40 Rated

‘Are you sure this is a good idea?’ Thomas wrung his hands, ‘it’s supposed to be really yucky.’

‘You chicken?’ Alexander smiled.

‘No!’ said Thomas, ‘it’s just, what if I puke or something.’

‘Aw, come on,’ Alexander typed the name into the youtube search bar, ‘it’s rated approved for all audiences and my sister watches it all the time, how bad can it be?’

‘I’m sure I’ll puke. And you will too.’

‘No, I won’t. Just watch.’

And so they watched this.

And they did not puke, but about five minutes into the film, it felt like their brains had melted into some kind of rainbow marshmallow mush.

39 Dreams

And then he woke up.

The sun was already halfway up the sky, so he rushed through breakfast, packed his tent into his backpack and set off up the mountain. And he knew that today he would reach the top. Today he would get his prize.

Dusty and tired he reached the summit and there growing right out of the rock was the blood red rose. He stretched out his hand. Grabbed it. The thorns pierced his skin, but he ignored the sting. He pulled until the stem snapped.

‘Ha!’ he said, the blood dripping from his hand, ‘I did it.’

And the whole mountain trembled. The rock beneath his feet cracked.

‘But I got it!’ he screamed, ‘I won!’

But the mountain was already crumbling.

And then he woke up.

37 Dog

My favourite pet would be a dragon. But I do not have a dragon, so I will write about the only pet I have.


Bacon looks very much like this.


This is Bacon. Bacon is a dog. He does not know his age because he does not know how to read a calendar, like I do. And he not as smart as me and therefore he cannot read a clock either like I can. So every time I go to school and tell him that I will be back by two o’clock in the afternoon, he just sits with his tongue lolling looking like Lickitung.

A dragon would fly me to school.  

Bacon is a coward as well. He NEVER chases the neighbor’s cat even though everyone knows that cats and dogs are mortal enemies.

If I had a dragon, it would roast the cat with its dragon fire and eat it whole.

And then Bacon is lazy. He will not even go up the stairs.

A dragon would be too big to get in the house, but if it had stairs big enough, it would run up them at the speed of light.

And that is why I wish for a dragon this Christmas.

‘Aren’t you a bit hard on Bacon,’ he asked after having read his son’s essay.

‘He doesn’t know what I wrote, and even if he did he wouldn’t understand, he’s too stupid.’

The father looked at the essay, then down at bacon and wondered when he stopped believing that animals could understand him.

‘Did you read the last line?’ asked his son.


‘I haven’t written any other wish list. It doesn’t have to be Smaug, but it has to be one that looks like.’

‘Smaug, from The Hobbit?’

His son nodded and the father considered if he should tell his son that Smaug died a long time ago and did not leave any children, or if he should just try to make his son believe that middle earth did not exist.

Please Don’t Go

Please don’t go.

I didn’t mean to keep you waiting,

But please just wait a bit longer,

Then I can be with you, I promise.


Please don’t go.

I didn’t mean to stand you up,

I just got the dates mixed up.

Please can we try again?

I’ll be there next time, I promise.


Please don’t go.

No one else can give me what you have,

And I really need it,

So please don’t go.

Please, just wait till I can get down the stairs.

Please don’t go,


The Weather in South Wootton

In the garden, I splashed about in mud up to my chest. Half-frozen, lumpy mud. Typical. No other children experienced slush and hail at their summer-holiday-destinations. Closer to the fence, the mud became deeper and soon I disappeared under the surface. The exit must have drifted past me because when I thought I had swum back to the house I found a cave instead. In the cave sat a small gnome-woman with my aunt’s face. She had a loom which she used to weave one black cloud after another. When I asked her which direction my house was, she said:

‘Shh! I’m weaving.’

‘But how am I going to get home from here?’

‘It cannot possibly be my problem whether you can find your way or not,’ her fingers flew back and forth another black cloud appearing under them.

I gave up asking her anything more after that.

It took me hours before I found my way home.

34 Stars

‘Stars are symbols of the past. Yes, stars, especially shooting stars. Stars are pictures of the past. And how magnificent they all look from down here. Although some of them are probably long gone, maybe millions of years ago. Shooting stars are the essence of Vanitas. Here in an instant gone in a flash, and then they too are of the past, with only a memory left of their light. Yes, such is the nature of stars.’

‘Oh, but stars are beauty made matter. They are like gems in the velvet cloth of the night sky, glimmering through many human lifetimes. They have their own magic, made real through the imagination of man.’

‘The stars are unreachable, but we keep trying. We know each one of them is a sun and each of them holds the promise of life out there, that maybe one day we will know the nature of. And each one of them is made of mindboggling amounts of energy and molecules. Many of them make our own sun look like a dwarf in comparison. To think if we could travel-’

‘Would you all please just shut up and enjoy it?’

And so they shut up.

And gazed at the stars.

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