I took the gong to the witch by the tower that leans. I hope you hear a tone, different.
Biscom – as he was called – was rinsing another biscuit in the kitchen sink. Sometimes he would pinch in the little bag of Ariel that he always kept at the right side of the long necked tap and spray some detergent on his treat as he rinsed it. He liked his biscuits clean.
Just liked he liked his seats. He always kept a white cleaning rag and a big-sized spray bottle of cleaning liquid on his person which he always filled every morning and refilled by noon. This story of seats and biscuits and a cleaning kit would make one think that Biscom was a good case for psychiatric care and really he was; because of a memory.
Biscom was a small fellow and as a child he had been very little. His favourite thing to eat had been biscuits and every day of junior secondary school, he would buy three different brands from the lady who sold snacks on a small table in front of the school gate. Other kids would buy candies, chewing gum, and lollies in addition to biscuits but not tiny Biscom, he knew they were bad for his teeth.
Tiny Biscom only ate his treats during the break time and like his mother had always instructed him every morning before school, he would then proceed to the toilet to brush his teeth. He always had a toothbrush in his school bag which his mother switched for a new one every month, and a foreign brand of toothpaste, usually a version of Colgate that was unavailable in local stores. Needless to say, Tiny Biscom’s toothpaste – and sometimes his toothbrush as well – were stolen from his bag as often as twice a month.
But Tiny Biscom’s biscuits had never been stolen. In fact, tiny Biscom’s mates could only steal from his bag after break time when he’d had his biscuits and more so, tiny Biscom never shared his treats. Tiny Biscom always bought the most expensive brands of biscuit – the ones that contained a lot more than four cookies – unlike most of his peers. As little as he was, he would eat up as many as thirty six cookies all by himself. His colleagues soon learnt not to bother him but sometimes they would try again, hoping he would have had a change of heart. As an adult, Biscom still wouldn’t share his biscuits.
After two junior years, tiny Biscom was intensely disliked by all his colleagues. He had no friends and he acted like he needed none. To his credit, he was also an above average student, however, he never helped out the competition both legally and illegally. In cases where the class teamed up, for example, when the first algebra homework had been insanely difficult, the situation still had been class minus Biscom. There was also a certain camaraderie in tiny Biscom’s class as is in every other gathering of boisterous youngsters where the group is willing to suffer for the sins of one. Tiny Biscom wouldn’t partake in any such comradeship and as a result, erring classmates were promptly identified and dealt with.
Fortunately for tiny Biscom, he was loved by all the educators, probably because he was hated by all his colleagues and one rarely takes a liking from both quarters at the same time. This affection that tiny Biscom enjoyed from the staff quarters was an insurance of sorts but where intense hate is concerned, fear is powerless. Tiny Biscom, in all his self-righteousness had raised the passions raging against him to a red line when he began to take initiative against his classmates on his own. Tiny Biscom discreetly began to write the sins of his fellows down in a little black book and make a submission at the end of each day.
For a while, Biscom’s classmates wondered how their private transgressions had been finding its way to the desk of the school principal and they began to suspect each other. Although the tiny man was the prime suspect, they could never really be sure until one day when one of the girls thought to steal some fancy toothpaste and discovered a little diary. Because girls love secrets, she’d proceeded to steal the diary as well and that was when things really began to look bad for the little man.
Although tiny Biscom didn’t record the transgressions of his colleagues for another week and a half after the theft, partly because he was saving to purchase another perfect little dirt book and partly because his classmates took extra care not to discuss anything around him, he would never be forgiven. The entire class of young boys and girls wanted nothing as badly as they wanted to bring the little man to grievous harm.
Dele, who was as big as his teachers and was only two years younger than the oldest senior student was also a member of tiny Biscom’s class. The sixteen year old was naturally the king of the twelve and thirteen year olds especially in the domain of misdemeanours. Consequently, tiny Biscom’s righteousness had been mostly Dele’s Pain. For a while, Dele had only suffered the usual punishments because Dele had only been up to the usual offences but Dele had decided to improve on his vices and he’d smuggled a pack of cigarettes to class within that period. A cleaner had seen the stubs and informed the authorities but despite several threats, the class had maintained solidarity. That is until tiny Biscom overheard, catalogued and reported the indiscretion, with a roll call of participants.
Dele and his inner circle had been punished in a school assembly and suspended from school for three days. The team of offenders hadn’t minded the extra notoriety they had gained from being caned publicly especially because they had handled themselves well but once their parents and guardians were involved, things took a turn for terrible. Dele’s uncle, who was also a military officer confined him to Hades three days and threw the key away. There is a law in the United States preventing captured terrorists from seeing the kind of wickedness that Dele saw. When Dele returned to school, he was properly broken, sober and seething. He took his revenge that same day.
Ten minutes to the end of break time, tiny Biscom had excused himself from the class and proceeded to observe his mouth cleaning rites in an empty boys’ room when he Dele joined him with a pack of biscuits, a butter knife and a meat cleaver. The big fellow had locked the door to the dirty toilet room behind him immediately.
When tiny Biscom was eventually discovered, he was sitting naked and bleeding from wide stripes running randomly from his forehead to the bottom of his left foot. His throne was a toilet bowl that was half empty or half full, depending on how you see it. There was an empty pack of biscuits beside him; it had once contained twelve cookies.
His mouth was closed but the stained butter knife that was held firmly in his hand suggested that he’d been having an unthinkable kind of sandwich all under severe duress, of course.