PS This one's for you Kyle :)
"Ah man, the whole school's here!"
Johnno put his hand on Angus's shoulder. "They all want to see you beat Meatball."
"They all want to see me get killed," Angus said as he trudged towards the oval.
The crowd parted to let Angus and Johnno through, and then closed around them. There was no escape. Angus looked around, hoping to see Charlie, but there was still no sign of him. He couldn't see Shelby either, but he didn't expect to after she told him exactly what she thought of fighting.
Just as Angus's heart had stopped fluttering, Meatball appeared, cracking his knuckles and sneering.
"You're dead," he said.
Angus looked over at Johnno. "Where's Charlie?" Johnno shrugged.
"Come on pip-squeak. What are ya waiting for?" Meatball began to circle around. Angus moved away. There was no way he could even think about throwing a punch until Charlie got there to hypnotise him.
The crowd was quiet, waiting to see who would crack first.
"You're nothin' but a little sissy." Meatball took a step forward. Angus tried backing away but he met a wall of people.
"Angus!" It was Shelby. "Angus! Don't do this!"
"Go away, Shelby."
"Yeah, go away Shelby," Meatball mocked in a high-pitched voice.
"Shut up, Meatball," she replied.
"Are you gonna make me?"
"Leave her alone, Meatball." Angus felt a little braver now that Shelby was there.
"Angus, please don't do this," Shelby pleaded.
"Your girlfriend's gonna cop it as soon as I finish with you, wuss." Meatball poked his finger into Angus's chest.
Angus stood his ground.
"Come on. Hit me." Meatball teased.
Come on Charlie, where are you? Angus thought. All of a sudden, Charlie came bolting across the field yelling. "Angus! You can't do it!"
"Just say it Charlie!" Angus yelled.
Charlie pushed through the crowd and pulled Angus aside. "You can't do it. You're not hypnotised."
"I know. You haven't said the words yet." Angus said.
"No, you don't get it. You're NOT hypnotised!" Charlie said again.
"Don't listen to him Angus." Johnno said. He turned to Charlie. "Just say it."
Charlie pushed Johnno away. "I can't hypnotise you, Angus. I never could."
But Angus wouldn't believe him. He turned back to face Meatball. "Say it, Charlie."
"Just say it!" Angus's face was bright red. He was breathing heavily, and sweat started to bead down his forehead. He had clenched his fist, ready for impact.
Charlie sighed. "Turdburger," he said. Just as the words came out of his mouth, someone shouted "Ainsleigh William Murphy!"
Meatball's mother was striding across the oval with Mr Smith, and it was enough to throw Meatball off. At that exact moment, Angus drew back his arm and let fly. He felt his fist sink into the soft spongy folds of Meatball's belly. He drew his arm back, surprised and elated. He had hit Meatball Murphy! He turned to his friends, who threw their fists into the air in celebration.
He turned back to Meatball, and the last thing he saw was Meatball's fist coming towards his nose.