'Give You A Game?' Added£0.99
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(A short story of 4364 words)

'Give You A Game?'


by Michael Thomas

A coming of age tale...but what kind of age, and can this boy bear it?

It was the scarf. They said the desk had been cleared but a bit of dirty-looking tartan still poked out under the lid. The desk had been moved to the side of the classroom but with its back to the wall, so you could still sneak a glance at the scarf. During the last two days of term, he found it harder and harder not to.

‘Away with the fairies again, Paul?’ Mrs Watton’s voice wasn’t unkind, hadn’t been at any time throughout the year. Without resentment, Paul turned back to his book. But he still saw the scarf like a pattern behind the words he read, and his heart was still on fire...


The kids scattered at the summons for tea. Once it was issued, front windows were slammed all along the street. Two brothers wrestled at their gate-post to see who’d be first to shoulder the back door off its hinges and forget to wash his hands. One boy, as usual, had to be called three times.

Only Paul was left, looking down at his shoes and the small ridges in the concrete road, wondering if the press of his feet had made the road go like that. From an open window somewhere came the song everyone was singing or sending up. Someone saw someone else’s love yesterday and she told them what to say. Say-ee-yay. It seemed to Paul that the flock of Yeah, yeah, yeahs made the day very different, like strange birds on the roof-tiles. I could fly away with them, he thought.

A horn sounded and he turned to see Mr. Phillips’s Ford Anglia, light-green, nipped little angles. Smiling, Mr Phillips gestured that Paul might like to step aside. The car crept past and Mr Phillips gave him the kind of wave that Mrs Watton had given him earlier that day, at the end of the school year. He’d seen his mum doing something not dissimilar, when they were seeing off some relatives at the station. Vaguely he supposed that it was one of the many things he’d be doing sometime. Adult things. A special energy would flow into his hand when he reached an age he couldn’t imagine, and before he knew it he’d be waving with assurance in clothes he’d chosen himself. But he couldn’t see himself getting to that.

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