Short Story Preview: Lost Boys – Sue Hampton
My name is Bea and I’ve just started a Creative Writing degree at university. For my first assignment, I had to write a piece exploring my own experience from the inside, and my subject was obvious. Because I lost two boys at once.
When Jed was born I was jealous as hell. At two and a half I ruled the roost, especially with Grandma, who called me Queen Bee. I was the sort of little girl who wanted frills on the tops of my ankle socks and wouldn’t wear them once the white dimmed. I made the rules in all my games and bossed all the players, but Granddad Ben was the most fun. If I wanted him to long jump in the garden, he’d rev up like a racing car and fly. If I needed him to be a lion, his ferocious pounce would have more spring than a beach ball, and when we danced he’d keep spinning and gliding long after I’d flopped onto the sofa. I didn’t need a baby brother. Mum and Dad must have done their best to make the prospect sound exciting but I knew I didn’t want to share anything I loved, especially Granddad.
Of course I don’t remember it like a narrative in chapters, just Mum coming home from hospital with a package that wasn’t a present. He didn’t jump out of her arms and start to climb the curtains, not at first. But before long he’d amuse himself, even once he was wide awake, by bopping around in his cot and pulling things apart. I didn’t appreciate that any more than his non-verbal commentary intercut with eruptions of laughter. He seemed like an animal to me, and I’d rather have a pet I could lock up in a cage. Soon Jed had escaped from the cot, and his room. He’d appear in mine when the world was still dark, climb onto my bed and laugh as he pulled my nose, ears or fingers, or helped my teddy
to wake me up with a furry dance on my head. And very soon I’d had enough.