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jelynne in paper_tale

One in the Hand

Yes, I am still, very, very, very slowly working away at the 64damn_prompts list. Progress has been slow, though, because my creative juices have redirected somewhere other than the writing part of me for the time being. I’m sure they’ll return, I’m just not sure when.

I’m also not quite sure where the idea for this came from, but it’s a sweet little summer vignette all the same. Children behaving like children is really rather refreshing to write. Perhaps I should try to do it more often.

Word Count: 669
Prompt: #12 children (64damn_prompts)
Genre: drama
Rating: PG

Some parts of childhood never change.

One in the Hand

There were five of them, huddled together in a sandy spot at the edge of the playground equipment area near the foot of a large, twisted old tree.

“Comon, Jamie, do it!” Brigit urged, a bright gleam in her eyes.

“My dad says people eat bugs in their sleep,” Tyler offered, leaning sideways to nudge Jamie’s shoulder with his own.

“That’s not the same thing at all!” Andrew complained, wrinkling his nose at Tyler. “He’s not asleep now.”

“Won’t nap,” Claire muttered just barely loud enough to be heard, “can’t make me.”

“Stupid, nobody’s making you,” Tyler sneered.

Claire puffed up her cheeks, her face starting to go red. “M’not...”

Brigit interrupted, stopping Claire’s incipient wail before it could actually be voiced, “My mom says that if you sleep on your back with your mouth open, spiders will lay eggs there. That’s why you should always never do it.”

The other four considered her pronouncement for a long moment. Then a collective shudder moved through the group.


“That’s gross Bri.”

“Yeah, so I always sleep with my head under the pillow now,” Brigit nodded solemnly as she spoke. “That way, the spiders can’t get to my mouth, even if I do sleep on my back.”

The general, mostly unspoken, consensus among the four crouched in the dirt with her agreed that this was a wise move indeed, and probably one to be imitated that very night, just in case.

“So are you gonna eat it, or not?” Tyler needled, poking Jamie in the arm.

Jamie looked down at his slightly grubby hands cupped carefully around their prize a little doubtfully. “Dunno...” he said softly, “it took so long to catch it...”

“But now that we caught it, we gotta do something with it,” Claire insisted.

“Yeah, why else would we catch it?” Andrew added.

“I thought... To see if we could?” Jamie was still looking down at his hands. “It’s still moving around so much. It was fun.”

“Fine. If you don’t wanna eat it, I will.” Brigit held out her hands to Jamie. “Pass.”

“Bri~ no,” Claire whined. “Good girls don’t do gross things, momma says. Make Tyler or Drew do it.”

“Your momma’s weird,” Brigit scoffed. “My dad says she’s loopy.” She and the others blithely ignored it as Claire’s lower lip started to jut out in a pout. “Pass it, Jamie.”

Reluctantly, Jamie held out his cupped hands, and the two started - with some fumbling - trying to transfer his prize from one pair of hands to another.

“Careful...” Tyler nearly whispered, watching intently.

Andrew rocked forward on the balls of his feet, watching with a solemn face.

The tip of Brigit’s tongue poked out of the corner of her mouth in concentration. “...almost...” A small green shape suddenly shot out of a gap between her and Jamie’s hands, straight at her face. “Oh!”

Brigit toppled backwards from surprise, and the green shape hit her square in the chin - just missing her mouth - and falling from there to her chest. It paused, briefly resolving from a blur into a small, brilliantly coloured grasshopper, then bounded madly away.

“Don’t lose it!” Claire yelped, forgetting her pout to scramble after the escaping insect.

“It’s getting away!” Tyler also leapt into pursuit, tumbling over the still frozen from surprise Brigit, but still managing to keep going.

“Y’okay?” Andrew asked Brigit.

She nodded, eyes still a little wide.

“Comon, help us catch it again!” Tyler demanded.

“Coming!” the other three yelled, getting to their feet.

Brigit huffed as she got to her feet. He clothes were all any-which-way so they had to be fixed before she could give chase, and Jamie was grinning as he ran past her to join the others.

“You did it on purpose!” she yelled after him.

Tyler yelped as he tried to turn too fast and ended up on his knees, and Claire giggled at him. Andrew laughed, and Jamie pointed off to the right.

“It went that way!”

“Is that the same one?”

“Who cares! Catch it!”


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January 2012

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