Creative Culture

CREATIVE CONTEST: “Very Swish” by Bethan Rose Jenkins

Our Creative Contest was very popular and brought to our eyes some great pieces of literature; here is another one of them, a short story about a “very swish” car drive. Enjoy!

Very Swish by Bethan Rose Jenkins

I lost a tooth in a Cadbury’s éclair, once.

Strange, the things that you remember. I can recall the sensation so clearly. The durable adhesive of the toffee pushed back against me as I tried to pull apart my teeth. That distinct sensation of a tooth peeling out of its place.

Lodged fast in a fat toffee. Funny, really.

It was in the back of my grandparents’ car on the way home from school. They’d been to collect my sister, our Emily, and me. They came to take us out to tea. Normally Mum came for us. It was only a small deviation from normality but it’s always exciting for children; change. They came in the Jaguar.

Pale blue exterior. Cream leather interior. Very swish.          

Very swish and a source of pride, somewhat, for Grandad. He was always a little skeptical about having our Emily in the back (travel-sickness, you see). I was never a hassle, which is why it came as such as shock for them that day. The whole éclair escapade.

My two front teeth were long gone, but the tooth fairy was still a frequent caller to the underside of my pillow. Left me a small fortune that year, the tooth fairy did, so naturally, anything I could do to help another one of those pearly whites on its way, the better.

Then I found a bumper-big bag of Cadbury’s éclairs under the cream seats of the swish Jag.

“Just the one!” with a wink, said Nana.

It was that sensation (the durable adhesive of the toffee), that did it. I had a bright idea.

Our Emily told me not to. Not with words, with eyes. She watched me chomp each toffee on the mid-right side of my jaw, seeking out the snagging tooth with the toffee. She smirked as I swallowed each one without success, spurring me on to succeed.

I had practically inhaled the whole packet by the time I felt it. That distinct sensation of a tooth peeling out of its place.

Lodged fast in a fat toffee.

I held it up, victorious. Our Emily was amazed, open-mouthed in awe.

I caught Nana’s eye in the rear-view mirror, she spun round in shock. She took it all in:

Toothless child. Tooth in a toffee. Pale complexion. Empty packet on school skirt. Pale complexion. 

She looked past the toffee to the pale complexion and the empty packet.

“You’re very pale! You didn’t eat the whole packet?” wide eyes awaiting the response.

I did eat the whole packet. I imagine I did look pale. I did, as a matter of fact, feel rather peaky.

PANIC.

“Pass me a plastic bag!” I said.

“No sick on the seats! NO SICK ON THE SEATS. I’m turning around, we’re taking them home.

Flo, has she got the bag?” Grandad said.

“John, she’s got the bag, the plastic bag, slow down! Sweetie put the toffee down, the tooth doesn’t matter.” Nana said.

“What about the tooth fairy?” Our Emily said.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” I said.

“Not on the seats!” Grandad said.

“Emily, take the tooth,” Nana said.

“I’m not taking the tooth!” Our Emily said.

“I’m definitely going to be sick,” I said.

“Wait, we’re nearly home!” Grandad said.

“Holy lord, she’s being sick! At least it’s in the bag!” Nana said.

“It’s coming out the bag!” Our Emily said.

“There’s a hole in the bag!” I said.

“Stop the sick!” Grandad said.

“It’s on your school skirt!” Nana said.

“It’s on the seats!” Our Emily said.

SLAM STOP.

Open doors. Slamming doors.

Peeling off the cream leather interior. Sick on seats. Swish, slosh. Very swish. 

Delivered up the driveway, two in tow.

Mum answered the door. She stared in shock. She took it all in:

Toothless child. Tooth in a toffee. Pale complexion. Sick on the school-skirt.

Grandad walked straight in wanting wet-wipes. For the sick on the seats, not sick on the school-skirt.

Our Emily was ecstatic. The car commotion wasn’t her this time (travel-sickness, you see), it was me.

It was quite a fuss. A fantastic fuss, for us.

But it’s always exciting for children; change.

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