African grey blues

Lugging his blue plastic recycling box through his front door, Ernie growled at his complaining right knee. It had been troubling him for a few weeks but he didn’t want to go to the doctor’s. He was old, that was all, nothing serious. Doctors were busy attending to genuinely ill people, not arthritics like him.

He was lowering the box on to the pavement when he sensed someone standing next to him.

Turning round he recognised his next door neighbours’ son, chewing furiously.

“Hello, Mr Beasley,” the boy said brightly through pink-gummed teeth. He then proceeded to blow a bubble which popped and receded expertly back into his mouth.

“Hello, Tommy,” the old man replied stepping backwards to let the boy pass.

Tommy stood still. “Do you know anything about African grey parrots, Mr B?”

“I don’t really. Sorry. What’s the problem?”

“I’m looking after it for a mate and I think it’s kind of… well, sick.”

“Oh dear.”

“Yeah. It’s sitting on its perch all solemn like. Bored or something, only it was all chirpy when I got it.”

“Which was?

“Saturday. He’s on honeymoon in Ibiza. And my folks are away, so I’m on my own and…”

“Anywhere nice?”

“Not really, gone to the cottage in Devon and left me alone, only they didn’t know about the parrot.”

“Would you like me to…?”

“Would you?”

“Certainly,” the old man replied. He went back into his house, grabbed his key, slammed the door shut and followed the boy into his house. “So it’s eating alright?”

“Uh huh.”

“And when you let it loose it flies about OK?”

“Loose? Like, out of its cage?”

“Well… yes,” Ernie said.

“Oh… am I supposed to do that?”

“It is a bird.”

“Well, yes,” Tommy mimicked. “But it’s a pet.”

“It is that, Tommy but like everyone, it needs its exercise. Imagine if you were shut in your room 24/7.”

“I wouldn’t mind that,” the boy said cheerfully.

“No, I don’t suppose you would. So where is it now?”

“In the toilet.”

“In the… toilet?”

“Yeah.”

“Any particular reason?”

“It’s got flowery wallpaper.”

“Oh I see,” Ernie said, although he didn’t at all.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Advertisements