Eddie sat on the top bunk with Fatty Patty spread out like an incontinence blanket with bumps. He’d a fag in his mouth and he scowled at the doll. ‘You’d think they’d gi’e you some instruction on how to blow it up.’
Wee Beaver below him, on the bottom bunk, poked his head out of the quilt cover. ‘I’m trying to sleep here.’
‘I was just sayin.’
‘Well, I don’t want to hear yeh. I’m trying to sleep.’
‘I wisnae talkin tae you.’
Wee Beaver’s hand came out and poked about under the bed, searching for his fags. ‘Who were yeh talkin to then?’
‘Jesus, I was talkin to Fatty Patty.’ Eddie laughed. ‘I wish you werenae so nosey.’
The sound of a lighter and fag smoke drifted up to him.
‘I wish you’d gi’e me peace.’ Wee Beaver pushed up the bed into a sitting position with his back against the wall. ‘Who’s Fatty Patty?’ He groaned and went on. ‘Ne’er mind. Why don’t you leave it until morning, like any normal fucker?’
‘It’s morning already.’ Eddie stubbed out his fag, twisted his wrist and glanced at his watch. ‘It’s one-forty-three in the morning. And let’s be honest, you werenae daeing anything but sleepin anyway.’
‘I’m tellin yeh, I’m gettin another fuckin roommate, you’re daeing my box in.’
Eddie shook his head. ‘Nah, you love me too much…Anyway, you’d end up wae one of those cunts that stink the place out wae no washing…I mean, how hard is it tae take a shower when you finish your shift and clean your minging feet?’
Wee Beaver flung his legs over the side of the bed and trudged towards the toilet. ‘I’m no listening.’
When he came back, the cabin lights were on. Eddie was holding Fatty Patty up by a pinkish nipple of her over-enlarged breasts. ‘That set of jugs could feed a family of four. But we need to get some air into her first.’
‘I’m no fuckin interested.’ Wee Beaver picked up his fags and lighter. ‘I’m away doon the canteen for a cuppa coffee and a cake. Maybe I’ll get a bit of piece doon there?’
‘I’m coming wae, yeh.’ Eddie scrambled out of bed and pulled on his sannies and picked up a fleece. He caught up with Wee Beaver at the metal steps before he’d left the bay.
Wee Beaver’s dark beady eyes were sunk into his head, but there was a glint of warmth in them as he shook his head. ‘Whit the fuck are you bringing that thing wae yeh, for? They’ll think we’re perverts.’
Fatty Patty bounced against the handrail as he shook her by the tits. ‘But I’m ur a pervert.’
Wee Beaver laughed with him. ‘You’re fuckin daft. That’s whit you are. You need locked up.’
‘We’re already locked up. For another three weeks, yah daft cunt.’
Fatty Patty trailed behind them, bouncing off every step.
‘Don’t remind me,’ Wee Beaver pulled open the safety door and they stepped back into the warmth of the main block.
‘Fuck it, I’m gonnae have the full breakfast.’ Eddie nipped in front of Wee Beaver, trailing Fatty Patty behind him.
‘Nae surprise there.’ Wee Beaver scratched at his thinning grey hair at the top of his head, which kept a blackish vigour around his ears. He poured himself a coffee and sat down in a bucket seat with an ashtray in front of him.
Eddie was up at the hatch. Soon Si, he chef’s head appeared, with an Irish mum and Jamaican dad, he was dark skinned and freckled.
‘What’s that you’ve got there?’ he asked Eddie.
Eddie glanced at Fatty Patty’s pinkish nipples and her ungainly straw hair. ‘Dunno, but she’s been following me for ages. I think she fancies me.’
‘Fuck off,’ said Si.
‘You any bacon?’
‘Fucking hotplates full of bacon and sausages, ain’t you looked?’
‘Aye, but it’s all shrivelled up, like your wee dick. Can you get me something fresh?’
Si yawned and stroked his chin. ‘Aye, maybe, but seriously, is that what I think it is?’
Wee Beaver took another jag of coffee and shut his eyes. Eddie took Fatty Patty’s plastic arm and waved it up and down at Si. He put on a high-pitched falsetto voice. ‘Yes, Si, I’m your long-lost girlfriend, come to get you—you dirty bastard—look what you’ve done to me since I lost my bounce.’
A crew coming into the cabin behind them caught the tale-end of Eddie’s outburst and they started laughing. ‘Whit’s that there mate?’ shouted a stout roustabout, his forehead grimy with oil.
‘It’s Si’s bird,’ said Eddie. ‘Or it will be, when I put a big of air in her. I’m no really sure how to dae it.’
Si splashed down a panful of freshly cooked bacon. ‘Don’t say, I’m no good to yeh.’ The smell drawing workmen to the hatch like crows around fresh kill.
‘You would be if you’d any potato scones.’
‘You don’t get them in Aberdeen,’ said Si with a burp, adjusting his white hat. ‘I’ve told you that already.’
The guy with the oily forehead had an oily moustache and he pulled at Fatty Patty and said, ‘Oooower, she’s a beauty’.
Wee Beaver opened his eyes as Eddie whipped Fatty Patty away from the roustabout. ‘Unhand me, you brute,’ said Eddie in his falsetto voice. Then his voice dropped to his normal base, ‘Cannae get the fuckin thing blown up.’
‘Och, geez it here,’ said the grimy roustabout.
He whipped Fatty Patty around and pulled open a flap and started blowing into it. He made little headway, but there was a slight thickening of the doll’s skin, before he became purple faced. He passed Fatty Patty to the guy beside him, a younger, thinner guy, and he started blowing the doll up too. Out of breath, he passed it to the next in line, a guy with a solid build, who treated blowing into Fatty Patty as if it was a competition that he was going to win. Fatty Patty began to take shape. A cheer went up when her flap was shut and plugged. She floated in glory among them as they ate breakfast and dinner combined.
Wee Beaver finished his coffee, stubbed out his fag and got up to leave. Eddie finished chewing and got up too. He nicked over to the table where Fatty Patty was enthroned.
‘Right lads, that’s me going now. Sorry, but I’ll need to take my girlfriend with me.’
‘I’ll tell you whit,’ said the guy with the oily face. ‘I’ll gi’e you a tenner if you let me have the doll for the night.’
‘Fuck aff,’ said Badger. ‘It was just a joke. That guy that work wae you, whit was his name again?’ He scowled. ‘Doesnae matter, he was saying he could get anything on here, but a bird. And bawjaws there,’ he nodded at Eddie, ‘well, you know. Bit of a joker.’
‘Tenners nae joke, mate. It’s real enough.’
‘Twenty quid,’ said the fresh-faced roustabout, which brought a cheer.
‘Fifty quid,’ said the guy with a solid build.
‘You’re fuckin kiddin me,’ said Beaver. ‘It’s a fuckin cheap piece of plastic.’
‘Aye, but wae nice tits,’ said the fresh-faced kid, his cheeks blushing.
‘Gone, gone, gone,’ Eddie mimicked an auctioneer’s voice, to the man with the hard-on in the corner.
‘Two nights,’ said the thickset man. ‘I want two nights.’
Eddie squinted at Beaver and back at the thickset man. ‘Two nights it is, as soon as I see hard cash.’
‘I’ll take two night tae,’ said the youngster.
‘I’m not sure Fatty Patty does gangbangs, but I’ll certainly put you on the list.’ Eddie raised his chin and his eyes roved around the group. ‘Anybody else?’
A weary arm raised, then another.
‘Form an orderly queue,’ warned Eddie. Wee Badger trailed back to the cabin, muttering.