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290 pages
4 heures
Oct 24, 2010


Zing is a work of fiction set in North West England in the mid-sixties. It follows the growing relationship between Brian (17), a steam locomotive fireman and Lynn (17), a bakery worker. Though attracted to each other, there always seems to be obstacles preventing them from dating each other.

Oct 24, 2010

À propos de l'auteur

Hello from leafy Surrey. I left school at fifteen and worked as an engine cleaner before becoming a locomotive fireman at Sixteen. When the diesels took over, I left to join the Royal Air Force. I was in Libya for the British withdrawal following the country's revolution. I had my own demolition and haulage company for fifteen years and now work as a demolition project manager. I've previously had a small amount of non-fiction published, but no fiction.

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Zing - Bruce Fisher


A Story of Sixties Teenage Love and Violence.

A work of fiction by Bruce Fisher

Copyright 2010 by Bruce Fisher


* * * * *

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

* * * * *

If you can remember the sixties, you weren't there, or so we are told. So different from today; or was it? The emotion stays the same, the struggle into adulthood, pride, infatuation, bravado. Strip away the material things, the attitudes and the life styles. The sixties, the seventies, the eighties: Zing, we've all been there.

* * * * *

Chapter 1

Summer 1965.

Brian Conway looked around the main hall of The Labour Club. This was not like the youth club dances; most of the people here were middle-aged or elderly and he was aware that a lot of them knew his parents. Come on, Tommy said. They’re on their own now.

No, I think I'll leave it. Brian wondered if it had been such a good idea to leave the lads of his own age to join Tommy, an older workmate from the locomotive depot, in his adult social activities. Amanda’s not my type, and she's a lot older than me.

No she’s not. She’s only a couple of years older than you. And she’s a dead cert'. You’ll screw the arse off her later.

No, I’ve gotta go soon. I’m on an early shift in the morning.

Don’t be silly. You’re not scared of her, are you? Tommy gave a laugh. Don't tell me she's gonna be your first shag.

Course not, Brian said, but looked away knowing that his face was glowing.

Oy, Vivien. Tommy shouted across to the two girls and they walked over.

Babysitting tonight, Tommy? Vivien said, causing Brian’s face to glow even more.

You’re a right tease, Viv. You know I’ve been trying to get a dance with you all night, and you kept dancing with the old boys.

It all comes to those who wait. And the old boys are fun; you should hear some of the things the randy old sods say to us. Amanda likes ‘em older anyway."

Amanda likes ‘em any age, Tommy said. As long as there’s a dangler between their legs.

So funny, Tommy, Amanda said, without any sign of a smile.

After giving a laugh, Tommy took hold of Vivien’s hand and led her out to the dance floor, leaving Brian standing with Amanda.

Do you, er…

If you ask if I come here often, I'm walking off.

No, Brian said. Do you want a dance?

Not particularly, but I suppose I’m stuck with you now.

As they danced, Brian felt relieved that they were not close dances, giving him time to lose the nervous shaking in his arms. He noticed her looking and smiling at older men a few times and wondered if she had any interest in him at all.

The music stopped and he looked towards the small stage as the two guitarists, a drummer, and the lead singer began to perform the last song of the night, their rendition of Crying in the Chapel.

Amanda suddenly took hold of him and pulled him close to her as she began a slow and intimate dance. Her ample breasts were being forced against him and he tried to pull away, but she held onto him. He didn't know how to react and gave a deep nervous inhale of breath as he tried to pull his upper body away again.

It’s all right, Brian, you don't have to keep pulling away from me while we're dancing. My tits aren't balloons; they won't burst if you press against them.

Brian was well aware that Amanda was in a different league to the girls he usually dated. He had only dated nice girls, playing rounders girls, kissing, holding hands, and going to the pictures girls.

When the dance finished, Brian made his way from the dance floor swaying a little from the effects of the two pints of beer that Tommy had smuggled over for him during the evening. He took hold of Amanda’s hand and thought he could feel her pulse, but he was not sure that it was not his own as his heart thumped in his chest. Her hand felt soft and cool, but Brian was far from cool himself and his face glowed in the knowledge that his life was taking a new direction. Amanda soon broke their hand contact, as if it were un-trendy to hold hands in public.

Can I walk you home? Brian muttered.

I’m not going home yet, it’s only half ten. I’m eighteen, not fourteen.

Brian felt as if Amanda was talking down to him, but he let the thought pass. As they left the hall, he felt anxious whilst trying to show a relaxed attitude. Would they be going to the park? He’d heard the stories of what some couples get up to in the park after dark. Was this it? Was this the time when he would be thrust into adulthood, and with a girl like Amanda? The man in him would be happy with that, but the young boy was not so sure. What are we doing now? he said. Shall we call at the Coffee Bar?

No, they’ll be kicking out soon, Tommy said. Let's go down to the railway sidings for a bit.

What for? Brian asked, wondering why Tommy wanted to mess about round the grubby sidings when they had the girls with them. People only went there at night to steal from the trucks. Not a very romantic place to take the girls and even the park seemed a better option.

Tommy glanced back at his young friend. Just told you. We’ll go down the sidings, for a bit. Tommy and the girls laughed at his innuendo, but it was a shock to Brian and he wondered if Tommy was just having a joke with him. Tommy walked off with his arm around Vivien's shoulder. Brian and Amanda followed behind and Brian, copying Tommy, put his arm around Amanda.

They arrived at the sidings, climbed through a hole in the fence, crossed over a few tracks and began walking in the semi-darkness between two rows of goods wagons.

Should’ve gone to the park, Amanda said. Can’t see where I’m treading, and if I trip, Tommy, you’re for it. Bit spooky in here anyway, and what if someone catches us?

We can soon lose them in here, Tommy replied. We'll just duck under the trucks. Watch out for the dogs though.

Amanda stopped walking. What bloody dogs?

Brian laughed at Amanda’s sudden fear. There's no dogs in here, he said, though he was not sure if it were true.

Cor, what did you have to spoil it for? We could have kept her worried all night. Tommy stopped at a guard’s van and helped Vivien up the steps. He climbed up after her and Amanda started to follow them. No, this is our van. You two can go in that one, he said, pointing to another van further along. The one with the guard dogs in.

So funny, Tommy! she shouted. You’re about as funny as a pilchard.

Brian laughed at her comment, still trying to appear relaxed, but he was slightly apprehensive as he made his way to the guard’s van, where he would be alone with the promiscuous Amanda. They reached the steps, climbed up to the veranda and walked into the gloomy compartment. Amanda sat in one of the seats and looked out through the small side observation windows as if she were making sure that there was no one about.

Brian stood by the cast iron stove in the middle of the van looking over at Amanda in the near darkness and wondering how he should proceed. I work on the railway, he blurted out. I'm a fireman at the locomotive depot. It's a good job, and I get cheap train fares.

Look, Brian, are we gonna sit here discussing your career, or are we gonna have sex?

Brian drew his trembling hands down his cheeks before gripping them together in front of him, realising that Amanda was removing her pants. Bloody hell, I, I didn't think we...

She reached over to hand him a Durex. Come on, we ain't got all night. I've gotta be home by midnight.

Brian looked at the contraceptive in his hand, knowing what it was, but having no experience with its use. His shaking hands took off the wrapper while Amanda sat looking over at him. He undid his zip and tried to force the rubber on. It was hopeless and although Brian felt his mind was willing, his manliness was not rising to the occasion.

Amanda got up and went across to him. Let's have a go.

No, it's all right. I can do it, Brian muttered, while trying to back away from her, but the stove stopped his retreat as he backed against it.

I can't believe you've never used one of these before. She took the rubber from him and put her hand between his legs. Great, it's not even nearly there. What bloody use is that, apart from peeing from?

It's never happened before. I know I can do it. The time’s not right that’s all. I’m not ready for all this, he said.

You'd best just carry on playing trains, she said angrily. You're no use to me, or any other girl for that matter.

Hold on a minute, Brian said, feeling he should speak up for himself, but then he heard Tommy shouting and he looked through the veranda window and saw the lights from two approaching flashlights. Tommy shouted again

Quick, Brian, it's the police.

Amanda and Brian rushed from the van as the beams from the lights got closer and when they heard an Alsatian dog barking, Amanda sprinted ahead of them more afraid of the dog than stumbling in the dark. They made it back through the hole in the fence, and now that they felt safe, began laughing as they set off for the nearby housing estate.

They stopped at the girls' road and stood on the corner chatting for a while before Tommy began kissing Vivien. Brian knew he should be doing the same and moved forward to kiss Amanda, feeling nervous she might shove him away while making some derogatory remark. He felt relieved when she responded, if only briefly, before moving away. Brian thought this the perfect time to ask her out again. Perhaps if he had time to prepare himself for her brash sexuality, things would be different. Can I see you again? he asked.

I don't think so, Mister Sofftee.

Brian laughed. That's not very nice, is it? I've had too much drink that's all and it was cold in that van.

Or maybe the tool is just not up to the job, eh, Mister Sofftee.

Yeah, or maybe the tool has no interest in an unattractive ole trollop.

Amanda pushed him. You cheeky bastard. I've a good mind to give you a slap.

And you'll get one right back.

Amanda took a deep breath, almost snarling at him, before looking towards her friend. Come on, Vivien, I've gotta get home. The girls walked off and were only yards away when they began laughing.

Tommy looked over at them. What are they laughing at?

Blowed if I know, Brian said, but he thought he did. Although he thought it might be the drink, the cold, or the girl, he wasn't sure why he had failed.

The lads carried on walking. Did you get it then? Tommy asked. Did you have it off with her?

Nah, didn't really have time.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I was banging at her like a fiddler’s elbow, until those bloody coppers spoilt it. Tommy gave a laugh. I can't wait to tell Badger, he'll be pig-sick.

Who the hell’s Badger?

He's a mate of mine. He was knocking off Vivien, but now I am. Tommy gave a smug grin and then began laughing.

Brian thought he should laugh with him, but he was far from happy. Fearing there might be something wrong with him, and continuing to worry that the next time he tried to be intimate with a girl, he would fail again.


Chapter 2.

Summer 1966

"A year later, Brian and his friends, Badger and Kenny, weaved through the guests at the function room of The Labour Club. They made their way out from the wedding reception as Frank Sinatra’s record began playing Stranger’s in the Night. It was now official; Tommy and Vivien were married. It was hard to believe that it had been a year since Tommy's first date with Vivien in the public room at the same club. However, Brian's thoughts didn't dwell for long on the night when he had the failure with Amanda, an embarrassing disaster which had caused him concern ever since.

Well, who'd have thought it? Brian remarked. Tommy's wedding, the biggest social event of the year and they still closed the bar at eleven o'clock.

Should've gone to Minstrels at ten o'clock like I said, Badger replied. Badger was three years older than Brian. He worked for a builder and told everyone that he was a fully qualified carpenter. He wasn't, but he knew enough to get by.

Tommy would never have forgiven us, Brian said.

We didn't tell him to get spliced, did we? Letting us down, leaving us. We're supposed to be like the three musketeers and now there's only three of us.

That don't make sense, Kenny said. There are only three musketeers anyway. Kenny was the oldest of Brian's friends. It often amused Brian that Kenny’s hair and clothes still looked like they belonged in his rock and roll days of the previous decade, but he wisely kept the thoughts to himself.

Badger made sure he was not in striking distance before answering. Don't ya be daft now, Kenny. Any fool knows that there were four musketeers.

Kenny cast a stare at Badger. Did I hear you right; did you call me daft?

Oooo no, wouldn't dream of it, Ken. Now you come to mention it, maybe there was only three of them; the fourth came along later. He looked at Brian and gave a grin. It's all right kid, you don't have to call the ambulance. He began to laugh, a false contrived laugh as unique to him as the prominent light streak down the front of his hair. The same streak that had given him his nickname. A bus was passing and Badger began scanning the windows, looking for young women. Here, is that your Norma on the top deck?

Brian glanced at the bus. No, and she's not my Norma. We've finished.

Oooo, look out girls. Brian's playing the field again. And I bet you're eager for it, after banging Norma for six months, eh kid?

Yeah. Brian laughed, but didn't mention that Norma was not that sort of girl. She was a nice girl. Since his encounter with Amanda, Brian had reverted to dating nice girls. He thought on how passionate Norma was, but she would not allow any sexual intimacy, and that suited Brian for a while.

He reflected on his dancing with Vivien at the wedding reception. He had always got on well with her, but sometimes felt she was chatting him up, though he didn't know why. He was sure that Amanda must have told Vivien about his failure in the guard’s van, but Vivien had never mentioned it. She's all right that Vivien, he said.

Kenny and Badger glanced at each other as if they were wondering what had brought on such a remark. I don't know what he sees in her, Kenny said. He's been with some nice girls, why the hell did he get himself lumbered with her?

Well I think she's all right, Brian said.

She used to hang about with that Amanda before she flitted to Manchester. A right pair of tarts they were an' all. Do you remember Amanda, Brian?

No, don't think so, Brian lied. Anyway, I think you're being a bit harsh. Vivien’s not that bad.

Badger laughed. Not that bad; she's been done by all the blokes in town.

Not by me, she hasn't.

Nor me, thank you very much, Kenny said.

All right, she's been done by one in every three blokes in town. Badger paused before continuing. Anyway she's not a bad shag.

Don't let Tommy hear you say that.

He knows I've done her. About a year ago, just before they started going out together. The four of us went out, but he was with that Wendy from Middlefield. Badger gave one of his short false laughs. Ain't it right, that there's always something wrong with a woman, always something that will let them down? That Wendy was gorgeous with a figure to die for and she was a great laugh, but I gave her one once and it was like having sex with a corpse.

You're sex-mad, Kenny said.

Yeah, I know, but I haven’t found a better hobby yet. Again, Badger gave a burst of his laughter.

Anyway, that Vivien. Tommy started seeing her after meeting her one night at the Labour Club, and…"

I could really do with another drink, Brian interrupted. He didn't wish to listen to any more bad remarks about Tommy's bride, nor any further mention of Amanda, and thought it best to change the subject.

I've got a Party Seven at home, Kenny said.

What's that? Brian asked.

A big can, I bought in the off-licence yesterday. Seven pints of bitter.

All back to your place then.

Look at that over the road, Kenny said. What kind of fool lets her out on her own like that?

Brian looked across at a young girl walking towards them on the pavement on the other side of the street. She was tall with long shapely legs, wearing a short skirt high above her knees, and a leopard-skin bolero jacket. She looked about the same age as Brian and was the type of girl that he fantasised about going out with. He would have liked to cross the road to chat with her, but he knew he would be too embarrassed with his friends watching and wouldn't like the ribbing he would get from them if she ignored him.

I know her, Badger said. That's Julie from the record shop. He gave a wolf whistle and shouted across. Hey, pretty-legs, wanna come to a party?

The girl was just about to pass on the other side of the road, but she stopped and looked over. No thanks, Badger, she called. But have you got a light? My lighter's gone dry.

I don't believe it, Badger said. She's just asked me to shag her. Badger looked at Kenny and they both started laughing.

She only wants a light, Brian said. Give us your lighter and I'll go over and give her one.

Piss off, I'll give her one me self, and I'll give her a light as well. You go and find your own ride. Badger trotted across the road calling back to his friends. See ya later, suckers. Enjoy your Party Seven.

Badger set off down the pavement with the girl, both of them smoking her cigarettes, while Brian and Kenny set off for Kenny's small Victorian terraced house in the town centre.

Brian sat on the sofa in Kenny's house waiting for Kenny to open the huge can of beer. He noticed a photograph on the coffee table and picked it up. Cor, that's some photo, Ken. Is that you? Brian was impressed. Kenny looked a lot younger and was dancing with a fit looking girl whom he had launched up above his head as good as any gymnasts.

Kenny walked in, took the photograph from Brian's hand and put it in a drawer. That was a competition in Blackpool, he said and walked back out to the kitchen.

Did you win? Brian called.

Course we did.

Who was the girl?

Mind your own bloody business. Brian would have liked to know more about the photograph, but because Kenny seemed a bit hostile about it, he decided to let the matter drop. Kenny walked back with two full pint glasses and put them on the table before dropping into the armchair. He had just sat down when there was a knock at the door. That’ll be Badger, he said. He’s not the Casanova that he thinks he is.

After disposing of the Party Seven, Badger went home, but Brian decided to spend the night on Kenny's sofa. It was a good hour's walk home and, because he didn't have to work the following day, it hardly seemed worth the effort.

The next day they set off across the road for a lunchtime drink in The Ring O'Bells. A driving school car passed; there was a short pip of the car's hooter and Kenny put his hand up in acknowledgement. Although Brian didn't get a good look at the driver, he noticed that she was young and blonde.

Who was that, Ken?

That's Lynn, a friend of mine. I know her old chap.

A nice blonde and perhaps soon to have her own car. Brian thought that she was the ideal girl for him to date and Kenny knew her. It was worth a try he thought. You'll have to fix me up with her, he said.

Kenny looked at Brian as if he had swore at him. If you ever go out with her you'll have to be on your best behaviour.

Brian grinned. Why's that?

Cause if you're not, her old chap will knock your bloody head off.

Oh, bit of a local hard man, is he?

Yes, kid, you bet your life he is.

Might give her a miss then.

Might be wise.

Oh well, like they say, plenty more fish in the sea. But Brian was wishing that the fish would swim his way a bit more often. Are you off to Liverpool tonight then? He waited for a reply, but Kenny didn't answer. Why don't me and Badger come with you for a change? He continued.

No thanks. I'll go on my own. My mate runs a gym there.

There's a gym in town, Charlie's. Why don't you use that one?

Kenny frowned. I wouldn't be seen dead in there, with that bunch of posing overdeveloped prats, and that gym up near Meadowview went downhill when Martyn left, it's only for youngsters now. My mate's gym in Liverpool is a proper gym, a fighters' gym.

A fighters' gym, and Kenny had a bit of a reputation for being a fighter, but Brian thought that one gym was as good as another; just somewhere to go and get fit when you were not drinking.

They arrived at the Ring O'Bells and the heels of Brian’s Cuban-heeled boots clipped on the old quarry tiled floor of the passageway as he walked to the bar. The old style inn

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