The Sun to your Moon #1

Updated: 3 days ago


  • This is my selfish project I wrote during the summer holidays to keep myself writing.

  • It's a slow burn and starts with my main characters aged 16 and 14.

  • The Scott in this story is not the Scott from Flowershop Assassins (I like the name a lot lol)

  • It comes in parts.

  • Part one is complete.

  • It's ten chapters long.

  • This is rough and unedited, but I ended up really enjoying it and hope someone else does too!

  • Trigger Warning: Suicide attempt in later chapter. I will put a TW at the start of that chapter.

Stains


He blamed Kyle Martin for the stain.

If he hadn’t kicked the ball so pathetically, Scott wouldn’t have thrown himself into a sliding tackle. At the time, he hadn’t considered the possibility of gaining a vibrant green mark on his white shirt. He hadn’t thought about the wrath of his mum or his dad's disapproving glare while he tried to blame the stain on something else.

Anything else.

No. Scott’s thoughts had been on stealing the ball for his side. He got up from the sliding tackle with all the skill of a professional and volleyed the ball past the goalkeeper.

It had been beautiful, and at that moment, it didn’t matter that they were losing 5-1. He’d done something spectacular, something worthy of all his heroes, and his mates had swarmed to congratulate him with pats on the back and ruffles of his hair.

Happiness expanded from his chest, puffing it out proudly as he strolled back to the middle of the pitch. He jogged on the spot, forcing a calm look on his face when he wanted to gloat and beam and kiss the ground.

Janice even looked up from her phone and gave the scene a quick scan before resuming whatever app had her hooked. Scott’s heart soared.

Every time he looked at her it did, but when she looked at him, his heart tried to eject itself through his ribs. There were no action replays on a big screen on the playing field. She’d missed possibly the best sporting moment of Scott’s entire life, but at least she’d glanced his way.

Janice Turner.

The hottest girl in town had come to watch them play and smoke cigarettes with her friends. She’d rolled the bottom of her skirt up to flash her thighs and unfastened the top four buttons of her shirt. The way she lounged on the bench, Scott could see her bright pink bra, and her lips twitched like she knew he was staring at her with a restlessness in his veins.

He wondered whether her heart raced too. Scott hoped it did.

“Wow...mate.”

Scott twisted to face Darren. He looked up at Scott, and stopped shaking his head to spit phlegm on the grass.

“What?” Scott asked.

“Where do your parents think you are again?”

He glanced beyond him to the school, every light still on despite the day being over hours ago. His eyes were fixed on a second-floor classroom. Where he should’ve been. Where he’d promised he’d be. “Extra maths.”

“Who knew algebra could play that dirty.” Darren pointed to Scott’s shirt, and he twisted to see the huge stain decorating his back. “Your mums going to be pissed.”

The other players laughed, and Janice looked up to investigate. Scott pushed aside his first thought of ‘oh shit’ in favour of shrugging, tipping his head back and announcing with a flippant wave of his hand, “Fuck her.”

The words were out before he had a chance to re-evaluate.

A gleam in Darren’s eye made him wish he had.

“Fuck her?” Darren stopped gasping at his knees and stood upright. “As in you’d fuck your mum?”

“No.” Scott grabbed the bottom of his shirt and dabbed at his fast-reddening face. There was no sweat to soak up, but he took a moment to breathe into the fabric and curse himself and his stupid choice of words. He dropped it, and rolled his shoulders, blocking out the uncontrolled laughter spreading around the field. “That’s not what I said.”

“Kind of sounded like that…”

Janice pocketed her phone, snorting along with everyone else.

Scott had often found himself staring at her mouth, wondering what her lipstick tasted like, imagining how soft her lips would be against his, but right then, they twisted with a cruel smirk. She rolled her big brown eyes and tossed her long blond hair aside as she continued to giggle with her best friend, Amy.

Amy cupped her mouth as she shouted. “I wish I’d got a video of that.”

“What?” Darren replied. His chipper voice tore into Scott. “Scott fucking his mum? Me too.”

Laughter came at Scott from every angle. Janice covered her face on his behalf. She pushed against Amy with her elbow and they both stood up.

“Later losers.” She called, linking arms with Amy. They walked away, still cackling at his expense.

Scott gestured to the ball, eager to move on from his humiliating comment. “Let’s get on with it.”

“Yeah,” Darren said, “Sure, but would you?”

“Would I what?”

“Fuck your mum.”

“Don’t be sick.”

“I mean, she’s hot.”

Scott whirled on Darren. “Whose side are you on?”

“The mum fuckers side.”

The laughter died down, and the ball trundled along the grass and hit his feet. Scott cast his gaze around the other players, all twitchy, all waiting. The match resumed, but the humiliation filled Scott with wild kicks, growled rage, and rash tackles that left others limping.

A shot on an open goal went skyward, passing through the giant rugby poles rather than beneath them, and Darren's face lit up at the chance to aim another quip in Scott’s direction.

“Football.” He dragged the word out slowly, earning him a quieter round of laughter. “I know you might be confused because we’re using the rugby goals, but we’re playing football. Foot. Ball. That’s when we use our feet on the ball, not our hands…like rugby.”

Scott stiffened. Darren’s eyes weren’t on Scott, they were lapping up the sniggers of the rest of the team, basking in them. That made Scott hate him more. He curled his hands into fists, and tensed his biceps, preparing to leap the distance between them and pummel him into the mud.

The thought tempted him enough to take a step toward his soon-to-be deceased best friend.

Darren’s gaze snapped to him. The smile splitting his red face faded, and he retreated a step, eyeing Scott’s fists. Elation made way for fear, and he glanced at the other players, but no one intervened or attempted to calm Scott down.

No one ran to retrieve the ball either.

Everyone froze, waiting for Scott to react.

Darren was only there because of Scott, that, and he’d volunteered to be in goal. Everyone else would turn away if Scott chose to hit him.

They’d deny they’d seen anything to protect Scott at school and ensure he went unpunished.

He wouldn’t get into trouble and Darren would think twice before teasing him again.

Scott took a deep breath. He’d never hit Darren before, but humiliation left his anger unchecked, and day by day, it grew stronger, wilder, and knowing Janice had been giggling at him, rolling her beautiful eyes, and tossing her glossy hair in his direction as if to block him out.

Well…it ramped up Scott’s anger in a way he’d not experienced.

Darren’s lips twitched. He mouthed pleas to Scott that the others couldn’t see. The sparkle of triumph in his eyes had gone, and in its place, they watered as Scott contemplated punching him and casting him out of the group.

“Come on.” Darren’s voice rasped. “Let’s keep playing.”

“No.”

Darren flinched. He nipped at his bottom lip, staring up at Scott with frantic eyes.

Scott slumped, dropping his stance, and uncurling his fingers.

“I’m done today.”

He pressed his lips in a grim line, strode across the field, and grabbed his school bag. There were sounds of disappointment from his teammates, and catty comments about him not being able to take a joke, but he ignored them in favour of heading over to the pavilion to tackle the stain.

Mr Trent trusted him enough to give him a key, and he took advantage of his favouritism and pushed into the men’s changing rooms.

He collapsed on the bench and took a few deep breaths. He’d done the right thing. His mum would hate the grass stain but approve of him not losing his temper and punching Darren.

The hinges creaked, and a figure hovered in the doorway, too frightened to come in, but too obligated to retreat either. Scott didn’t need to look over to know who shuffled on the spot.

“Sorry,” Darren said. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“I’m not upset.” Scott blurted, unbuttoning his shirt. He spread it out over his knees, pointedly not looking towards the door. He needed a washing machine, and half a bottle of stain remover, but had to make do with a wad of tissue he’d wetted down.

“They were laughing.” Darren picked at his nails. “And that’s all I have.”

Scott rubbed the stain, and although green leeched into the fibres, it didn’t fade, and the tissue disintegrated all over his shirt. He huffed and looked up at Darren. “What is all you have?”

“Jokes, teasing, laughter.” Darren stepped inside and sat down a safe distance from Scott on the bench. “I don’t have what you have.”

“And what’s that?”

Darren gestured to Scott’s face. Not a good enough reason.

Scott launched the sodden tissue into the wastebin across the room. “I’m pretty sure you have a mouth, nose and eyes like me.”

“Not yours though.” Darren averted his gaze. “I’m not hot or whatever.”

“No one thinks I’m hot.”

“Every girl in our year thinks you’re hot.” Darren pouted. “Your stupid nice hair, and your stupid blue eyes, your stupidly dreamy smile and the tuneful sound of your laugh, and when you get too hot and take your polo shirt off, well…”

Scott scrunched up his face. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I do art remember. Most of the class is girls, and we’re up there in studio A while you’re out on the field doing PE. They gather at the window and high five when you strip off on the field.”

A blush crept into Scott’s cheeks. He might have noticed once or twice he had admirers. He never looked at them directly but made sure he tensed his torso when he took his shirt off and poured water over his abs. Sometimes he even ran a wet hand through his hair.

“Your popular, not just with the others, but with the teachers too.”

“I’d say I’m pretty unpopular with my maths one.”

“Yeah.” Darren laughed. “But that’s Mr Andrews, and everyone hates him. The fact that he hates you makes you even more popular. The girls all like you. The boys all want to be your friend. I saw how they all looked at me when I walked over, like I shouldn’t be there and… and it felt good to make them laugh.”

“Janice was there.”

“I had noticed. She draws eyes like a magnet. Every time the ball went out of play, the team drooled over her.”

“If you’re trying to make me feel better, you’re doing a terrible job.”

Darren slid along the bench. “You know. I see a lot from the goal line.”

“Like what?”

“Janice glancing at your arse.”

“She did not.”

“She totally did, even pointed it out to Amy and they both nodded in approval.” Darren grinned, “And I hear a lot in art class too.”

“Like what?”

“Janice likes you.”

“You’re just saying that.”

“Why else would she be on that bench of all places?”

“I think she enjoys smoking where the teachers can see, knowing they can’t do a thing about it. She’s a rebel like that.”

Her skirt was too short, her shirt was never tucked in, and her tie was never done up. She loved winding the teachers up and it got Scott hot all over. He bounced his feet on the floor before turning his attention back to the shirt. “Any ideas?”

“I might have one.”

“Let’s hear it.”

Darren picked at his buttons, fumbling as he tried to remove his shirt. “We swap.”

“Swap?”

“Yeah. Your mum will never know.” He slipped the shirt from his arms and held it out to Scott.

“You sure?”

“It’s only because of you I get to hang out after school.”

Scott took his shirt. “Won’t your mum be annoyed thinking you’ve been rolling around in the dirt?”

“You’re kidding right?” Darren rocked forward. “She’ll be over the moon that I’ve got friends…not that they’re my friends, they’re yours.”

“Give it time,” Scott said. “I can tell they like you.”

“They get to try to take my head off with a football, of course, they like me.”

The shirt reeked of sweat, but Scott preferred the smell to his mum's wrath. He buttoned it up, doing his best to ignore the dampness down his back and the mauled shirt collar.

“Thank you for this.”

“No worries.” Darren checked his watch. “The maths class doesn’t finish for another twenty minutes. What do you want to do?”

“Shop?”

“Shop.” Darren agreed, getting to his feet.


****


The liquorice had been on display far too long, but it didn’t deter Darren from stuffing a handful in a paper bag.

“Think about how many little kids have wiped their arses then touched up those liquorice wheels.”

Darren shrugged. “Adds to the flavour.”

“You’re disgusting.”

Scott dipped his lolly into sherbet and popped it between his lips.

“It stresses me out how you eat them…”

“What?” Scott hiked up his eyebrow. “Why?”

“You eat the lolly, then tap the sherbet into your mouth.”

“What’s wrong with that?

“It’s called a dip dab. You’re supposed to dip it in the sherbet and dab it on your tongue.”

“In that case, why aren’t you rolling down the road on your liquorice wheel.”

Darren flung his hands into the air. “Ha. Ha. I’m the comedy part of the duo and don’t you forget it.”

They turned at the cry of a baby. A squeal they both recognized from having younger siblings.

Darren groaned and covered his ears. “I hear enough of that at home.”

Scott hurried his steps, trying to locate where the sound came from.

“What the hell are you doing?” Darren shouted.

The cries led Scott to the road behind the laundrette, and he froze. The dip dab fell from his fingers, sprinkling sherbet onto the ground. He reached for the wall, digging his nails into the bricks as his vision zeroed in on the unfolding drama.

He found the baby, strapped in its pushchair, wailing and struggling, but the sight in front of that pulled his gaze. The boy curled on his side being kicked and stamped on, sobbing hysterically as the blows kept coming.

One of the group looked up and flicked back his hair. “Problem?”

Scott stared dumbly. His mind tried to process the scene. “The baby.”

“Will be fine. Now move along.”

“Move along?”

The boy on the floor lifted his head an inch off the ground. Blood dripped from his nose and rushed through his dark eyebrows. His eyes found Scott, but he didn’t cry for help or crawl in his direction. He dropped his cheek to the ground and scraped against the uneven surface as he tried to curl in on himself, accepting his fate. A swift kick to the ribs unravelled his attempts at protection and he choked on a sob.

“We’re almost done.”

Darren grabbed Scott’s arm and pulled him back the way he’d come. “They’re in Sixth Form. Don’t get involved.”

“They’re kicking that kid to shit.”

“Maybe there’s a good reason for it.”

Scott smacked Darren’s hand away. “What the fuck?”

“I’m just saying. We don’t know the whole story. You’re jumping to conclusions.”

“We can’t leave him.”

“He’s not our problem.” Darren squeezed his eyes shut. “Please don’t make him our problem.”

“It’s too late for that.” Scott dropped his bag to the dirt, threw his lollipop aside and rolled up his sleeves as he hurried around the corner. His snarl went unseen. The group were leaving from the other direction. Scott took a deep breath, preparing to call them back, but the screech of the baby and the faint sobbing of the boy made him focus on what was important.

“Hey,” Scott said, dropping into a crouch. “You okay?”

It was a stupid question, he knew it, but still, it left his lips, and if Darren hadn’t been gawping behind him, Scott imagined he would’ve made a joke out of his poor choice of words.

“You hear me?”

The boy didn’t answer. He slid his hands over his ears to not hear Scott. Darren stayed at the mouth of the road; darting looks back at the passing cars.

Scott reached out a hand, gently squeezing the boy’s shoulder. He cried out, and scuttled away, looking as if he was attempting to burrow through the concrete.

“Don’t touch me!”

“I’m not gonna hurt you.” Scott lifted his hands. “I swear. I wanna see what they’ve done.”

“You saw and you left me.”

The blunt words sunk into Scott’s gut. He dropped forward onto his knee. “I was coming back.”

The boy crawled away, curling around the wheels of the pushchair, hiding like a wounded animal. Scott glanced at the baby. Its mouth opened in a silent scream, and he waited for the moment the following noise pierced his eardrums.

Darren cursed when it did. “Just like Rachel!”

“I promise,” Scott shouted, above the wailing. He glanced back at Darren. “I was coming back, wasn’t I?”

“Oh yeah, he even rolled his sleeves up. Real action man is Scott. If it’s not grass stains it's bloodstains.”

“Let me,” he reached again, but the boy swiped at his hand. “Okay, maybe not.” He grabbed the side of the pushchair for balance. “Can I at least….”

“At…least what?”

Scott unbuckled the baby. He got to his feet, picking up the child who jabbed a sticky finger at his eye. “Who have we got here then?”

The boy answered from the floor, half hiding beneath the frame of the pushchair. “His name is Alex.” Scott caught his eye for a split second, then he looked away.

“Hello there, Alex.” Scott arranged the kid on his hip. His cheeks rivalled Darren's after a game of football. All puffy and sore looking. Scott pouted in sympathy. “Is that better than the pushchair? Huh?”

He jigged him up and down. The wailing decreased to a grizzle, but Scott thought he could do better. Having two younger siblings had taught him a few tricks and his baby brother squealed like a pig when he was thrust into the air.

Scott gripped Alex under the armpits and hoisted him up, holding him aloft and turning him around for him to see everything.

“You know that scene in the lion king,” Darren muttered.

“In that scenario, I think you’d be Scar.”

“Ha. Fucking Ha.

“See Alex,” Scott said, holding him against his hip again. “Now I’ve made you fly, we’re friends.” He considered the faint whine a win. “Is that your brother down there?”

“Yes.” The boy whispered. “I’m Alex’s brother.”

Scott lowered himself to the ground, careful of Alex squirming on his hip.

Alex reached his hands out for his brother, but he pulled the pushchair over his battered face, hiding from them.

Scott sat Alex on his knee and bounced him, but he kept trying to touch his brother, shrieking when he couldn’t get to him. His face began to redden, Scott knew he was gearing up for another ear-splitting scream, the kind that left babies unable to breathe for a second or two.

He shot to his feet and held Alex aloft again.

Darren snorted. “Everything the light touches…”

“What did those kids want?” Scott asked.

The boy revealed himself from the side of the pushchair, sitting upright. He shifted back until he met the wall and sighed. “Money.” He licked his bloodied lips. A tear rushed down his cheek, but he didn’t sob or cry. He touched it with a hint of wonder on his face, then spoke with a distant sounding voice, “They asked for it and I handed it over, but they still…”

“Arseholes,” Scott said. He glanced at Alex. “I mean…bumholes?”

Darren snorted. “I don’t think that’s much better.”

The boy pulled his knees up to his chest, and tugged the sleeves of his sweatshirt, hiding his hands. Scott noticed the grazes before he covered them. A line of blood crept down from his hairline, but it didn’t rush in a way that demanded urgency.

“We should get you looked over.” Scott said. “The hospital isn’t too far.”

“Did you only come back because they’d gone?”

“I was coming back anyway.”

“They would’ve hurt you too.”

“Probably, or maybe I would’ve beaten them up.”

The boy rested his cheek on his knee. There were leaves and what looked like a cigarette butt in his black hair, but Scott didn’t dare pick them out.

“They were bigger than you.”

“Bigger doesn’t always mean better.”

Darren slapped his hand into the bricks. “Oh, come on…a dick joke?”

Scott ignored him. “What’s your name...”

The boy looked down instead of answering. His grey eyes scanned the ground. Scott frowned. He’d not seen anyone with that colour eyes, they couldn’t be mistaken for a dull blue or a murky brown, they were grey.

“Okay, well I’m Scott, and him over there, that’s Darren.”

“John.”

Scott smiled. “Nice to meet you…” he shifted Alex to a more comfortable position. His gaze lingered on the drops of blood on the ground. “Well, it’s not nice that your hurt, but it’s nice to say hi.”

He expected a grin, but instead, John flicked his eyes at the pushchair and spoke in a quiet voice, “Can you put Alex back?”

“Yeah.” Scott said, “Um. Sure. I’ve got a little brother about Alex’s age, and a sister who’s—"

John slid his back up the wall and stumbled forward. Scott put out a steadying hand, but John flinched away and stared at him accusingly until Scott retracted his help. He continued to eyeball him, and Scott shot him a comforting smile, but it had no effect.

“So…into the pushchair.” He said, fastening Alex in place. He shook the firefly attached to the hood of the pushchair and squeaked its nose. “Good old Frank the Firefly. My brother has one too.”

John didn’t say anything.

“You want me to call your mum?”

“No.”

“Your…dad?”

John limped to the back of the pushchair and gripped the handles. He sniffed, but it didn’t help with his running nose. Blood slithered over his lips and dripped onto his T-shirt.

“Here,” Scott said, pulling the bottom of his T-shirt. “I don’t have a tissue, but you can use this.”

“I think you’ll find that’s my shirt,” Darren muttered. “And he can use his own to wipe his face, he doesn’t need mine.”

Scott reddened and dropped his arm to his side.

“I’m leaving now,” John said. He shoved the pushchair to get the wheels rolling. Scott jumped aside and knocked his elbow against the wall. “Hey, watch it…”

Darren folded his arms as John hurried passed. “You could at least say thanks.”

John increased his brisk walk to a jog and turned the corner out of sight.

“Weirdo,” Darren said.

“Yeah.” Scott dusted the dirt off his knees. Weird kid.”


Chapter Two: https://www.louisecollinswrites.com/post/chapter-2-the-sun-to-your-moon