.........................................The Playground Of The Mind.............................................
When the evening comes along in here, when the lights are clicked off in that one-by-one
fashion and the steady click of shoes fades away, I think about that little boy in the park
on that Autumn day.
He was good kid, dark shoulder-length hair and brown eyes that watched the world with
a hope of better times. Even at the age of eleven, the youngster knew what his future
held. Really... he knew where he would be in twenty-years time.
It was Nineteen Seventy-One and everything was gonna be okay.
The sealed-packet that held the skipping ropes for his sister's birthday gift stuck out of his
coat pocket and made a clack-sound everytime they brushed the swaying swing chains.
The cardboard label that was badly-stapled to the thick-polythene packet offered a gaudy
rendering of joyously-happy child leaping into a swishing-circle of twisted hemp.
Catherine liked to skip and the boy knew that owning her own ropes instead of borrowing
that bitch-next-door's faded green-handled ones would bring a smile to that cherub face.
The boy knew how to care.
So, Nineteen Seventy-One would find the duffle-coated boy sitting on a moulded-plastic
swing in a leaf-littered park and thinking about his sister. To add to the description, he would
be watching the man in the grey coat.
'Oh no...' -I hear you whisper '...this writer is going to explain his reasons for commiting a
foul murder of an innocent child' But this isn't a confession and anyway, you've got the yarn
ass-backward. Just sit back, leave the computer mouse alone and read on.
The Library here is quite good, they let me read some of the books that the woman called
Brenda brings on her little trolley. The well-thumbed pages take me away from this place
and I can assure you, the luxury of reading about other worlds and lifetimes is not a gift
I take lightly. The fat-ankled Brenda is my secret-saviour.
The Ward Attendants know that too.
So we'll peruse the year that the youngster -that I'll assume you've guessed is me, the year
that the kid in the park was watching the grey-garbed stranger.
North Vietnam was still enjoying watching it's countrymen being blown to pieces by aerial
bombing and two Astronauts went for a drive on the moon.
In Great Britain, the standard currency changed from Pounds Sterling to Decimal and some
residents of that country tunnelled their way into Lloyds of London and stole £500,000.
We'll take it that the swag was the new stuff, huh?
The Pittsburgh Pirates batted the Baltimore Orioles away from the World Series and Mount
Etna erupts it's guts again. It was the year of Charlie Manson's verdict and Coco Chanel buying
the farm. Just another year, except this one was when the kid saw an alternative future.
The leaves slushed around where the playground slide waited for the next child to use it
wrongly. It's once-gleaming chute now sported Day-old dogsh*t and the canopy where a kid
would clamber about on and risk smashing his brains out on the tarmac below, offered dirty
words written with stubby felt-tip pens. The ironwork on the steps proclaimed that the
structure was made by 'Wicksteed Kettering'... I'll never forget that name.
I breathed in and looked back towards the grey-man, he was closer now.
Now what should I tell you? Do I relate how the stranger ingratiated himself to me in such a
way that when he began to choke me unconcious, I still clung to the idea that this was all
some sort of adult joke?
Should I admit that it was only by God's own-luck, that I wriggled free of my coat and
instead of running away with a choked sob in my bruised throat and dirty tear-stains on my
cheeks, I dared to kick out at the man struggling to rise from his kees?
I now-know what that Demon had in-store for me on that grey cloud-scudding day and that's
why I will never agree with my Doctor's notes.
Maybe there are some out there in the free-world that cheer and whoop (I've heard that
this sort of applauding is in-trend as I write this!)... at my escape and some may even nod to
themselves if I dare to tell you I did more than just kick him.
I know there are some who will nibble their bottom-lip and wish they had struck out at
their attacker... to those, I hear you my friends and we'll leave it at that.
But whatever your thoughts on what happened to that pervert, it certainly doesn't help my
Anyway, I was just an eleven year-old boy with a future to look forward to and it seems that
there was another future, one that waited like a tongue-lolling wolf in that park in Nineteen
Seventy-One and it had other thoughts on it's mind.
It'll be porridge tomorrow morning, it's always porridge on a Thursday morning.
The Police found the body tied to the slide and they surmised that the killer was a probably
someone who done this sort of thing before, the skipping-rope bonds were a signature -one
It seems now that I'd had it ass-backward, I was just good at it from the start.
Dr. Jennings came today and told me that they had decided on a new type of medication
and looking at me over those heavy-frame spectacles, she added that it could be the answer
that they were looking for. She means well and I expect by tomorrow evening, I'll be drooling
saliva like it's going out of style. Damned pills.
So I'll sign-off and resign myself to a dreamless sleep. Porridge for breakfast, huh?
Edit: I never thought I'd be adding to this written account again, but seems that my mistrust
in the Pharmaceutical companies was misplaced, I'm cured!!
It's been five years since I wrote the above-tale of how I became way-laid from what I
believe would be a productive life in society, that dark-day really delayed my aspirations.
But I'm here on the 'outside' and holding down a steady job at a local Supermarket, there's
plenty of overtime and a possible pension-plan.
I still have to attend Dr. Davis' office every-other Thursday to make sure that the medication
is working. I know that he holds great faith in me and I'm focused on not letting the Doctor
'What happened to Dr. Jennings?' I hear the same person who had doubts at the beginning of
this yarn -say! "....You killed her, didn't you?" I hear you growl at the screen.
Dr. Jennings went away not long after the medication showed positive results, I reckon she's
cooling her jets on some exotic island somewhere and enjoying a healthy bank account.
So there are two people who felt the benefits of those small pink-pills.
My shift at the Supermarket is about to start, so I'll close my laptop and get along to my
tasks, we're altering the cereal shelves today and there's a lot of them.
If you're ever in the neighbourhood and you need good-quality provisions and reasonable
prices, feel free to drop in and see me.
Look for my halloween-orange name-tag... Kettering, Wicksteed Kettering.
edit on 16-9-2012 by A boy in a dress because: Left skipping ropes in