Parents in the Dust

Dusty floor

The boy draws faces in the dust on the vacuum cleaner with a sown on finger.

‘This is my mother,’ he says, pointing at the smiley with long spiky hair down one side of its head. ‘She looks like that nice woman at the train station who played me a song on her guitar. The hair’s supposed to be purple.’ He points at the other smiley, ‘And this is my father. He’s just like that man down the road who asked me where I lived once, only he’d never yell. Not even if I broke a vase with my football.’

‘I think they met each other,’ he scratches the stitches on his neck, ‘in a burning building? No, at a secret meeting for spies. They were both spies really, and they left to go on a secret mission, but they’ll be back some day and then they’ll teach me to be a spy. The best spy.’

I am sure he could go on for a long time yet, but I am getting hungry and mice do not catch themselves. So I stretch and go to the door where I meow and scratch at the panel.

‘You’re going out already?’ he asks.

I scratch again.

‘I was just getting to the best part too,’ he mumbles as he lets me slip out into the cool autumn air. Chasing down my dinner, I wonder how the boy will react if he ever finds out that creations like him do not have any parents.

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