Story continues from yesterday:
Luke put the gobstopper back in his mouth and wiped his sticky hand on his trousers. There were seven Year 6 boys again. The missing two had returned with snacks. Luke knew their faces but not their names. One of them was Katia Haines’s brother so his surname must be Haines. Luke picked up his comic again and peered over it in their direction.
The big boys hung around the swings, some sitting, some standing. The tall one thought it was funny to throw one of the swings over the top of the frame, over and over again until it was too high up for anyone to sit on.
They all had crisps and pop. Katia’s brother spat chewing gum on the ground before getting stuck in to his crisps. There was a litter bin next to the swings and when the boys had finished snacking they, one by one, tossed their rubbish into it. Each boy took his throw further from the bin than the one before him, to demonstrate his superior skills.
Haines went last and missed. The others laughed and teased him for his ineptitude when his rubbish hit the ground, so he proved them wrong by hitting every one of them with the football. All seven scuffled noisily out of the park.
Luke picked up his notebook and pencil,
LITTER: 1 TANGO CAN, 1 CRISP BAG, GUM
DROPPER: HAINES, YEAR 6
then he went over to the swings and collected the rubbish.
Suddenly he heard Butler’s loud shouting voice. The class 4 kids were coming back! Quickly he ran north and concealed himself behind the trees next to the pony paddock. He watched them through his binoculars. They sat together on the bench, eating crisps and drinking pop. Kenny White also had a sherbet fountain. Luke waited patiently for Butler to drop his rubbish on the grass. His pencil was poised for the inevitable notebook entry. Simon Butler would then be taught a lesson. But Simon Butler did not drop his rubbish on the grass. He put it in the bin, as did Christina and Becca. Luke was begrudgingly impressed.
He looked at his watch. It was 1.54pm. 1.54! Mum had said 2 o’clock, don’t be late! He had to get home for dinner! But he couldn’t come out from behind the trees, they’d know he’d been spying on them. He had to wait. So he waited. And he waited.
“Don’t you lot ‘ave ‘omes to go to?” he asked under his breath.
He looked at his watch again: 2.01. He heard Becca shouting.
“Let’s go on the swings!”
They all ran and Kenny, being the last to get there, found no swing for him (the fourth having been wound around the top of the frame). He shrugged and said he was going home for dinner. The rest of them followed his example.
2.09. Luke emerged from his hiding place and ran across the park. As he sped past the bench something caught his eye. He stopped. Looked back. There was something on the ground under the bench.
LITTER: 1 PANDA POP, 1 CRISP BAG, 1 SHERBET FOUNTAIN
DROPPER: KENNY WHITE
Sunday evening. It was nearly bedtime. Luke emerged quietly from his brother’s room.
“Hey! What are you doing in my room?” Jared scowled.
“Jus’ doin’ you a favour, that’s all!” said Luke, returning the scowl. “You left your school bag downstairs so I put it in your room. Mum gets cross when you leave stuff out so I’d say I did you a favour alright!”
Jared eyed his younger brother suspiciously. It wasn’t like him to be so considerate. Luke stomped off to his own room.
Monday morning. Time to implement part three of the plan.
Continues tomorrow, or if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here. The first eight chapters are also available in paperback.