Added: Meia Lehmann - Date: 14.05.2022 08:42 - Views: 34072 - Clicks: 8593
Richard Hill is a writer of short fiction and poetry based out of Brisbane. He wrote Mr Lewis late last year.
Read it here. He wrote Mr. Lewis late last year. Her father lowered his paper, slowly, and peered over the top. Sally was lying on the floor, working her way through a Colour by s book she had been given for her birthday. He squinted at her. He put down his paper. But Mr Lewis said we were disturbing the class. He made me stay after school. Instead, he leant against the sink, and poured himself a glass of cold water. When he came back into the living room, his daughter was sitting straight up, looking at him with shame growing in her cheeks.
It was a Thursday evening, and Thursday after dinner was their Quiet Time. It was a treat for both of them — a half an hour stretch without television, or the looming threat of homework. Thirty minutes when father and daughter could just sit in the living room and get on with their separate little activities — his six year-old daughter with her colouring, and he with his newspaper and a glass of red wine. When I told Brodie, she just said that I deserved it for talking in class. He scanned his memory to see if he could recall a Mr Lewis from any of the Parent Teacher evenings.
But it was all a blur of standard Primary School faces — lazy beards, oversized glasses, pleasant, innocuous smiles. So he let me sit on his lap. Clench and unclench your fists. He did so. Count to thirty. His daughter, a little alarmed now, sat up even straighter on the floor. He was shaking. The surface of the wine moved from side to side. When he opened his eyes again, his daughter was quietly crying. He had closed his eyes again, and she could Armpit tickle story he was doing his quiet counting. She had seen him do it before. His lips were sticking together and then coming apart gently, and she could tell he was up to about twenty one.
She was secretly proud. She could count up to twenty one as well. In fact, she could count up to a hundred. Leroy had taught her that she always called him Mr Lewis in class, but in her head, he was Leroy. The name made her laugh, and she liked it. She liked saying it, to herself, when no one could hear her. She started to count as well, and by the time she reached eighty, she saw her dad had finished counting. He went into the kitchen, and she heard him rattling around with the cupboards and some glasses. She heard the crack of the ice falling into the ice tray.
Her dad closed the freezer door. Leroy had taken her to the staff room at playtime and had shown her the little button Armpit tickle story the freezer that got pressed when you shut the door. He had flicked it on and off a few times with the door open, and she had seen the light flickering, like the lights at a disco.
Sally got to go to bed later than normal that night. Sally just sat and coloured. She had almost finished her entire colouring book when she looked up and saw it was eleven thirty at night. She put herself to bed. She said goodnight to her dad, and then walked upstairs, and tucked herself under the covers. She lay in bed, listening out in case her dad put the television on, like he usually did. He must be really mad, she thought. But she knew he had.
Just for talking in class? That was more than enough. She was out — he could hear chatter in the background, and the gentle hum of music. There was a pause on the other end. Her words sloshed back and forth around her mouth. She was very still.
He stroked a few strands of hair away from her face. It was around then he saw the scratch marks on her armpits. The next morning, he woke up with an outrageous hangover, and he woke up late. He had fallen asleep in the armchair. His daughter was fully dressed, and she was shaking him. They were late. He scooped his daughter up in two hands and threw her in the back of the car.
He broke the speed limit more than once on his way to the school, and he gave his daughter two kisses on either cheek before pushing her through the gates with one hand. He got back into his car, and drove to work. During his lunch break that day, he thought.
He thought and thought and thought. His head was still throbbing, but still he thought. He called up the school and asked After Care to pick up Sally that day, which was unusual. He always picked up Sally on a Friday. It was their afternoon. Just like Quiet Time. But today, he had other plans. He parked out front. He considered, as he had considered so many times the night before, calling the police. But he decided not to. This was his issue to deal with. He stepped out of the car, and walked into the playground. The children were grabbing their bags and making their way home.
She would be disappointed already — the school would have told her that she was going to After Care rather than seeing her dad, and he could imagine her confusion if she ran into him, standing here in her playground, still hungover, and still dressed in his work things. He knew where it was. He had been here a of times the year — Sally had a different teacher back then, but was in the same room bright, gaudily painted room.
It was a Friday afternoon, after all — maybe the staff all went out for drinks together, or maybe they rushed home to their own families. But there he was — Mr Lewis, in the centre of the classroom, on his hands and knees, on top of a young, dark haired girl, and with his hands in her armpits. He was half in, half out of the classroom, and his body felt frozen.
The dark-haired girl was laughing hysterically. She sat up a little, and pointed at him. Mr Lewis stopped and turned. He Armpit tickle story young. No older than thirty, certainly, and his hair was thick, black and going prematurely grey around the temples. He was handsome, in an odd sort Armpit tickle story way, and he was dressed in a bright red jacket, with matching bright red boots. He was too big for the little plastic chair, and it squeaked when he lowered his body into it. Mr Lewis looked back down at the dark-haired girl. How many minutes left?
The tickling continued for three minutes exactly. Mr Lewis was very careful to dole out only as much punishment as needed. The girl was laughing hysterically, if somewhat desperately. She kept trying to shove Mr Lewis away, though not exactly violently, her hands limp, and her tongue still poking through her teeth. Mr Lewis straightened, and dusted off his jacket.Armpit tickle story
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