The Dark Park – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Present Day – Two months after grand opening

“All right, everyone, settle down!” The police chief lowered the bullhorn, shaking his head, his disgust quite evident after witnessing the aftermath of the fighting and the brutal assaults that had just transpired. A bloodied mob of pre-teens and teenagers surrounded by a substantial litter of beer cans and trash stood before him. The police had handcuffed a few, but most were not. The kids got quieter as their fear of what would happen next increased. They mostly hung their heads in shame; some of them were even crying.

“For those of you not handcuffed, your parents have been contacted, and they are on their way to retrieve you. You should be ashamed of yourselves. We may need to follow up with you later about what happened here tonight. Troopers, please take the handcuffed kids to the station for booking – public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minors in possession of alcohol. And for those found with firearms or knives, log them and tack on a weapons charge too. Then contact their parents.”

Police Chief Adams had a formidable reputation. He didn’t put up with shenanigans very lightly, and he was tough on kids who acted out of line. There was only a small police presence in Cherrywood, but they were vigilant in keeping their town a safe and orderly place. Tonight’s events were not something that Cherrywood was accustomed to experiencing. But no matter, Police Chief Adams got it under control. Much like this land’s predecessors, the community was tight-knit and adhered to many social standards, kids behaving themselves being one of them.

“Stephens, if any of them look to be injured severely, tell the parents they should take them to the ER first. And check on those in our custody. I don’t want some kid to die in our holding cells. Got it?” Adams looked Stephens sharply in the eye to make sure he understood.

“Yes, sir.” He walked towards the other police officers to share what Adams had just instructed him regarding any injuries.

One by one, the teenager’s parents picked up their children—the mothers and fathers in shock as well as angry as they ushered them into their vehicles. Many parents could be heard saying, “What were you thinking?”

Yes, Police Chief Adams was asking the same thing. He also wondered what would make the town’s children behave in a way they’d never acted like before. Sure they had a few minor incidents over the years, but that was normal kid’s stuff. Tonight was behavior like something you’d see in big, metropolitan cities where street gangs were the norm. Cherrywood was a quiet community with loving people; this was not normal. He was at a loss to understand how this had all started. But he would get to the bottom of it.


Joe Wells


A man entered the bar,
He appeared to be moving like a sailing boat,
tacking against the wind.
With trouser belt above the waist, he stopped,
swayed back upon his heels,
and taking first position in a dancey sort of way,
he did a little plié.
He ordered a pint of snakebite, a Guinness,
and a crème de menthe,
then having downed the lot he proceeded to sing,
from the La Marseillaise.
Pulling down his trousers, like a man possessed
he waved his bits about,
and bending down to touch his toes he struck a match,
and lit a massive fart.
A blue flame shot all the way across the bar,
causing scorching damage.
The crowd erupted in spontaneous applause,
and cheers of joyous laughter.
Then it seemed almost in the blinking of an eye,
he had disappeared.
The man had left the bar.


Pay attention boy!

I entered a competition to write some prose and duly sent in my entry whereupon I received a reply saying I should have sent three, which reminded me of my school days which were spent mostly looking out of the window daydreaming.

The teacher would gain your attention by throwing a heavy wooden board rubber at your head which would land with a crack and bring a tear to your eye, on reflection I’m amazed more boys didn’t suffer from concussion.

It was the norm in those days for the teachers to have carte blanche to inflict any number of corporal punishments from a slap across the knuckles with a ruler, a whack on the bottom from a size 11 plimsoll to the full-blown six of the best with a bamboo cane.

The strangest thing though was having to say, “thank you Sir” after being beaten. 

Happy days!


It could always be worse!

My life of late has not been great,
I’ve had an awful time.
My wife has left, the kids gone too,
I don’t know what to do.
This tale of woe began a year ago,
when I sadly lost my job.
No money left to pay the bills,
I foolishly turned to crime.
How hard I thought to rob a house,
I’ll try the one next door.
I dressed in black and took a sack,
in which I put the swag.
They say that crime it doesn’t pay
and sadly, they are right.
For now, I’m serving thirteen months,
in a dingy prison cell
I must say life inside is not all bad,
for I’m now a prison wife.
He’s not perhaps my ideal mate,
but in here you don’t say no.
If I behave, I’ll be out soon and
make sure I don’t come back.


Joe Wells is a retired actor, he has a radio play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori produced by the Wireless Theatre Company, a book of plays, one called The Battle of Barking Creek and illustrated children’s books published for sale at Amazon.


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