Photo Opportunity - Part 1

Photo Opportunity
Part 1
by Maddy Bell

Copyright © 2006 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.

"There, that does the job." she tilted her head one way and another to get the full effect, "yes, a masterpiece if I do say so myself."

Which of course was never going to be good news.

"I'll just take a couple of photo's."

"Muu-uum" her offspring groaned.


"Sit still!"

"But mum."

"I said sit still!"

It was no use, when Mum got a bee in her bonnet it was never any use arguing with her, in fact from past experience it could make matters worse . Mum fussed about for a couple more minutes before stepping back.

"There, that does the job." she tilted her head one way and another to get the full effect, "yes, a masterpiece if I do say so myself."

Which of course was never going to be good news.

"I'll just take a couple of photo's."

"Muu-uum" her offspring groaned.

They had been through this sort of thing before, Mum's 'projects' Dad called them. Flippin' magazines and their competitions, last time it was the kitchen. Our quite adequate kitchen was turned into a tileless, door less hole in the hopes, misguided though they were, that we could win a new kitchen. Needless to say we didn't win and six months on and our kitchen still looks like a war zone.

But this latest one - well she really has gone too far this time.

'Ooh this looks good, dur de dur de dur - here we go, just send a recent photograph for your chance win.'

Well it sounded harmless enough but I should really have thought about it and requested more details then I wouldn't be sat here waiting for Mum to take my picture. Not that I have a problem with that per se but I would rather not do this one.

The only good aspect of the current scenario is that Mum has never, and I mean never, won anything in ten years of competition addiction. On the other hand both Dad and me tend to have more success, only a couple of weeks ago I won a load of cd's on the local radio's pop quiz.

It's not like she's dumb or anything, but she's just unlucky. Which is lucky for me I guess. I mean it would be nice if Mum won something but my fingers are crossed that her luck won't change just yet. It's not like she really needs a makeover, she still turns heads at thirty-five and she doesn't wear jeans all the time like my mates mothers do. Mind you she didn't need the years supply of nappies she entered for last week either!

"Can I get changed now?"

"I guess so Lor, " she sighed, "you off to the Rec?"

"Something like." that I shouted over my shoulder as I made a break for the stairs.

The Rec or to give it its full name, the George Brown recreation ground is the centre of activity for anything not involving beer or God in the village. By day it doubles up as playing field for the school, weekends it plays host to football or cricket dependant on time of year, the village carnival uses it and at all other times it attracts all the local kids. There are a couple of ancient swings and stuff for the little uns but most of us just hang out - there's not much else to do in a village this far from civilisation , the nearest proper town is Peterborough and that's about ten miles away.

"Lor, where've you been?"

"Mum wanted some help with something."

"You fancy going to do some stirring?"

"At the school?"

"Yeah" Jonno confirmed, "Mat's got his Dad's car, might get some bevvies too eh?"

So okay its not big and its not clever but taunting the kids at the public school was always good for a laugh and we might be able to get some cider from the Spar too, if mat remembers his I'D that is.

"Count me in."

Did I mention that it's a small village? The teen population consists of me, Jonno, Mat who's 17 and the Parker twins, Emily and Sarah. With the twins at choir practice, you get the entertainment you can, that just left the three of us to get up to teen mischief.

"Jonno, Lor, come on, times a wasting!"

"Got your I'D Matt?"

"Uh! I knew I forgot something. Of course I've got it dumbo! You two got any dosh?

"Couple of quid" Jonno offered.

"I can get some at the cash machine,” I advised.

"Come on then, get in or the toffs'll be tucked up in bed."

The way Mat drives meant that even on the lanes we covered the best part of six miles in ten minutes, as usual we took off over the river bridge, which always has my stomach doing a flip! Oundle (that's ouwn dell) is one of several small towns round about whose main industry is a public school, public as in private toff schools. Apart from Oundle there's Kimbolton, Uppingham and Oakham plus there are others in some of the bigger towns. We often meet up with some of our local peers but tonight it was pretty quiet, just a few posh's about.

By the time we had visited the cash machine and the offy, the September night was starting to draw in. We found our favourite bit of wall that the posh's had to pass to get from the chippy back into school and started on our booze. Strictly White Lightning of course, its cheap, comes in big bottles and you can get wasted dead easy.

We passed the bottle round and kicked our heels, it really was quiet.

"Gaw, this is boring." Mat intoned.

"We could go to Thrappo?" Jonno suggested - Thrappo, well actually Thrapston is where our plebs comprehensive is.

"Not got much petrol,” Mat mentioned.

We returned to our bottle, pausing only briefly to heckle and taunt a couple of young poshers, they ran off, I think in fright, and we were left unfulfilled. It's best when the sixth formers are about, we've had some right argy bargy's in the past and once or twice we've ended up all getting pissed. But not tonight, Mat nervously rolled a ciggy and started to puff away.

"Lets have a drag Mat." Jonno asked our chauffeur.

"Just a quick one then" he replied passing the roll up over.

Jonno took a draw and his eyes nearly burst from his head.

"Fuck Mat! That's hot!"

"Good eh? I scored it from Dave yesterday. You want a drag Lor?"

Okay, lets get things straight right here. I might drink and fart around but I never did any drugs. It wasn't from any moral high ground or anything; I just never fancied the idea. Its not like they're difficult to get round here, Mat and Jonno, even the twins, often have a spliff but I reckon I get enough from their smoke that I don't need to do it myself.

"No thanks, I'll stick to zyder.”

It was about this point that a voice called out my name.

"Hiya Lor, you guys poshing?"

"Er hi Saz, yeah not much happening though."

"You should've rung, Mum had me cleaning my room."

"You can clean mine anytime Sarah." Mat stated.

"In your dreams Matthew Morris!"

Sarah is in my form at school and is a pretty good mate; the townies tend to stick together and us bumpies likewise.

"It was a bit last minute."

"Yeah Lor was helping Mumsie." Jonno supplied.

That earnt him a good-natured arm punch.

"Give over you girl."

I stuck my tongue out which had Sarah giggling.

"You wanna get some chips?" she asked when she got over that.

"Yeah why not, what about you two?" I asked the smokers.

"Skint." Matt reiterated.

"My shout?" I offered

"Go on then, get us a pickled egg as well." Jono requested

"Yuck!" Sarah stated.

"Save us some White."

I hopped off the wall and joined Sarah for the walk round to the chippy, Mat looked happy enough with his reefer and Jono was already making short work of the cider. It's not a long walk, it's not a big place, and the Town Frier is a local institution. When we got there we joined a queue of locals and posh's, but as usual the service was quick. Well until they ran out of chips one customer in front of us.

“Five minutes folks.” the bloke in charge advised.

Saz slumped against the wall. “Thought the twins'd be with you?”


“Oh right. You going to the dance on Friday?”

I'm not exactly a big fan of school dances but living in the sticks you take what you can get entertainment wise.

“I guess, you need a lift?”

“If your Mum doesn't mind.”

“She'll be okay with it.”

“What'll it be?” the chip meister enquired.

“Four bags of chips and a pickled egg open, you want a can Saz?”

“Diet please.”

“And two cans of diet coke please.” as Mum says, manners cost nothing.

At that point there was a gunning of an engine and a car flashed past horns and occupants blaring quickly followed by a second.

“Bloody hooligans” the chipoil mentioned, “that's five fifty.”

I passed a ten over while Sarah did the s and v business.

“Anyway, the twins'll be getting a lift too” I stated between mouthfuls of vaguely slimy chips.

We ambled along eating as we went.

“I hope there's some white left,” I stated as we turned into school walk.

“Hmm.” Saz agreed without looking up from her chip paper.

“Feck!” I exclaimed, “The astards have buggered off.”

“They'll 've gone down the bridge.”

“Yeah” I agreed, “buggers've finished the cider though,” I noted seeing the discarded bottle stood on the wall.

We headed down to the river and nearly got mowed down by a plod car in a hurry jumping the lights.

“Fecking twats!” I shouted after the flashing light.

“Fight in Thrappo again I 'spect.”

There are always fights in Thrapston. You get these flash gits from like Kett'rin' coming over and winding up the locals with their flash cars and stuff, I bet there's a fight at least twice a week, all the local coppers get called in and last week some geezer got knifed.

“No sign of the dirty duo, their chips'll be bloody cold and I got Jono's egg too.” I moaned.

“They must be back up the town, we'll cut back along to the market.” Sarah suggested.

By this time we were both finished with our chips and I was getting pretty cheesed with my mates for wandering off.

"No sign here." Sarah noted.

"I bet they've buggered off, the twats!" it wouldn't be the first time Mat had stranded me somewhere. It's not like he sets out to but he can be a bit impulsive. I was more surprised now as he already said he was low on petrol.

I dug my mobile out and hit speed dial 05, that's Jonno's number. It started to ring.

"You could stay at mine if you like." Saz offered.


The phone continued to ring with no reply - bit unusual for Jonno but maybe its switched off.

"No reply."

"You want to hang around or what?"

"Better for a bit."

By now the extra chips were getting a bit maudlin.

"You fancy some more chips?" I offered.

"Might as well" Saz agreed, so rather than waste them we started on the lad's supper; the pickled egg however was headed straight in the bin!

We hung about in the market place for best part of an hour before giving in to the inevitable and heading for Saz's. I'd tried Jonno's phone three more times, and Mat's but there was still no reply.

"Hi Lori" Mrs. Waldron, Sarah's mum greeted me.

"Hi Mrs. Waldron."

"Can Lor stay over, the lads bummed off."

"Of course, just ring your mother eh?"


Maddy Bell 25.10.2006  © 2006

End of Part 1
To Be Continued...

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