Please note: this piece contains strong language.
It was a warm evening. Mischief was in the air, perfect for two boys to monkey about. I was with my friend Tony. He was a few years older and generally led the way. We (more like he) decided to get the bus to Aberdeen to go to Codona’s to play the arcades.
We got on the bus.
‘Two halves to Aberdeen, driver.’
He gave us our tickets and we sat upstairs watching the country roll by. After a while we arrived in Aberdeen at the last stop beside the graveyard on Union Street. Taking short cuts, wandering here and there, we found ourselves walking along a railway track at one point for no reason.
Finally at the arcades, we quickly spent our couple of pounds. We thought about the time and about heading back home. No money left and in the shit for getting the bus, we meandered into town.
It was getting late for two young loons to be out. After worrying for ages Tony suggested that if we went to his uncle’s who lived at the end of Queens Road we could scrounge some money to get home. So we flagged a taxi. Tony’s uncle was well off and easily afforded us taxi fares and bus fares. Hallelujah we were saved.
The taxi dropped us off at the bus station. Our bus wasn’t ready so we went into the railway station to waste some time. There were two young men that we had some cheeky banter with. Two guys waiting for a train. They said they were off duty policemen.
'Off duty policemen?' we replied. 'Did you get your badges from the back of a Corn Flakes box?'We walked on through the railway station to a car park and stood beside the stairwell. I noticed a man leering around from the stairwell and he was licking a folded twenty pound note. Disgusted, we ran into the station straight to the young officers and reported what had happened.
They said, 'These boys need some help.'
They left their bags and ran after the creep. We never found out what happened. It was time for our bus.
We got on the bus safe in the knowledge we would be heading home but also knew we would be in deep trouble. After we got back to Banchory we split up to face the music. It was a long walk up to my house. My mum was usually quite strict but to my surprise when she saw me she was just happy I was home. All I was told was to get ready for bed and have a bath.
When naked in the bath I felt vulnerable like I did with the disgusting man. My brother Peter came into the bathroom and I told him what had happened.
Then to bed to see ghostly shadows, creaking skeletons in the dark mahogany wardrobe and hairless hellhounds licking their lips under my bed. Licking. My dad knocked on the door and said, 'Sleep well. Good night?'