Don’t touch my car

You always told me not to touch your car. It was a big thing to you. Don’t touch my car, dude. And you’d always find the fingerprint or the licked finger letter I left for you and you would say don’t touch my car and I would and you would hit me. Don’t touch my car, dude. But now, now we’ve raced one of those ridiculous races, lights off on the clifftop road, and my car touches yours and you’ve spun and hit the wall and somersaulted and hit a tree and another and now in the moonlight your car is on its side in the olive grove, gently hissing. I touched your car. Dude.

Going to the Island

Come on son, time to get up – we’re going on holiday. Grandad will be waiting for us.

Do you want some breakfast?

Don’t bother having a wash, you can go in the sea when we get there. Just wash your face and get dressed. We’ll have to hurry to catch the ferry. Your brother’s up and your dad’s out at the car.


Want to be sick.

I can’t stop here, there’s a queue of traffic behind us.
Come on, there’s a good boy, we’re nearly at the layby, we can have a cup of tea there and you can be sick.

Go on, quick, jump out quick.


Thank god for that.
I know. I’ll get the flask and the cups. Who wants something to eat?

He’s been sick again.
Again? Where is he?
He’s over there behind that hedge. His brother’s with him.
Why did you let him eat that hard-boiled egg?
He wanted something and that’s all he fancied.


Which will bring us back to Doe, a deer, a female deer –
Christchurch near Bournemouth.
There’s no need for that, it’s keeping them quiet.
Ray, a drop of golden sun –
Ow! He hit me.
Stop it both of you. Your father’s thinking about the road.


We’re going to miss the ferry.
We’re not going to miss the ferry. We might even get the one before the one we’re booked on.
Will they let us on that one?
I don’t know. We can ask when we get there.
I’ll have to phone Dad to tell him we’re going to be early. We need to find a phone box.
Let’s wait and see, shall we?

I just said let’s wait and see.
Don’t drive so fast, there’s no rush.


Need a wee.
Why didn’t you go before? Dad, dad, you’ll have to stop, he wants a wee.
Which one?
Which one do you think?
I can’t stop here, we’re in the middle of the town.
He can’t stop here darling, these are people’s gardens, you’ll have to wait.
Can’t wait.
He can’t wait.
Well, I’ll stop when I can.
You’ll have to stop soon, he really needs to go.

You’ll have to take him. Take him round the corner away from the car. Don’t let anyone see you.


When are we going to get there? Will Grandad be there?
We’re nearly there, well, nearly. Yes, he’ll be waiting for us. And tomorrow you can go fishing with him.


There’s the queue. There, over there, there’s the queue.
Yes, I can see it. Have you got the tickets and the stickers for the windscreen?
Yes, I put them on the table when you were making their breakfast.
In my bag?

Where on the table did you put them?
On the table….


How are you feeling now? Can you see the island? Let’s see who’ll be the first one to see Grandad.

Where’s your brother now? Stay here while I go and find him. And if you see your father tell him to stay here. We’re getting off soon.


Well, who are these two tall boys? Do I know you? Come here while I say hello. Hello love, hello son. You drive round and I’ll nip round on my bike. The back door’s open.
Hello dad.

First published on 29 June 2015