Rampton- Chapter 4
By mark p
It was raining in Aberdeen when he had driven out here, it rained there most months of the year, but once you travelled inland to Aboyne or Cauld, it seemed to get warmer and drier, thought Clarke as he watched the raindrops going south across the windscreen.
It hadn’t rained in 1976, far from it, he could remember the heat at the time, he could almost feel the heat of that year as he recalled, sitting in his car waiting for the rain to abate.
He must have taken the rain with him from Aberdeen, what was that old song about taking the weather with you? Something from the '90s, Crooked House , something like that, he couldn't remember....maybe it would come to him later.
He did remember Mitchell back in that time and his younger sister, Alison had been slagged off at school for being ‘weird’ and for their mum being a witch. A couple of years before Cauld Village camp, he remembered that their father had been killed in a car accident, and there were lots of rumours flying about at the time, their mum was rumoured to be someone who dabbled in the occult, a drugged out hippy, a psychic, and that she had passed these interests down to her children John and Alison, both of whom always wore black clothes to school, eschewing the ‘norm’ of school uniform, and brought in their ghost story books, the Fontana Ghost Books , books about witches , wizards, vampires, all manner of things weird and wonderful, to some. Some said they had taken an Ouija board into school one day and scared the hell out of some of their adversaries!
By the time they came around to the scout camp, Mitchell had become a full-blown bully, his couple of years of being victim, had gone, and he had turned tormentor to those who got in his way, two of which were Clarke and Harvey. Mitchell was heavily into the music of Black Sabbath, and even believed that their lyrics were drawn from their lives, their belief in Satan and all sorts of other nonsense, to Clarke the music was ‘a noise’, Clarke hated that sort of music, ‘heavy rock’ , with a passion, his musical allegiances at the time being for the milder sounds of Genesis, Yes, and Barclay James Harvest, the ‘progressive rock’ of the era , which was soon to be , in the eyes of some, overthrown by the crassness and crudity of the new ‘punk rock’. Clarke didn’t like any of this rubbish, he put it down to his Christian upbringing and his choral singing youth, and this was where Mitchell’s bullying of him came in. Mitchell had heard of Clarke’s being in a choir, and mocked him for it, and the fact that Clarke was set for scholastic brilliance considering school reports, he was christened ‘The Prof’, as he was a real swot. He always had the answers in exams if you prodded him enough, and Mitchell did that, eventually Mitchell came to think of Clarke as a ‘second in command’ in his bullying regime, though Clarke didn’t see himself as this at all, not by any means.
His reverie, his trip down the Boulevard of Bad Memories was interrupted by a repeated rapping on the windscreen. A black clad figure stood in front of the car, he remembered the words of the guy in the bookshop back in Aberdeen,
‘Someone came in asking for a copy just the other day, a weird individual, all dressed in black, like Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing ‘
He knew in his heart of hearts that this was Mitchell.