I wanted to do something with voice this week after reading some ace pieces by fellow Friday Flash Fictioneers Shaun C Green and Paul Raven at the same time as reading some very cool stuff by Ramsey Campbell, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke. As with all these things the results are not quite what I would have liked but I hope enough to entertain for a short while and perhaps raise a wry smile in places.
When I was bad
By Neil Beynon
On Saturday I went to the end of the garden because my mum was baking and she said that I was in the way and she didn’t want to listen to any of my nonsense and I should go play on my own or go and bother the fairies cuss I was away with them half the time anyway. I wanted to go call for Jess but I wasn’t allowed to as I’m not allowed to go further than the end of the road and mum was baking and Dad was on deadline, Dad is grumpy when he is on deadline and you have to go really quietly like this.
The sun was very high in the sky when I went into the garden and I didn’t have a hat on but I didn’t burn because my mum says I have olive skin but olives are green and my skin is goldeny brown. I forgot my shoes but I like the grass tickling my feet and making mud prints on the kitchen floor and this one time my Dad took me to the beach and he showed me the mud prints of people who’d lived like a gazillion years ago. It was cool.
My Grannie made a rock garden at the bottom of the garden and it is my favourite place and where I go when I want to be alone and when I want to talk to my Grannie who was a witch. Not a bad witch but a witch who helps people and she could make anything grow whatever it was and then she got sick and died but we still got all the veggies she planted every year. I miss her.
I like animals because they are cute and they like to play with me but I never seen any down by the rock garden since Grannie died not even cats and Grannie had like twenty cats. Some were black and some were white and some were ginger and the ginger ones were my favourite because they reminded me of Garfield because they were fat and ginger. Also Dad is fat and ginger.
I hate Dad.
Anyway I saw the boy and I was afraid because I didn’t know him and my mum said not to talk to strangers and Grannie said not to let anyone in the rock garden that wasn’t family in case it got back to Services and we all got taken away. The boy said hullo and I said nothing but I thought he had very messy hair and was kind of skinny and also looked a bit like a cat and then I thought of Grannie and so I said he shouldn’t be there. He said it was a free world and his name was Eric and he followed something over the wall and would I like to see it.
I didn’t know what something was and I told him so. He said he didn’t know what it was either but that he’d been told to stay away from the garden because the people who lived there were weird and once had a witch living there. That’s my Grannie and she was a nice witch I said. He waved me over and I went and he had a nice smile.
The thing was small and fat and had legs like a frog but covered in clothes and a face as wrinkled as Grannie’s but Eric was looking at it like my Dad looks at Connie on Blue Peter before mum tells him to clean the dishes. It was leaning against the small rock table my Grannie made and its big eyes kept looking all over the place and making me dizzy and it spat at me. I wanted to get closer to it and see what it was wearing and Eric said to be careful and I told him to push off as it was my garden and not his and he shut up.
It bit me and it was baaad and it hurt sooo much and there was blood and it looked at me with bloody teeth and smiled at me. Eric said he told me not to get too close and so I punched him and then he offered me a handkerchief and I said no and then he said he didn’t mind and so I took it but only so I didn’t get germs.
Then because I stamped on the thing and it cracked and popped and Eric was covered in blood and there was a small green thing that also came out and wobbled on the path. Eric said you killed it and cried and he is a baby. I said it hurt me and it was ugly and it was just a gnome and he said no it wasn’t it was beautiful and I said it wasn’t it was squat and ugly and mean.
Eric cried and he was a baby and then Dad came and saw the mess and he was very angry and he took Eric home and then he came back. Dad smacked me so hard it really hurt and then he looked scared and he got mum and she smacked me and then she looked scared and then they locked me in Grannie’s room. It smelt of wee.
I never saw anything else at the end of the garden but for one time a week later and I saw a thin black cat and it made a loud meow when it saw me and tilted its head just like Eric and then it ran away. When I told mum she locked me back in Grannie’s room again.
There was a picture of Eric in the paper today and he’s been Lost for over a week now.
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