A Franger Full of Spoof

(first published in The Sleepers Almanac, 2005)

A little boy is alone in the forest.  He can see two people on a blanket in the bushes.  He can’t see what they are doing, it sounds like they are fighting.  He peeps through leaves.  For a while there, it looks like the man is winning and the little boy almost cries out to stop the man from hurting her.  But then the woman manages to roll on top of him and he is pinned under her legs and screaming out in great pain.

He runs home to get his brother.  He tells the story too quickly, the sentences crash into each other: ‘She got on top of him… he was hurting her …in the nuddy…they were in the nuddy…’

It was all his brother needed to hear, he grabbed the axe and they run to that shady secret place under the pine trees, but the blanket is gone. 

The little boy finds a little plastic envelope, there is something written on it.  It says: RIBBED FOR HER PLEASURE.

He shows it to his brother.  His brother knows what it is.  He is laughing a knowing laugh, looking around in the bushes for something.  He knows it’s there somewhere, ‘It’s not the sort of thing that you take with you.’ he says. 

It is in the long grass, an oozy translucent plastic slug.

He calls the little boy over, ‘Look’, he says, jabbing a finger at the slug, ‘It’s a franger.  It’s full of spoof.  Look.’ he pokes it with a stick and some of it leaks out over the moss. 

The little boy is puzzled, he’s not sure about any of it.  He spikes it on the end of his stick and flicks it at his brother.  They flick it at each other.  Then the little boy grabs the axe and chops the plastic slug down the middle, into the soft earth. 

There are two tears in the moss. The little boy bends over and points to where the woman’s knees had been.


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