Part 4, Assignment 4 – Tutor feedback

Herewith the link to my tutor’s feedback on my forth assignment:

Amy Balcomb (510035) Writing for Children Assignment 4 Tutor feedback

Summary feedback points:
1) The dialogue was unsupported and needed more description and action.
I realise now that I misunderstood the assignment in this respect.  Whilst I understood that there shouldn’t have been any attributions to who was speaking, I should have still painted a clearer, more descriptive picture within the dialogue taking place.  I will address this in my re-write.

2) I need to resolve the middle section which is “saggy”.
I need to tighten the drama up here by completely focusing squarely on what Johnnie gets up to saving Mr Harding’s life.  I need to reduce the CPR action and incorporate an indication that Johnnie gets a result from the first aid; he sees Mr Harding come round, e.g.
Having now re-written this assignment, I have removed Pete’s POV almost completely, focusing in on Johnnie and the ambulance control for the drama.  The CPR action is kept much tighter and the focus is now on witnessing some sort of recovery by Mr Harding.

3) POV
I thought that I actually HAD to change POV from one character to the other half way through and that’s why I did this, switching from Johnnie to Pete.  Having read the story once more I realise that I should have stayed with Johnnie and I will change this in my re-write.  I must, after my first draft decide if I have the best POV in the story.  This is definitely something I need to work on and I need to explore different POV to understand them better.  With two stories to write for Assignment 5 this will give me the right opportunity to do so.


Assignment 4 – “A Total Balls Up”

Johnnie’s heart sank. It would be a matter of minutes before it would start again.

“I’m not playing.  I have to get my homework done and…”

“Shut up, Four-Eyes.  Course you’re playing.  You’re in goal.  Get over by the Escort and look lively.”

No. Please. Not today. 

            “Listen up, you lot. We’re all gonna practice our shooting.  Four-Eyes is in goal. I’m captain and ref. No arguing.  My rules. Or else.”

Geez…why does he have to pelt that ball so hard?  I swear one day he’s going to knock my head off.  He’s got it in for me anyway.  Pete Fraser; my own personal hit-man.  Me, Johnnie Walker, aged 13. Rubbish at football and sticking up for myself.

            “You’re supposed to save the ball, cretin!”

“I’m warming up.”

That nervous laugh is pathetic, Johnnie.

“Warming up for what?  Stop-start animation?”

He’s such an idiot.

            “But Mr. Harding in No.3 doesn’t like footie outside his house. Let’s move up the street and…”

“I don’t give a toss what Mr. Harding likes or doesn’t like.  Kick the ball back, Four-Eyes. We’re not going anywhere.”

I’m rubbish at this. Ouch!  Typical – it caught the side of my foot. Oh, bloody hell. I’m like that lamb to the slaughter. Which lamb was it, anyway?

            “Yer, good one.  Maybe try thickening those glasses of yours, eh?  Shame isn’t it lads?  When you can’t see!  D’ya need a guide dog?  A white stick?”

            If I was 2ft taller and 5 years older…why can’t I be 18?  I reckon I’d feel braver at 18, brave enough to thump him one.

            “Right.  Let’s show you all how to kick a ball. Set it down, line yourself up in front of the goal and…ooofff!”

Brilliant.  Straight over the fence, Mr. Harding’s fence. Great example of ball skills.

“Well, go on then, Four-Eyes.  Don’t just stand there with your gob hanging open; go and get it.”

“Why should I get it?  Besides, he’ll never give it back.”

            “You really are quite pathetic, Four-Eyes.  What’s wrong with you?  It’s a ball.  It’s gone over a fence; you go over the fence and you get it back.  There’s no asking involved, is there lads?”

They all look really awkward, like they’re pretending to join in.

“But he hates us playing football.”

“So what? What’s the worst he can do?  Dribble a bit, wave his walking stick around?”

Oh, no, don’t come over…

            “I think Four-Eyes is scared of Mr. Harding, what do you reckon, boys?  Yes! My thoughts exactly.”

They’re all laughing at me now…don’t go red in front of them. DON’T go red.

            “So are you going to get the ball or not?  We’re waiting, Four-Eyes.”

“Yes. Alright.”

“What are you doing?! Jump over the fence, you moron!”

Ring the bell.  Be polite.  Avoid getting lamped by crazy pensioner.

“We’re not at some tea party asking for the jam, Four-Eyes. Get over that fence!”

No answer. Ring the bell again.

            “He’s not answering.”

“Yer, I think we’ve all worked that one out.  Get round the back!”

Please, no, not that.  Don’t start shoving me.

“I’m going to ring it one more time…”

            “What’s the point?  He’s not answering.  You’re just stalling, Four-Eyes, and we’re all getting bored, aren’t we lads?”

He’s got an answer for everything.  Those boys aren’t “his lads”; they’re as scared of him as I am.  They’re only going along with him because it’s less painful.  There’s still no answer. Shit.

            “What if something’s wrong?”

            “There’s gonna be something very wrong in a minute.  Get your backside over that fence or else.”

Ouch!  His punches really hurt.

            “I’m going to try the side-gate.”

Oh, shut up, Johnnie. Like he’s going to care about you being considerate.

            “Oh, geezzz.  Lads, I hope you’re not in a hurry.  Looks like Four-Eyes here wants to take the rest of the summer to fetch my ball.”

My face is going red, I can feel it.  Open the gate.  Damn, it’s locked.  I’ll have to get over it.  I know – move the bin. There we go.  Now climb up onto it…shit, it’s wobbling…steady…right, I’m on it.  Now, get one leg over the gate…and the other..

            “Oh, would you look at that….”

Here it comes.

“Little Johnnie Four-Eyes can’t quite make the side-gate without a bunk up.  How pathetic.  Not only is he blind, but he can’t climb, either.  Want a hand, short-arse?  Here you go!”

No! Don’t! I’m balanced right on the edge….ahhhh!

            “Ha! Ha! Ha!  Looks like Four-Eyes has made it over!  You alright over there?”

Like you care.  Christ, all the skin’s come off my knees.  It really hurts. No, don’t start crying – that’s what he wants.

            “More importantly, where’s the ball?  You should have it by now.”

Will you shut the hell up.

            “I’m getting it now.”

“Newsflash, lads; Four-Eyes has woken up!”

God, I never thought grazed knees would sting so much.  Ow.  It hurts to walk.  Right, let’s get this bloody ball.  Mr. Harding’s got a really nice garden.  It’s no wonder he doesn’t like football outside; he probably doesn’t want this lot getting flattened.

            “We’re still waiting, Four-Eyes….”

Good. Keep on waiting.  You can’t get me in here.  Where’s that ball? I can’t see it anywhere.  Maybe it’s over by the kitchen door.

            “Do you want me to send in a sniffer dog?!”

One of these days, I swear…Right.  Look for the ball.  There’s the kitchen.  It’s quite small.  Hang on, what’s that? I can’t quite see. The back door’s open a bit…

            “I’m gonna come over that fence myself soon, Four-Eyes.  It’s a foot ball.  Round.  Made of leather.  White with a blue stripe round the middle.  You may remember it; it’s what you struggled to kick.  Come on!”

Oh, no.  It looks like someone’s lying on the kitchen floor.  There’s a cup smashed on the tiles as well.  It’s Mr. Harding!  I’m not sure I can get in; his arm is right in the way of the door.  What the hell is that banging?

            “Right, that’s it, Four-Eyes, I’m going to kick this gate in if you don’t get that ball soon.”

There’s blood everywhere. I’ve got to get help.  I’m gonna have to try and push this door….come on…that’s it.  I’m in. 


God, he looks so blue.

            “Mr. Harding!  Mr. Harding!  Can you hear me?  It’s Johnnie from across the street.”

He’s not moving.

            “Pete, get help!  Call for an ambulance!”

“Lads, I think Four-Eyes is trying to say something.  Should I answer him?”

“Don’t be stupid, Pete, we need help! Quick!”

            “He says he wants help.  Maybe the blades of grass are a bit high for him. Isn’t that right, eh?”

Jesus.  They’re all laughing at me now.

            “Call. For. An. Ambulance. NOW!”

Okay, Mr. Harding, hang on in there.  God, my knees really hurt to kneel on. Right, er, tilt the head back, lift the chin up. Look, listen.  Shit.  Definitely not breathing…there’s no pulse, either.  Or is there?  No. Shit.  He’s dead.

            “Did you say “ambulance”, Four-Eyes? What’s the matter?  Filled your nappy?!”

One hand over the other.  Oh, crumbs, I’ve only done this on a dummy. Sorry, Mr. Harding, I’m probably gonna bust some ribs.  Here goes.  One, two, three, four…

            “You haven’t answered me, Four-Eyes.  There’s no help if you won’t answer.”

Seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve…

            “Lads, I think he’s ignoring me. Shall I break the gate in or the front door?  Which would you prefer, eh?  Yer, I agree.  Front door it is!  Come on!”

Twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty!  Right – firmly grip the nose. He’s so blue.  What’s that gurgling noise?  Come on, Johnnie, blow.  And again.  God…is he breathing?  Listen. No. Start them again. One, two, three..

            “I’m coming to get you, Four-Eyes…if this door would only give it up…eouff! Come on, lads, give us a hand. Lads? Where are ya going?!  You bloody chickens! That’s right; flaming leg it.  You wait ‘til I next see you!  You’ll regret it!”

Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one…

            “Bloody door, come on! One more go – ahhh!  That’s it, done it!”

Twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty. 

            “Right, you little pig, where are you? Four-Eyes!”

Come on, Mr. Harding.  One more.  Listen. Watch. Nothing.

            “Pete!  In here! Get a sodding ambulance!”

Where’s he gone?  Where’s my mobile?  I’m gonna have to ring…quick…right, dial it – 999…gosh, I’m shaking so much…come on, answer, damn you…

            “Yes, hello, ambulance please. No. 3 Brookland’s Road, Tensley.  Come quick.  There’s an old man who’s not breathing. No, I can’t feel a pulse.  I’ve been doing those chest things and breathes but it’s not working.”

“Four-Eyes!  I can hear you…”

“Yes, okay, I’ll keep going. Is someone coming?”

“Who are you talking to, Four-Eyes?  You better not be mucking me about.”

“There’s lots of blood coming from his head, too…”

“Right, you’re downstairs…you little…”

            “Okay, thanks. Yes, I will, but I’ll have to put the phone down next to me.  Yes, please.  Don’t leave me!”

God, what if I’m not getting this right?  Shit.  Count out loud this time so they can hear me doing it.

            “One, two, three, four, five…”

            “Four-Eyes! Where are you?”

He can’t be far away; he’s been chatting to someone, probably having tea and cakes with the old boy. Let’s try the kitchen.

            “Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen…”

What’s with the counting?  There’s a really weird noise.  What the hell is going on in here? Oh, my…

            “Shit!  Four-Eyes!  What the hell…?”

“Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty…”

Christ, he’s jumping up and down on the old man’s chest. What the hell?  All that blood. Whoa, I don’t feel so good.  I can’t see properly…I’m going to…

            “Twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty.  Bloody hell, Pete, don’t faint on me!  No! Not on the phone!”

Whoa, where am I?  Why am I on the floor?  Oh, my head…there’s a large lump on my head.  What’s going on? 

            “Johnnie, what’s happening?”

“Pete, I can’t get him to wake up!”

Oh. My. God. 

            “Well, do something, Four-Eyes!”

            “I have been!  Help’s coming. They’re on the phone.  Or they were.  Check it; see if someone’s still there.”

Phone?  What phone? Where is it? I can’t move. I don’t know what to do.

            “Pete, for Christ’s sake!  Snap out of it!  Pull yourself together!  Grab the phone; it’s by your leg!”

“There’s so much blood…”

“Don’t look at it!  I tell you what, pass me the phone and get outside and keep a eye-out for the ambulance! Do it!”

My legs are like jelly…I can’t walk.  My head.  God, it’s thumping.  All that blood.  He’s such a weird colour…look at his lips, they’re purple…oh, no, Four-Eyes is snogging him…

            “What the hell are you doing to him, Four-Eyes?!”

He’s doing it again.  God, what’s that noise?  My stomach’s churning…

            “Get out, Pete! – Hello?  Hello?  Damn it.  They’ve gone. Right. One, two, three, four, five, six…”

Right…get out…one foot in front of the other. All that blood. Where’s the door?  Everything’s swimming again. Grab something, quick!  There. 

Just take a deep breath.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.  No, don’t look back…bloody hell, he’s bouncing up and down on his chest again…shit!

            “Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five..”

Why is he counting? It’s in time with the bouncing. He gets to thirty and then snogs him. That’s so gross.  Get outside, look out for the ambulance men.  I can’t just leave him, though; I should be doing something.

            “Four-Eyes, what can I do?!”

“Just wait there.  There’s nothing else you can do.  I’m doing my best.”

I think he’s crying.  I should DO something.  I can’t just stand around like a lemming.  Maybe I should get the ball?  Yer, get the ball. Keep busy, that’s best.

            “What the hell are you doing?!  Why have you come back in?  Wait for the sodding ambulance, Pete.”

“I’ve got to get the ball.  It was obviously too difficult for you to manage.”

            That was bang out of line, Pete.  He’s got his hands full of dead man and all you can do is be mean.

            “Is that all you can think of? Is it really?”

Okay, Four-Eyes looks angry.  So he DOES have a back-bone.  He’s standing up.  What’s he doing?

            “You really are the nastiest piece of work I’ve ever known, Peter Fraser.  Go and get your flaming ball and then leave me alone.  Go on!  Get out!”

Ooeeff!  He’s just thrown me out the back door!  He’s livid.

            “One, two, three, four, five…”

What’s going on? Oh, no, the blood! I’ve walked through it – my trainers are covered!  Gross – wipe it off on the grass…hang on, is that sirens?  Quick!  Get round the front.  Don’t go through the kitchen. Use the side-gate.  Oh, bloody bin, get out the way…right…

            “Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen…”

There they are, I can see them!  Thank god!  Wave at them. That will help.  Eeuw, that blood’s still on my shoes. 

            “Quick            !  Over here!  Yes, here!  Quickly!”

I’ve never been more pleased to see flashing blue lights.

            “You’ve got to come quick!  He’s not breathing!  My mate’s doing something to him.  And there’s blood.  Lot’s of blood.”

Oh, okay, I’ll just get out of your way, then. Follow you in.  Probably best.  Christ, I can still hear Four-Eyes counting. What IS that noise?  It’s horrible.  Sounds like gurgling.

            “I’ve been doing this for about 10 minutes now. I asked Pete here to call for help but he wouldn’t so I had to carry on.”


            “Well, I did what I remembered from Scouts. Yes, I had them on the phone but we got cut off.”

This isn’t good.

            “Is he going to be okay?”

This isn’t good at all.  Is Mr. Harding going to die?

            “Can’t you give me some idea? Please?”

Has he already died?  Did I kill him? Please let him be okay. 

            “Four-Eyes, I mean, Johnnie, come over here, mate.  Let them do what they’ve got to do.”

“You’re not my mate, Pete.  Never have been, never will be.  And if Mr. Harding doesn’t make it, it’s all your fault.  You get that?  Your fault!”

He’s right.  It’s all my fault.  Why didn’t I get help?  The ball.  I wanted the ball back.  Where IS the ball?  I never got it.  Bollocks. Maybe I should quickly nip round the back and get it?

            “Are you okay, Johnnie?”

“No.  I’m not.  No thanks to you.”

Perhaps I should go and get the ball…

            “Hey, where do you think you’re going?”


            “Well, I just thought that now that they’re here, we could just, you know, get the ball and go.”

“You what?!”

He’s even more angry than before.

            “There’s an old man fighting for his life in there and all you can think about is your sodding football?!”

Maybe I shouldn’t get the ball.

            “Well, it’s not like we can do any more for him, is it?”

“We?  WE?! It was ME doing all the work!”

He’s got a point.  I still want my ball, though.

            “Yer, but you knew what you were doing.  You didn’t exactly ask me to do much when I came in, did you?”

“I yelled for an ambulance!  And instead, you did nothing.  Oh, no, sorry; correction: you fainted.  And in the process, you cut off the only help I did have.”

He’s got another point.

            “You wouldn’t make a phone-call.  You wouldn’t do as I asked.  I needed someone, Pete, REALLY needed someone and what did you do?  You took the piss, that’s what you did!”

Yes.  That’s right.  I did.

            “Do you have any idea how that made me feel?”

He’s crying again but this time he looks mad.

            “I was on my own with Mr. Harding.  All I needed was a phone-call and you couldn’t stop yourself from being horrid.  Not once! Why didn’t you listen to me?”

I think he’s going to hit me.

            “It was the other lads…they pushed me into it.”

            “You what?!  It had NOTHING to do with the other lads!”


            “And where are they now, eh?  Where have your little band of merry men gone?  Just as I thought; legged it before you dragged them into something they didn’t want to be part of!  Well, no thanks to you, I’ve had the worst day of my life today, and I’ll NEVER forgive you!  Do you hear me?!  NEVER!”

Apologise.  Go on – just do it.  The lads won’t hear you.

            “Look, Johnnie…I didn’t mean to…”

“If you even think for one second you can make this all better, you’re wrong.  You’re always bullying me, my mates.  Everyone hates you.”

What’s he on about? Everyone loves me. Don’t they?

            “Why do you do it?  Why do you pick on people the whole time?  Do you think by making people scared of you you’re gonna be more popular?”

“Oh, now come on, Four-Eyes..”

“My name is Johnnie.  You did scare me.  Until 15 minutes ago. That’s when I realised what a spineless wimp you really are, putting a stupid football before a dying man.  Whatever problem you had with me, you didn’t have to take it out on Mr. Harding!”

Whoa.  Four-Eyes is turning psycho.

            “And after all this, I bet you still want to get your ball, don’t you?”


            “Look, Johnnie, I know you’re in shock over all this but I’m sure…”

            “In shock? You’re not even close, Pete.  I reckon you should just go.  Just get out of here.  You’re not wanted!”

            “But what about Mr. Harding?”

“Like you care!  You’re more concerned about your bloody ball.  Go on!  Go!”

He’s walking away from me. I ought to leave the ball.  Get out of here.

            “Okay, I’ll go.  But I want to know how Mr. Harding is.”

“I’m not sure you deserve to know.  If I hear anything I’ll tell you.”

I didn’t expect that.


Leave, Pete.  Just go home.  Don’t be tempted by the ball. Turn round and go. Don’t turn back.

            “Oh, and Johnnie…”

He’s gone…

            “I’m sorry.”


Part 4, Assignment 4 – Reflective Commentary

This part of the course, “Voice Training”, has been one of my favourite parts so far.  I have always enjoyed getting my characters to speak but never before explored the different ways of doing this.  Part 4 has now given me more confidence to do this and I hope that my assignment demonstrates this.

In preparation, I initially considered the various situations that children could find themselves being forced into by their peers.  I felt quite an affinity towards the subject of bullying.  I experienced it myself for much of my childhood from peers and teachers, and it was lovely to have the chance to empower one of my characters to fight their corner, something that I never did sadly.

Situations that came to mind ranged from playing practical jokes on the elderly; going down a well and a rope snapping; breaking into a derelict house; stealing from somewhere; setting up a booby trap that backfires; eating, drinking or smoking something that they shouldn’t.

I considered writing about a past experience of a best friend running away with me from school but it brought back too many difficult memories; I realised then that I was happy to draw on how the bullying made me feel but not what actually happened.  This was a really valuable thing to conclude and really helped me to continue planning this piece of work.

Once I settled on the scenario, I wanted to explore feelings and motives of my characters; how would they be feeling whilst being bullied and doing the bullying?  I outlined a long list of feelings for both characters and in doing so, this helped to shape visually in my mind what they both looked like.  This lead quite naturally to my characterisation sheets.

The child being bullied would feel a real mixture of emotions.  They would feel belittled, powerless, vulnerable, tearful, silenced, frightened, angry, isolated, alone, panicky, weak, out-of-control.  They would also want revenge, get their own back, but perhaps not feel able to which would heighten the other emotions being experienced.

In contrast, the dominant child doing the bullying would feel powerful, bossy, nasty, spiteful, egotistical, selfish, mean, cruel, vindictive, snide, sarcastic, evil, clever, popular, intimidating, in control, impressive.  They would have a self-inflated opinion about themselves, be incredibly selfish; it would all be a complete front for their own insecurities, however.

The last thing I wanted to work into this assignment was symbolism somehow.  I decided that the football would be great because it was the commonality between everyone that was being coerced into the situation. It also links with Johnnie quite directly; it gets “kicked around”, much like Johnnie does verbally.  It gets forced over a fence by Pete, just as Johnnie does.  And finally, it ends up getting forgotten in the height of the drama, much like Pete’s bullying towards Johnnie – he becomes so frightened and shocked at what is going on that Pete can only stand by and watch.


Preparation work for Assignment 4

1) What situations would children not want to get forced into doing?

  • Play practical joke on an elderly, frail person – perhaps they person doesn’t thrown back a football kicked over a fence? The joke could backfire as the old person reacts physically (either through poor health or violence)
  • Go down a well and not be able to get out.
  • Break into a derelict, haunted house.
  • Steal from a corner shop.
  • Rig a booby trap that goes wrong.
  • Eat or drink or smoke something they shouldn’t.

2) How would the weaker child feel whilst being bullied?

  • Belittled
  • Coerced
  • Powerless
  • Vulnerable
  • Tearful
  • Intimidated
  • Silenced/mute
  • Angry
  • Alone
  • Victimised
  • Isolated
  • Bullied
  • “In a nightmare”; no-one can see what’s going on. Screams are not head.
  • Panicky
  • Furious
  • Want revenge
  • Weak
  • Out-of-control

3) How would the dominant child feel whilst doing the bullying?

  • Powerful
  • Bossy
  • Nasty
  • Spiteful
  • Egotistical
  • Selfish
  • Mean
  • Cruel
  • Vindictive
  • Snide
  • Sarcastic
  • Evil
  • Intimidating
  • Strong
  • In control
  • 3) Characterisations for each child:
    a) The weak child being bullied
    Age: 13
  • Sex: Boy
  • Name: John Walker (nickname Johnnie Four-Eyes)
  • Appearance: Short for age, thin/scrawny, dark auburn curly hair, brown eyes, chubby face, wears thick glasses, has freckles and pale skin
  • Character: wears rucksack on both shoulders (looks like a scuttling beetle), shy, quiet/reserved, easily led, “deep fish” who thinks long & hard about everything, worrier, poor social interactions, too trusting, prime candidate for phobias, average student at school, “boring”. Knows of Peter Fraser through the kick-about sessions they have in the cul-de-sac.  He’s aware of Pete’s nature, his dominance over the other kids; Johnnie always feels “compelled” to join in but knows the risks; he always falls foul to Pete’s nasty comments, the pushes and shoves.  He knows that one day, the bullying could get serious.
  • Family: no siblings, no mother (left when Johnnie was 2yrs old), father works lots leaving him to fend for himself a lot, an aunt who visits occasionally.
  • Setting: Council estate 2-bed semi in a cul-de-sac on edge of town.  People keep themselves to themselves.  Trouble stirs with new drivers/motorbike riders, bored teenagers, petty crime.

b) The dominant child doing the bullying

  • Age: 16
  • Sex: Boy
  • Name: Peter Fraser (nickname Pete)
  • Appearance: Tall for age, quite stocky (keen rugby player), blonde floppy hair, blue eyes, striking features; good bone structure – he is everything Johnnie is not.
  • Character: confident-bordering on arrogant, cocky, cheeky, popular (others are scared of him so choose to be friends), risk-taker, plays it cool-shows little emotion, doesn’t care what people think, thinks he’s always right, bossy, pushy, ring-leader, always in trouble but gets away with it, brilliant at sport – tipped to get a scholarship which he assumes will be “in the bag”, no respect for elders, especially older people. Has met Johnnie in the cul-de-sac during kick-about sessions.  He’s managed to push him around quite nicely; he’s found quite a wiling victim and picks on him every week.  Pete accuses Johnnie of “being on the spine donor list”, which Johnnie doesn’t “get”, impulsive, easily frustrated, lacks empathy, has difficulty following rules, views violence in a positive way (he’s not bothered by it).
  • Family: older brother at Uni, Mum and Dad very middle class both have good jobs and have no idea of their son’s misdemeanors (thinks he’s the model child)
  • Setting: Lives in nice semi-detached house down the road from cul-de-sac, hence he knows Johnnie.  Plays kick-about with the local kids, but only to keep them under his “rule”.

4) Motivations behind the bullying behaviour:

  • Need to control, have power over others
  • Like to feel dominant, to subdue others
  • Get satisfaction from causing injury, pain and hurt
  • Has a need to be popular, have friends; the bullying behaviour attracts attention and most don’t want to be bullied so place friendship in the bully (often misplaced)

5) Synopsis of the story:

  • Kick-about time; Pete is picking on Johnnie again for no apparent reason other than he can.  The scene is set that an elderly neighbour has already been complaining about them playing football outside his house; Pete doesn’t care. During the kick-about, Pete makes the ball fly over neighbour’s fence and then forces Johnnie to go round and get it.  Johnnie doesn’t want to go knowing how annoyed he’s already been with them.  Pete forces him to, telling him that Johnnie has to make the old boy give up the ball, “or else”.  Johnnie, fearing the severity of the threat (and knowing what Pete’s capable of), goes round to the neighbour; he doesn’t answer. Johnnie turns to leave and finds Pete standing right behind him.  Pete tells him he has to climb over the fence and fetch the ball.  Johnnie knows it’s wrong and doesn’t want to; Pete makes it very clear he has no choice.  Johnnie tries the doorbell one last time.  No answer.  Johnnie wonders if the old chap is okay but that thought doesn’t even cross Pete’s mind. He wants his ball; Johnnie’s going to get it.  Johnnie gets over the fence and lands in the garden.  He notices the back door open a jar.  Pete remains at the fence, goading him.  Johnnie sees the ball in the middle of the grass and starts to wander over to it but something stops him; as he glances back towards the house, he notices a person lying on the floor in the kitchen.  He rushes into the house and realises it’s the old man.  Johnnie checks for signs that he’s breathing; he’s not.  He can hear Pete going crazy at the fence, making all sorts of threats.  Johnnie ignores it which promotes even more anger.  In the end, Pete threatens to kick the front door through, and because Johnnie isn’t reacting, it fuels him.  Whilst Johnnie is phoning for an ambulance, there are loud thuds coming from the front.  Johnnie then starts CPR to the soundtrack of Pete kicking the door through.  Eventually, he succeeds and comes charging through to find Johnnie on the floor with the old man; to Johnnie’s complete shock, Pete tries to pull him off the man to punch him.  Tables turn.  Johnnie throws Pete across the kitchen, adrenaline fueling him and giving him the strength to do so.  Johnnie returns to the old man, listening and watching for signs of life.  Pete has no idea what is going on but tries to attack Johnnie again.  This time, Johnnie goes mental at him throwing all sorts of threats back at him.  Eventually, Pete helps Johnnie with the CPR (one with compressions, one with rescue breaths) until the ambulance arrives.  Pete is so shocked by the situation he is left stunned.  Johnnie takes control of the whole situation and effectively puts Pete in his place, the first time that it’s ever happened.