by Nate Ayres
short story about a keen little boy with a vivd imagination
|I looked down at Paul, my pet rabbit. He was definitely there – I could see him lying on the floor in front of me. My mummy said that he was dead, which was like a sleep you didn’t wake up from. I don’t like sleep. You go into a room on your own and turn off all the lights so you can’t see then lie down and close your eyes till your switched off then when it gets light again you get switched back on. Mummy says it’s like recharging your batteries but I don’t have any batteries.
Every night I try to stay awake but I always fall asleep in the end. I wouldn’t mind sleep but I don’t know who switches me off and that is very scary. Mummy says it is me but I’d know if it was. I don’t know who it is because it is very dark and I can’t see anyone in my room. They must be very small because they don’t open the door to get in otherwise I’d be able to see them from the light in my hallway. I think they come in through the little space at the bottom of my door. They have to be small to get in my head too because the switch is not on the outside because I have checked.
I would like to meet some very small people, it would be very funny. Also, if I met them I would talk to them and then I would know who switches me off so sleep would be OK.
I decided Paul needed some new batteries because if they take forever to recharge then they can’t be very good and I wanted to play with him. I left Paul on the floor in my garden and went into my garden to find some. I went into my front room and opened up the remote control. There were two batteries inside so I took them out. Then I thought.
“If the batteries for the remote are this big and the remote is small I need some bigger batteries for Paul because he is bigger”
I went upstairs to mummy and daddy’s room because they always have what I want. Then I saw their bed and it had been made and was clean so I ran to it and jumped on it for a while. I love jumping on beds: it’s much better than sleeping in them. I wish I had springs on the bottom of my feet because jumping is better than walking and I could jump all the time then. Jumping makes me tired though so I had to sit down. I laid on the bed, breathing deeply and looked and at the ceiling. It was good to be off school but I was bored.
I went downstairs to find my mummy because I was hungry and wanted something to eat. I saw an empty cardboard box on the kitchen floor
“Yes, I can make my spaceship!” I shouted
I’d tried twice before but I’d got the design wrong. The first time the wings were too small and the second time the bottom fell out. I got my design from my bedroom and looked at it. I needed to cut the flaps of the box lower for bigger wings and take two of them off and stick them to the bottom so it didn’t break. This one was going to work. I’d watched a program on the telly on how to make rockets from Pepsi bottles so if I stuck four of them to each corner of my spaceship I wouldn’t have to throw it out of the window this time. This would help because it would always be going up instead of having to go up from falling down.
I worked on it for hours and painted it red and black with gold stripes. I wanted to call it Paul after my rabbit but it was a girl so I called it Paula. That reminded me - I still had to find some new batteries for Paul. I went and got the two that I took from the remote and put them in my bedroom on my windowsill. I decided that I would collect tem for him as good as two big ones and I couldn’t find any big ones. I had a lot of time to do it because he was asleep and I could wake him up at any time. I wanted him to be the astronaut for my spaceship but it would take me ages to find ten batteries so I decided he could fly the next one. I took my spaceship up to my bedroom and tidied up the glue and scissors and bits of card so mummy didn’t know I had made it. She must have taken my little brother John somewhere because there was no one in the house and my daddy works.
Mummy didn’t like me making spaceships because John was my astronaut and mummy said John was too young to be an astronaut and anyway my spaceships weren’t real, they were just pretend so John would get hurt. This spaceship was real though because it had rockets on it so it was OK. I knew mummy wouldn’t let John be an astronaut if I asked but he loved it and I could tell he wanted to do it so I would not ask mummy.
I went into the front room to watch the telly and wait for them to come home. I watched a boring black and white program on BBC 1 because the remote had no batteries so I couldn’t turn it over then I looked for some more batteries for Paul. I got the one from my mummy’s phone but it was bigger so I counted it as three normal ones and put it with the two others in my bedroom.
I heard someone coming through the door and ran downstairs. It was my mummy and |John and they had fish and chips with them except John didn’t have any because he is too small. I ate my tea and waited until mummy did the washing up from yesterday so I could take John upstairs without being seem. I snuck into my room and got the spaceship. I put John in and lifted it up and it didn’t break so I knew it would work. I took the spaceship downstairs with John inside and went to my garden. Mummy was watching the telly so I went into the kitchen quickly to sneak a biscuit and saw a new pack of batteries on the kitchen table. I rushed outside with the batteries and opened the pack. John and Paul could be astronauts together! John started to cry so I gave him my biscuit to calm his nerves.
I looked at Paul. I had no idea where to put the batteries. Maybe in his ear I thought, but they were floppy and it would not be easy to put batteries in there. I decided they went up his bum. I picked up a battery with one hand and I picked up Paul with the other hand and went to put the battery in his bum…
“Chris have you seen the batteries for the…Oh my god! Christopher no! What are you doing? Put Paul down. Is that another spaceship? Is John in there?”
“Christopher you’re in a lot of trouble. You can’t keep doing this, OK? You’ve got to understand that it’s not safe for a little baby to go in a spaceship because they could get hurt. You don’t want to hurt your little brother do you?”
“Then no more spaceships please. Did you hear that?”
“Good.” She paused and looked at the sky then pointed her eyebrows, “and what are you doing to Paul?”
“Well” I began…