Photograph and Prosthetic by Bekah Shamrbook (Please do not use without permission)
Getting really fed up with local kids now…running past the house and yelling, up the path, knocking on windows, throwing stones, eggs, knocking on the door…you name it, fed up now.
It’s all the more annoying with Mum so poorly, literally on her last legs and had been for a while and it frightened her when these louts tried to be cool, daring each other to run up our path.
Well, not tonight, I’d had enough!
This time, when the lad knocked on the window, I was ready. Mum whimpered as the boy peered into the room, and I leapt to my feet, grabbed the door handle, flung the front door open, and gave chase. The lad saw me and his face drained. Scare him, just a bit, and he wouldn’t come roaming our neighbourhood anymore, not him or his mates.
He turned and ran, but seized by adrenalin I was on my feet and after him.
He stumbled, fell, I caught up and snatched him. His mates were hidden in the shadows and the boy mumbled, so I told him to shut up and put up as I grabbed his wrist. I wasn’t gonna hurt him, just scare him…
Running up the road came a woman, old enough to be his mother, her reaction proved that’s just who she actually was.
She asked what was wrong with a face as pale as the lad’s, so I explained, whilst still gripping his wrist.
Mum’s ill and I just want her last few months to be carefree, worry free, just want to sit indoors on a Saturday night and watch rubbish on telly. We’re half way through X-Factor’s new series, Mum’s favourite show, just let us indulge her!
She stared at me, looking like she was trying to gather courage; I wasn’t trying to scare her, just the delinquent son, so I released the boy who ran, whimpering, to his mother.
I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, the youth these days…
She took a deep breath and spoke, warily but calmly. “X-Factor finished years ago…and after Simon Cowell’s law suit, repeats are forbidden, all recordings were destroyed, so it’s not on TV anymore, not ever. So could you please leave my boy, and the others, alone…”
I shrugged again…if they leave me alone, fine.
I returned home to comfort mother.
Simon Cowell was sharing his opinion, and I frowned. The screen flickered, we were losing the picture again, electricity was iffy, digital signal was iffy, everything was iffy. I turned to mum again, she smiled, a blank smile, with a mouth missing many teeth. I stroked her cheek, ignoring the blood that coursed down her face…something wasn’t right, but I — her eye slipped out of its socket, and I reached across to put it back in — couldn’t quite put my finger on it…