Flash Fiction 3rd Place: Number Anaphylaxis on the bus to Cowley by Helen Kennedy
There are too many numbers on this phone, so I don’t use number 3 and 4.
I’m late for my review with Kevin. He likes BoJack Horseman and he’ll be 38 on the 24th February 2023. BoJack Horseman’s mum died of complications in season 5 and he scribbles on her face in photographs. Kevin says that’s not a kind thing.
My mum takes 23 tablets a day and didn’t wake up this morning.
My watch stopped because I took the battery out last night at 10.42pm and 24 seconds after I gave my mum her cup of tea. That was my bus stop back there. Kevin will have a Coke Zero for me- it has 34mg of caffeine in 375mls which is enough to jump start your heart. My mum gives me a slap round the ear sometimes and her ring catches and makes it bleed.
McColl Avenue (outside Specsavers)
Kevin says I’m special. I’m 4 and ¾ , because I was born in a leap year.
The chances of that are 1 in 1,461.The new prescription for my glasses is -4.5 axis with a stigmatism, right eye -5.0. Get out of my sight, my mum says sometimes and I hide in the shed.
My mum’s boyfriend Stu lives on this street. He’s got my bank card
HSBC no 4921 8117 6417 5122 Date of expiry 03/26 Three digits on the back 255
Stu says that the numbers will mushroom in my stupid head and suffocate me alive.
And I want to breathe: Oxygen 78.09%, Argon 0.93%. I like argon.
0.04% CO2 and only 0.04% water vapour.That’s the ratios because we are above sea level here in Oxford.
Howard Street East 11.27am
I’d like to go and see my dad.He lives at a caravan park in Barnstable which is 167.5 miles as the crow flies. That’s actually 270km and has a grid reference of 51.08N 4.06W. My dad fishes in the sea at night. There are 3.5 trillion fish in the world but not many in Barnstable. He hit me once, but afterwards said that he didn’t mean it. They didn’t believe him so I’m with my mum now.
You’ve blinked 800 times since we’ve been on this bus and you’ll do that 28,800 times today, 201,600 times in a year (and 210,200 in a leap year)
Keep your eyes peeled is what Kevin says.
Sometimes I close my eyes when the shouting starts and the numbers
That’s my phone ringing- my number is 0778 496345 – its probably Kevin.
5.648 billion people in the world have a mobile phone but he’s the only person who ever rings me.
In season 6, BoJack Horseman admits that he poisoned his mum with Oxeye daisies.
If my mum doesn’t wake up, I’ll live with Kevin because he likes the same television programmes as me and I’ll get to see my dad.