SCOTT IS • by Steve Calvert

Scott runs all the way home from school.  With his little arms pumping and his trainers pounding the ground, he is in the Great North Run, then the London Marathon. He wins them both and the crowd goes wild, but Scott keeps running, he is a sprinter, he is fast, no one can catch him.

He slides his key into the lock as quiet as he can and Scott is a spy. He is James Bond, 007, on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He sneaks into the house, but no one is home. It is his house now, he is the grown up, he owns it. No one can tell him what to do.

Running around the living room with his arms stretched out at his sides, Scott is plane. A big plane, flying high in the sky. Whoosh! Scott jumps over the stool, then banks left and flies around the sofa, banks right and into the hall, right again and then up the stairs. Up, up and away. He is so high that he is almost invisible from the ground. Scott lifts his chin and flies higher still; he flies away.

Dancing around his bed room, Scott is a boxer: jab… jab, jab,jab. Ducking and diving, left and right, left and right. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; he is Muhammad Ali: jab… jab, jab, jab. He is Rocky fighting Apollo Creed. He is unbeatable. No one can hurt the Rock: jab… jab, jab, jab.

Scott stops… he stands very still… listens. Hears the squeaking of the garden gate, a pair of boots clumping up the garden path; a key scratches against the lock and the front door is thrown open. His father yells: “Scott!” and Scott is a mouse. Hiding in his closet he is as quiet as a mouse. A little brown mouse, curled up into a ball. He listens with his little mousey ears and hears his father climb the stairs and enter the room. Scott’s little mousey nose smells beer and his little mousey brain knows that his father has been drinking again. He curls up even smaller.

The closet door opens and Scott screws up his eyes as tight as he can, curls up smaller still and holds his breath. He is the invisible man… the invisible man… the invisible man…

Steve Calvert lives in the UK. Most of his stories are pretty dark and the ones that are not usually started out that way. His fiction has been published in The Written Word, Arkham Tales, Hub, The Rose & Thorn, and Necrotic tissue.

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