• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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An April Fool

Went down to the neighbourhood compost bin, as you do, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was only the twinkle of gold that caught my attention. Otherwise, without that glint of sun sparkle, I wouldn’t have looked down at the side and noticed.

Seems funny now to admit it, but I still dumped our lunch trimmings – the carrot tops, potato peels and other whatnot – on top of the heap and immediately turned away to walk home at a brisk pace. Whilst humming, which I never do.

En route, I slowed down and pondered what to do, like how to say it, who to tell and when. Of course, it’s an important and urgent matter and I should be running. Or should I go back and investigate by myself? I feel confused and the more I think of it, the more layers of confusion pile on. And regret. I should have reacted differently but now it’s too late to undo what I’ve done.

They’re singing when I arrive back home. I hear it from outside and feel sad to have been left out of joining in but it’s a happy moment too because there is bound to be cake. Sure enough, Mum has conjured up an impressive lemon one but it isn’t decorated. I guess she made it for us and uncle Ted just happened to stop by and it just happens to be his birthday too?

So, there really isn’t a good moment to mention a thing like what I saw. No gaps in the conversation and it’s Ted’s happy day. I wait for the right time but the rest of the day slips by without any opportunity to say it so, by bedtime, I still haven’t mentioned it to anyone.

Oh, the dreams I had that night. Well, you can imagine.


An April Fool

Breakfast is quite a tense time in our house with everyone needing to get out the door at the right time and we all leave almost at once. By the time they’ve all gone, I still haven’t said anything about what I saw at the compost heap and now it’s time I left the house too.

After school, of course, I have to go home via that heap to see if it’s still there.

The shocking thing is that it is still evident but has moved. I assure myself that it merely shifted under the weight of more compost but didn’t move on its own. I stare at it for minutes and nothing happens.

“Are you okay in there?” I ask. But, of course, if anyone was buried in the compost heap with just their hand sticking out like that through the slats of wood, it would be urgent and most serious, like how it was yesterday. But now, a day later?

I pick up the turning fork and dig in, sure that whatever I find will be the start of a lifetime of nightmares, when I could have heroically run home yesterday for help instead.