Day 77 – The Tesco Orphan

Inspired by the half hour I spent roaming around in Tescos today looking for my parents who had completely disappeared in to the immense carnage that was panic-shopping. Quite why everyone was panicking, I can’t say. I think it has something to with a man in red being murdered by crossed chimneys?
Word count: 1034

It was bright yellow. Happy yellow. Shiny and inviting yellow. Pink lettering two. And pictures. And there were many of them. There were at least more than two. There were millions of gazillions of them. And there were more next to them. Shelves stacked high of thousands of colours and bright, bubbly lettering. Mana from heaven they were.

Little Charlie looked up, wide eyed and in awe of the visual feast. His tummy rumbled with the prospect of devouring each and every one of the fantastical flavoured sweets. He could feel his baby teeth frost over with a coating of sugar just thinking about their tantalising taste. He reached out a daring hand. He knew it would not last long, but he could chance it. The tips of his fingers reached further and further – each stretch roaming further and further over the boundary he thought he’d never be allowed to cross. With glee, Charlie snatched the bag and it crumpled into the fold of his grip with a happy crackling sound. His tiny feet danced with excitement. He was allowed. He turned to smile broadly, saliva already dripping down his chin, towards his mother. But there was no one there.

All he could see before him was a forest of knees and legs. The supermarket was dense with them. Charlie looked around him and squinted through the thick copse of knee. She wasn’t there. Neither was his father. There was no waterfall of long blond hair. There was no angry man reading his magazine and checking the time. Charlie stepped forward and fell into a run. At the end of the aisle, an expanse of openness met him with a frightening grin. Between here and the edge of the universe, there were shelves and shelves, rows and rows of big things and little things, boxes and sweets and donuts and treats. There were yucky fruits and disgusting vegetables. There were not-allowed bottles and strange looking meals. But there were also a whole country’s worth of people fighting for them all and little Charlie looking like the lost little boy from Never Land who’d just been shown how to fly.

He might not have a mother, his father might not be around, but he was the king of the shop. He could have all the toffee he wanted, he could swim in the chocolate milk. It was his; all his and he was never, ever going to be told no. From now he was his own master, his own judge and his own parent. There would be no more moaning and no more tantrums from his mother telling him not to have this and not to do that. There would be no more early bed times and no more treats. Treats would be meals and broccoli would be banned. Sprouts would be slaughtered on the streets in celebration.

Charlie flew off down the main aisle, soaring on the thermals of his liberation. On his way to everywhere and anywhere he passed the tied up children chained by their buggies and prams and holding mum’s hands. He laughed and mocked them. Up and down the freezer section he ran – his tiny feet scurrying like the tiny feet of mice. Three years old, he jumped up and swung from freezer door to freezer door, peering at the yummy scrumptious boxes inside. And then he spotted the ice cream. They were stacked like lego bricks. They looked awesome. They were coloured in cool greens and wicked reds. They had fun writing.

Glassy eyed, Charlie just stared hopeless at them. The longer he looked at them, the further away they seemed. But why? He had no parent to slap his hand and tell him no. He had no one to tell him it would ruin his dinner. This could be his dinner! But he just looked on in despair. His world saddened slightly as if the sun had set for the last and final time.

And then something happened; something miraculous, like his dream when it rained chocolate buttons. A great big arm swooped in overhead. Far above him it grabbed the door handle that contained the ice cream and pulled the gates of heaven open. A spark ignited in the back of Charlie’s eye and he stampeded up and down as the excitement trembled through his body. Ecstasy was coming.

Would he run for it? Would he simply take it? No. He would dive in for it. He prepared himself for the jump. He conferred with NASA whether or not it was ok to launch. Affirmative. Take off was confirmed.

Velcro trainers that lit up at the back, enabled. Excitement engaged. Charlie: ignition, blast off!

It was awesome. He was flying through the air preparing to land on a bed of ice cream. His hands would soon be sticky with chocolate and sugar. They lied. The moon was not made of cheese; it was made of chocolate and ice cream and cookie dough and strawberries. Flying through the air still, he could see the exact range of boxes he would knock through to make his own Charlie-shaped crater when he landed. Freedom reigned through his bloodstream and the wind flew through his soft, fine hair. And then it all stopped.

It was as if all time had just ceased. Though there were people moving and shouting around him. Maybe he had run out of fuel, but he was fine – he was alright? There was an odd sensation around his tummy. It was a gripping sensation. He looked down and saw a hand and an arm extending from his tummy. To the left of him – his excitement blacked out at the sight – he saw a waterfall of blond hair. The arm brought him to the ground and suddenly he felt the cotton wool descend once more.

Charlie looked up, glassy eyed and sad, at his mother. She looked cross and angry but she took his hand and he took hers. She shouted something loud at him, but he was not listening. He was too busy waving goodbye to the rapscallion life of a lost boy, orphaned – if only briefly – in Tesco’s two days before Santa was due to arrive.

~ by S.G. Mark on December 23, 2011.

2 Responses to “Day 77 – The Tesco Orphan”

  1. That was good. I liked him swinging on the doors, it created a very fun image.

  2. love it, so visual, I am with charlie all the way

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