'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 22 August 2014

KBR Short Story: Holiday Mischief

by Debbie Smith

“Quickly, quickly, up here,” panted a red-faced Calvin to his best friend, Rosco.

His flushed face looked only a couple of shades lighter than his carrot-coloured hair. Calvin leant forward, curling his leg around a small branch to gain a better grip and helped pull his friend up to the first limb of the tree.

Rosco grabbed Calvin’s hand with slippery fingers and clambered up the trunk like a wild cat chased by hunters. The boys’ spindly legs and arms worked quickly in unison, drawing them higher into its canopy where they found refuge, propped along a hidden branch high up and camouflaged from the street below. Sweat slid down the boys’ freckled faces and muddied the dirt left there from their swift climb.

Calvin smiled his cheeky grin, “That was close,” he whispered.

“Yeah,” breathed Rosco.

The two seven-year olds sat like statues.

“I know they’re here somewhere,” a voice bellowed below. “They are driving my chickens crazy,” complained Mrs Wilson to Mr Harry.

“They may have ducked into old Larson’s shed. Probably best to go see their mothers.”

Like the shadow that passes overhead when the sun goes behind a cloud on a summer’s day, dread spread across the boys’ faces.

“I knew it was a mistake to use the sling shots near Mrs Wilson’s,” blurted Calvin, after the grownups had left. His hand clasped the culprit draped innocently around his neck like a tie which, just twenty-minutes before, had been used in full combat against imaginary foe.

“Surely it’s not our fault Mrs Wilson’s chickens wandered onto the battlefield?”  Rosco blurted. He tugged at the handle of his slingshot for comfort.

“We’d best think of something. You know, something to say. Mum’s gonna go nuts.” Calvin wailed.

It was day five of the holidays and already the boys had been involved a series of unfortunate events.

The Water Bomb Incident happened day one of the holidays when Calvin’s water bomb missed Rosco and hit his dad, dressed in his suit, coming home from work. Great shot. Splat, right in his face.

Then there was the Clothes Line Affair when the boys took turns hanging from Rosco’s mother’s Hills Hoist to spin around until they were so dizzy they fell off, breaking two wires in the process.

And, let’s not forget sneaking off to skip stones down at the lake. No-one or nothing got damaged, but both mothers had been a tad upset for the boys’ oversight of mentioning they were going to the lake.

The holidays had been eventful.

When the boys finally sauntered sheepishly home, they didn’t end up needing to say too much because their mums did most of the talking.

“You’re both grounded starting tomorrow.” Calvin’s mother stated.

“For two days.” Rosco’s mother added.

“Can we be grounded together? Rosco pleaded.

“No way Hosea,” both mothers chimed.

Later, when alone, Rosco said slyly, “A plan is needed. They can’t keep best friends apart.”

“What do you have in mind?” Calvin grinned.

Debbie enjoys writing poetry, short stories for children and adults and is passionate about books. She teaches creative writing to enthusiastic students in Brisbane and lives in sunny Noosa.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.


  1. Thank you for selecting Holiday Mischief to be published this month on KBR's website. Thanks too for an opportunity and a place for emerging writers to showcase their work.

  2. So great to have you on KBR, Deb!

  3. Congratulations!!!!!!!! What a fantastic story written by a wonderful, wild, witty woman.


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