As I get older, I appreciate that I have a very suppressed mischievous side, which I am starting to release every now and again.
After the previous competition entry, I felt the need to enter another story to the awesome Flash! Friday site, which challenged the global writing community to come up with a flash fiction story. 1000 words or less. Based on childhood mischief (Tom Sawyer was given as a good example).
The competition was called Dog Days, here is a link to the finalist stories http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/dog-days-finalists-stories/
This time, I went all out to just have a bit of fun and detox from serious. I was a little surprised to find out that I made the finalist list with the new story.
Rather stupidly, I forgot to put the title on the story. I struggled with this and went with the working title of “Spam”…
Three weeks ago, he was dead.
Now, I wish he was dead again.
Grief is a funny thing. It makes you do things you would never normally consider. Like all those BS spam messages you get on Twitter and Facebook. You know the ones…
“Click ‘like’ if you think world peace is awesome.”
“RT me if you want to end suffering in the third world.”
“Forward this if you miss a loved one and would give anything to have them back for just one week, to let them see the world through the eyes of a child.”
The digital world has been my real home since the funeral. People don’t know what to say, they tend to avoid me. Being on-line removes all that. People say what they feel. So, sure, I clicked it. What harm could it do? I’d done it a few times before and nothing happened.
A few days later, he shows up. Naturally, I fainted. Thought it was a dream – did all the stuff you see in movies, but it was real. He’s not a zombie, or anything crazy like that. It’s him, well sort of, maybe how he was as a teenager…
Sure, hiding him has been a problem. It’s just me and my best mate, Jumbo. Jumbo freaked, I mean he properly freaked when I showed him.
Mum is working away this week, thank God! I’ve managed to hide him in the garage.
I’m sure he’s been going out at nights. I’m finding more random stuff each day. I have no idea how he gets it, he musta stolen some credit cards. I think he’s been keeping the car windscreen repair people busy in the neighbourhood, too.
Today, he’s sporting sunglasses indoors, fake gold chains and a t-shirt, with ‘YOLO’ written on the front, which is ironic. His jeans are three sizes too big, deliberately pulled down, hanging off his saggy arse. His underwear is fully showing. I never really understood how this looked good to anyone, even setting aside the practicalities. But, dad doesn’t even get the fundamentals right. You know that elastic bit that normally has something like ‘CK’ written on it? His are Y-fronts, embossed with “Underpants 4 men”.
“I is looking dench, man?”
He’s been doing the faux-gansta routine for a few hours now.
“What are you talking about, dad?” I reply.
“Don’t hit me wit that dad label. I is Tom Sawyer, two point zero. I is the badest ass in da hood…Ya hear wot I’m sayin?…Ya need to chill, bro… I’m just hanging wit my krew…Ya hear me?”
Did he just say that? Seriously? This is wrong, on so many levels.
I should have sussed it before clicking it. Strange things were happening. Blockhead from school falls sick, I mean really sick. His hair started falling out in his lunchtime KFC bucket. A few weeks back, I wished him harm; after he decided to beat the hell outta me for having a day off school to go to the funeral.
Then Huck and Finn, the twins, they both ran into each other at full speed during a football game; I mean what are the chances of them both being in a coma? They stood and laughed as Blockhead beat seven shades out of me. Let’s just say I didn’t wish them well either.
A teacher got food poisoning.
The school mascot, Fuzzface, got run over…
I go to dad’s makeshift bedroom in the garage. I route through his stuff, I have no idea how he got any of it. It smells like medieval alchemy.
The room is full of shadows and dull grey metallic surfaces. On the tool-cabinet, I find a job application, it reads ‘Secret Agent’, and he’s put his name as J. Bond. He’s put ‘plenty’ in the sex field. He’s listed his GTA 5 achievements in the accomplishment section. In memberships, he’s listed gold membership to the local strip club.
Then I see the hand-scrawled note, in Jumbo’s handwriting. Jumbo is my best mate, but he’s pretty stupid. He tells everyone he’s called Jumbo because he’s blessed with a Jumbo sausage, in reality, let’s just say, politely, he’s BMI challenged. The note reads…
Instructions for secret formula cologne (guaranteed success)
• 3 parts Brute (can’t beat the classics)
• 2 parts Hai Karate (be careful how you use it)
• 1 part banned pheromone (do NOT use more than this, or you might have problems with animals)
• 1 part WD40 (women love a guy that smells like he can fix stuff)
I put the list down. I need to talk to Jumbo; he’s hardly helping matters.I run in the house to tell dad that this has to stop. I find him with a backpack full of stuff.
“What you got there, dad?”
No response, just a childish snigger.
“Show me what you got..er, Sawyer”
“I’m ready to nuke this town.”
He tips his supplies on to the table.
One air pistol.
A tin of three hundred pellets.
An improvised blow-pipe made out of an empty biro.
A ninja star, that looks like it will break mid-air.
Five cans of XXL caffeine energy drink.
“Lunden town should prepare for war!” His war-paint face looks serious.
I realise there is nothing much I can do. At first, I was overwhelmed to see him. Then I thought his behaviour was kinda comical. Now I feel like I’m babysitting a delinquent younger brother.
Last night I caught him looking at the adult channels, his glasses steamed up, his mouth hanging open like a dog.
I’m not sure what happens after a week, I have four more days to go and I’m not sure I can make it.
My phone pings. Social media notification.
A spam message, from @wormwoodsixsixtysix.
“Do you ever wish a problem would just disappear? RT me to make your wish come true.”
My finger hovers, poised over the button…
I had some very kind and supportive comments for the story (a massive thank you to those that took time to read it and provide support or feedback).
I had many votes for the story from people I didn’t know, but friends asked other people to help – so, thank you to my Nigerian friends and my writing buddies. This was especially helpful as I’m using a pen name in an attempt to keep my writing and career lives separated, so , I had limited options open to me. Thanks a million to those that helped (I think I came 6th? in the votes).
Some wonderful other finalist stories if you want to check them out http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/dog-days-finalists-stories/
The incredible work they did to get the votes is a thing of wonder and awe.