I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing here, but this is the first draft of the the first part of a possible book I have been considering for a long, long time. Curious to see the reaction 😉

Bradford: Spring 1976

He wondered if he should retire and then smiled to himself, would it be classed as retirement he thought, when you’ve only been boxing for three years and you’re seventeen years old, but Billy had made a decision to leave and he couldn’t see how boxing would fit into his new life. ‘Move on and leave the baggage behind,’ he thought. That was the way it had always been and not always his choice. A heavily built awkward youth appeared at the door.

‘Hey Billy, great fight, man.’

‘Thanks Stevie,’ he smiled, but it was an outward smile.

‘Second round, POW, he was gone, you really showed them tonight mate. Old man Reece was really pissed off coz you missed all that training, I think he was even more pissed off that you won. Hey, guess what?’

Billy didn’t answer, he shrugged keeping his eyes to the floor.

‘You’ll never guess who’s out there, not in a million years. You could have knocked me over with a feather, honestly.’

Billy looked up, ‘Sheila?’

‘Yeah, how’d you know that? She said she’d never ever and I mean never, come.’

‘She came to say goodbye, Stevie, that’s all mate, just came to say goodbye.’

‘Why? Where’s she going?

‘Nowhere, it’s me that’s going.’

‘Noooo, where you going? I mean you can’t, I mean where can you go? What about me? Anyway you’re too young. You really going Billy? When?’ Stevie was upset and confused, Billy had always been there for him he couldn’t comprehend life without Billy, then someone nudged him out of the doorway.

‘Tonight, apparently, hey Billy?’ Sheila stood just inside the doorway, looking and acting way beyond her sixteen years, she was a good actress.

Stevie was still confused, he was confused on a good day and this was far from a good day.

Billy was fed up of life on a council estate. He hated the insular, monotony and most of all he hated the complete acceptance of it all by everyone. The attitude that this was as good as it gets, be thankful for what you have; all that bullshit it wasn’t for him. But he loved the two people before him and this was going to be hard.

Sheila was angry, the last place she wanted to be was the boxing club with its dim lighting and stench of sweat and deep heat. But the one person she could really trust had told her he was about to leave, for good and so here she was.

‘I need to speak to Billy alone, please Stevie,’ she said.

Billy nodded towards the door and Stevie ambled out.

Sheila folded her arms. ‘So, love me forever huh? What exactly does that mean in Billy language? Hey, Billy what does that mean in your head? Love me for sixteen years and then leave forever?’ Is that it?’

Her voice was trembling and Billy thought that maybe she was going to cry. ‘I’ll always love you Shei, we were born on the…’

‘Same night,’ Sheila interrupted. ‘ In the same hospital, we were meant to be together for all time. You and me against the rest of the world. I know that speech off by heart Billy I don’t need to hear it again. When did you first tell me that Bill? I’ll tell you when. It was on my fifth birthday Billy and you’ve been telling me it ever since. You know what really hurts though? It’s the fact that you have never considered that I might come with you. Is that because you know I would? Is that why you kept this a secret until the last minute? Because I would you know, I would follow you anywhere Billy. So all I need to know is if you are leaving tonight; without me?’

‘Yes,’ he said knowing the consequences.

Sheila turned and ran and Billy didn’t run after her.

Stevie appeared at the door. ‘She seems upset, you really going?’

Billy looked up at his friend, ‘ Look after her as best you can, yeah?’

‘Don’t go Bill,’ Stevie was pleading now.

‘Go after her now Stevie, and look out for her. I’ll see you around.’

‘Yeah but this is stupid, where you going to go?

‘Go now! Stevie before she runs into a car or something!’

Stevie was gone, he knew from past experience when Billy shouted there was no point in arguing, that time had gone.




About charliecountryboy

Part-time Carpentry Assessor. writer, runner, guitarist. Curious about life and all those wonderful people in it.
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13 Responses to Billy

  1. Ha I’ve written four different beginnings I like this one the best but still needs work along with the rest. Hope the Marathon is a success this year. Enjoyed your post.


  2. Carolyn Page says:

    I enjoyed the pace.! Nothing worse than a book that takes a few chapters to get going…
    I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series. J K Rowling sure has ‘pace’ and great characters working to keep the reader’s interest.


  3. Mom says:

    Mom’s here throwing in here 2 cents…I love that the relationship between the two is slowly revealed. It does move along well, but not so quickly that there isn’t tension–well done! I would give some weak hints to Steve and his age–after his fight he is feeling older than he should…stuff like that.
    Dialogue is the hardest thing to write in fiction, so putting so much up front is a real risk. When you do your deep edits, I would go In “armed” with a good editing partner or after reading a bunch of good texts on dialogue. That’ll get you more comfortable and you won’t have to stare at the keyboard for hours trying to figure out “he said” in yet another clever way.
    Personally, dialogue is what I dread writing most!
    And last part of the Mom-rant, if you are 100% sure you’re self publishing this, leave the sample up and don’t worry about it. If you want to shop it around for agents/ aquisition editors when you’ve finished, take this down, and be sure to edit the hell out of all the sentence structure etc so the two will not closely resemble each other. Most publishers will consider a work already published even when the author puts a snippet up on their own blog just to get a feel for reaction. Which really doesn’t seem fair, but it’s the way it works.
    Also side note…in the US having Shelia and Steve age up one year to 17 would be more palatable, 18 is the age of consent (generally speaking) and when a parent generally no longer has any say in one’s comings and goings
    Two 16 year olds taking off here would be cause for a police report for runaway children.
    So glad you’re back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much all that is very helpful, as it is only a snippet I will probably take it down. I do need to research more modern ways of the ‘he said’ scenario, as you say. Thanks again

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mom says:

        That’s honestly–along with consistent verb tenses–my biggest struggle. There are ways around it though, and once you get the hang of it there’s nothing standing between you and telling your story to your reader 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d read a novel that began like that mate, not a criticism just a personal preference, I like a bit of scene setting. He’s 17 living on an estate he wants to escape, frayed carpet, dogs barking, too loud music playing. coffee cup stained table tops, I’m already wondering where he’s escaping to ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, it’s all changed now though ha. Same kid, same estate but he’s making something of himself with an Asian girlfriend and all the stuff that goes with it. Set in 1974 Bradford, not autobiographical at all 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How did this turn out, Charlie? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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