The troops were no longer fourteen years old. They no longer went out at nights looking for a chase from poor unexpected locals – it is amazing what four years can do.

Instead, they found satisfaction in getting black-out drunk, courting the cute girls their age, and generally just having a good laugh at the weekends.

It was four years ago that Harry told the story of Stumpy up Lanfine on one of their nights of mischief, and the troops have never let that night stop their pubescent growth, because Stumpy to them was just a made up ghost story.

The schools were closed for the summer holidays. The troops had six weeks of entertaining themselves while their parents were at work. The activities involved were – in no particular order;

  • abusing adult content online
  • emptying the fridge of food
  • sorting out booze for the weekends
  • rinse and repeat

“Talkin’ aboot weekends, we still gawn campin’ up Lanfine on Saturday?”, asks Craigy as he kicks the battered Adidas Tango off an old factory wall.

“Aye mate, I’m well up for it by the way. I’ve messaged boys fae ma fitba team who are comin’ fae Killie, and guess wit? They’re bringin’ birds!”, says Paddy.

“Oh ya dancer! Are they lassies taken or we free to chance our luck?”, asks Harry.

“I’m no right sure to be honest but I could do some diggin’ on Bebo and find oot. At least it won’t be a total sausage fest”, replies Paddy.

“Class man, I’m gawny hawf-inch my dad’s gid Trespass 6-man tent”, says J.

“Bags me sharing it wae ye, I’ve no got a tent”, says Ryan.

“Aye nae danger mate, bring yer own sleepin’ bag though, I’m no sharin’ mine wae you, you’ve a habbit of pishin’ the bed”, says J laughing and all the troops start laughing with him, even Ryan.

“Lets hope the weather stays dry for the weekend then, or else it will be a total fuckin’ disaster”, says Lewis.

The troops continue to play with the football for the rest of the day before heading home to be watered and fed.

It pished down with rain all week, until Friday. The troops got their wish, the weather was to be a scorcher all weekend.

The troops were all on their Xbox on Friday night playing FIFA, Call of Duty and Harry was playing Lego Star Wars, but they were all in a party chat together.

“Everyone got their cargo sorted for the mora?”, asks Harry.

A resounding “aye” was sung back to Harry, this wasn’t the troops first rodeo.

“Class”, says Harry, “What time we headin’ up Lanfine then to get the tents n that sorted?”, he asked.

“I reckon we should head up at the crack of farts to get the tents n that put up, then head back down the road for bags of grub and our cargos, whit dae yous hink?”, asks Lewis.

“Sounds good tae me man, it’s a taps aff Saturday accordin’ to Sean Batty”, says J.

“Did Batty forecast precipitation of the female species on Saturday?”, answers Harry.

“Where did you learn that word Harry son?”, asks Ryan.

They all laugh together on the party chat – they talk a good game, but their chances are slim to fuck all.

All the troops managed to convince their parents they were camping out in the field behind Ryan’s house, and the stupid bastards believed them, either that, or they just didn’t give a fuck.

They were all up early and buzzing to setup the campsite. The sun was beating down from first crack, they could not have asked for a better day.

It took them an hour to make their way to the chosen campsite. It was out of sight of anyone, there was no chance they would be caught.

They all helped pitching the tents – it was agreed that the less time wasted, the more time drinking. They decided to gather wood for a fire and piled it as best they could in the centre of the camp site.

“We’ll need paper to help start this fire, not one of us was in the scouts”, declares Ryan.

“I’ll bring paper, my maws recycling bin is rammed”, says Paddy.

“That’ll no be the only hing of yer maw’s that’ll be rammed”, says Craigy as he crouches down gyrating.

“Aye very good rusty baws”, says Paddy.

Craigy was a ginger, so he occasionally got the abuse that comes with the burden; rusty baws, fanta pubes, you’ve nae soul and so on.

The troops all headed back home to get a good feed and pack their essentials for a night of drinking and general carnage.

Paddy met up with his football mates and their lady friends, while the rest of the troops headed to camp to get started on the booze.

“Mate how good a country would Scotland be if ye could guarantee this weather every summer?”, pondered Harry.

“I know mate, then I wouldny have to go to Spain next week wae the family, could just stay here and get rat-arsed wae yous”, said Craigy.

“Scotland has another downfall, and it’s no the English on our doorstep”, said Lewis, and all the boys leaned in, “midgies, they are the worst thing to happen to Scotland since Thatcher”, said Lewis.

“I agree wae yer midgies comment, but can ye please keep yer politics tae yersel Tony Blair”, said Ryan.

J walked over to his tent to grab a fresh can of beer from inside his tent. J opened his tent and turned around to the troops,

“Who brought the paper?”, asked J.

Everyone denied bringing paper to the campsite, that responsibility was left with Paddy, who had not arrived yet.

“Boys, don’t mess wae me, who brought it?”, J asked again, looking a bit edgy.

“Honestly mate, what ye talkin’ aboot? Paddy is bringin’ the paper mind?”, said Craigy.

“Well why the fuck is there paper in my tent?”, says J, and he shows the boys his tent full to the brim of paper.

The pile of paper consisted of old newspapers, bills from Scottish Power and handwritten letters.

“Lads, don’t fuckin’ bullshit me, who done this?”, J was working himself into a panic.

“Wizny us mate, you seen what we brought up wae us”, said Harry.

“Fuck this man, am away hame, you bastards are at it”, said J before grabbing his bag and walking home in a panic.

“The fucks his problem?”, asked Ryan.

“Who knows mate, leave him tae it, he’ll likely re-appear later”, says Harry.

Evening came and the campsite was bouncing. Boys and lassies singing, dancing, and talking pure shite.

The sun was going down and the moon started to make an appearance.

The fire got started with all the paper Paddy brought and the sticks and branches that were collected earlier were burning away nicely.

“Oh man, I’m bursting for a shite”, says Craigy to Harry.

“On ye go then, I’ll hold your can”, says Harry.

Craigy made his way out of sight of the campsite and into the trees. Pulled his shorts down and squatted and done his business.

“Oh fuck, what do I wipe wae?”, he asked himself.

A piece of paper blew in his direction – what a coincidence – and he used the piece of paper to clean himself up. He pulled his shorts up and started to make his way towards the campsite, when he heard tree branches snapping.

“Who’s there? Any one there?”, he asked the darkness.

More snapping noises came from his left not too far away.

“Right cunt stop windin’ me up, who is it?”, he asked again.

The snapping noises came towards him at a rapid pace now and before he had the chance to scream or run, something latched onto his neck and ripped his throat out. Craigy dropped to the ground grabbing at his throat, choking on his blood, helpless.

The strange figure vanished into the trees and out of sight.

“Craigy? You still shitin’?”, asked Harry into the trees.

Harry walked to the edge of the trees where he last saw Craigy, and edged his head into the darkness, “Craigy?”, he shouted again.

Tree branches were snapping again, but Harry couldn’t quite place it. He stepped into the woods a little to dampen the sounds of Darren Styles behind him, “Craigy, stop fuckin’ aboot!”, he shouted.

“Your friend can’t hear you”, came a rusty voice.

“Whit? Craigy stop bammin’ me up”, says Harry.

A tree branch fell in front of Harry and he looked up. His eyes wide with disbelief and the name barely left his mouth, “Stumpy”, and the body landed on top of him tearing Harry’s throat out with his teeth.

Stumpy slaughtered the full campsite that night, all except for Ryan, who managed to outrun Stumpy while he was tearing at his friend’s throats.

Ryan ran for his life until he reached the streetlights outside Lanfine Estate, and Stumpy stopped dead at the edge where the shadow met the streetlight.

Ryan was not sure why Stumpy would not step out of Lanfine, and he didn’t bother to wait and find out. He kept running up the street clutching a piece of paper in his hand.

He made it to J’s house, it was too early in the morning to knock on the front door, so he threw stones at J’s bedroom window.

A head popped out between the closed curtains and J opened the window.

“Ryan, whit the fuck ye dain?”, asked J.

“Listen mate, listen, Stumpy is real, he’s fuckin’ murdered everybody, he’s fuckin’ real”, Ryan said in a hushed voice while the snot and tears ran down his face.

“Fuck off, ave no got time for this shite”, said J.

“J, I’m no kidden, I’ve found this letter, and everyone is deed! Let me in please, please let me in”, Ryan begged.

J made his way to the front door and Ryan through his arms around him in tears.

“Right batty boy, keep the noise doon, my mum n dad are in their bed”, said J.

“Look mate, I swear on my mum n dad’s life, Stumpy killed everyone. Look at this letter I found. The campsite was covered in letters and I found this one at my feet before I made a bee-line here”, Ryan handed J the letter.

J read through the letter and stood puzzled.

“Stumpy wisny writin’ tae his wife, he was writin’ tae Santa”, said J.

The boys both stood at the front door puzzled. It turns out Stumpy was dyslexic, an evil wee dyslexic fuck.