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Splunging

Jack's wet curls popped out as he pulled a clean jumper over his head. I stared resentfully at the comb beside me and yanked at my starched collar. Guided through the loops, Jack fastened his belt. I ignored the skirt and kit laid out for me, reaching for a pair of worn trousers instead.

We ventured down the hall, the water closet still full of steam behind us. Downstairs our fingers and noses pressed gloomily against the rain-streaked pane. The rhythm of Father's typewriter and the constant clicking clock echoed in our heads. We watched the rain collecting in puddles along our way and in tarmac potholes. I glanced to the door where the brolly and our wellies were waiting and our rain jackets hung side by side. Jack and I sighed whilst settling back into the window seat.

Cadence played out on our roof and Father's soft hum joined the tap of his keys. And suddenly my ears perked up, Jack's eyes grew wide, and our joining glances brought mischievous smiles to our faces. We tiptoed across the floor and Father's study door half closed to our direction. Silently we took our wellies and cagoules in hand and with a slow gentle turn of the knob – we were free.

“What stealth!” Jack whispered as we hurried to dress on the front ledge. I stifled a laugh and held a finger to my lips. With our hoods up we dashed out to meet the spring rain.

The fresh air welcomed us and we laughed and played in the mizzle. Some roads were flooded and the earth was a sponge. Jack watched as his wellies left prints in the mud and we spelled out our names.

“Who can find the biggest puddle?” I challenged.

“I can find the fattest worm!” Jack proudly held up the juicy dirt-eater. He threw it at me and it smeared down my cagoule. With a playful gasp I hurled a handful of mud, which landed perfectly smearing through his hair. He lunged for retaliation and I ran for safety along the footpath.

Puddles beckoned us and we attacked them in fervor. “Splunge!” cried Jack as he jumped into one almost knee-high. I followed and our horseshoe road was fully splunged, not a puddle forgotten.

A thunderous shout halted us in place, our merriment melting to terror. Again the call sounded - “Kinslie! Jack!” We looked at each other but were unable to move. “Kinslie Aaden! Ezra-Jack!” We winced at the sharp tone. “KINSLIE!” That final cry flipped a toggle and I bolted. Jack huffed behind me as we rounded the curve of the horseshoe and shot down the straightaway.

The house was in sight, our front stoop, and Father who filled its space. He opened the door without a word and we shuffled in, our heads down. Our muddy coats and wellies were pushed into the corner. We stood guiltily before him. I caught Jack sneaking a few looks up at Father but was quickly shot down.

“Now what,” Father scanned us, his arms crossed, “did I tell you?” Suddenly we found our mouths locked shut. Father's shinny leather shoes paced the hard wood floor.

“Kinslie? What did I say? Ezra-Jack?”

“You said don't go out,” Jack blurted, “you told us to stay fresh.” Father stopped with a nod.

“Kinslie?”

“You told us to keep clean, not to bumble, keep nous.”

“Bob's your uncle.” Father squatted down before us and looked into our eyes, he was so close I could smell his aftershave.

“Well?” he sounded slightly sarcastic.

“We're sodding filthy!” cried Jack with a bubble of a giggle escaping as well. Father straightened and with a strange side smile he nodded, “Grotty, that's right.”

Straight away, he scooped us up and threw us in the tub again and scrubbed us till we were sterile.



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julianrmonse said...
Dec. 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm:
Really great imagery here, the story certainly takes me back to my childhood. I loved the vocab choices too, great work!
 
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