"Mummy, mummy, it's Fishcake Day! Can we have fishcakes, mummy? Can we? Can we?"
"There's no such thing as fish, William," said mummy. "Or cakes. You're far too old to believe in such things. After dinner you'll do your tax return and pay the mortgage. If you're very good I'll let you paint the chimney, but only when you've finished the screws and fuses. Let's hear no more nonsense about fishcakes."
"But I spoke to John from Human Resources (formerly Personnel) at work today and he said that last year the Fisherman came and left a whole troutcake..."
"I've old you to stay away from that John. He's a bad influence on you with all his wild stories. Mind you, you can't expect anything better from his sort. I've seen his mother parading up and down the street in her shoes. She barely always wears a hat, and then only on her head."
"What's so wrong with that?" asked William. "I know someone who wears a waistcoat and uses it as a sail when the wind is in the East."
"It's wrong because it's unnatural and it's unnatural because it's wrong," said his mother. "You'll understand when you're younger. I'm your mother, and I learned what's what from my mother, and she heard it all from me, so everything I say is right. It's tried and tested knowledge. If there were such things as fishcakes, God would have given them frying pans."
"But mummy, John says..."
"John says," mimicked his mother. "John says! If I hear one more thing about John says, I'll stick you with the glue."
"John says they come from the sea," said William sullenly.
"And what would they be doing in the sea? It's all wet in there, in case you haven't heard. It's full of treasure ships and mermalades and pirate bootees. There's barely room to move, let alone cook supper."
"Well, he's invited me to tea," said William. "And they're having fishcakes."
"Go then, you ungrateful little tapeworm, and see how far they'll help you when your shirts are in a knot."
So William went. On the way he whistled a little tune to keep his spirits high, but it distracted him from his driving. "I'm not afraid," he told himself. "I've seen traffic lights before, but never red ones. I wonder what I should do?"
"I thought he'd never go," his mother muttered to herself. She took a packet of fishcakes from the freezer and read the instructions. "To cook from fresh," she read, "put in hot oil and wait until they're done." She sniffed them. They seemed fresh. She heated a teaspoon of oil over a candle, dipped a fishcake in it, and took a bite. It was very cold and hard to chew, but tasted wonderful.
Last edited by NoHoldsBard
on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.