Aye, you’ll soon get used to it.
Fact was he didny. He didny ever get used to it.
Come on, said his sister giggling, we’ll climb the fence.
Somebody had tied an auld rope over to punt your self up. He grabbed it and pulled while she pushed him up by the arse. Somehow, in one movement, he’d swung himself over: landed safe and sound on the ground, his new black shoes smacking on the tarmac with a wonderful thump. He watched his sister begin to climb and swing over but somehow her feet didny touch the tarmac. She just dangled there, her feet inches off the floor, face weirdly coloured, contorted. Neck broken. Dead.
That was when that auld dream had started and now it was back, and christ, how long had it been since he’d left that school? Thirty years, that’s how long, thirty years.
is available as a kindle e-book from amazon. It is the story of two homeless Glaswegians who take a strange trip to the Highlands of Scotland... And some odd shennanigans with skin...
Jim has written numerous short stories. If you'd like to read another, in the online magazine 'from glasgow to saturn' click the link below:
The opening pages from Jim Ferguson's debut novel 'punk fiddle' can be found at this link