Little Timmy sat at the kitchen table with his head in his hands, his tears blotting the ink of the homework that tortured him.
“Oh ‘eck, lad,” said Grandpa. “Wotsmatter?”
“My homework,” whimpered Timmy. “I can’t do it. I need help with my 3 times tables.”
“Times tables, ey? Ba gum, that does sound ‘ard for a bairn like you. Only seven, aren’t you lad? I ‘ad trouble at school at your age an’ all. Tell ya what—you go up to bed and I’ll sort this out for you. Don’t tell t’teachers, mind. It’ll be done by morning and that’s a promise.”
We always used to buy bubblegum from the ice cream man when he came around in summer. We weren’t interested in 99s and Mr Whippies and ice lollies – the sweets was where it was at, and bubblegum was the crème de la crème of ice cream man goodies.
There was this game we used to play where we’d all try and see how many pieces of gum we could chew at once. We’d hang about on the street corner chomping away like cows, chewing through the jaw ache until our mouths seized up and we had to admit defeat. I was the record-holder – twelve pieces of gum I did, once!
We all got a kick out of it – it was dangerous, according to our parents. Bubblegum’s a choking hazard, see, ‘specially when you’re shoving a handful of gumballs into your mouth at once. There was this rumour that went round about a kid that died from chewing on two many pieces of gum. This big, sticky mass of strawberry Hubba Bubba got stuck in his throat and none of his mates knew how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre and he turned all blue and his eyes bulged out and he pegged it.
She can sense it as soon as she wakes up. Something has changed. There is evil afoot. But why?
She wraps her dressing gown around her, slips on her
slippers and heads downstairs. It’s cold. Too cold. The front door is ajar. She
peers out and spies a delivery man get into his truck and pull away.
Faint singing draws her into the kitchen – ‘White Christmas’, all out of tune. Her skin prickles with goosebumps.
It’s a yellow sticky note today. Blue ink. Just the one line: “Your hair is shit and so are you.”
Bit lacklustre. Not witty, not clever, not even particularly brutal. Perhaps the culprit’s losing his knack. After all, this is sticky note number 398. They’re bound to run out of insults to throw at me eventually. They can’t all be fierce doozies like number 187 (“Mr. Blobby called. He wants his body back.”) or number 249 (“Do something for the greater good. Kill yourself.”). They’ll probably stop soon.
Something really cool happened. Janise Michel created an animation for one of my short stories, I Remember, for her digital drawing class at university. It’s amazing and you should watch it immediately! That is all.