Waiting On The Playground

1361607184_grand_piano_by_wolfgirl17591Waiting On The Playground

“Miss Jeffers, told me that he was definitely university material. She reckons he might even get into Cambridge or Oxford. His latest test results were the best in the class.  Mind you I’m not surprised, he takes after me you know.”

“That does surprise me Penny, I didn’t think your Tyler was that bright. Anyway, just because he got 10 out of 10 for a simple spelling test, doesn’t make him a university candidate.”

“That’s your trouble Debs. You’ve no ambition for your kids. Mind you I’m not surprised. I hear your Billy only got 4 out of 10. You must have been devastated. Mind you it will probably be enough to get him a couple of GCSE’s. With a bit of luck he might pick up a trade. Maybe he could join your Jimmy in the plumbing business.”

“He only got 4 out of 10 because he had a bad cold. He was so poorly he didn’t have time to revise properly. It was just a blip. Next week he will be up there with the best. He’s a bright lad is my Billy. He’s now doing an hour’s homework every night. His maths is exceptional. In fact Miss Jeffers told me that she was thinking of putting him in the Gifted and Talented group. She thinks he could be a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard one day. That’s in America you know. Much more prestigious than Oxford and Cambridge. It’s where all the Presidents go, apparently.”

“If it’s American it can’t be that good. Come on Debs you only need to watch some of those awful American television programmes to work that out. Anyway my Tyler has been in that Gifted & Talented group for a term now. Miss Jeffers reckons he needs something else. He’s finding it all too easy. That’s why he’s learning the violin and Chinese. That’s the language of the future you know. His tutor says he’s amazing, almost a fluent speaker and he’s only been doing it for three weeks. I suppose your Billy is still going swimming on a Thursday.”

“Oh no, he gave that up months ago. He was going to try the violin but his tutor said it would be too easy so he’s learning to play the grand piano instead. He’s so good we’re thinking of getting him one for Christmas. Our Billy is going to learn Chinese next. He purposely left it to last because it’s so easy to pick up. So he concentrated on the more difficult languages first. He’s already fluent in Afrikaans, Russian, Portuguese, French and Spanish. You should have heard him last month when we were on holiday in Paris, chatting away he was, like he’d lived there forever. The Foreign Office have already put his name down to be a diplomat when he’s a bit older.”

“Diplomacy! That’ll be a new experience for your family Debs. I can still see your Trevor, last Christmas, at the school nativity play, trying to pick a fight with that woman on the front row with the big hat on. Mind you, he wasn’t to know she was the chair of governors. Still it was good of her not to involve the police. That reminds me, did I tell you that Hollywood have been in touch. I sent them a video of the nativity play because, of course, our Tyler played such a marvellous part. So many people came up to me afterwards and told me how good he was. Miss Jeffers reckoned he was going to be a great star some day. Anyway,as I was saying, some chap from Hollywood got in touch, he was so excited, having watched the video, that he wants to fly Tyler over this Summer holidays to audition for a major film he’s producing. I wish I could tell you the name of it but we’ve been sworn to secrecy.”

“Of course you do know that it was our Billy what wrote the words for that nativity, don’t you. He’s written loads more since then. Miss Jeffers says she can’t keep up with the requests she keeps getting from other schools for him to write their plays and pantomimes. Of course I had to put a stop to it once he started writing for the National Theatre. He’s also written a couple of film scripts. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that the one your Tyler is acting in wasn’t written by my Billy.”

“Hang on Debs, here comes Miss Jeffers, probably wants to tell me, yet again, how brilliant my Tyler is.”

“Hello ladies. I’m glad I caught you both together, I’ve popped out early to have a quick word before school finishes. I’m afraid Tyler and Billy have been up to their normal tricks again. I’m afraid, Mrs Weston, I caught your Billy in the boys toilet this morning writing ‘Piss Off’ on the wall. Unfortunately he is still having great trouble spelling both words, though I was pleased to see he was at least trying to write something. As for Tyler, Mrs. Leonard, I’m afraid we caught him with his pants round his ankles, sat in the water tray, farting and making the girls giggle. Quite a performance by all accounts, but highly inappropriate.  What makes things worse is that, because of all this bad behaviour, they are both falling behind in their work and I’ve had to move them  from the bottom group into the remedial group. There only saving grace is they seem to enjoy their music. Tyler loves playing the triangle and Billy is good with the tambourine. Well I’ll leave it at that for now ladies. I do hope you will have a stern word with the boys when they come out of school.”

“I told you Debs. Our Tyler is going to be a great musician. What’s a triangle? Is it anything like a violin?”

“No idea Penny, but I knew our Billy had talent. Did you hear what Miss Jeffers said about the tambourine? I’m definitely going to get him that Grand Piano for Christmas.”

MikeJackson©2014

Posted in Flash Fiction, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Depleted Workforce

A Depleted Workforce

‘Well Jones, what have you found?”

‘A faulty chip, sir.’

‘So what does it do?’

‘It keeps the recipients docile sir, incapable of mutiny.’

‘And in its damaged state?’

‘Then we could be looking at mass riots sir. Seems the last batch of migrant workers were given the rogue chip sir, 40,000 in total. We’re checking final numbers now.’

‘Where they from?’

‘Earth sir. Came in two weeks ago. They’d been allocated to work in our deep uranium mines.’

‘Have them eliminated Jones, immediately. Then contact our person on Earth, tell him we need a fresh batch of workers, fast.’

MikeJackson©2014

A 100 word story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers

Posted in 100 Word Stories, Flash Fiction, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Secrets

Secrets

‘Sorry mate, can’t tell you. See, I promised and you know how this lady gets if you let her down. She’s got some real nasty acquaintances.’

Another £20 note appeared on the table.

“On the other hand, what harm’s a few words.’

MikeJackson©2014

Posted in Flash Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Where Are We Going?

Where Are We Going?

The wheels never stop, day or night, they just keep turning. Two of them, linked together somehow to make every journey seem never-ending. I’ve been on them for days now, my little legs racing like mad, with no end in sight. There must be a purpose to this madness, mustn’t there? Next time those eager young eyes look into the cage, maybe I’ll ask them.

MikeJackson©2014

A story for this week’s prompt at Five Sentence Fiction

Lillie McFerrin Writes
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I’ve Been Looking Forward To This

I’ve Been Looking Forward To This

He was making the most of this, gloating over his victory, savouring every moment.

We’d always known it was going to be a tight contest but had prayed for a better outcome. The rules had always been simple, ‘winner takes all’ and he’d won.

Despite all our efforts the people had slowly but surely turned against us. The resulting greed, violence, hypocrisy, we’re exactly what he’d wanted. Once the seeds were sown he used every trick in the book to turn the people against us. Making wild, tantalising promises that he never intended keeping.

We tried to tell them but they wouldn’t listen. Whatever we had to offer seemed so paltry  in comparison. In the end we’d lost all but a handful of faithful souls and had no choice but to admit defeat.

Our esteemed leader made an impassioned speech, graceful as ever, even when admitting defeat. Lucifer hardly listened, his impatience quite disgusting.

So here we are, watching helplessly,  as he slowly devours the world we so lovingly created.

MikeJackson©2014

A story for this week’s Sunday Picture Press

sundaypicturepresspicture

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Another Blog!

blog2-1

As well as continuing to put examples of my flash fiction and short stories on this blog I have also started another blog – ‘Tick’.

This is where I write some of my more serious stuff!

It has an educational bent, because that’s the line of work I used to be in but it is also about life and learning in general. My latest post ‘Batman or School?’ has this quote in it:

“……it’s obvious that we are in the midst of a huge period of invention and innovation. Not so much by us, the Digital Immigrants, but by the Digital Natives for themselves. Our kids have recognised in this new digital technology an incredibly powerful tool, and they are making the most of it, using it in ways we can’t even imagine. So why not let them reinvent school?”

I’d love to know what you think.

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Going Away

Going Away

“I hope this is not one of your daft stories Jimmy because I’m just not in the mood. I can feel one of my migraines coming on.”

“Honest love, you’ve got to believe me. This really happened. I was standing just where you are and the front doorbell rang. When I opened it there it was.”

“What do you mean, ‘there it was’, what exactly was ‘it’?”

“That’s the bit you’re not going to believe my darling. You see it was….., well it was a …….., no, I mean it was a kind of ………. Let’s just say it wasn’t human.”

“What do you mean, ‘it wasn’t human’? Honestly Jimmy you do talk some rubbish. Why I married you in the first place is beyond me. I should’ve listened to mother. You haven’t been drinking have you? You’ve not been at my cooking sherry again?”

“No love, honest. I knew you wouldn’t believe me, that’s why I wasn’t going to bother telling you, but he said I had to.”

“Jimmy just start again, from the beginning.”

“Well, as I said, when I answered the door there it was just standing there. It was huge. A bright green scaly body with a large oval-shaped head, no nose and one large purple eye smack bang in the middle of it’s forehead. It gave me quite a start I can tell you. Worst of all though was the smell.”

“Smell! What smell?”

“The creature thing. It smelt awful. It was a mixture of one of your burnt Sunday dinners and horse manure. Definitely not nice.”

“This story of yours is getting sillier by the minute Jimmy. If I find you’re pulling my leg you’ll have more to worry about than my burnt dinners. I don’t suppose you could draw a picture of this mysterious alien creature could you?”

“You know I can’t draw love, but I’ll know it when I see it again.”

“What do you mean, ‘when you see it again’?

“Didn’t I tell you love? Sorry. It said it was coming back.”

“So this huge, green, one-eyed monster could talk as well could it?”

“Oh yes love. Very charming it was, knew my name but it was you he was after.”

“Me!”

“Yes love. Most definite he was. He asked for you personally. Apparently your name has come up on one of their computers. He said he couldn’t tell me much because it was all very hush-hush but he did say it had something to do with some tests they were carrying out and that you would be going away for a while, possibly a few years. Apparently you don’t need to pack and you won’t need your passport.”

“What did you say?”

“I told him you’d be back about four. There’s the front door bell now. It must be him. Shall I answer it love or will you?”

MikeJackson©2014

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Is It a Bird, Is It a Plane?

babybuggyIs It A Bird, Is It A Plane?

“I could do with a little help here guys.”

“Sorry Sis, what did you say?”

“What is it with you two? Here we are on the most exciting adventure of our lives and you two decide to leave everything to me. Typical.”

“OK Sis, whatever you say.”

“I don’t know why I bother. If I’d left it to you two we would still be at home with that creep of a man who mum plans on marrying. Is that what you both want? Well, is it Michael?”

“Sorry Sis, what was that?”

“I might as well talk to myself. What is it with boys, why don’t they ever listen? I was saying Michael, do you want mum to marry that idiot and for him to be our new dad? Of course you don’t. That’s why we’re running away. We would be further on if you two hadn’t left  me to back all our belongings in the old pram all by myself. Just don’t blame me if, when we get there, your favourite toy or Ben’s old teddy are missing. Michael are you listening to me?”

“Yes Sis, course I am.”

“As soon as I’ve finished what I’m doing we need to be on our way. Mum will have found that note I left and will come looking for us soon. I just hope she doesn’t bring that new boyfriend of hers. I know you quite liked him Michael but that’s just because you’re not old enough to see what he’s really like. I was suspicious when mum said he was called Clarke, I mean who do you know with a daft name like Clarke? As for that story about him being a reporter I reckon he just made that up to try to impress mum. But what I found really creepy  was that blue costume with a big ‘S’ sewn on the front he used to dress up in when he thought nobody was looking. ‘S’ for ‘Sucker’ if you ask me
Yuck!

“Sis, I think you need to take a look at this.”

“Not now Michael. I haven’t got time. Just grab your brother and we can get going again. What’s he doing any way?”

“He’s just looking up at the sky Sis.”

“Why? What’s so interesting up there?”

“Well Sis, there’s a guy in a blue costume, with a big ‘S’ sewn on the front and he’s flying this way. What’s more he’s got our mum in his arms and she don’t look happy.”

MikeJackson©2014

Posted in Flash Fiction, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Wonder What’s Keeping Them?

Wonder What’s Keeping Them?

Should manage to finish this cigarette before they arrive, probably some law against me having one in their car. Surprised they’re not here yet. Wonder what’s keeping them? Could be the traffic. It can be a nightmare this time of the morning.

Have I got time for a coffee?

The girl behind the counter keeps looking at me, probably wondering what I’m up to. I keep wondering that myself.

What shall I tell them when they get here? Suppose I might turn on the tears, say it was all a horrible mistake. I didn’t mean to do it. He attacked me first.

Not true of course. I knew exactly what was happening, known for weeks. Just been waiting for the right moment. Should’ve guessed it would be today, my birthday.

Wonder what’s keeping them? Thought they would’ve been here ages ago. Surely somebody must have found his body by now.

MikeJackson©2014

A story for Sunday Picture Press

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Posted in Flash Fiction | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Snacktime

Snacktime

‘Jeremy! What have I told you about putting things in your mouth? Where did you find it?’

In the garden Mummy, behind the bushes. Is it poisonous?’

‘No dear, it’s a human child thing, quite tasty. You can have it after tea.’

MikeJackson©2014

 

 

Posted in Flash Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments