It was a normal day.

"Do you want to come over later?"

"Nah, my mum says going to your house is a distraction."

"She smells."

Dan laughed, "Sorry, can't though."

Dan and James were going through their usual conversation as they came face-to-face with the icy, steel school gates. The gates were only a subordinate to the fence that enveloped the entire school. Topped with deceptively sharp spikes, they weren't exactly the most comfortable school ornaments ever made my man. "Welcome to the land of daisies and cranberry chewing gum", is what it said to visitors, parents and children alike, with a big smile. The Suits enjoyed it though.

Dan and James were not bad students at all, but they had lapses in concentration. Homer Simpson, Will Smith, Sonic the Hedgehog were all heroes for saving the un-noteworthy lessons. The real experience of school was on the field, and both kid and teacher knew it.

The field was vast. Standing at one end as a child, it would go on forever. After this mirage, the field's decorations would appear; the trees around the side (being eaten by the fence, of course) and the black ashes of the November bonfire piled up to the right. Bits of wood were still lying around it, and they were great for swordfights.

Dan and James always hung out at the far end, in the shade of the July sun. It didn't matter if it were against the rules: this way, you stayed a healthy milky white, and you could look through the fence's jaws to the park outside school. Dan and James started their long walk to the shady ghetto,

"Did you hear about that guy?"


"Tony Blair."

"Oh yeah."

"My mum and Dad voted for him."


"Haha, you're a twat."

"Damn, you got me."

Jason was already down there, grinning, with his hands in his pockets. He smelt of banana and peanut butter.

"I kissed Jess in Literacy." he blushed, and stood on one leg slightly.

"Aww.", Dan and James chimed in at once, mostly uninterested. They laughed all together for a minute, until Dan brought the crumpled ham sandwich from his lunch box.

"Where's Rich today?"

"He's here. He was in Literacy."

"He'd better be here soon. We need our planner for plans."

Rich and his bright apricot hair were visible at the other end of the field. The whole image was shaking like a hallucination, and it seemed as if Rich's hair had just fallen out; his head had turned into a ham colour. The lines painted onto the pencil grey playground beyond Rich were all dancing in the air in the very distance. It had just got to the part where the hopscotch grid and the snakes and ladders table attempt the tango, before they all screamed in fright, running onto the passing bus. The playground was empty now.

It was soon clear that Rich's hair had not fallen out. He was wearing a pink cap and a casual, but nervous smile. The fence warned him not to get closer with teeth fully baredm and ready to bite.

"Rich, what are you wearing a cap for?"

"It stops my neck from burning in the sun."

"It's pink."

"My Daddy bought it when we on were holiday."

"Are you gay?"



The other boys laughed harder than they already were. So did the fence.

"Well, you don't need it in the shade. Put it here."

Rich reluctantly placed it on the lime green grass and stared at it briefly.

"The new password is pink cap.", Dan proclaimed, finishing his ham sandwich. James and Jason giggled like girls.

"I thought I got to choose the next password?" muttered a confused Rich.

"Shut up."

The field now hosted fairly sparse groups of gossiping girls, bigbad bullies, boisterous boys and synthetic psychopaths. From the ghetto, you had a view of it all. The only other shady area like this was a benched area cluttered with dust, dirt and girls.

These breaks from fractions and similes almost always revolved around the same things. Dan informed everyone about developments regarding his quest to get to Mannaheim and James talked about the discovery of more syringes in the park, though Rich didn't quite understand.

The fireball beat down onto the field all afternoon, torrid and sweltering. As children danced, played, jumped and thumped, minions of the fence were spawned to keep watch. The minions made sure no one left the boundaries of the fence, and all those within never left the boundaries of the fence.

The minions never believed the guys from the ghetto. They saw them as trouble, playing too close to the fence, as if some day they might knock it down and disrupt order once and for all.

Jess danced past the gang with her friends. They all wore irregular daisy necklaces, held each other's hands and were reeling all around the field. The perverted fence snarled . Jason, as if in a trance, stood on his two legs and floated to where the girls were now still, smiling wickedly.

"Oi, Jayc, where are you goin'?" called James, as Rich looked away into the shade. It was too late: Jason had left safety and fell into the fence's trap; Jess and her devil kin were now lying on an aquamarine field, biting into Jason, in the cool nude.

Dan blinked, and they were all gone.

"Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"

"Those bastards!" finished James and Rich, though Rich didn't quite understand it.

The pink cap was the gang's own instrument of order for now. Dan and James played pass with it for as long as they could. Before Lewis arrived.

"Haha" , wobbled Lewis, "Pink cap!".

"Fuck off Lewis," moaned James, "' surprised your body could make it down here." While James made his threat, Lewis moved surprisingly fast, taking the cap of order into his hands.

"My Daddy got me that!" yelped Rich, who stood up, truly concerned for Order's well-being or just the cap. Lewis "ran" off, with all three of the gang following closely behind.

"Look at the gays!" yelled Lewis excitedly, huffing and puffing in the heat. The various boys all around the field laughed. Jason and the girls laughed. The fence laughed. A tear came into Rich's eye.

"Give it back Lewis." warned Dan.

"Oh, sure." replied Lewis. Lewis got on his knees but he didn't return the cap. Instead, he filled it with mud. Everyone and everything pointed and laughed harder; the Sun beamed. Rich's lip trembled.

"You gays probably don't want this back now." Lewis skipped over to the dried bonfire remains, and produced his Dad's lighter from the pocket of his school trousers.

Rich started crying, and could not make much out after that. He sat in the grass as dark objects filtered away from him gradually, the playground markings reappeared on their homes. After minutes of sniffing and weezing, one figure came toward Rich. He took a long blink.

A thing with black eyes and razor sharp teeth stood over Rich.

"Get into class." it growled, and walked off, as Rich sat still and confused, colder than he'd ever been in his whole life.