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Fiction Happy

Charlie was always a mischief-maker by heart, it gave him immense pleasure to see his “prey” squirm. His younger siblings were always good for a laugh; as neither of them were wise enough yet to figure out who the instigator or the practical joker was. It was usually Charlie, of course. At the grand age of ten, Charlie looked forward to April Fool’s Day immensely. The thing was he had to remember that he was the fool if he yelled ‘April Fool’ after midday. Charlie had decided that this time he would have it all in control. It still angered him that Dad had a laugh at Charlie’s expense the previous year; it certainly was not happening this year.

Charlie was fond of his little sister Lucy, but Timothy who preferred to be known as Tim was another kettle of fish. If Charlie did anything untoward in Tim’s eyes, Tim ran off to Mum to complain. Unlike Charlie, Tim was the serious one; and the ‘Teacher’s pet’ at seven years old. Talk about Mr Goody two shoes! Charlie shook his head in disbelief; to think they were related! Lucy was five, at the age where school was important and older brothers were feared one minute and adored the next. She knew she could go to Daddy for protection should Charlie show any signs of silliness; or if Tim played a prank after all Daddies and daughters were often best buddies. Lucy would realise soon enough that Daddies and sons often bonded well too when push came to shove. Girls were in Charlie’s opinion very stupid and certainly very silly.  When telling Dad this, he was told he’d soon change his ideas about that; Charlie could not see the point in that remark.

Charlie had a plan, not too mischievous, but not goody two shoes either. All year he had been saving some of his pocket money towards April Fools Day. When he had saved up what he thought was enough, he decided the best way to inflict laughter was to whet the appetite, in more ways than one. Mum was the one to approach for assistance. He presented his pocket money to her and asked if she could buy some milo and vegemite. Apparently, Milo is the Australian version of Horlicks, Mum kept saying so every winter.

“Oh, that will be a lot of Milo Charlie; fifty dollars worth! Surely you would be better to use some of it to buy Easter eggs?” Charlie was adamant; Mum was suspicious.

 “Why do you need this?” Mum asked again.

“For school,” he answered with a cheeky smile.

“Is it a birthday or something?” Mum asked just as the front doorbell rang.

There was no answer from Charlie as he ran out of the kitchen to answer the front door. Mum started making dinner and forgot about the conversation, until much later. 

Charlie was alone in the kitchen the next day. He went to the magnetic board on the refrigerator labelled “Things to Do” and carefully wrote the words MILO and VEGEMITE on the board taking care to replace the marker carefully on the hook beside the board. Mum watched on. Saying nothing, she went to her purse. She gave Charlie the fifty dollar note back then said:

“Keep that for something special Charlie, I buy the groceries.”

Charlie stopped himself from rubbing his hands with glee; he was hoping that would happen; indeed it was a “cherry on top of the ice cream” moment. He was all set, but as is often the case had to wait patiently to execute his plan.

April 1st:

Charlie woke up suddenly, wondering what the noise was, then realised he had set the alarm for six am. He sat up and pounced on the clock like a spider on her prey. Despite the quick action from Charlie Tim woke up, looking a little disorientated.

“What’s going on?” he asked sleepily, wishing for the umpteenth time that he had his own room.

“Nothing I must have set the alarm button when I dropped the clock last night. Go back to sleep.”

Charlie knew it was not a terribly convincing explanation, but Tim was tired enough to roll over and close his eyes. Charlie got up, slipped his dressing gown and slippers on and quietly tiptoed out the room closing the door. He had judged that if he had a head start on breakfast no one would notice his plan, only his kind deeds. Making as little noise as possible he reached for the vegemite on the table, the milo was a different story and it was just out of his reach. Having opened the pantry door, and assessed the situation, he found the stool nearby, climbed on it, and with a mighty effort held the tin of milo in one hand. Carefully he stepped off the stool, placed it where it belonged, closed the pantry with the other hand, and began preparing breakfast.

He delved into the mug drawer, pulled out five clean mugs and selected two from these, carefully spooning the milo in the cups. Darting back to the refrigerator, he grabbed the milk and deftly poured some into the mugs intent on placing these in the microwave to boil. Oh, he nearly forgot the…

“You’re up early!” said Mum as she walked into the kitchen “are we having milo for breakfast? I hope you lot will not fall asleep at your desks it is after all a normal school day.”

“Uh-huh,” said Charlie as he carefully placed four pieces of bread in the toaster. Again, this was well-timed as both Tim and Lucy still clad in their pyjamas, rushed into the kitchen apparently starving. Tim hesitated and looked at Mum.

“Has Charlie made breakfast?  he asked, “yuck I’m not eating it.”

“That’s not fair Tim,” said Mum “Charlie was out here early…”

Tim stopped himself before uttering “Ok you eat it.”

“How much milo did you put in the mug Charlie, the mixture looks like mud.” she sniffed the mixture. The penny dropped. Mum looked at Tim and Lucy shaking her head. She placed the mug in front of Charlie.

“Drink it Charlie.” this was not the gentle Mum voice. Charlie was stunned

“Well drink it, Charlie.”

“But I will be sick.”

“Tough. Oh, and by the way, Charlie no pocket money for the next two weeks.”

Another April Fools Day plan had bitten the dust!

April 02, 2021 03:40

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3 comments

11:55 Apr 07, 2021

A beautiful and funny story. Could use some work on the punctuation (Charlie no pocket money for the next two weeks should be "Charlie, no pocket money for the next two weeks)

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Claire Tennant
06:54 Apr 09, 2021

Thank you I don't see a problem with it, the sentence was supposed to run together. However punctuation seems to be a common fault in the many stories I read from here perhaps it is a fresh look.

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11:19 Apr 09, 2021

Hmm... yeah.

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