Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Battle Of Glue-Bag Island

by Paul Tristram

I remember living down The Melyn
and me and 3 of the other 12 year old boys
who hung around by the ‘Violent Playground’
bought ourselves some catapults.
We decided to go down by the River Neath,
we loaded up on ball bearings and marbles
then we climbed over a wall of a builders yard
and found a massive pile of pebbles
so we took loads of the small ones.
When we got down there the tide was in
So we threw whatever bottle and cans
that we could find along the pathway
into the dirty water and shot at them.
After a mile or two of this
and also shooting every sign and post we passed
we came upon an old man walking his Terrier dog.
He pointed over to the marshland
at the side of the river just at the bend.
It was flooded apart from the largest mound of earth,
what was left above the water must have only been
the length of 2 cars and the width of 1.
And upon it were 6 Briton Ferry boys.

“That’ll teach them!” laughed the old man
with the dog as he walked passed us.
“They’ll be stuck there for a few hours!”

I looked and saw that The Ferry Boys
didn’t seem to care, they were sniffing glue
and drinking brown cider flagons
and were bouncing around to SKA music
coming out of a Boom Box.
They were a lot older than us
and I recognised some of them
from the gangs that fought in town on Saturdays.
They were always walking around sniffing gas
and fucking older girls in the lanes behind our school.

“We’ve got them trapped!” I sneered.
kneeling down and aiming a ball bearing.
Jackson and Billy kneeled down each side of me
but Pudding started whinging like a girl.

“C’mon lads, let’s not, they’ll kill us, mun!”

I let my ball bearing fly, it ripped through the air,
hitting the tallest Ferry Boy in the middle
right in his outstretched hand, making him drop
his flagon which smashed at his feet.
It was too late to turn back now, I screamed.

“Oi! The Melyn!”

And Jackson and Billy opened fire
as Pudding jumped to the floor and loaded up.
Jackson’s first shot hit one in the elbow
a cracking shot, the boy was screeching.
Billy hit one straight in the bollocks

“That’s for fucking our older girls!” he sneered.

Pudding’s first shot nearly took out a seagull
flying over them, it was glorious mayhem.
My next shot hit one of the Boom Box speakers,
we were four 12 year old Melyn street urchins
taking on six 16 year old Ferry Boys
and we pelted them into screams and tears.

Later that evening after having tea
I went over to the ‘Violent Playground’
to meet up with the boys.
To my concern  I saw Jackson, Billy
and Pudding over by the graffiti steps
talking to the older ‘Melyn Wrecking Crew!’
Dai Headcase saw me and shouted

“Come here lad, Mr. Oi! The Melyn!”

I walked on over as cool as a 12 year old could
to stand before my natural hierarchy.

“We’ve just been hearing about
‘The Battle Of Glue-Bag Island’
off your lieutenants here.
You 4 are not in the park this evening
you’re staying on these steps with us!”
said Dai Headcase winking
as he passed me his cider flagon for a drop.

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