Never Never Land
by DBA Lehane
Once upon a time Mummy used to read me fairytales at bedtime. Then she went and died and I suddenly realised there were no such things as happy-ever-afters.
I find the house in its usual state after school; dirty plates piling up in the sink, trashcans overflowing and Daddy snoring loudly on the couch – an empty bottle of vodka at his side and his special pills in his hand.
“They take me to Never Never Land, son,” he told me once. “A place where I don’t hurt for a while.”
I start tidying around. He’ll be angry if the place is a mess when he eventually wakes up. I know he doesn’t mean to hurt me like he does. He just misses Mummy too. I choke back tears trying not to cry. That makes him even angrier. I’ve got to be a big boy now.
My grades have started slipping at school recently and some of the kids have taken to teasing me about my smelly clothes and dirty hair. Sometimes I wish for some magic beans so I can climb a beanstalk and escape to some magic kingdom where I won’t hurt anymore. But big boys don’t believe in fairytales do they?
I creep over to the couch and carefully take the bottle of pills from Daddy’s hand. There’s at least ten left. I swallow them in one go and lie down upon the dirty carpet and wait.
Maybe I’ll find a happy ever after in Never Never Land?