‘Little Brother’, flash fiction, currently under consideration for publication.
One summer afternoon, when there’s nothing better to do than to count cars and watch dead cows float past on the river, a surprise visitor shows up and unwittingly teaches a little boy a thing or two about what not to do when he grows up.
“The little boy waited quietly at the bottom of the driveway and counted cars.
It was a Saturday, his second-favourite day, and the heat and sunshine meant there was a good chance of the ice-cream van today.
The river across the road still smelt of flooding. Yesterday he watched a bloated cow float down it, its head perfectly upright as if it had learned to swim. He remembered having the urge to ride it and bob up and down on it in the river, like a carousel. But he was old enough to know the cow was dead and it was the main thing making the water smell so bad. So if he did go through with his carousel idea, his mother would surely find him out from the stink in his clothes. But if it wasn’t for the smell he might’ve tried it. Either way, jumping off the rope swing into the river like he did every summer Saturday, was still a no-no. Not just a ‘no’, his mother had said, but a ‘no-no’. Not allowed, times two.”