When Action Man used to fight Sindy it would always end in tears, usually Action Man’s. Sindy played dirty and would use her superior strength to throw him across the room.
I made every month of my leverage count.
We’d line up the farm animals in order of ferocity. I made you believe sheep were pitiless predators who could take down a werewolf without missing a bleat. You tell me you still can’t walk past a field of lambs without shuddering.
We travelled to parallel universes in old packing boxes. I saved all the jewel bright foil from our Easter eggs and we pimped up the cardboard with ruby and gold circles, squares and diamonds. You saw strange worlds and creatures filtered through my eyes. I saved you from monsters on a daily basis.
I became a witch and my potions were legendary. Yellow sherbet from the medicine cupboard fizzing in purple cordial, clover mashed with margarine, rose petals steeped in cloudy water. You were my apprentice and chief taster. You survived them all.
We had to walk home from school together. I’d have the door key on a string around my neck in case of emergencies. I didn’t consider your call of nature qualified and made you go in the rhubarb patch, next to the nettles. You never told on me.
I was given a bag of marbles with galaxies of colour swirling inside them. I convinced you they were fairy eggs. You were pink with pride when I said you’d been chosen to care for them. I wonder if you still have them somewhere, swaddled and forgotten in yellowing cotton wool.
Or, maybe, they hatched and flew away?
Jane won Beaconlit Festival’s 2019 flash fiction prize and enjoys the challenge of writing flash, the shorter the better. Her stories have been published in a variety of magazines, and online by Free Flash Fiction and The Wondrous Real. She’s been a LISP and Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award finalist and had pieces shortlisted by Retreat West, Writing Magazine and Flash 500.
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