A Red and Blue Way of Thinking

Posted: May 5, 2011 in #fridayflash, Short stories

Jaydon looked at grandpa sat in his favourite armchair overlooking the large window of the sitting room. He looked fragile and as if his skin had been stretched a few feet like a giant bedsheet, then been released, forming a soft but saggy look all over his body. His skin looked two sizes too big for his small delicate frame.

Jaydon’s mum pushed him gently into room, placing her hand firmly on his shoulder blades.

“You tell grandpa what you’ve been up to today young man!” she said with a serious tone to her voice. “He wont approve either!”

Grandpa turned in his seat and smiled a big denture smile at his grandson and peered over his spectacles. “What have you been upto then lad?”

“I’ll tell him shall I?” his mum began.

“Denise, let the boy talk for goodness sake!” grandpa said scolding his daughter with a frown. “You gave birth to a child with a tongue in his head, let him use it,” he turned to Jaydon, “hey lad?” giving him a wink and automatically getting Jaydon on side.

Jaydon smiled, “Yeah mum”.

“Less cheek,” his grandpa snapped with a raised eyebrow and tilted his head to the chair opposite him, indicating Jaydon to sit.

Jaydon took to his designated interrogation chair, his feet dangling freely from the floor.

“Well,” Jaydon began as if he was about to narrate a news reel, “this boy at school supports the reds and ‘cos we support the blues he was saying ‘blues, blues are gonna loose; those guys cant even tie their shoes; They’re blue from standing in the cold; their mummies aprons they all hold; Blues, blues are a bunch of girls’…” he paused.

Jaydon looked up at his grandpa an innocent and yet sensible man and could feel the guilt of his actions now prickling the back of his neck like a porcupine rubbing up and down on his skin. “I forgot the rest, because I booted him in the leg.” Jaydon looked down at the floor, the old fashioned and worn carpet slightly diverting his attention for a split second.

“You did what?” Grandpa said, with an almost motionless expression. This unnerved Jaydon further.

“I kicked him Grandpa.”

“And the rest,” his mum prompted from the other side of the room.

“Then i stood on his hand and said we may not be top of the league but at least we ain’t cheating donkeys like the reds!”

His grandpa starred, as the information processed into his memory. It was as if he were a twenty year old PC, still trying to display on the screen what was being typed, but was about ten words behind.

“When I was little and growing up with your two aunties,” his mum began “any fighting in the house resulted in loss of pocket money and free time. Grandpa was very strict with us. I think I should be doing the same. Never have i been more embarrassed,” shaking her head and frowning as she folded laundry, “Being called into the school office for such bad behaviour. What do you think dad?” she said looking at her father for collaboration.

“Well done son!” Grandpa beamed.

“What?” Jayden’s mother came over to where they were sitting. “What do you mean well done son? Growing up we were always told never to fight and got in heaps of trouble if we were ever caught lashing out at each other.”

“Correct,” Grandpa smiled as he looked up at his daughter. “You were all girls for one. Young ladies don’t fight. And two, you wouldn’t understand the hatred us blue fans have for those damn reds. Us men have a right to fight for what we believe in.”

“I was hoping for some encouragement for his discipline dad, not egging him on for fighting.”

Jaydon looked at the two of them almost as astonished as his mum, to his grandpa’s reaction. “So you’re not cross Grandpa?” he said quizzically.

“Yes I am Jaydon,” He looked him in the eyes and said sternly, “I’m cross you didn’t sing the royal blue’s anthem, whilst standing on his bloody hand. But we can’t be picky.” Grandpa laughed so hard that Jaydon thought his false teeth were going to fall straight out of his mouth.”

“You’re still grounded!” his mum said walking off into the kitchen, defeated and astonished by the lack of support from her father. “We’ll see what Nanna has to say about it shall we!”

  1. John Wiswell says:

    Wondered if this was going to be a morality tale about arbitrary cultural divisions. Was actually relieved to read that Grandpa was among the unenlightened. It’s got a humorous twinge.

    There were a few minor typographical errors I caught. “Grandpa” seems to go from being uncapitalized to capitalized mid-story; I recommend keeping the caps since it serves as his name.

    Potential missing word in first paragraph, “Jaydon looked at grandpa sat ”

    third paragraph, “He wont” for “He won’t”

    fifteenth paragraph, lower case ‘i’

    sixteenth, “starred” for “stared”

  2. Tony Noland says:

    Ha! And THAT is the difference a male role model can make in a boy’s life!

  3. marc nash says:

    Men eh? They got to have their tribal differences… And what kind of a name is Jaydon anyway? The whole world’s gone to pot I’m telling you! When I was a lad…

    seriously this is well done.

  4. adampb says:

    I liked the description that opened the piece about Grandpa. He’s a tough old warrior. Funny description about memory processing. Good fun. Let’s hope Nanna isn’t tougher.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  5. Sam Adamson says:

    And that’s why Grandpas are the best! If you were to change the colours from red and blue this is a tale that I’m sure must play out almost weekly somewhere up and down the country. Great story, and I love the Grandpa character. 🙂

  6. I have a feeling Nanna is going to be whole different ball game. Relieved this wasn’t moralistic, although part of me worries for the boy: a spell of grounded time always worked with me.

  7. Deborah Rickard says:

    I like the unexpected ending! As mentioned before the typo’s tended to ‘tip me out of the dream’ a bit, but that’s easily fixed. Some good imagery and descriptions here. If it were me I might shorten it just a tad, like taking out: “let the boy talk for goodness sake!” grandpa said scolding his daughter with a frown.” because you get the same effect without so many words, but hey, that’s just personal taste! Nice piece.

  8. Helen says:

    Men and their sports! Nice story but I do agree with the comment above, you could tighten it up a little more by getting rid of superfluous words.

  9. Chuck Allen says:

    Ha ha! I like the way you set up Grandpa’s response. Nicely told.

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