A ghost slips into her room at night, she says. We’re in the arcades when she tells me. Her mum leaves us there with her baby brother. We place him on the glass above the 2p machines. Kelly screams with delight as the coins clunk down along with a glittery heart. I feel sort of happy but wish I was her, I never win anything.
Her tongue and lips are blue from the secret slushies we treated ourselves to. ‘Daddy doesn’t like me having them.’ She says. ‘He says I look like a murder victim.’ She giggles and holds her heart keyring close to her flat chest. Sometimes we steal her mum’s bras and put socks down them, just to see what it will be like. The other day I overheard my mum telling our neighbour that ‘he’s only just moved in and she has to call him daddy’, in a voice she uses when I have made a mess. I want to ask about the ghost but I’m scared. She seems to know. ‘I just ignore it.’ She says. ‘Pretend I’m asleep.’ Her blue lips make the skin under her eyes seem even darker.
Kelly grabs my hand and opens my fingers like petals, placing the silver prize in my palm. The glitter scratches like sand but it’s the most precious thing I have ever had. ‘But you won it!’ I say, ‘It’s yours’. ‘I want you to have it.’ She smiles her blue-lipped smile at me and pulls her brother off the glass as the uniformed woman comes towards us with a scowl and a pointed finger. ‘I’d better get home.’ ‘What about the ghost?’ I ask. ‘Daddy says there’s no such thing as ghosts’ she says.
Agnes lives on the south coast of England and combs the beaches trying to find slivers of time to write. She finds inspiration in the dampness of human existence.
Photo – Coin pusher, Deal by Alex JD
Would you like to get an occasional email update – with news of stories, updates and competition deadline notices? – sign up – the form is on the home page here…
Do you know about this FFF idea? – ‘A circulatory flow of purchase and promotion that will benefit the flash fiction community…?’ go to the Kofi page for more info…