Spotlight

Power's Back, Grandpa

by Lisa Shaw

“Quick! Distract the monster and get the energy shields!” Micky shouted.

“Energy shields activated!” his twin brother Ricky announced. “Just one more obstacle and we’ll be level 9 champions.”

Micky and Ricky both did a little jig as they anticipated the leader board ratings they would surely get for clearing one of the most difficult rounds in their favourite Internet game. They had never made it this far before, and they had been playing all summer.

Micky returned to the computer, rubbed his hands together, and began his turn at clearing the last obstacle course in the game. They had discovered a long time ago that they played the game better together than on their own. Ricky was so excited that he stood, hands in mid-air with fists closed, ready to celebrate. Victory was only a moment away.

“Now, Micky! Now! Fire the cannonball now! ”

“Boys!” Grandpa called from the living room where he was watching television. “Too loud!  Keep it down a little.”

Grandpa had come up from the country to stay with them for two weeks. The boys were glad that they could get to spend more time at home, and with Grandpa. Usually they would have been at the Big Kids Day Care as both their mom and dad worked during the daytime.

“Ok Grandpa!” Ricky answered. He then whispered to his twin brother, “Micky! Fire the cannonball now! ”

Before Micky could proceed, the place went eerily silent. Micky and Ricky gasped in horror. The computer screen was black. There were no sounds coming from the television in the living room. The timer on the electric stove was no longer showing. The fan stopped whirring. They looked at each other in disbelief.

“Power’s gone, boys”, Grandpa confirmed.

“Nooooooooo!” they both shouted at the same time.

But it was true. The power was off. Despair settled on their faces so much that Grandpa tried to let them feel better.

“Maybe it will come back soon. Sometimes the power doesn’t stay off for very long.”

“It doesn’t matter, Grandpa”, Micky sulked. “Even if the power comes back now, we still would have to start our game all over again.”

“Yeah”, agreed Ricky, “and we’ve been playing all morning so it would take us a very long time to get to that level again.”

“Yeah”, Micky said.

“Hmmm”, replied Grandpa. “Well, you know boys, you could find something else to do.”

“But what can we do?” asked Micky. “There’s no tv to watch...”

“No CD’s to listen to”, added Ricky, “and the DS isn’t charged.”

“Well then”, said Grandpa. “Aren’t you guys in a bind! How about some schoolwork?”

“But it’s summer! That’s why we get holidays – no school!” protested Ricky.

“You could go outside to play”, Grandpa tried again.

“But there’s nothing to do outside”, they wailed.

“Hmmm...”. Grandpa rubbed his chin. “Ok, how about a game of marbles?”

“We don’t have any marbles”, Ricky responded.

“You guys wouldn’t happen to have a gig, would you?” Grandpa asked.

“A what?” Micky asked.

“Gig”, repeated Grandpa. “Know what that is?”

“No”, they said.

“It’s also called a top…”

“Oh! And you spin it round and round. We know what you mean now. But we don’t have any”, Micky said.

“Do you boys have a kite?”

“The last one we bought got torn.”

“Bought?” Grandpa roared with laughter. After he finished laughing, he shook his head. “You boys really don’t make things anymore – those kites that we used to make with the branches of the coconut tree were very strong.”

“Really, Grandpa? But how did you get the designs, like the dragon, the bird, the butterfly…”, a curious Micky asked.

“Well, our kites weren’t so fancy back then but guess what? We had fun making them. Most times all you needed was paper, the spine of the coconut leaves for the frame, a piece of ribbon for the tail and some strong cord.”

“Sounds like fun, Grandpa”, said Micky, with his hands resting on his cheek. “Maybe we could try to make our own kite someday, right Ricky?”

“Maybe.”

“How about elastic bands?” Grandpa asked, “there are a lot of games we could play with those – Bounce Back, Chinese Skip…”

“We had some once”, Ricky said, “don’t know what we did with them, though…”

“I think I know where they are, Ricky! I’ll go get them!”

Minutes later Micky emerged from the bedroom with a box of varying sized elastic bands. He gave them to Grandpa, who counted out an equal number for all of them. The boys went with Grandpa to the living room wall and watched as Grandpa showed them how to bounce the elastic band off the wall, so as to have it land on the other bands already on the floor. Curiosity gave way to enjoyment and minutes later the boys were rolling in laughter on the ground.

“That was fun! Now all my elastic bands are gone”, Micky said. “So, what else did you do for fun, Grandpa?”

“Oh, lots of things – we used to make our own cricket bat and catapult, roll an old car tyre with two pieces of stick in it, climb trees – even your mother used to climb trees!”, Grandpa laughed.

The boys gasped and looked at each other in giggling amusement. Suddenly they couldn’t wait for their mom to come home!

“You boys should come and spend some time in the country next summer. This apartment is too stifling for you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourselves.”

Just then, the boys heard the familiar sound of the whirring fan and the hum of the computer. The television was back on, and so too were the other gadgets that were plugged in.

“Power’s back, Grandpa!!” they shouted.

“Let’s go back to the game!!! Level 9 champions, here we come!”

Grandpa shook his head and smiled at the two figures huddled around the computer. It had felt good sharing all those things he used to do when he was much younger. Now it was time to go back to watching his television show.

“Power’s back, indeed.”



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About the author

Lisa Shaw is a Jamaican university lecturer in the computing field who has a passion for creative writing. In the 2011 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Creative Writing Competition, she was awarded Best Junior Short Story Writer, overall Choice Writer and a Gold medal in the Junior Short Story category for her submission 'The Adventures of Jonah and Mesky the Mosquito'. She also obtained a certificate of merit for her first JCDC entry in 2008, a radio play entitled 'Peace'. She dabbles in some poetry and enjoys writing short plays. She is a mother of two young children.

About the illustrator

Janiene Facey is a Chartered Accountant from Jamaica who has a passion for photography and art. She is a self-taught artist who has been painting for the past three years and has not stopped since. She specializes in acrylic medium and her artwork has ended up in numerous private collections both in Jamaica and Barbados.

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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12 comments:

  1. Great stuff once again Lisa wisa

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  2. This is awesome. Great growth for both of you. Here's wishing both continued success in your endeavours in life. Deon

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  3. Top class as usual Lisa! COuld I see some of the poetry you dabble in please???

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  4. Great stuff Lisa. Now I want to encourage you to co-write a case. Don't need to tell you who I am . Very good stuff Girl...

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  5. Good work. My son Nathan enjoyed it and is now playing bounce back

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  6. Thanks guys! Will let you know about the poetry and case. If the story encourages children to play these games as Nathan has done, then it would have more than served its purpose! Appreciate the feedback!

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  7. Nathan's mom/dad, thanks for your comment. We always love to hear that children are reading and enjoying Anansesem!

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  8. Great work Lisa!! sure gonna let AJ read it... :)

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  9. I enjoyed reading this story. Lisa, I always knew you were good but you are much gooder (better) than I thought. Keep up the good work. Shalom. Pastor GW

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  10. Hey Lisa, this is good,that story is so fitting a situation I know (my boys)lol, keep it up!

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  11. Nadine ChambersJanuary 16, 2013

    Great job Lisa! I am looking forward to seeing your book soon with a collection of short stories. I think you are at the beginning of an illustrious writing career.

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  12. Wow :) Very engaging and amusing! A simple plot but you made that little apartment room come alive. Keep up the good work!

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