Si Vicium In Petasus

Memories, long forgotten, surface as my fingers caress a small blue cap I find in my storage unit. Above the peak is a large ‘H’ and the motto ‘Carpe Diem.’ I hold it up and smile. Howlands School, 1967. Did that really fit me then?
I stand at the school gates, notebook and pen in hand, ready for anyone arriving late for school. A small boy, red-faced, approaches. “What’s your name? You’re late!” I say gleefully. His face crumples and tears run down his cheeks.
I exit a shed with a container full of dangerous chemical. I am a trusted ‘pool boy.’ Proudly, I tip just the right amount of chlorine in. It forms a yellow smoke underwater, as if someone just secretly urinated.
I jump over a long skipping rope, whirled over my head by two friends. “Have you heard Mellow Yellow?” one asks. Our local hero is Donovan.
“No, we’re not allowed to listen to pop music. But let’s form a pop group!”
I put the cap back into the box, which also holds my green ‘Cub’ cap. “Akela, we’ll do our best, dib dib dib, dob dob dob!”
My phone bleeps and I return to 2016.

Featured in the book and audiobook, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories

  • Please consider making a small donation to help towards the running costs of this site. It would be greatly appreciated.
  • Don’t forget to check out some other stories on this blog. There are over 450!
  • To purchase the stories on To Cut a Short Story Short up to December 2021 in paperback, Kindle, eBook, and audio-book form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.

Leave your thoughts