Reply To: Stories Welcome Here

Home Forums WRITE FLASH FICTION! Stories Welcome Here Reply To: Stories Welcome Here

#50264
Joanna Jelen
Participant

 

 
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Little Johnny from Bubbleville</p>
 

“This decree starts a golden chapter in the age of children welfare. One Mustn’t Spank the Kids movement voted today—” The bus door cuts off the rest of the public announcement.

“Does it mean the decrees issued during my school days were written in silver?” I smirk at the elderly lady sitting next to me, but she quickly hides behind her wrinkled eyelids.

I chew on my gum, debating if I should inform the OMSK authorities, she wears earplugs. I palm my reporting device, tenderly called Rat by my generation, but then let it go. I can’t remember the code number forbidding the usage of personal sound protection in public places. But she should know better—every adult shall always be ready to respond to a child’s demands.

Anyway, I’m already more interested in the two new passengers looking for seats, a mother with a preschool age son.

The mother’s face seems familiar. My mom used to have the same terrified look; her eyes would jump from place to place afraid to focus on something. Or on me. To be specific, it was just Mom’s left eye, as OMSK removed her other eye after I reported she scowled at me.

Which reminds me, I missed my visit at the madhouse again. Oh well, the last time Mom saw me, her condition worsened. Whatever.

“Johnny, let me buy you ice-cream after lunch, all right?” the mother says passing my row.

The bus jerks to a stop at a red light before the new passengers take their seats and the mother, already weighted down with her son, struggles to balance. Perhaps she’d be able to manage, even with Little Johnny’s well-fed tonnage, if he wasn’t trying to wiggle out of her arms.

She let him go the moment he screams, “Child abuse” and the sudden move screws up her balance completely.

Before she drops to her knees, all Rats on the bus beep the distress signal. When the vehicle keeps moving, the woman stands up, thanking every kid around for pressing the false alarm button. Lucky or smart she’s using public transportation.

If my grandma was so clever, she’d still have both of her hands. I still feel sorry for my mistake. Instead of lying she spanked me, I should have told OMSK that she kicked me or something. Damn it, all those years wasted without her great cooking.

I don’t need to turn my head to see that Johnny and his mother take the bench behind me. The seat to my right vibrates from the boy’s hefty kicks so much, mine echoes with the aftershocks. The elderly lady doesn’t dare to admonish him. I unwrap another piece of gum and add it to the old one. Chewing lowers my stress level.

“Johnny, sweetheart, do you want to watch a cartoon or play a game?” the mother asks.

Judging by the next series of kicks, Johnny isn’t interested in her offer.

“Look at the new book, Johnny. It’s about the rabbit you love.”

Kick.

I doubt he loves anything. Maybe soccer. I unwrap another piece of gum.

“Hey, sweetheart, I found a candy. All yours.”

Kick.

“Okay, but this one is raspberry, your favorite flavor.”

Kick.

“Let’s call Daddy and ask if he got that new firetruck for you.”

Kick.

The redirection technique is fucking useless. The elderly lady is going through her rosary beads faster than I can unwrap my next fix.

“Do you want me to sing you a song? Recite a poem? Dance hula?”

“Shut up, bitch.” Kick.

Yeah. Shut up, bitch, and give the kid some chillax instead. OMSK lowered the age for prescription drugs last year. Little Johnny surely can qualify. Jesus.

I reach to my pocket and find it empty. Shit, my stash of chewing gum is gone. The wad in my mouth is the size of the Moon but it’s not the volume that helps. It’s about satisfying the trained cognition that if I want it, I want it now.

My jaw muscles bulge.

Little Johnny switches the seats a minute before my stop. In fact, I pull at the bus bell the same moment, he kicks my chair. I count to three, but I can’t help myself. I take the wad from my mouth and stick it to Little Johnny’s hair.

“I got the stress-free upbringing, too,” I explained to his astonished mother while spreading the gum all over her son’s curly coiffure.

Despite his bawling, every Rat is quiet. I still have two months to my twenty fifth birthday, the new legal adulthood age, curtesy of OMSK.

I leave the bus with a spring in my step and go straight to my appointment. The bed at the outpatient clinic is ready for me when I come.

Before the doctor sedate me for the vasectomy, I grab his hand with all my strength. “Make sure, it can’t be reversed.”

“All right, Little Johnny.”

Little Johnny? My eyes can’t pop open, too weak to fight the first effects of anesthesia. I inhale. Perhaps he’s right. We’re all Little Johnnies, the kids one mustn’t spank. I exhale. But sometimes, one really should.

 

We use cookies to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We do not share this information with anyone.
Cookies settings
Accept
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/)

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Registration

The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on theguardian.com. At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Updating your personal information

We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
Save settings
Cookies settings
X

Forgot Password?

Join Us