I’ve reached the 20 000 word milestone! Thanks for all the support thus far. Here’s a rough draft of what I wrote tonight. It captures the moment when Billy redefines his identity for the first time.
He reached the school about ten minutes late, so he made up an excuse about delivering a pot plant for the musical and Mr C didn’t question it. All morning, Billy plotted the various practical jokes he was going to pull during the day with his new disguise and freezing talents. The possibilities were endless. He decided to scribble a list of plausible pranks instead of doing his handwriting. Everyone knew handwriting was a waste of time anyway, especially Mr C, who often didn’t have a clue how to execute the various joins of cursive himself. The list looked like this:
1 . Lock Daniel Norman in the toilets and throw soggy toilet paper at him
- Throw water bombs at the principal during assembly
- Super glue the teacher’s coffee mugs to their desks
- Ring the bell early for recess, lunch and home time
- Tip bins over when classes are walking in lines
- Fart in the library. Very loudly.
- Place firecrackers in the teacher’s pigeon holes
- Turn everyone’s bags inside out
- Go in the girls toilets
- Ruin the school musical by pulling Livy’s…
“Billy! You should know this. Could you share with the class what you think?” Requested Mr C.
The eyes of the entire class were on him and he froze up… Again. A few of them started to giggle under their breath.
“Why so stuck, Billy?” Jeered Daniel Norman. Everybody burst out in laughter. Even Mr C found it hard to hold back a smile.
“May I go to the toilet, sir?” Asked Billy politely as ever.
“Off you go then, be quick.”
It was almost lunch time and Billy was surprised Mr C had let him go. He had timed it perfectly to strike number one off his list of gags. He had placed the pot plant inside the boy’s toilets when he arrived to school earlier and had hidden a pile of sopping wet toilet paper within the suit. He slipped the suit on when he got there, waiting expectantly for Daniel Norman. Without fail, Daniel Norman would run straight to the toilets as soon as the bell rang, leaving a two or three minute window for Billy to commit his crime.
The bell clanged right on time and Billy began to slide his feet back and forth in nervous anticipation. He’d never sought revenge on anyone before and the thought of it sent his hairs up in the air like meerkats preparing for an invasion from a pack of Hyenas. His eyes were like a meerkat’s too. Wide and alert.
Daniel Norman burst through the doorway and Billy hoped he’d stopped shuffling his feet in time. It probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as the big bully was already in full stream, emptying the contents of his bladder over everything apart from the toilet bowl itself.
It was time to attack. Billy reached out from under the plant costume and began unleashing a barrage of mushy projectiles over the cubicle wall. The profanities, swear words and cries for Mummy escaping Daniel Norman’s lungs would have been sweet enough for Billy, but the best part was yet to come. Frozen in the guise of a pot plant in the corner of the boy’s toilet, Billy watched as Daniel Norman’s reputation was flushed down the toilet along with a small percentage of his urine.
The bully flung the cubicle door open in rage and scoped out the room in search of the culprit.
Harvey Taylor from the year below was the unfortunate sod who walked in at this very moment.
“You!” Roared Daniel Norman, pointing an accusing finger in Harvey’s direction.
Harvey wasn’t sure what to do. Did he laugh and run, or did he scream and run, or did he just run and worry about the other bits later? He didn’t know, because the sight he beheld was something quite extraordinary. There in front of him was a figure, who sounded like Daniel Norman, but looked like a giant snowman. From head to toe, he was covered in dripping wet bog rolls. Some had landed directly in his gob, so that he was sort of chewing on them in hilarious dissatisfaction, like a cow.
Billy couldn’t hold it in any longer. He let out an unmistakable laugh. He clamped a hand over his mouth quickly, but it was too late. Both Harvey and Daniel were glaring directly at the pot plant and Billy could hear confused thoughts spilling out loudly from their brains. Harvey used this distraction as a chance to make for the doorway. Daniel Norman snapped out of his stupor and charged on out after him. The hot pursuit that followed went down in Barley Bay Public’s history books. Tales of Daniel, ‘the sodden snowman’, chasing ‘heroic Harvey’ around the schoolyard, were shared years later. But there was one key detail that went unexplained all those years. Who threw the toilet paper in the first place? It was a juicy twist in the narrative to which only one was privy. Billy Baker, ‘boy statue’, thrower of sticky, spongy saturated snow. The hidden protagonist in this tiny school’s greatest mystery.