The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes Childhood Stories

Wendy Metcalfe

kay, gang, what we gonna do today?" Wen asked.
She looked towards Richard, who as the tallest of them was their leader.
"Pirates?" he suggested.
"We played that yesterday. It’s boring!" Davy whined.
"Shut up!" Wen snapped. She couldn’t stand it when he started whining.

"You got a better idea?" he challenged.
"Yeah," Richard Said.; "Let’s bomb Nagger Bag."
Davy grinned. "Yeah! That’d be fun." He turned to the rest of the gang. Susan nodded immediately, Michael punched his fist in the air, and Peter looked down at the cobbles beneath his feet, hesitant as always. Wen wondered why they’d let him into their gang.
"Let’s go." Richard ended the discussion with a quick about-turn. He marched along the alley until he got to Albert Street. He stepped out into the sunlight and the gang followed.

Wen was glad to be out in the sun. The alley was always cool, shaded by the houses that bounded it, the back of Victoria Road on one side and Albert Street on the other. She stepped into the summer day and ran onto the croft. This was her world, a magic place of wild grass and muddy ponds that held all her dreams. There she was a pirate, a champion horse rider, whatever her heart desired.
The croft also provided a supply of stones for their bombing raids. Richard was already hard at work collecting ammo. Wen knew from experience that the stones had to be round to fly straight, and not too heavy to be lobbed the few feet from Nagger Bag’s front garden wall to her door. She’d got to be expert in sorting ammo this summer.

She bent to pick up her first stone. On one side of her Richard was pushing aside dirt, selecting only perfectly rounded stones. Richard never had second-best of anything. He was the only one in the gang who had a rocking-horse. Wen made sure she stayed friends with him so she could get a ride occasionally.
"Okay gang, we ready?" Richard asked.
Wen took up her position as his deputy. She’d had what her parents called a "growing spurt" this summer, and she was only just shorter than Richard now. She could run as fast too, so she’d overtaken Peter at the start of the summer hols. He’d been upset about it and they’d fought, but she could run much faster and further than he could and that’s what mattered to the gang. She was better than Peter, so she was second.
They lined up at the edge of the croft, clutching their handfuls of stones. Wen felt the flutter of fear and excitement she always did at the start of a bombing raid. She wondered who’d get it today. Since she’d moved up to second it wasn’t her any more.
"Go, gang!" Richard yelled and took off across Albert Street. Wen couldn’t remember how they knew where Nagger Bag lived. Every house running down Albert Street was the same, a long line of red brick with doors painted boring brown and green. Anyway, however they’d done it, they knew where Nagger Bag lived.
Wen yelled as Richard hurled his stones against Nagger Bag’s front door. Rat-tat-tat, three perfect hits. Now it was her turn. She got up to speed fast, digging in her toes hard to halt before the low wall that formed the boundary of Nagger Bag’s front garden. Rat-tat-tat. All her stones hit the door dead centre, just below the tarnished chrome letter box. She sprang away, back to the croft, leaving space for Peter to do his run behind her.

She heard the shout and turned around. Nagger Bag had thrown open her front door just as Davy raised his hand to throw his second stone. The bucket of cold water hit him full in the face, and Nagger Bag’s curse at those "damned kids" floated out to her.

She turned to Richard and grinned. Another successful raid. One day Davy would learn to run faster and not get wet, but until then Wen was happy with things as they were.
There were three more weeks left of the summer hols. Plenty of time for more raids before they went back to schoo

© Wendy Metcalfe November 2006
Author and Writing Tutor

Wendy is studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth


© Hackwriters 1999-2006 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.