Chuckjd's Words

a convenient dumping ground for my writing

1984/11/14

14 November, 1984 – 1:03 pm – Pen-Y-Fan Pond

Nicky’s legs were tangled over the top of the post, his butt up against it and his back across the planks of the pier. He let his arms reach above his head, stretching out as far as he could. His arms stretched farther than his coat could reach, and his wrists were exposed to the chilly autumn air. He was a skinny boy, but he was able to take up more space than more people who were twice his weight.

Richey was lying with his head hanging over the edge of the pier, looking out over the water upside down. He could feel the blood rushing to his skull, but he didn’t mind. His hands were folded neatly on his stomach, trying to keep warm. He was lying diagonally; one of his knees was bent upward while the other leg dangled over the water over the other edge. The tip of his sneaker was wet, but he didn’t move his leg away from the water. He couldn’t feel his toe much anymore, anyway.

James sat against another post, his arms wrapped around his bent legs. He laid his cheekbones against his knees, his nose poking out between them. He was in the best position to keep warm in the cool air signaling winter coming, but it was all about the pose with those two.

Sean sat with his back to the others, well, except for Richey’s head, which he was mostly next to. He was at the end of the pier with his legs over the side. He let his legs swing in the cold breeze, his feet never touching the frigid water.

There was an air of melancholy shadowing the group, more than usual. It was the miners’ strike, it was swiftly coming to a close, and the end wouldn’t be a happy one. Nicky’s father was the only miner out of their parents, but their town was made up of miners and their families. Their love of righteous politics was right at home; the only news on the telly, newspapers, and radio was the strike.

This was their pond to develop their manifesto, to share ideas that brought them closer to the Beats in their minds. This was the home of their politics off the paper and out of their heads.

Today, their animated voices were silent, their bodies listless. No news was good news anymore, and there was nothing to do but be depressed about everything.

“Maybe my Arsenal tryouts will go right,” Nicky said, twirling his fingers in his hair and breaking the silence.

The other boys subtly tilted their bodies, ears, and minds in Nicky’s direction. They didn’t say a word, they just moved their attention from nothing to something.

“I could get on Arsenal, be a big footballer star, and it wouldn’t matter that my dad didn’t work at the mine anymore.” The mention of the mines deflated them even further. “I’d be rich, I could fix up the house, maybe even buy my parents a new one, and my mom could just do her poetry, and my dad could just… rest.”

They sighed collectively, the future looking so much brighter through Nicky’s words.

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