First off the bus were Jollimore and the driver, Jollimore standing at the entrance. The door open, the students dashed energetically outside into the parking lot, making many shoeprints in the sand, still gabbling away. “Kids, stay still,” ordered Jollimore, gently putting his open palms out to the students. “Move along, I’m coming off,” said Dartmouth apathetically, beginning to disembark the bus. However, the edge of his shoe got caught on the last step, and he tripped over, crashing face-down onto the sand. The students pointed and laughed out loud at Dartmouth while he picked himself back up, growling as he briskly shook all the sand off his suit and face. “Gah, we’ve barely just arrived and already I’m sanded…” he moaned to himself, dusting off the excess sand.
Jollimore helped Dartmouth brush off a little more sand from his body using both his hands. “Stand in line, we need to see if you’re all here with us,” he told the students. The driver fetched his clipboard from inside the bus and started on another student roll-call. “I’m here for sure!” each student called back in reply to their name, obviously eager to step onto the beach. “I can see the impatience on your faces,” Dartmouth remarked, staunchly folding his arms. “Well, they just want to be in the sea, don’t they?” beamed Jollimore, nodding.
When the driver called out the last name on the roll-call, the mentioned student gave a whoop of excitement, and he hurtled headlong across the parking lot towards the beach. “Hey, hey!” snapped Dartmouth, and all the other students soon began charging after him, their feet noisily thumping the sandy ground like oversized drums, kicking some sand up in their wake. “Sea, here we come!” laughed Jollimore, spreading his arms out wide, and Dartmouth angrily forced himself into dashing along to the beach with him, trying to resist the momentum he was gaining. “Stupid kids! They never wait for anything!” he shouted with rage, his fists swinging up and down while he ran. “But that’s how they are – kids aren’t born with patience!” chuckled Jollimore, which only aggravated Dartmouth more.
Dartmouth and Jollimore reached the shore, the fresh, salty sea breeze whipping their hair up against their faces. “Ugh, all the kids’ things are still on the bus,” Dartmouth realized, slumping his arms down. “Not to worry, the driver’ll bring them over,” assured Jollimore, glancing behind himself to see the driver opening the bus’ luggage compartment. He calmly linked his arms together, enjoying the vast view of the shining sea, while Dartmouth firmly folded his arms, quietly grumbling to himself in angry contemplation.
A beach truck dragged up along the lane leading onto the shore. In the back compartment, it was carrying all the students’ beach gear, including their swimsuits and towels. Dartmouth and Jollimore heard the truck making landing on the sand, its tyres giving off the soft, rustling sound of flour being sifted through a sieve. The students’ chattering resumed, and they made a beeline for the truck, trying to climb into the back to retrieve their sport bags. “Hey! You damn kids! Don’t climb onto the truck!” Dartmouth barked at the rummaging students, dashing up to the truck to try to push them off, but he got trodden on roughly as they burst through the wide-open gates. “Ouch! Argh! No!” he clamoured in pain with each trampling foot. “Kids, kids,” Jollimore tried to calm them, curling his arms around one trying to climb up the right-hand side wall. The truck driver could see – and hear – all the ruckus in the rear-view mirrors, and the unusual sight of frisky secondary-school students in the back compartment somewhat perplexed him.
Having grabbed each sport bag that was rightfully theirs, the students pulled the drawstrings and lugged out their swimsuits and towels, turning even more impatient to go down to the sea. “Not out in the open!” Dartmouth retorted while they were disrobing themselves of their school uniforms and black trainers. “In the huts over there,” Jollimore indicated a row of rainbow-hued beach huts spread along the entire length of the shore. The students rushed over to a hut each in their white collared shirts and underwear, slightly embarrassing Dartmouth, shaking his head a little in his hand.
“And here’s mine and yours,” said Jollimore, picking out a pair of black and beige sport bags. “…You just so happened to have my things?” asked Dartmouth, seeming a bit stunned. “Well, I’m always more prepared than you are,” Jollimore smiled in reply, and Dartmouth moaned jadedly. “That’s why I came in my suit this morning, because I didn’t know we were going on this stupid day-trip!” he fumed, glaring down at himself and kicking a little sand up. Snatching his sport bag off Jollimore, Dartmouth stormed off towards a yellow beach hut, slamming and bolting the door shut. “Wow, he’s mad,” said Jollimore, taken somewhat aback by Dartmouth’s brusqueness. He strolled up to an orange beach hut, his sport bag in hand.
Inside his hut, Dartmouth tried hard to make himself comfortable in the tightly-packed space, bringing his knees up to his chin while he sat down on the bench. His right foot suddenly struck out, and he banged his forehead on his knee. “Ah, great!” he exclaimed sarcastically, rubbing the throb. “There just isn’t enough space inside this place.” A student in the hut directly next to his hooted with laughter at his slightly unintentional rhyming. “Ugh, they can hear me…” Dartmouth groaned to himself, shaking his head a little again, and he fetched his swim trunks from his sport bag. He unbuttoned the front of his jacket and undershirt, loosening his tie and tugging it off his neck. He started pulling his trousers down when he realized he still had his shoes on. Sighing, Dartmouth bent down to untie his shoelaces, and his trousers dropped all the way down to his ankles. He exhaled rather crossly, untying his shoelaces and kicking his shoes off both his feet, hitting the door. He hauled his hanging trousers off his ankles.
Jollimore, having just gotten changed into his black swim trunks, stepped out of his hut, closing the door behind himself. He scanned about the beach, seeing some of the students also already in their swimsuits. “Guess I’m all ready to hit the ocean, then,” he smiled, glancing down at himself.
Just then, Jollimore heard a door creak open, and Dartmouth emerged from inside his hut in his beige swim trunks, stomping out onto the sand. Thanks to him now being almost completely bare, the true effects of being constantly mishandled and injured by the students were fully revealed; his body was stippled with deep red scars, small jagged bullet wounds, and cuts, grazes and gashes of varying severity. The students caught sight of Dartmouth striding down the beach, and on noticing all the blemishes, they began to laugh out so loudly that it caused a riotous uproar. Dartmouth, hearing their guffawing, whipped around out of provocation. “Don’t make fun of my body! I’m already very insecure about myself, and you stupid kids are only rubbing the salt further into my wounds!” he roared at the students, but his somewhat uncalled-for pun only made them laugh even more uproariously. “Been on the beach for only a few minutes so far and already I’m attracting hate for my looks,” Dartmouth griped to himself, stomping further down the beach.
Jollimore sprinted after Dartmouth, catching up to him a few metres away from the sea. “Ah, Dartmouth!” he beamed brightly, jumping onto Dartmouth’s back and curling his hands around his neck. “Got ya just in time!” “Argh, Jollimore…” snapped Dartmouth, pulling Jollimore’s hands off him. “I feel insulted. It’s a cloud which’ll hang over me for as long as this dumb day-trip trails on for.”
Jollimore glimpsed up at the brilliant blue sky. “I don’t see any clouds in the sky,” he remarked. “Just sun, sea and sand all around! Come on, Dartmouth, life’s too short to always be complaining.” “Life’s too hard to always be smiling,” moaned Dartmouth. “My life’s hard enough already.”
Dartmouth suddenly felt Jollimore grab onto his hand, and he was dragged through sand as Jollimore dashed down the shore and into the sea, partially submerging him in the briny seawater. Jollimore ducked down underwater for a short moment to soak his whole body, while Dartmouth angrily fumbled about beneath the water, waving his arms and legs wildly.
Dartmouth and Jollimore both ducked back out of the sea, Jollimore whooping with relish and Dartmouth growling with indignation, shaking his dripping self off. “Garrgh, Jollimore! You’ve gotten me all wet!” Dartmouth shouted at Jollimore, thumping the water repeatedly with his fists in concentrated bomb-like splashes. “Well, in the sea, you’re supposed to get wet!” laughed Jollimore, scooping up some water and throwing it over himself. “And I’m only making myself even wetter!” Dartmouth retorted, folding his arms, tiny waves lapping up against him every second.
Catching sight of their teachers dipping down in the sea, the students gave a roaring, resounding cheer and began stampeding all the way down the shore, their feet drumming the sand. “Oh, great, now all our students are gonna make a splash too,” groaned Dartmouth, slumping his arms down. “It’s their fun day too, not just ours,” Jollimore reminded him, smiling.
When they reached the sea-drenched periphery of the beach, the students let out massive elated hollers as they launched themselves forwards and creating huge splashes, which hit both Dartmouth and Jollimore. “Whoo! Ha ha!” Jollimore laughed again, trying to dodge the ripples. “Told you so!” Dartmouth snapped at Jollimore, aggressively pushing out his own waves, but Jollimore cleverly ducked down underwater to avoid them, irking Dartmouth further. Arising to the surface from under the sea, the students began blissfully splashing around, with some riding on inflatable beds and others paddling in tubes.