They don't think much of the police, down our Estate - fact, "the filth" is about the politest thing they call 'em. It's not that we're all major villains, or nothing, though there's one or two of those, but most of us have done a bit of ducking an' diving in our time. Well, if you haven't got much, and a bit of hooky gear comes your way cheap, it don't seem natural to refuse, does it ? So, like I say, we're none too keen on the boys in blue in general. But PC Phil Diamond was in a different class.
He was our 'community liaison officer' - a young guy, in his mid-twenties, but you couldn't put nothing past him. He'd grown up on an estate like ours, he spoke like us, and he was up on every trick in the book. And I've got to say, nearly everyone liked him. He was that sort of bloke, and even the villains'd allow that he weren't too bad for one of the filth. The girls all went wild for his heavy dark-blonde hair and big brown eyes, and the boys thought he was a laugh - he knew more dirty jokes than anyone I've met. So, like I say, he was popular - except with my best mate, Jimmy.
Me 'n Jimmy had been together since we was little kids. Jimmy was the leader of our gang and me his loyal second - sort of Mr Spock to his Captain Kirk. He was the smartest and toughest going, and being in Jimmy's gang - well, it really meant something when we was younger. Course, after we'd left school it kind of died away, but we got up to some stuff in our time, I can tell you.
But anyway, Jimmy didn't like sharing the limelight with Phil Diamond one little bit, or so we all assumed. And of course, Phil was a cop. Jimmy's big brothers, Shane and Dave, both had form - fact, they'd nick anything what wasn't nailed down, and they'd both been away for it. Their old man had a bit of a rep, and all, in his time, and a filthy temper too - he'd give you a clip round the ear soon as look at you. So Jimmy had family reasons not to like Phil too.
So one day, I was hanging round doing nothing - there's no jobs for an unqualified young layabout round our way - when up comes Jimmy with the key to our hideaway. Actually it's the old janitor's room in our tower block. The council done away with the janitor years ago, and the room was locked up and left, smelly old mops and all, but Jimmy not only managed to get a key from somewhere, he found an old sofa someone was chucking, and a couple of orange crates, and we had a proper little home from home. Somewhere private to go is a real luxury when you grow up in a crowded flat.
When we was settled, he springs a real bombshell on me. His older brother Shane was going to knock over an electricals warehouse on the industrial estate that night, full of stereos, videos, and stuff. Apparently, Jimmy'd asked him to bring back the latest video game and got a belt for his trouble. So Jimmy was going to get his own back.
" 'Ow ?" I asked. "I mean your Shane's got yer dad's temper. I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of him, know what I mean ?"
"Don't be such a wuss," sneered Jimmy ("wuss" was his favourite insult at the time, though I was never sure what it meant). "We'll be in an' out before he's even fought abart getting his arse over there."
It seemed that Shane had an inside man, a security guard who'd arranged for a side door to be left unlocked, and the alarms left off. They were just planning to saunter in, cool as a breeze, and help themselves, but Jimmy intended to be there before them, and pick up the Vega Megaton Supadrive system that Shane had so unreasonably refused to get for him.
Well, frankly I was shitting meself, but at the same time I was sort of flattered that Jimmy was asking me and no-one else. What could I say except OK ?
So that evening found me sneaking out after tea before anyone noticed. There was Jimmy, dressed in black T-shirt, black jeans, scruffy black jacket, and black fingernails.
"Going to a funeral ?" says I, trying to keep me voice from going up high.
"Yeah, yours if you don't get a bleeding move on." He swung a mock punch, which I ducked, then with a big grin, set off running, so I had to run after him, laughing like drains the pair of us. Nerves, I suppose. I always get the giggles when I'm nervous, and Jimmy must've been scared too, though he hid it well.
Fifteen minutes later, across the railway line and the wasteground where they bombed something in the War, and we was on the industrial estate. The warehouse stood there in a pool of that pale orange light, a big ugly barn of corrugated steel painted a sort of shit brown that looked kind of green in the weird light. Jimmy made signs for me to follow him round the chain link fencing, with its pathetic scrubby little bushes planted round it to try and hide how horrible it was. And there, on one side, was a place where the fencing had come away - or been pulled away - at the bottom, but sort of hidden by the bushes.
"Go for it," muttered Jimmy. He bent down and wriggled through, with me right behind him, sticking to him like glue. Then we were into the compound. Jimmy looked right and left, a bit uncertain where to go next. Then I pointed to a small door over to our left.
"That it ?"
"Yeah, must be." He set off across the open space, with me trailing along as usual. I couldn't help thinking how we was right out in the open. But the whole area was completely empty, like a ghost town. Sort of gave me the shivers to think about it.
The door opened and we walked into the blackness.
After the bright light outside it was like the Black Hole in there.
"Shit !" says Jimmy. "I forgot to bring a torch."
"That's all right," said a voice behind me. "I'll switch the lights on." And a blinding glare suddenly lit up the whole shed.
Well, how I never died of shock on the spot I just don't know. I do know that I screamed with sheer fright - well, sort of cried out, anyway, and I'm pretty sure that Jimmy did too, though I can't be certain in the confusion, and he said afterwards he never. And both of us just froze, froze dead - it never even come into me head to run, I was so scared, and I'm pretty certain that even if it had've I would've been nailed to the spot, legs unable to move.
As my eyes adjusted to the sudden glare I realised that the guy standing in front of me was Phil Diamond, while the large hand that had appeared on Jimmy's shoulder belonged to another guy, a big security guard of about 30 with a flattop haircut and muscles what looked like he worked out regular down the gym. Phil looked furious.
"You stupid little c**ts," he said. "What the f**ck do you think you're bloody playing at ?"
We hung our heads and said nothing.
"This isn't a game, you know. This isn't some kids' prank that everyone will say 'Oh, ho ho, what a pair of lads that Jimmy and Tel are, did you hear the latest what they done ?' This is the real world, and it's about time the pair of you grew up. You could both do time for this in a detention centre. And you Terry," he added, rounding on me, "I thought you knew better. Your old mum'll die of shame, her boy nicked as a common thief."
I could feel me face going red with shame. It was true, Mum always done her best to teach us right from wrong, dragged us to Mass on Sundays 'n all.
"And as for the great Jimmy, the wonder of the Estate, I thought you had more brains than those dickhead brothers of yours, but it seems you're just the same. I was hopin' to nick your Shane tonight, and I've ended up with a pathetic little toe-rag like you.
Jimmy scowled at him defiantly, and wriggled in the grasp of the big security guard.
"Keep still, ye wee f**cker, or I'll break your neck" murmured the guy in broad Glasgow.
"Let go of me or . . ."
"Or what ?" asked Phil. "You're for it, my son. And you'll be for it even more when your brother finds out you've spoiled his blag."
Jimmy went white, and I guess I must've done and all. Shane would kill us if he thought we messed up his warehouse job - especially if he assumed we'd led the police to it.
"You aren't going to nick us, are you ?" I asked. At least if we were inside Shane couldn't lay his hands on us.
A look passed between our captors.
"I bloody ought to," said Phil.
"Then you'll let us go ?" said Jimmy, scenting an unexpected hope.
Phil tightened his lips. "No," he said, apparently coming to some decision. "I'm not just letting you get away with it. You insist on behaving like you were still kids, so we'll treat you like kids. The pair of you are gonna get what you deserve. Drop your trousers, the pair of you."
I gaped at him.
"Come on, both of you, and be quick about it."
"No way . . ." began Jimmy angrily but Phil just mouthed the words "Me or your brother."
I realised that we were trapped. There was no choice but to obey. Reluctantly, I fumbled with my belt buckle, and unbuttoned the top button of my jeans. The sound of my fly unzipping was horribly loud in the sudden silence. Phil beckoned me towards him, and, head down, I obeyed. There was a desk and an orange plastic chair beside him. He sat down, and reaching out pulled my jeans down around my ankles with a single movement. Before I knew what was happening he had me across his lap, his long legs in their dark-blue uniform trousers slightly parted to support me, and my backside in the air. I was trembling as I thought about what I was going to get, and very conscious that Jimmy and the big security guard were standing there, taking in every detail. But at the same time there was a curious kind of thrill going through me - I couldn't really explain it.
"Right," said Phil, "I'm going to teach you to keep out of trouble if it kills you."
WHAP. His hand came down on me bum. To make matters worse, I'd run out of me usual pants that morning and had to put on an old pair of white briefs what was way too small for me. That tight stretched cotton was no protection at all. SMACK. SMACK. SMACK ! I began to realise that although Phil was slim built he was a lot stronger than what he looked. SMACK ! SMACK ! SMACK ! Ow ! It was really starting to sting. I gritted me teeth as he settled into a rhythm, first one cheek then the other. I twitched, trying to alter me position to where it hurt the least, and felt his left hand, which had been resting lightly on the small of me back, suddenly clamp down like a vice to hold me in the position he wanted. Suddenly, as me bum was really starting to sting like fury, he stopped.
"Stand up," he said. Phew ! That was it. It wasn't so bad after all - I could take what he had to give any time.
His hand reached out. Oh no - not more ! Not on the bare !!
He tugged down the tight, white briefs to fall round my ankles with the jeans.
Then he pointed at his lap.
"Oh no, Phil, please . . ."
"Assume the position," he said, in a fake American accent. He was enjoying this, the bastard. Well what could I do but get back down across his knee ? His strong legs shifted under me as he positioned me to his liking, and then his hand fell on me poor cheeks, raised up there helpless and waiting for his pleasure. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. His hand landed with a sharp crack each time against the bare flesh, leaving a sting what felt like me skin was being peeled off. He shifted it round a bit and all - top, sides, and especially the lower part of me cheeks where they meet me thighs - cor, that didn't half make me move ! I was bucking like a good 'un with each smack by this stage, and although I was determined not to cry out, I couldn't stop the breath from coming out of me with a little gasp each time his hand landed. But I couldn't escape - that left hand held me right where he wanted me. By this stage I'd long forgotten about Jimmy and the other guy - all I was aware of was the fire in me bum, and the strength of Phil's hands on me, and the scent of his sweat and aftershave kind of mixed together.
WHACK ! CRACK ! WHACK !!
"OWW !" That last one had stung so much I couldn't help yelling.
"Ah, that's what I like to hear," said Phil, laughing. "Want me to stop ?"
"Yes please Phil. I promise I won't do nuffink wrong again, honest."
"Yeah, well just to make sure you remember, I'm gonna give you another twenty to pound it into your arse - that seems to be where you keep your brains."
"Twenty ! Oh, no, please, I can't . . ." I was nearly in tears. I've heard people since who're into this stuff say that a spanking is mild. I reckon a session across Phil Diamond's lap would change anyone's mind about that.
"Yeah, twenty, and you can count 'em, otherwise I might lose track and give you more."
WHACK ! "Ahh ! One." WHACK. "Two." WHACK. "Ahh, Phil, please !"
"Was that a number ?"
"Three ! Three !!" WHACK ! "Four !" By the time we got to seventeen I was really yelling, you could hardly make out the numbers. WHACK !! "Oh God, eightbloody-teen !" WHACK !! WHACK !! "Nineteen, twenty !!" I yelled with relief.
"And one for luck," said Phil. "Right, get up and go and stand over there with Alec." I got up, me bum absolutely blazing. The sting was sort of melting into an amazing heat that seemed to go right through me. When I rubbed me supersore cheeks I could feel the heat like putting me hands on a radiator. I bent stiffly to pull up the pants and jeans round me ankles.
"Oi, leave 'em. I haven't given you the say so to pull up yer drawers yet." I didn't dare disobey, and shuffled awkwardly over to the big security guard. He was grinning all over his face, and I couldn't meet his eyes. I mean, it was dead humiliating, being spanked like a little kid in front of your best mate and another guy.
"Right, Jimmy," said Phil. "Now it's your turn."
With a sneer on his face, Jimmy shook off the restraining hand of the security guard and sauntered over.
"You think you're such a big man, don't you," said Phil, softly.
"Bigger'n you" said Jimmy.
"We'll see," said Phil. "Drop 'em."
"I ain't got no pants on," says Jimmy, cool as a breeze. "Didn't 'ave no clean ones."
"Too bad for you. Drop 'em."
Jimmy unbuckled and unzipped with the same slow, snotty attitude. The black jeans fell at his feet, and before Phil could say any more he'd slipped out of them completely and stood naked from the waist down except for socks and a pair of tennis shoes.
"Bare enough for yer ?" he asked. I saw Phil's lips tighten, and I had an idea Jimmy was going to be sorry before the evening was out. Grabbing Jimmy's arm, he pulled him down across his knee. Jimmy's tight round little arse was quickly pointing skywards, nicely positioned over Phil's right thigh, as that strong left hand held him down.
The raised right hand came down, WHACK, and left the print of the policeman's hand branded in scarlet on the pale flesh. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. As the punishment continued I could feel me own bum throbbing in sympathy, and rubbed it gently with one hand.
WHACK, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK. The crisp sound of a firm hand on bare cheeks filled the air. I started to keep count in me head. That must've been thirty.
Forty. Fifty. Phil seemed tireless, although I could see the sweat pouring off him, and his hand must've been pretty sore, too. Jimmy was starting to buck, and the middle and lower parts of his bum was a dark, angry red, almost purple. Sixty. Seventy. Jimmy was definitely grunting and gasping, but it looked as if Phil was slowing down a bit. Jimmy started to kick, his legs waving wildly. Leaning forward, Phil heaved him further across his lap, over his left leg, and trapped the thrashing legs under his own right leg. As he did so I saw a gleam come into his eye, and he reached down and tugged Jimmy's plimsoll off.
"Just the thing," he said.
"'Ere, that ain't fair," came a muffled voice from the upended Jimmy. "You only used yer 'and on 'im."
"You'll take it any way I see fit to give it," snarled Phil. And with no further ado he set about Jimmy's backside with the old rubber sole. Well, I lost track somewhere after a hundred whacks, and by that time Jimmy was yelling fit to bust.
Every inch of his cheeks was glowing by the time Phil let him up, I can tell you, and there weren't much trace of the cocky attitude as he stood there rubbing his backside and with the traces of tears in his eyes. I couldn't help noticing though, as he stood there, how well developed in the male equipment line he was, if you catch my drift. I was sure it hadn't been that big when he dropped his trousers - it was as if he was getting turned on. Thinking about it, I realised that that was the funny thrill I'd been feeling when Phil had put me across his knee. It was quite a thing to find out about yourself, and to be honest I didn't know what to make of it all, then and there.
There was a moment of silence as Jimmy stood there, rubbing his backside but very cautiously.
"Please," I said, "can we go ?"
"Oh no ye don't laddie," said Alec, behind me. I'd almost forgotten about him, to be honest, and it hadn't even crossed my mind that he was standing there with a great view of me scarlet bum. "He may have finished with ye, but ah've still tae deal with you."
Well, the thought of a repetition of what I'd just gone through from a guy with muscles like his really put the wind up me, even if it excited hell out of that little part of me I'd just discovered.
"Oh no, please . . ." says Jimmy and me together. "I promise we'll never do nuffink what ain't strictly kosher from now on, honest," added Jimmy.
Alec shook his head.
"Ah'm goin' tae make sure ye'll remember those words," he said. "The pair of ye go an' bend across that desk."
Jimmy looked at me. Then he shrugged, and the pair of us walked across to the desk. The metal top was cold underneath me as I lay over it, my legs slightly bent. Jimmy lay down next to me, and his hand reached out to give mine a squeeze. "We'll be OK, mate," he whispered.
"Here's how we'll dae it," said Alec. "I'll give ye both a choice: ye can have six whacks, or thirty whacks."
Well, I could tell straight away it had to be a trick question. I mean I just knew. So my voice said "Firty" at the same moment as Jimmy says "Six", then we turned to look at each other in amazement.
"Why did yer say firty ?" asked Jimmy, amazed like.
"Issa trick, innit," I said.
"Ye're the smart yin, are ye," says Alec to me. "Well, ah wus goin tae give ye thirty by hand and yer wee pal six wi the belt, but just tae show ye that naebody likes a smart arse, ah'm goin tae make your arse smart wi twenty-four by hand and six o the belt."
"Oh no, 'ere that's not on, oh please . . ."
"Just stay doon where ah tolt ye, or ye'll get more." He walked round to the other side of the desk so that we could watch him slip his leather belt, a good 2 inches wide, out of his waistband, and carefully doubled the supple leather. Phil was grinning like an ape as he watched the expressions on our faces. Then slowly Alec walked round behind us. He pushed my legs wide apart. As he stood right behind me I could sense the heat of his body and a shiver went through me. I felt totally vulnerable, my throbbing arse cheeks spread there, helpless. I knew he had me right where he wanted me. Then with mingled relief and - yes - disappointment I heard him say:
"No, ah think we'll let you stew a wee bit longer. Ah'll deal wi Jimmy first."
And he moved back, along to Jimmy.
"Right laddie," he said, "count."
"One," said Jimmy, all hesitant. CRACK !
"OWW, ah, ah, that f**ckin' 'urt."
"It was meant tae. Keep countin'."
Amid curses and moans Jimmy counted to six, and CRACK ! CRACK ! CRACK ! CRACK ! CRACK ! the belt came down.
"OK, ye can get up and watch while yer pal gets his," said the big Glaswegian. What a bastard, eh ?
I felt him come up behind me again, standing astride so his legs held mine wide, keeping my smouldering cheeks parted and ready, the way he wanted 'em.
He ran a hand, calloused from hard work, lightly across my bum, and I flinched, expecting it to be a whack. He laughed.
"Ye're nice and red, but ye'll be even redder when ah've finished wi ye. Ye're goin tae be sleepin on your stomach for a day or two, that's for sure."
There was a moment's awful pause.
"Shall I count," I asked timidly.
"Ah'll do it for ye," he said, laughing again, " as a special favour."
WHACK. His hand came down square on my poor flaming backside. The blaze, which had just been settling down to a steady glow, flared up like fury. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. That was six, and I was jumping like a fish someone's just caught.
"Phil, hold him doon," said Alec, and someone's weight pinned me firmly to the desk.
"Well, thanks." He sounded surprised.
WHACK. WHACK. WHACK ! WHACK ! As I struggled, I suddenly realised that the person standing in front of me, holding me down, was bare-legged. It was Jimmy ! No wonder Alec had sounded surprised. What a c**t - me own best mate, holding me down while some big Scotsman belted seven bells out of me arse. I struggled more fiercely, but Jimmy just clamped my head between his bare thighs and held me down even firmer. We was up to fifteen, and my bum felt as if it had been skinned alive and dipped in boiling oil. Then twenty. WHACK ! WHACK ! WHACK ! WHACK ! Twenty-four ! At last. But oh God, how could I bear the belt on top of that ?
"Right," says the big Scotch bastard. "Noo tae make it up tae thairty."
WHAP ! The belt left a line of fire across those poor, scarlet-and-purple cheeks of mine. I yelled out like a foghorn, I can tell you. WHAP ! WHAP ! One on each cheek, north to south. I was going to be criss-crossed like a flame-grilled burger ! CRACK ! Oh God !! CRACK !! OH GOD !!
"Here's the last yin, noo," says Alec. CRACK ! (And that was right where it landed, and all, straight down the middle, and did I cuss !) Jimmy released me, and grinned at the look I give him as I straightened uncomfortably up.
"Yeah, that was a trick question, all right," he said. It was pretty obvious from the state of him that he'd enjoyed seeing me get it - I mean, he wasn't tapping himself on the tum, but he was definitely more than half way there.
"Jimmy !" Phil's voice snapped out and Jimmy spun with a comical look of worry on his face, afraid he was due for some more.
"Take your trousers and go. The pair of you, clear off. And if either of you so much as breathes wrong in the future, then you know what you can expect."
Jimmy walked over and bent stiffly to pick up the baggy black jeans - he'd got his other plimsoll back at some point, I noticed. Straightening up, he looked Phil right in the eye. I held me breath, afraid that he'd say something what would land us both back in it. Then he done something absolutely amazing. Stepping right up to Phil, Jimmy leaned forward and kissed him, right on the lips.
Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather, and Phil just looked stunned as Jimmy turned on his heel and limped slowly out. Hastily, I pulled up me pants and jeans - and then was sorry as the tight fabric scraped me swollen bum. Holding pants and jeans up around me thighs I hobbled after Jimmy, getting a big wink from Alec as I passed him. Outside, in the cool night air, Jimmy was pulling his baggy jeans on. After a few attempts I had to take off me tight briefs - just couldn't get 'em on - and just wear jeans too.
We didn't say a word to each other as we walked slowly back to the Estate. To be honest, I didn't know what to say. I was kind of confused about everything what had happened, and especially about me feelings. When we got back, Jimmy headed straight for our hideout, with a look at me that said "Coming ?" as plain as if he'd put it in words. So I followed behind, as usual.
When we got there he started to sit down - and then got up again, sharpish.
"You enjoyed seeing me get it, didn't yer, yer bastard ?" I said to him, but I think I sounded more uncertain than angry. "You were gettin' turned on."
"Yeah," said Jimmy, quietly, and I understood that he was feeling the same confused feelings what I was.
"Why did yer kiss Phil Diamond ?"
"I - I just wanted to." Suddenly, I understood a lot about why Jimmy had always hated Phil Diamond. It weren't hate what was behind it at all.
"What ?" He sounded - defeated. I think he was afraid that the next question would be the one what would end our old friendship for ever - and I suppose in a way that it was.
"Will you kiss me ?" I asked, greatly daring.
So he did.
* * *
BRIEF GLOSSARY FOR AMERICANS AND OTHER NON-SPEAKERS OF LONDON DIALECT
estate - housing project
ducking an' diving - shady or unethical business
hooky gear - goods of doubtful provenance
form - criminal record
nick - of a criminal, to steal; of a policeman, to arrest
been away - been in prison
rep - reputation
chucking - throwing out
knock over - burgle
do time - go to prison
blag - crime (usually burglary)
bum, backside, arse - ass
pants - underpants
put the wind up - scare
toe-rag - contemptible person