by Geoff Moore
Katie’s house was orange with blue square windows in the corners and a green door. Black smoke spiralled from the chimney. A person stood next to the house, in large red trousers, and the big yellow sun beamed yellow rays across the whole scene from up in the sky.
“Is that Daddy?” Miss Sprew enquired, squatting beside Katie’s table with her bony hands clasping her bony knees “Is that your Daddy in those trousers?”
Katie shook her head, twiddling the over-sized brush in the water jug,
loading purple onto the bristles and starting on a pond shaped blob beside the man in the garden.
“No? Katie? That’s not your Daddy?” Miss Sprew spoke very loud – louder the longer you didn’t answer her. “That’s not your Daddy then, Katie darling?”
She wore too much lipstick – there were bits of it on her teeth – and she had a haircut that made it look like she was wearing a space helmet. Her breath smelled funny – like old cooking and vinegar. Katie wished Conor Blenkinsop would poo his pants again so Miss Sprew would go away and leave her finish the picture – it had to be done before the paint pots got all brown and mixed up. She wasn’t allowed tell Miss Sprew to go away, that would be naughty, and Katie was a good girl; and if she pretended Conor Blenkinsop had poo-ed his pants she’d be fibbing.
“Is it Noddy, Katie darling?” Miss Sprew was so stupid, but you weren’t allowed to say that either.
Some of the others were tidying up, and the big children were getting their coats; but the picture needed to be finished when Daddy arrived so he’d see it and he’d know. He’d know, and she wouldn’t have told. She’d still be a good girl and not said a word.
Geoff Moore lives in Dubai these days, where the absence of rain prevents him from rusting and the absence of income tax prevents him from starving. Soon he will have finished a novel.