Angie Page

CLAIRE HAMILTON — CREATIVE WRITINGThe pen is mightier than the sword

David and Gareth: A Fairy Tale
by Angie Page

David sat at the kitchen table staring at his large bowl of cereal. He held the little spoon in his oversized hands and stirred the cereal round and round in the milk. His mom was busy at the cooker behind him, preparing his usual fried egg sandwich.
    ‘Don’t play with your food Davy!’
    David looked up as he crammed another spoonful of cereal into his mouth and smiled sweetly at this mom. She smiled back as she poured his fried egg onto the buttered bread and put it on the table for him.
    ‘Finish up your cereal sweetie. Here’s your egg sandwich’
    David swallowed his last mouthful of cereal and took a deep breath.
    ‘Mom, I don’t want a sandwich today’
    His mum looked hurt. David felt bad.
    ‘But Davy, I made it already and you know you they’re your favourite!’
    ‘Mum, I’m …’
    David paused he couldn’t say what he wanted to say to her, so he made something up.
    ‘I’m sort of full up already.’ 
    There was a pause. Mum looked at David. She looked really hurt. David couldn’t stand it.
    ‘Come on Mum I was only joking!’
    It made him happy to see her bright smile return. He just wanted to make her happy anyway he could. Being fat made him sad, but it made him feel better to see his mum smile. Like a good boy, Eating Everything on His Plate, he scoffed the lot. When he was finished he got down from the chair. His fat tummy caught the table and nudged it a fraction, but enough for it to scrape on the floor.
    ‘Careful Davy, go slow sweetheart!’
    ‘O mum. It’s ok.’
    ‘Come on Davy you’re late for school again.’
    At the front door, mum tied his shoe laces; she liked to do so much for him. He gave her a big hug.
    ‘Bye mum’
    ‘Bye Davy, love you. O! Davy don’t forget your lunch box!!’ His mum went to the kitchen and reappeared with his man size lunch box stuffed with goodies he knew he wouldn’t be eating.
    ‘Thanks mum’
    He turned and walked heavily down the street towards school. He knew the routine. There was Pete Macdonald and his gang waiting just on the other side of the school gates, out of sight of parents and teachers. Not that there were too many teachers around in the morning. They were all getting their coffee or tea fix in the staff room.
David took a deep breath, or as deep as he could get it with his asthma. He felt afraid. It was horrible being scared because it always made him sweat and if they saw it they would kick him for it.
    ‘Come on Waddle Boy lets have it!’
    David handed over his lunchbox. Pete smirked and opened the lid.
    One of the gang grabbed David and bent one of his fingers back, which really hurt.
    ‘O doesn’t your mammy love you Fatty. Chocolates, crisps, WOW what’s this? Fruit? Jesus Waddler what’s yer mam thinking?’
    Pete tossed the fruit parcel over the wall. He took the chocolate bars and crisps and gave them to his mates.
    ‘Got something to say, Waddler?’
    David kept his mouth tight shut, afraid to speak.
    ‘Don’t mind giving us your goodies do you? You don’t need them Fatso!’
Pete pushed David down to the floor. Stuffing the last bar in his own pocket he threw the box on the floor.
    ‘Get your sarnies piggy, if you can!!’ he mocked.
    Snorting like a pig he ran off with his mates as the school bell rang for classes.
    David was glad it was over, at least until break anyway. He grabbed the carefully wrapped sandwiches and put them in the box. He put the lid on and slowly got up. He wanted to cry, mostly because he was ashamed he let them bully him but also because his finger really hurt.

Classes went as usual. Boring Maths and General Science. Then break time. David was hungry and feeling sad. Thankfully Pete and the gang ran off quickly. He waited until the classroom was empty. The teacher never paid attention to any kids left behind in the room. The teapot fix bell had rung again and she was off to the staffroom. He found his secret stash of sweets behind the loose panel in the corner at the back of the classroom. It was getting low. He had secretly hidden treats there when Pete had gone on holidays with his dad at the beginning of term. He took out a chocolate bar and sitting in the corner alone began to eat it. He felt a little better but it wasn’t making him feel as good as usual.
    Why am I so fat? And just because I’m fat why do those boys think they can treat me so bad? I wish I had a big friend who could beat them up!
    He looked down at the half eaten bar in his hands and tears began to fall down his cheeks. Confused he put up his fingers and wiped them away and looked at his hands. He hadn’t cried in school before. His fingers were wet with the tears. They were sparkling in the light from the window.
    David looked again and blinked. Yes they were definitely sparkling. He looked around to see if the light was playing tricks, but it all seemed ordinary. He looked back to his hands. The fingers were still sparkling and now he could feel an odd tingling too.
    ‘What?’ He said out loud.
    ‘Good Morning Sir David’
    David looked up alarmed but could see no-one from where he sat on the floor. The voice seemed to be coming from the front of the classroom.
    ‘Who’s that?’ He was greeted by silence. David struggled to his feet and as he stood, peering round the back of a nearby chair, he saw a very strange little man sitting on top of the Teachers Desk.
    What the heck? thought David.
    The man was smiling idiotically and beckoning to David. His lips stretched from ear to ear and the red hair on his head stood straight up. As David walked slowly down towards the Teachers Desk, the little man jumped athletically onto the classroom floor. He stood a full 8 inches shorter than David. He was dressed very oddly in a purple suit and bright yellow shirt and tie, which certainly clashed terribly with his red hair.
    ‘My name is Gareth Jones. Following your very urgent request I hereby offer my services to you.’
    The man bowed to David with a great flourish. When he stood up his hair had changed from red to yellow to match his tie. He extended his arm, and with a dramatic flick of his magical hand revealed a small card. With some fear David took the card, it read

Gareth Jones
Private Supporter

‘I am your Private Supporter, David, should you wish it. Please take a moment to examine my credentials.’ The little man reached into his pocket, pulled out a huge scroll and holding it above his head, he shook it out like a carpet, rolling all the way past David’s feet. Completely hidden behind the scroll, Gareth Jones was reaching round and pointing, shouting, in a somewhat muffled way,
    David was just wondering how the huge scroll had fit into his tiny jacket pocket and what on earth Regardez meant, when Gareth Jones snapped his finger and the whole thing flicked back up into a tight roll and vanished in a cartoon-like ‘POOF!’
    David shook his head.
    ‘This is a sugar rush isn’t it? I’m hallucinating! I, I think I need to sit down.’
    ‘No problemo master David, but if you would first just sign this Sir David, we can get on with the Support.’
    Gareth Jones reached into his inside jacket pocket and took out a leaf of paper with three dotted lines on it. He rummaged around in his jacket then suddenly reached out to grab a feather quill pen from behind David’s ear and offered it to him saying,
    ‘Ah there it is! Now sign here if you would Sir!’
    David, his hand shaking and feeling really scared took the pen and scratched his name across the paper, which promptly expanded into an enormous dusty old book. Gareth Jones giggled, nervously.
    ‘Ah.. oops!... the small print. Lets not worry about that just now.’
    He threw the book away in front of him and it vanished, silently.
    David stared into the empty space,
    ‘I really do need to sit down now.’
    The little man wiggled his fingers and a big soft armchair appeared from no-where and shoved itself under David’s wobbling knees encouraging him to fall back into it.
Which he did.
    ‘Sir David we must now cement the deal with a good old fashioned hand shake!’
Gareth Jones offered David his hand. It was sparkling.
    David closed his eyes tight.
    ‘I don’t believe this. This is a joke, a trick. Go away please.’
    Gareth Jones smile disappeared. He looked downcast.
    ‘I assure you this is not a joke. No need to fear me Sir David! You must believe. Believe David.’
    Gareth Jones jumped onto the arm of the chair and leaned in close to David’s ear to whisper,  
    ‘Section 5.6.78C of the Golden Rules Volume Ten says,

If the client does not believe the client cannot be supported.’

He hopped off the chair, once again smiling that scary huge grin of his. David stared at the strange little man and rubbed his eyes in disbelief. As he did he saw that now his whole hand was alight with sparkles.  
    ‘This is real isn’t it? It is real! My hand is sparkling Mr Jones.’
    ‘Yes David that’s the magic in you! I’m here to help you find the rest! All you need to do is shake my hand! Do not be afraid David, just keep hold!’
    David considered, then slowly reached out with his hand, as their fingers touched and they shook hands David felt a warm tingling up his arm and spreading all over him. He stared terrified as the little man suddenly transformed into a great black bear. The bear roared and David was so frightened he nearly let go. He could feel the sharp claws of the bear in his hand. Then he remembered what Mr Jones had said, ‘Don’t be afraid David!’ So he squeezed the bears paw as tight as he could. As he did the sparkling from his hand shimmered into the bear and the bear became little Gareth Jones once again.
    No longer afraid, David thought,
    This is cool! Mam’ll never believe this!
    Gareth Jones let David’s hand fall from his grasp. David looked down, the sparkling was gone. His hand was normal again.
    ‘David you have found the sparkle of Will Power. A precious magic deep inside you that’s always been there, you just needed a little help to get it to fire up again!’
    David smiled at Gareth Jones, who reached into his inside pocket and took out the paper contract.
    ‘No need for this anymore David Sir!
    As David watched the paper took flame and burnt away.
    ‘Time for me to go too. Goodbye David!’
    ‘Goodbye Gareth Jones and Thank you!’

The little man snapped his fingers and disappeared, just as the school bell rang the end of break. David opened his eyes and looked around him. He was still sat at the back of the classroom. He could hear voices of children in the corridors, coming back to class. He walked to the Teachers Desk and threw the remains of the chocolate bar in the bin. Seeing the trace of a sparkle in his fingertips, he turned to face Pete and the gang with a smile on his face.
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