The instant his foot touched the playground Francis felt a sharp kick up the crack of his ass with the toe of the assailant’s shoe driving hard under his cleft and into his left testicle. The blinding light forced his eyeballs out of his head like a Loony Toons cat, and his hands instinctively cupped his balls so quickly and with such force that he re-traumatised the rapidly swelling dove egg and fell to the ground.
Once on the pavement he felt the incremental thud of a basketball bouncing off his pill. With each thud, his neck jerked forward in an unnatural and painful cadence. However, this was not the worst he had ever received from the boys on the playground, and on this occasion Francis felt a little deserving of the punishment. He felt deep dread because, aside from the fact that he was a 120-pound ten year old who looked like an inflatable raft with string pulled in at key points to affect limbs and digits, Francis couldn’t swim, jump, cup his hands to make that whistling sound, play basketball, do a cartwheel, catch a ball, ride a bike, and worst of all--Francis couldn’t make his babysitter come.
Sure, he was 10-years old, but what his mother had taught him by then was more than enough to satisfy most of the eighth-grade girls. We’re talking 14-year olds with more than enough muff and hormones running marathons through their nubile bodies. Francis had it down to an art—feign getting tripped in the cafeteria/land at the feet of a girl sitting on her own (Very crucial. Girls in gaggles never bit) /try to get up, but knock head on underside of table and while trying to regain balance, grab thigh/crotch of girl and apologise profusely.
What happened next was textbook Frances pick-up technique.
‘Oh my God! Are you alright?’ She’d yelp, trying to wipe the excitement of someone’s hand on a region only her and her cat had experienced. ‘Let me take you to the nurse.’
Franciswould ask just that she get him out of there—away from the bullies and brutes that make his coming to school pure hell. If only he had someone to talk to, he’d say, but mother just drinks and sleeps all day and father beats me over the head with a metal rake. See the scars?
‘Let’s go, then.’ Phase one complete. ‘I’m going to take you to my house. My parents are at work. I’ll get you cleaned up.’
Phase two—I’ll just take off my food-stained shirt, Missy, and maybe you can take care of these soiled pants for me. Any booze in the place? I’d have brought my own, but it’s all in Mom’s gut. Hey, got any Marvin Gay? Let’s get it on.
‘Oh, God. You feel good, Francis. How’d you know I had that there? I’ve never been able to find it myself. Checked all the Physiology books and just couldn’t seem to—‘
Phase three—slap of the ass and out. Thanks for cleaning me up, Chica. Hope you got what you came for.
Now on to that damn babysitter. Best get Mom a gift certificate to the casino and get her ass outta bed—make way for Rhonda. Next one’ll be the go!