George bested Timothy in everything. He was better at his sums, better at spelling, hand-writing, reading and tying his shoe-laces. George could run faster than Timothy, was always first-pick at football and had more gears on his bicycle. George always had the best sweets in the playground, the smartest new trainers, the most fashionable t-shirt and his haircut was always on trend.

And above all that, George always had the attention of Rosie. Before George had come to their school, Rosie and Timothy had been inseparable. Now she barely gave him a second glance. Well, that would change.

The school trip was the perfect opportunity. They were visiting some old cathedral with towering arches, collapsed roofs and crumbling walls. Timothy watched from the back of the group as they were given the tour. George and Rosie were at the front, hand-in-hand, smiling and laughing. George answered every question the guide asked them.

Then it was break. Everyone got a packed lunch and after they’d eaten there was ten minutes to explore the cathedral grounds. Timothy saw George and Rosie walk under the arch at the end of a long pathway, out of sight from the rest of the class. This was his chance.

He crept up to the arch. From his school backpack he pulled the gun. This was it, this was his moment. He spun around the corner, gun raised, and fired. In a split-second the rapid fire deluge was over.

Rosie and the tour guide stood drenched in the red paint, dripping from their clothes. George didn’t have a spot on him. As Rosie burst into tears, George put his arm around her to console her.

Timothy was frozen, paintball gun by his side. The teacher came running towards them screaming Timothy’s name. George glanced back at him, guiding Rosie away in his arms, and smirked.

One day, thought Timothy, one day I’ll get him.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Arch curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image

38 responses to “ARCH-ENEMY”

  1. Oh, the joy of growing out of those teenage years! A few years on, Timothy would have realised that a fickle girl like Rosie would only bring him further heartache. Plus the golden boys sometimes fizzle out when adulthood kicks in. We’ll never know what happened to David Watts, but I bet there were times when he would have swapped places with Ray Davies (or Paul Weller).

    Another excellent story Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having suffered like Timothy in my youth, I can say the best way to handle the situation is to give George and Rosie the broom, have nothing to do with them, especially if they need to elevate themselves at another’s expense. There will always be the Captain of the football team and the Homecoming Queen. Living a life by comparison is wasteful. Make your own life and leave the spotlight to what society perceives are their superstars.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like Timothy needs to put his glasses on next time he takes aim. Timothy’s loss and determination come across so well, and his determination that he will regain Rosie’s attentions. I think he needs to give himself a deadline if he’s not to end up a disappointed old man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All I can say is they can all be thankful they live in a country where paint ball guns are the most dangerous weapons a primary school kid could get his hands on! I was quite expecting another outcome there!

    Liked by 1 person

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