A is for… Another long day
The young man looked out, the street below a haven of double-glazed tranquility, muted traffic racing by with the rest of life.
“A B C D E F G…” sang the kids television show overwhelming the living room.
“…she’ll be home in time for tea,” the young man sang in response, reassuring himself as much as his boy. The boy giggled from the rug, his television trance unwavering.
H is for… Home
He counted their lucky stars that they were high enough not to be overlooked by the tenements opposite as he opened the window, the sunlight streaming into the room now accompanied by the din of the morning’s rush hour, delivery vans speeding by below. All he could do was what he always did each morning; assume Claire had made it to work in one piece, determined as she was to cycle in impotent protest at humanity’s need to pollute the planet.
I is for… Impotent
He half-expected a call from A&E or, worse, a visit from a sympathetic police officer. As always.
He leaned out the window to escape the alphabetic mantra of the television and to see if the communal bin on the street corner was overflowing yet. The shy summer breeze did little to eradicate the stench emanating from the nappy in the kitchen bin, the tsunami of poo the boy had produced being the stuff of legend.
P is for… Poonami?
He looked back at the boy, still hypnotised on the rug. He’ll be fine, he thought. It’ll only take a minute. Probably won’t even notice I’m gone.
Q is for… Quick
I’ll be quick, he told himself.
The bin bag was heavy. He made haste down the stairs, thoughts of the bag spilling open like a gutted fish accompanying him along with the alphabet song.
R is for… Run
S is for… Sun
The sun’s warmth hit him as he stepped out onto the street. Despite being acutely aware this would be the only time he’d get to himself until Claire got home, he ran, anxious to get back before the boy realised he was all alone, before the alphabet song stopped.
T is for… Time
U is for… Up
Running across the road to the bin, he glanced up with guilt at the open window and could just about hear the alphabet song as the van hit him.
V is for… Van
As a boy, Ian Murphy dreamed of becoming a writer. More specifically, he dreamed of becoming a novelist. Even more specifically, he dreamed of becoming a knovelist with a silent ‘k’. Nevertheless, Ian continues to pursue his dream, writing novels for both adults and children, and has performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on two occasions so far. He was published alongside Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Shashi Tharoor in the anthology Tales on Tweet, with his flash and short fiction featuring in a variety of print and online publications. Edinburgh is home.
Pingback: May News – Ian Murphy