sheep and fire

by Doug Clow
November 1997
"Now, Jim, I think it would help a lot if you told me exactly what
happened.  Don't you?"

maybe i dunno
i dont want to

"Come on, Jim.  You can trust me."

i dunno
i i i

"Why don't you tell me what happened?"

oh i dunno oh alright i dunno its difficult where do i start
i dunno

"Why not start at the beginning?  Who was there, and what happened?"

well theres me
an costick and eric
i dont like eric
an theres john an dave an an an
i think thats it
yeah
thats it

"Good, Jim.  There was you and those four.   Now, what did you do?"

well we all hang around together
you know
an do stuff
we get into trouble all the time
but were only having a laugh
you know
we hang around
yeah
mostly in mr kelmans cupboard under the stairs
mr kelmans ok
hes the caretaker you know
but he doesnt like us
he calls us the sheep
he says we always do whatever costick says
he says were sheep
your all sheep
thats what he says
cos if costick told us to jump off a cliff would we do it
but we never jump off a cliff
cept that time when we jump over the river down the woods
that was really good
an dave doesnt want to jump hes scared hes a wuss
an then he falls in
an then hes all muddy in class
an mr plumb tells him off for dripping in his classroom
mr plumbs funny

"You were saying about Mr Kelman's cupboard ..."

oh yeah mr kelman
he says were sheep
he doesnt really like us but we hang around in his cupboard
an we smoke an we have a laugh an all that
an we hang around in the projection room in the hall
yeah
we hang around in the projection room in the hall
its a really good room its full of all this old gear an stuff
you go up all the steps to the hall balcony an then up more steps
an we hang around an look out of the small windows
into the hall
an smoke and hang around

an they pick on me an i hate it
an they pick on me an pick on me an pick on me
an hit me
they hit me an they hit me
they always hit me
an all of a sudden ive had enough

i wait until they stop
i go out of the projection room
an i shut the door
i shut them in
they cant get out
they cant get me
i shut them in
an lock the door
big padlock big as my fist
an they all shout an hammer on the door
an i say nothing
an they shout
an i say nothing

an costick says you better bloody open the door jimmy you bastard you
better open this fucking door jimmy jimmy
an i say nothing
mr kelman says were all sheep
but im not a sheep
i dont do what costick says
he says fucking let me out jimmy
i say nothing an i dont let him out
theyre all sheep
im not a sheep
the sheep are all in the projection room
im outside an i dont let the sheep out

an john hammers on the door hes losing it
i dont like john
he hits me
my mouth really hurts because i have to wear this stupid brace which hurts
an john takes the piss and i shout at him because my mouth hurts
an john loses it an hits me right in the mouth
this stupid braces cut my lips where john hits me
i bleed all over the floor
an in my mouth its all salty
god it hurts
an john is in the projection room an i dont let him out

an eric kicks the door
eric punches me an kicks me on the ground
an he pulls me up an tears my jumper
an my mum goes ballistic its your only jumper oh jimmy how could you
how could you you know weve no money
youre just as bad as your dad you know that
youre a waster a total waster you hear me
useless bloody child
eric winds me up an eric tells lies an he does stuff an says i did it
an i get in trouble an i say hes lying an i get in more trouble
an eric is in the room an i dont let him out

an dave whimpers
hes a bloody wimp hes always whinging
hes ok i suppose
he gets me in trouble cos he cant run fast
he says no wait an then i get caught
he cant run
i dont let him out either


theyre all in the room an im not in the room an i think about them
theyre sheep theyre bloody sheep the lot of them but im not a sheep
an john hits me in the mouth
an eric kicks me
an i have had enough

i sit outside the projection room for a long long time
an costick
an eric
an john
an dave
are inside
an its locked
an i look at the big padlock
an the door rattles but its shut its a very strong door actually

an i get a fag out an i get my lighter out
i like my lighter its a present from my dad its a zippo lighter eric
says its not a real zippo but it is
an i light my lighter
its on fire
i look at the fire
an i dont light my fag
i sit an i think
an i look at the fire
an i look at the door
i light my fag an i smoke my fag an i think


an i get up an go to mr kelmans cupboard an i get the can of petrol for
the lawnmower dont you go messing about with that its dangerous
its heavy its a big can 
i take the can to the projection room
i go back to mr kelmans cupboard an i get the funnel for pouring the
petrol

i pour petrol under the door an costick an john an eric an dave shout at
me fucking let us out jimmy an eric says fucking hell its petrol an it
comes out from under the door an its all over the floor i pour it on the
door an on the walls an they say fucking hell for chrissakes let us out
jesus jimmy an i dont let them out an i lie the can on its side an i go
to the steps im so excited i take out my lighter an i look at my lighter
its my zippo an costick an john an eric an dave are in there an i look
at the petrol on the floor an i look at my lighter an i dont let them
out they bang on the door jimmy jimmy jimmy jimmy jimmy an i light my
lighter jimmy jimmy jimmy jimmy an i look at my zippo flame jimmy jimmy
jimmy an i look at the door jimmy jimmy an i dont let them out jimmy an
i light the petrol an god its hot its on fire!

i run an run an run down the steps i just go go go
an out the door an on the grass
i stop i cant breathe im done for im screaming its dark
i fall on the grass
its cold an wet its dark
my face is all hot an my arm is all hot an god it hurts
i fall on the grass its cold on my face my face is hot my arm is hot
its all dark
its very dark

an then its crackling
its crackling an popping
an i get up
an its dim an red an orange an yellow its glowing
an go to it an its all hot an
god my face hurts
i look at it an its just red an orange an yellow an its hot
an i look at my feet an its just black
an i look at my hands an its just black
an i look everywhere
an its just black
except the fire the fire the fire the fire is orange and god its hot
im screaming again
christ i cant see
i cant see
i go around i go but i fall over an it hurts an i cant see an its all on
fire an im on fire an i cant see an an an an it goes on for ever an im
staggering

an then theres sirens an theres fire engines an theres people an someone
says jesus get an ambulance theres a kid here hes burned
an i try to go to them
but its all hot an god it hurts an its all crackling an crackling
an then its very dark again

i i i
i dunno
its a good fire
a good fire
yeah
i never seen them again ha ha

"Thank you for telling me all that, Jimmy.  Why wouldn't you say about
this before?"

i dunno
i errr
god its hot
my face is all hot
its all orange
i dunno

"It was a long time ago, wasn't it?"

i dunno
a bit

"Jimmy.   It was more than ... twenty years ago.  I think I'll just ...
I ... "

your crying i can tell
your sniffling
i can feel your cheeks theyre all wet

you wuss

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