Friday, January 22, 2010

Challenge 4: Jimmy Likes

Jimmy sits on the bank at the edge of the lake, watching ducks. There is an old Asian couple with bread and they keep stealing the ducks away. They will be gone soon enough though, which is good.

I like being alone.

Jimmy digs in the dirt beside his foot with a stick. It is soft and a bit muddy from the rain last night.

I like rain.

He knows his mother will probably be angry when she sees the mud on his trousers, but not too angry. She gives him dark pants so he won’t look like such a mess all the time. He imagines, after his mother has scolded him, she will let him help her load the washing machine.

I like the way the bubbles swirl around.

He will probably sit for the whole wash cycle, just watching them.

Jimmy hears his mother calling and runs back through the overgrown section at the back of his house.

I like the feeling of grass tickling my ankles.

“James,” she says. “There you are.”

Jimmy smiles, holding his arms wide for a hug. His mother scoops him up, holding him close. Something is wrong. She hasn’t told him off for being at the lake again, or for the mud on his bum. He wraps his chubby arms around her neck, burying his head against her shoulder. There is a big man at the kitchen table. He is eating the lemon slice.

Jimmy’s mother puts him down and he keeps one hand on her skirt while swiping the last piece of slice with the other. His mother doesn’t scold him. He hides behind her leg and munches on the slice.

I like how lemons make my eyes water.

“Is this the Quinn boy?”


Jimmy knows they are talking about him. He peers up at the man, in his brown jacket and tweed trousers.

I don’t like grown-ups who think they know everything.

“He is their last heir, Gwendolin...”

“He is my son.”

“Don’t you want a bit of payback on that bastard? You’ll make us both rich.”

Jimmy doesn’t like this man. He is making mother nervous. Jimmy backs up, thinking he might just go to his room until the angry man is gone.

“Get him back here,” the tweedy man growls.

Jimmy starts to run, out into the hall way, down the front steps, out onto the street where his mother’s beat up old Beetle sits, unlocked. Jimmy climbs inside, curling up on the front seat. There are angry voices inside the house and then a long silence, punctuated by a loud bang. Jimmy curls up tighter.

I like the smell of mum’s perfume on the leather.

After a long time, Jimmy’s mother jumps in the driver’s side and revs the engine.

“Let’s go on holiday,” she says. “How about France?”

“As long as we’re not taking that angry man.”

His mother shakes her head as she speeds off down the gravely road. “He won’t be following us.”

I like when me and mum play runaway.

Wordcount: 510