"Nah, Chelsea" said Ben "They're the best team, by miles"
"Emily, why did you mention football?" asked Victoria shaking her dead in dismay.
"I didn't. I was just saying that Ronaldo was cute" replied Emily.
"He a big wuss" said Paul "I bet he's gay."
"Who do you support then?" asked Ben looking at Paul, expecting to hear Man United or Arsenal, or maybe Liverpool"
"Southampton" said Paul, as if it should be obvious.
"Southampton!?" said Ben incredulously "But they're crap!"
"Can I string him up now?" asked Paul, looking at Victoria.
"Benedict Davison" Margaret bellowed loud enough for the entire garden and half the house to hear her.
Ben froze and felt the blood drain from his face. He knew she must have heard him say 'crap' and she didn't like bad language. He couldn't bear the thought of his mother giving him a telling off in front of his friends, let alone the other kids in the garden.
Everyone looked up, including Ben, his face grinning appeasingly.
"What in hell have you been doing?" she shouted angrily.
Victoria, Emily, and Paul all stood and turned to face Margaret, their faces solemn. They knew when not to make matters any worse. Amy stood up cheerfully.
Seeing Giles leering out of the kitchen window at them, Emily nearly put an arm round Ben's shoulders protectively.
Ben stood more slowly, his legs turning to jelly and his bowels to water.
"I only said 'crap'" he said in his own defence "It's not that bad a word really"
"You said what?" she asked stopping suddenly.
"Um... crap" said Ben weakly.
"You said that on top of sticking two fingers up?" she demanded.
"No" said Ben, sounding shocked.
"You just said you did" she said, her blood beginning to boil.
"No, I did say crap, but I didn't stick two fingers up" said Ben.
"Will you stop using that word!" she yelled.
Ben went bright red. Being dressed down by his mother in public was always humiliating, but in front of the gang it was intolerable.
Margaret studied him carefully. She hadn't heard him swear but he'd confessed to that. Presumably because he'd thought she'd heard him, but he denied the finger gesture. Ben was usually honest, but the finger gesture was a very serious offence and he was probably trying to protect himself from public embarrassment. He didn't sound like he was lying, but Giles had said he'd seen him do it. Why would he make something like that up?
Diane looked at Emily "Did he stick two fingers up?" she asked.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
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Changes last made on: Sunday, February 11, 2018