So there I was, a young boy, a skinny glasses wearing weirdo, wandering cold cloisters. Tormented by bigger kids, not too badly but enough. Never really hurt but often threatened with injury. The taunts and kicks and slaps still stung, and combined with the vicious corporal punishment being dealt out, ( sometimes deserved sometimes not ) it formed a powerful mixture of hate in my belly that needed release.
So that I did not go on any sort of indiscriminate rampage and get even more beatings, or was expelled, I invented the “Three times the Skull” system. If I was slighted by an individual I would calmly walk up to my room – sometimes holding back tears, sometimes not. I would open the secret slit of my mattress and take out a small blood red notebook. Into the notebook I would write the offenders name and next to the name I would write a black Skull and Crossbones.
This would put wind into the sails of my wicked pirate style vengeance.
If you refused to share lollies with me, you got a skull.
If you farted on me or hit me you got one or two skulls- dependant on the hardness of the hit or the smelliness of the fart.
If you taunted me or made fun of me you got a skull.
If you told on me resulting in me getting a detention, that was a three skull offence.
If you told on me resulting in me getting THE WHACK you immediately earned yourself ten skulls…
If I saw you bullying someone I liked you got a skull.
And if you wouldn’t get off the trampoline when it was my turn you got a skull.
There were other one to three skull offenses but these were often decided on the spot.
The reverse was also true – if you gave me things or were kind – ( and you had skulls on record ) I would remove skulls depending on the size of the kindness.
This was all done secretly and I did not tell a soul of this sinister log of merits and demerits until a decade later.
So what was this all about? Well… one of two things would happen. If you got to three skulls I would secretly and in ninja like style, mete out what I called the mini punish.
But If you needed to be really brought low I would wait until you had accumulated ten skulls then deliver the BIG punish.
I know you want to know what happened then … And which offenders I brought righteous wrath down upon, and the shape and heat of said wrath.
As well as the speed at which it fell and the weight it contained…
And so I shall tell…
I well remember the glee that would rise and soar within me upon the development and execution of a fitting punish.
The time I inflicted a mini punish of holding in my farts and only releasing them into one offenders pillow for a period of some days. He was heard to remark that his pillow had “gone rotten somehow” and it had to be thrown away. But not before he had inhaled the lingering aroma of my reeking chuff gas over a good series of nights.
The time I inflicted the mini punish of a urine filled condom bomb hurled wrathfully down on to a small group of three skullers, from a high window as I have told.
The many mini punishes of telling bigger older more dangerous kids that the offender was calling them a gay. This would result in the offender being threatened or punched and possibly crying in terror or pain.
The time when a good mini punish went bad … I attempted to inflict the mini punish of hiding an offenders gym clothes so he would get a detention when he didn’t have them for the morning run. While I gleefully hid his clothes deep at the bottom of the lost property bin, a tutor was observing me. When I turned and saw him looking at me I almost fainted dead away! My good mini punish had gone horribly wrong.
He strode over to the bin and liberated the tracksuit. “MMMM … What do you have against Jamieson?” He said, looking at the name tag. “I was angry with him for repeatedly being mean to me – but its ok I’m not now.” I gibbered. “Here, Ill go give them back to him now..”
“Oh no- there is nothing we can do – it’s in the Housemasters hands…” He said.
Instantly earning him the highest form of little red book award: A BIG RED SKULL WITH DAGGERS INSTEAD OF BONES, DRIPPING BLOOD AND EXUDING EVIL RED LIGHTNING.
I think this meant that at some point in the future I would have to kill all his pets, his entire family, all his friends, utterly destroy everything he owned, then slowly torture him to death in the most painful way, trap his soul in a magical torture box and then erase any record of him ever existing, in this universe or any other.
A task I am yet to complete.
He went off to give Jamieson his tracksuit, and later when I saw Jamieson, Jamieson told me matter of factly “You’re probably going to get three of the BEST.”
This caused me to drop into quite a terrified state, go straight to the bathroom with diarrhea and pull “Gentile Bess” My WHACK PAD out of retirement.
Jamieson immediately qualified for a ten skull punish, consisting of being “accidentally” tripped down a flight of stairs a month later, while he tried to race me. He fractured his collar bone and spent three days in hospital. As running inside was a WHACKABLE offense he had to say he had slipped while walking.
I remember well another good Ten skull. I cant remember the name of the kid who received this punish or what he did to me, but I bet he deserved it.
There was a tall and dangerous looking cactus by the gym, with long purple and brown spines that would hurt like a bastard if they pricked you – resulting in swelling and pain in the prick area.
I crafted a good blowpipe out of two straws from the cafeteria and made a poison paste by drying the greenish yellow goop that was inside the cactus, into a horrid dark gunge. I poked tiny holes near the tip of a long and dangerous spine, to hold the poison paste better.
With my weapon concealed ninja style, I hung around the kid and his friends asking if they had seen the wasp that was buzzing around the area.
Of course they hadn’t as the wasp was still within my blowpipe.
When the kids attention was suitably distracted – WHOOOP !
I shot the spine dart into his leg! Getting him in the Knee cap! Having already freaked them with an imaginary wasp, I used the confusion of his pained cry to pretend to see the wasp, and leaping forward knocked the dart from his knee and cast it into the grass in the fashion of pretending to shoo a wasp away.
It didn’t seem to hurt him much at first and they returned to their playing.
By dinner time though he was limping slightly and I, in my morbid fascination was unable to leave his side.
The next day his limp was pronounced and a large red welt had appeared. By dinner time that night the welt had redness that covered his entire knee and he was feeling a bit weak and feverish. Getting a little worried I had him seek the advice of the matron. I took him there myself as the symptoms were starting to get beyond a simple Ten Skull Punish.
I explained to the matron my sighting of the stinging wasp, how the poison was probably spreading, how he must be allergic and that hopefully she could heal my friend.
I had stared to become friends with this kid now over the day and no longer wanted him to die.
She rubbed some sort of ointment on it and gave him some sort of antibiotic.
Checking on him first thing in the morning revealed he had been vomiting through the night, pooed the bed a little at one point and now had a raging fever, a purple pus filled knee and the rest of his leg had swollen like an elephants! There were dangerous and angry looking red lines radiating out from his knee cap like a miniature sun and not unlike a sun, the knee was also giving off its own weird heat!
I was starting to feel a little sick myself. No matter what I did I could not get myself to believe that a simple wasp had done this…
The Matron was called ( not by me as I had gone wholly unreal on the guy now and couldn’t even look at him) and he was rushed to hospital.
I walked zombie like to the cactus by the gym and rammed both of my hands into the spines, thinking that if I was somehow punished for my crime he would get better. I pressed the spines deep into my palms and let out little crying kiddy screams of misery and pain. Every time I wanted to pull back, I would just think of the knee and push harder. I did this till blood was streaming out of the punctures and the poison was making my hands feel like beach balls filled with stinging bees.
The garden began to go dreamlike and I started blacking out from the pain and so I pulled my hands off the spines and clasped them together in an small spray of blood, then knelt to pray at the foot of the diabolical cactus that had caused all this.
If he got better I would always be good and never do anything to harm anyone ever again.
The kid did get better after a week in hospital. And after a few weeks of keeping my nose clean, I forgot about my promise to God and began writing skulls in the book once more.
But I never used a cactus as a form of punishment EVER again !
And neither should you.
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