Posted by: Debrah Martin | March 19, 2014

Jacob Unicorn

From Lily’s diary…

“Teenage life: shitty one day, but it’s always better by the next. Yesterday was one of the good ones at school. Jacob Roberts, he who we call Jacob Unicorn because his hair sticks up at the front – I think it’s called a ‘widow’s peak’ – and he’s always trying to brush it down because he’s rapidly growing a monobrow too – that’s called an idiots peak, LOL – laid face down in the massive puddle on the field after charging twenty quid and a rocky road cookie for his trouble. Last week, for a fiver and a double choc-chip muffin he paraded around the far end of the Quad in just his boxers. The school cafeteria is going to have to pay serious attention to his food fads if he goes on like this as he’s obviously going up in the commercial world. He refused a blueberry muffin to start with, holding out for the double choc, so he knows his worth, but also is more than prepared to sell himself for it. He’s a true confectionery rent boy.

Anyway, whilst he got away with the boxers in the Quad routine, the puddle episode was a little more obvious. Oh I forgot to add, this was face-down, butt-naked, but Mrs Beamer saw him and dragged him off to see old Hummerdingdong. He got detention and so did everyone who contributed to the twenty quid. Of course nerdy me was innocent – well I have no money do I? I just enjoyed the show from afar, but it also brought on a dose of the assemblies. We had to endure that medicine today when Mrs Beamer prescribed one on the subject of original sin and lying naked in puddles. Apparently our year group has already achieved the dubious distinction of 682 detentions since last September – that’s almost a thousand if annualised. One is tempted to counter, in that case – what does one more matter? But that’s not a good thing to say to Mrs Beamer in full flow, so we all just sat looking glum and repentant and then suggested to Jacob that maybe he should wear his boxers next time. So life was funny yesterday but shitty today because of the particularly foul homework we have to do for PSE.

Debate abortion,’ it says .Yeah? Who with? ‘Write down the pros and cons, and what the extenuating circumstances are.’ No shit. We did do it last week but none of us were really listening because it was the day the roof fell down. Not the whole roof, just the bit in the lab where we’d been shoved because Pinkies got the timetable wrong and double-scheduled our PSE class with year eight German. Frau Schmidt is not someone even Pinkies would argue with – she’s the Gestapo in drag, so we got the worst of the deal.

As Deputy Heads go, Pinkies is especially anal – he sets his desk out exactly symmetrically and I’m sure the ruler placed on the left hand-side is so he can measure that every item on it is exactly equidistant with the next. He gave us an assembly on the joys of tidiness on the first day back after the Christmas holidays, and berated himself for his own imperfection, saying it was his new year’s resolution to improve on his failings in that department. Later on I walked past his office window to see him carefully removing everything from his desk top and arranging it in the top desk drawer. Maybe he’d realised that life for him needed to be so sterile, it should contain nothing on his desk top at all.  I wonder what his wife made of it. Did he measure her too and tell her she needed to improve because this hair was out of alignment with that one, and he couldn’t schedule any time in with her until next Tuesday as he needed to tidy his sock drawer? The only thing left on his desk was his bone china tea cup, which he lifted daintily to drink from, little finger crooked out at an angle; the ‘pinky’ of his nickname. He slurped though his blubbery lips, frown intact and glasses sliding down to the tip of his nose where the warty thing on the side stopped them from slipping any further. Nice.

Anyway, we got shoved out to the spare lab because it was the only room free and Frau Schmidt was about to eat Pinkies alive – which would have been a bit like a black widow devouring a wriggling grub. We all shuffled in and perched on the bar stools, the boys vying with each other to make the most stink by flicking the gas taps in the centre of the lab benches on and off. Matt was diagonally opposite me on my bench and I could adore him from the corner of my eye without anyone knowing. Jas was on the next bench along and they hadn’t seemed too ‘couply’ on the way in, so I was starting to wonder if it had been a one off ‘get on her’. Neither of them had changed their relationship status on Facebook so there was hope yet. We were stuck with forty five minutes of stench and boredom, and a bit of internalised lusting for me despite my mental denouncement of all things relating to love and Matt, until it was suddenly and mercifully alleviated by the central part of the lab ceiling collapsing in a shower of polystyrene and smelly wet plaster. Mrs Jones was just trying to coax some valid reasons for abortion out of us when the landslide arrived with a whoomph and a cloud of sickly dust, straight on top of Naylor and Jacob Unicorn.

‘Is that what it’s like when it all comes out Miss?’ Jacob asked, face white with clinging dust and his widows’ peak looking like one of those Japanese prints of a snow covered cliff edge.

Naylor punched his arm and hooted at him. ‘You prat! What colour do you think it is? It’s red like when girls are on.’

It was going to descend into atrocity at that stage and we all had to evacuate the room anyway, so Mrs Jones summoned the biggest effort of class control I’ve ever seen her make and ordered us out of the room, little dumpy arms flailing around and voice even more high-pitched than usual until we were all assembled on the school field – quite near where Jacob had lain in the puddle. We still have to do the homework, but without the benefit of any of Mrs Jones’ laboured promptings so now we actually have to think for ourselves. Maybe it was divine intervention? Now there’s a thought…”

Webs - front cover

Webs is due to be released summer 2014 by Pen Press.

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