Tuesday, February 9, 2010

6 - The Royal We: Best Friends

too long again - need more practice!

Also, totally forgot to do number 5...

Frank laughs when mother calls us in from the garden. It’s just as well she didn’t notice. We often get into trouble when we are together, but it’s better than playing alone. We have some good times. Frank doesn’t really have anywhere else to go, so he usually stays over. We don’t mind sharing our things, and we don’t like Frank’s house. It’s old and cold and quiet, with a high roof and stone walls, and no one who lives there ever seems to be at home when we visit. It scares us and so we’ve only been there a few times. Frank had to move there, and is supposed to stay there all the time, but no one checks. It says Frank on the wall and so everyone thinks he must be there.

“Coming!” We get up quickly and run indoors.

“Have you washed your hands?”


Jacob talks more loudly. Frank is mischievous but shy. We get on well because we can help each other out that way.

We go indoors, and mother greets us over her shoulder then starts dishing out dinner. As usual she’s only set us one place, but we don’t mind sharing – we’ve been sharing for months and we’re used to it. If we mentioned it she’d get upset, and we hate it when that happens.

Mother never seems to notice, and she always gives us a big portion anyway. She says Jacob is a growing boy, and we suppose Frank must be too.

We finish in double quick time. Frank eats the cabbage, as Jacob doesn’t like it all that much. Mother is very impressed and we get a big slice of chocolate cream pie. She won’t let us eat it in the lounge – she knows that Frank will leave a mess. Jacob is tidy but when Frank is around you can’t tell that. We cancel each other out.

After dinner we go and play in the garden. There’s a miniature swing-boat, but we’re not very good at making it go. We used to be good at it, but somehow we can’t manage it any more. Mother says that life will get more difficult as we get older, and we think this must be what she means.

The swings are fun, though, even if it’s not the same as sitting on the swing-boat together – Jacob offers to push Frank, but Frank prefers to watch. Frank gets sick easily, and we don’t want to waste any of the pudding.

Our next door neighbour’s cat Smoky jumps over the fence. He hisses at Frank, and won’t let Jacob near him much either. He’s a miserable old animal – we used to feed him from our secret stash, but when we ran out of things he liked he wouldn’t forgive us. Frank tries to pick him up, but the cat slips through his fingers. At least we didn’t get scratched.

Later on we go indoors. Frank wants to stay outside, but really it’s too cold. Jacob is tired and shivering even if Frank never notices the frost. We used to be scared of the dark, but we’re not any more. If we stay together, then we’re both braver.

Frank thinks of a surprise for mother, and we creep upstairs. Frank is best at creeping, and even Jacob can’t hear his footsteps. Frank starts to order Jacob about, but Jacob doesn’t mind. We imagine the look on mother’s face and grin at each other.

“Sweetie, you tidied your room!” Mother is surprised when she comes up. We think she might cry, but she looks happy too. We look at each other and shrug. Neither of us understands parents.

“We both did,” we say, and smile proudly. It’s not really true. Frank had to sit still while Jacob picked up his toys, because Frank makes a mess everywhere he goes. He’s terrible at picking things up. But Frank did tell Jacob how to sort them out, so we did it together really.

Mother looks a little sad. “You’re a very brave little boy,” she says. Jacob thinks she is talking about Frank, but later on Frank says she meant Jacob. Maybe she meant both of us, though neither of us really understands what she means.


  1. I get this weird impression that Frank is an imaginary friend lol - hehhee this is awesome at any rate! Great stuff.

  2. For a short while I was thinking a split personality, but that didn't seem to strike quite right - normally there's 3 or more elements/personas and only one in control/aware at a time instead of both together...

    so, a haunting. My favourite part of this piece is the description of Franks gravestone/home. I also particularly like how he makes a 'mess' everywhere he goes.

    He seems sweet little spirit really though, and he's welcome to my cabbage anytime.

  3. GG, you got it :D - to be honest, when I started writing he was an imaginary friend, but then I realised that it worked better as a haunting, and went back to rejig things a little.

    I find it interesting that I just noticed another little detail (Frank getting sick easily) that dovetails nicely into the haunting idea that _I_didn't_put_in_deliberately. Spooky :-o

    I imagine it would be a friendly haunting, I'm guessing Jacob's little friend died of maybe leukaemia or something and didn't want to desert his best friend.

    Anyway yeah... thanks guys I'm glad you enjoyed it! Better slow than never huh? *grin* Must do challenge 4...

  4. ... I mean challenge 5 - see, can't count, no wonder I missed one!

  5. Floot, you're still ahead of me! I was going to say we can be slowpokes together, but realised that I'd *still* have some catching up to do!

  6. Well I'm likely to be, erm, sporadic I think is the word (or maybe the word I need is 'hopelessly inconsistent'...). Till my sudden burst of activity over the last two days I was the one who was behind! So y'know... I think being slowpokes together may well be a good way to go! :)

  7. Interesting, I thought they were brothers rather than friends :P

    You might both overtake me now - I'll stick to commenting for the next couple of weeks!

  8. Hmmm, you know, maybe they are? Strange to say I don't know, but I don't.

    Either way, they were close enough that neither let go. Maybe they were twins...?