Dennis the Menace Goes to Wicklow

Submitted for Contest #48 in response to: Write about a person who collects superhero comics.... view prompt

7 comments

It would only take a second. A slight slip of my fingers underneath the shiny paper, a firm but gentle grasp so not even the faintest crease would damage the value of it. Philip probably wouldn’t even notice it was gone, but then again his brain was full of muck and he didn’t notice his own mother half the time.

The bright red block of text popped out from the page like it was going to jump up and run away anytime Philip would swarm around it. My knees were becoming sore from kneeling on the couple inches of brick the window ledge provided. I was afraid it would give out and I’d fall to my death but surely that wouldn’t happen because Ma had said so. But she also said I would grow up to be the richest man in the world and that I would save her from Da and we’d run away together so I couldn’t really trust her all the same.

A thin layer of dust covered the top of the stack. Philip didn’t care for them. He got one every year for his birthday and Christmas and whenever he wanted. All he had to do was puff up his cheeks rosy red and squeeze his eyes shut into thin lines and wail and then he would get another one.

I waited until it got dark. I almost fell down when I heard Da yelling on the streets not far from where I was but even if Da did catch me he’d be too silly to care, dancing up and down and singing wack fall the daddy-o, there’s whiskey in the jar until he would get too drunk to stay awake. Philip already had his hair combed and waxed shiny, thin little brown strands plastered to his fat head by Mrs. Jester. Mr. Jester cooed him goodnight, reciting his usual I’m so proud of you son and like usual I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing.

All of the lights turned off one by one and the house went dark. My knees were scratched up and some bloody scabs reopened as I stood up. Philip was asleep in his bed, the edge of his mouth slathered with chocolate that he kept hidden underneath his pillow. His teeth would go rotten and yet he was too thick to realize it would disappear by morning. But it didn’t matter to Philip because he would squint, go red, and cry for more, and mommy and daddy dearest would eat up anything he shat out.

The lock clicked as I opened it, the window sliding open causing the curtains to fly out the door. I jumped inside the warm bedroom and watched as Philip rolled over in his bed. It was all so quiet and Da was probably passed out on the cold streets by this time. I had no problem moving around in the darkness since it was all so familiar to me now.

I crept over to the stack of comics and stared down at it. It was the newest edition of the Beano. Somehow Philip already got it so dirty. His pudgy fingers grabbing the cover and smearing the pages with his hands. I picked up the top three and put them in my bag. I marched over to Philip pretending to be Dennis the Menace and going I’m gonna get you piggy Philly I’m gonna shoot you and you’re gonna squeal all funny! in my head as my arms swung stiff back and forth. I reached his bed.

He looked so peaceful and warm and loved. He was in his home, his room, his bed with his family. A giant family all to himself. I frowned but it soon changed into a snicker when I saw the yellow wrapping of the chocolate bar peaking out.

Oh Philly, have you been pigging out again? I cooed as I snatched it from underneath his pillow. He snorted and shifted to his side.

I chucked the chocolate in my bag and went out of his room. Next stop, the Jesters!

The walls were lined of photographs of the lot of them, smiling and holding each other like they were the happiest people in the world. An idea came into my mind as I grabbed the red juicy apples from the kitchen table and swung them at the photos, managing to hit three Philips in the head like Dennis with his slingshot. Most of them stayed on the walls but some of the photos crashed to the floor, bits of glass spreading across the floor.

I guess it was loud enough to wake up Mr. and Mrs. Jester. I heard them shuffling out of their beds and hurrying out to the kitchen. Mrs. Jester went to go check up on Philip to make sure he was okay.

Once the apples were all gone, I picked up anything I could get my hands on and started chucking it on the wall with all my might, screaming that Dennis the Menace was gonna get you Philly! He’s gonna get you and your piggy little family and he’s gonna eat you all up!

Mr. Jester sprinted at me, his eyes lit up with horror as he lifted the shotgun with shaky fingers. Mrs. Jester stood down behind him, Philip clutching onto her legs behind her back.

The comics ended up on the floor, victims in my assault as I reached for whatever I could to throw at the Jesters. Mr. Jester was shouting at me angrily but I couldn’t hear him. I could only see his mouth move up and down and bits of spit fly out in his rage. I kept staring down at the comics.

They were destroyed. Fruit mush and garbage covered the ripped pages and chocolate stained most of the words. I must’ve stepped on them unaware because my boot print dusted some of the pages.

I left the house. I could hear the angry screams of Mr. Jester and the panicked cries of Mrs. Jester, the houses lighting up on the street around me as people came out to see what had happened. Someone had called the guard and I could hear their angry stomping headed my way.

Two guards took a hold of my arms and someone snatched my bag off me. The Jesters stared at me but I didn’t care about them anymore. As they dragged me away, I saw him dancing on the street singing wack fall the daddy-o, his arms and legs swinging up and down all funny and then I started to cry. 

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7 comments

Chris Morris
07:48 Jul 09, 2020

Very punchy story that told what it needed to tell in a concise way. Really felt for the main character and there was a lot of tension built, not really knowing what he was going to do. Glad I got to read it, well done.

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Sarbjeet Kaur
18:30 Jul 09, 2020

Awe thank you!! It's really great to hear that :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Bracy Ratcliff
21:19 Jul 08, 2020

Hi Sarbjeet, what a colorful story. It's clear that you un-named protagonist is jealous of Philip having everything he/she does not have, doting parents, chocolate, comic books, and seemed to take it all for granted, but I'm not sure why. I know there's more to the story and you're limited by word count--and that in itself makes the challenge formidable--I wish you had delved a little deeper into the two characters and the rest of the relationship between the two. Still, it was very entertaining, you can sense the emotion, you can see the...

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Sarbjeet Kaur
18:29 Jul 09, 2020

It's so wonderful to know that you liked it! Thank you for the feedback :) It's always so cool to know what other readers think of what I wrote because it's hard looking at it with fresh eyes, you know? In my head, I think the protagonist definitely was jealous of Philip and was stuck in a dysfunctional family so I just thought that they didn't really need a reason to hate someone in particular, they just needed to hate someone who had what they didn't. I think it would be really interesting to see Philip's side of the story (poor guy's just...

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Nandan Prasad
09:21 Jul 05, 2020

The ending really got me! The beginning was, according to me, the best part though. The introduction is really nice and smooth. A wonderful story all round! Also, would you mind checking out my story if it's not too much trouble? Thanks and good luck!

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Sarbjeet Kaur
17:15 Jul 05, 2020

Omg thank you so much!! I'm so glad you liked it :) Haha yeah it's quite a sad story. Of course I'll check out your submission! I wasn't expecting any comments so this was such a wonderful surprise! <3

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Nandan Prasad
01:46 Jul 06, 2020

You're welcome 😊

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