Me and Mase break the hallway carpet. It’s fun! We empty the bath with our cups, the red and green and blue ones. We dump the water in the hallway. We dump and dump til someone finds us and asks what we’re doing but that really means stop, so we stop. The carpet gets taken off and never gets put back on.
Not much gets broken in this house. Not important stuff. Some dumb stuff gets broken but it gets fixed or thrown out, like my toys when I play with them too hard. It’s not like that with all houses. At Katie’s house there are holes in the wall ‘cause everybody gets mad. No one fixes them, they just put paper over the holes. Sometimes her dad throws plates at the garage door. It’s noisy and he yells when he does it, so maybe he just likes noise. It’s really loud at Katie’s house. My house is quiet and most stuff gets broken by accident, like when Dad put up a bookshelf on the wall. Then it fell on Mase’s head with all the books on it and Mase had to go to hospital. Dad took the bookshelf down after that. Now we just use normal ones.
One time I break Mase’s forehead. It’s not that bad but Mase cries anyway. We’re playing freeze tag with Katie and usually we use toys but this time we use other stuff. I have a drumstick. I chuck it at Mase and it hits him in the forehead. Mase yells at me ‘cause it hurt and I yell at him ‘cause they’re not Freezing. Then we play more and I hit him in the forehead again and it bleeds. After that we stop playing tag and go inside and Mum asks why is there blood on the drumstick and why is Mase crying.
Another time I nearly break a puppy. Mum’s friend the dog groomer has come around with the Sharpie puppies that we’re seeing every week to get them used to people. They opened their eyes last week but I didn’t see it. I was mad at Mum for not letting me see the end of The Saddle Club so I stayed in the car. Stepping on a puppy is worse than the time that I stepped on a bee. The bee died and I hurt for ages but that was just a dumb bee and this is a puppy. I’m running around on the grass and I don’t see it and I step on it just like the bee. The puppy yelps and I fall over trying to not step on it too hard. I get up and try to pat the puppy okay again but Mum’s friend is already picking it up and checking it. I ask if it’s alright and she says yes it’s alright you just scared it. And I say can I hold the puppy and she gives it to me. I ask the puppy if it’s alright and the puppy woo-woos and sniffs my face so I kiss it. When I fall down Mum and Dad don’t kiss me, they ask if I hurt the ground and I say no ‘cause I didn’t. The ground is always fine. If I am hurt then they get a plaster and make sure there’s no dirt in the blood and then put it on the blood. Then they hug me or pat my hair. Sometimes I take off the plaster later and there’s still hurt under it. But most of the time I take it off and it’s just skin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isabelle McNeur has been published in journals such as NZ Poetry Yearbook, Flash Frontier, Wizards in Space and Headland. In 2020 she’ll complete her Masters at the IIML