Jamie Rush and the Special Beans
Jamie heard the toaster pop and knew that it would be the 17p ‘Special Beans’ from Lidl.
“Dad not home yet?” Jamie said slamming his books down on the peeling formica sideboard.
Mrs Rush looked up and smiled weakly. “Not tonight Jamie. Why don’t you read me one of your stories like you used to?” She pleaded.
“Which one do you want? Further Maths or A level Economics?” Jamie spat out and turned on his heel slamming the door behind him.
At first, Jamie had felt sorry for his Dad and understood the draw to go to the pub and listen to Old Man Carragher weave those wondrous stories dripping his special beans between his fingers. As Carragher told the boys on the estate his stories, Jamie would watch the beans shimmer the different colours of a ray of light until Stevie Mack laughed at him. “They’re Haribo jelly beans from the corner shop lad.” Jamie tore his gaze away from their sheen. “Fuck lad! Next I’ll hear you still believe in Father Christmas.” No, Jamie had stopped believing in Father Christmas the year his Dad lost his job at the docks.
“Drink up Dad and come home,” Jamie ordered, standing behind his father.
“Sit down lad.” Carragher beckoned.
“Who are you my old man?” Mr. Rush sighed. “You’re in such a rush to grow up Jamie.” He pulled at Jamie’s arm then began to howl and whacked Carragher on the shoulder. “Rush,” he giggled.
“You’re pissed.” Jamie scolded.
“Oh come on.” Carragher soothed.
Jamie’s temper flared as he looked at the laughter lines around the old man’s eyes and he snatched the beans up and trickled them into the back of his throat. “That’s what I think of your stories and your beans old man.” He snarled and stalked away.
Days later Mr Rush pulled Old man Carragher through his home into his garden where a fresh green stalk, entwined with vine like leaves and blooming white flowers, reached up and up. All the creases in Carragher’s face ironed out in surprise as he realised what it was. There above the tree line was a split open trainer. “I, I don’t believe it!”
“What are you going to do?” Mr. Rush pushed Carragher towards the giant shoot.
Carragher’s jaw worked up and down for a few seconds before he replied: “There’s only one thing I can do.” And he began to climb up. He passed finger like tendrils reaching out.
“Carragher?” He heard a voice like the rustle of leaves and looked up to see a dark slit between the blooms beneath a nose shaped protuberance.
“The beans?” Jamie creaked as Carragher carried on climbing, over the chin, up to the plate sized green eye. “Carragher? Help me. Where are you going?”
“Lad.” Carragher called down as he crested the boy’s head. “The name’s Jack and me beans grew.”
“Where are you going?” Jamie pleaded. “Help me.”
“Lad me beans grew. What else is true?”