Adam pulled on his trousers, fought on his evil shirt and jumper, dragged his socks over his feet and finally crammed the very same feet into a pair of shiny squeaky shoes. He realised he’d forgotten his pants. He thought a rude word. He then got out of all his clothes, put on a pair of pants and got dressed all over again. Yawn. It was too early. It was always too early. Stupid school. Well only one month to go then joyous freedom for four weeks, running around in the sunshine, keeping the little kids off the swings at the local rec, eating things his mum would never know about, largely supplied by Jacob’s mum. Jacob’s mum was a ‘fluffy hippie’ (whatever that was), according to Adam’s mum, but his holiday visits to her and Jacob’s house afforded him culinary freedom otherwise heavily rationed at home. Paradise.
‘Adam, we need to get going,’ his mum called up the stairs, for the ten thousandth time this morning. Stupid mum.
Adam caught sight of himself in the shiny new mirror mum had insisted on installing a few weeks ago in an attempt to try to get Adam to ‘deal’ with his hair ‘issue’. His hair issue was largely that despite the best efforts of multiple hairdressers and the sacrifice of a whole graveyard of hairbrushes, Adam’s hair was somewhat wayward. In fact it was quite simply uncontrollable.
Then another head appeared in the mirror. A head of perfectly coiffured hair. Adam thought another, even ruder word and hoped that God wasn’t listening. It was Stupid Steve. Stupid Steve was stupid. And big-headed. And downright evil. Adam would often have dreams where his monster hair would reach out and strangle Stupid Steve around his stupid, smug throat, choking the life out of him. Alas, his hair was as un-trainable as it was obstinate and he had never managed to get it to attack at his command. Stupid Steve smiled.
‘Mum wants you downstairs now,’ said Stupid Steve.
‘Whatever,’ said Adam.
‘My, what awful hair you have Grandma,’ said Stupid Steve.
‘Shut up Stupid,’ said Adam, trying to smooth his mad mop into something resembling a hairstyle. David Beckham always made it look so easy.
Stupid Steve gave a crocodile smile. Then he popped a sweet in his mouth. And smiled again, widely. Showing the sweet.
‘Ummmm! I’ll tell mum,’ said Adam.
‘Try it,’ said Stupid Steve, ‘She’ll never believe you. No one likes someone who tells tales.’
‘We’ll no one likes anyone with a big head,’ said Adam.
‘Ha,’ said Stupid Steve, ‘I don’t have a big head.’
‘Yes you do,’ said Adam. ‘ A great, big giant head and I wish you actually did because then everyone would know how stupid you actually are!’
Stupid Steve gave a wry smile and turned closing the door obsequiously behind him. Adam kicked his shoe at the door. He paused. He then walked towards the door, sighed and bent to pick it up. At that moment, as Adam was replacing the shoe on his foot, a massive kerfuffle broke out. Adam opened the door cautiously. The noise was coming from the stairs. He could hear mum and dad and… Stupid Steve?
Adam crept to the top of the staircase. He couldn’t see mum. Or dad. In fact he could barely see most of Stupid Steve. Adam blinked. He blinked again. Pinched himself – no he wasn’t dreaming. What Adam saw was this:
The usually bright and airy stairway was dark. The sun was being blocked out. His family were obscured by some blockage. He could see Stupid Steve’s legs paddling furiously under what he supposed was Stupid Steve’s body. But he couldn’t confirm this because… Stupid Steve’s head was blocking his view… and the stairs… and the window. Stupid Steve’s stupid head was growing into a giant stupid head, getting bigger and bigger before his very eyes.
Adam didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was clear from the noise that Stupid Steve, possibly understandably, had chosen the latter. Adam could hear mum trying to calm Stupid Steve down. Finally he heard his dad’s voice pipe up above the noise, ‘That’s it Martha. We’re going to have to pop his head. I am not having Steve blocking the stairway forever. What if we want to sell the house?’
Adam listened to the protests from his mum, the wailing now coming out of Stupid Steve massive, expanding head. A few moments and then, ‘Stand back Martha. I’ve got a pin.’
Everything happened at once. Mum and Stupid Steve both screamed ‘No’, Adam dived for cover, dad screamed ‘Yes’ and then a massive ‘BANG!’
And silence. Adam’s ears were ringing. He pulled himself up and shuffled on to his tummy to look through the banisters. There was no sign of Stupid Steve or his giant head. Mum and dad were covered in unpleasant looking brown goo, as were the stair and carpet. Then it struck Adam; Stupid Steve, the bully-brother who made Adam’s life hell, was gone… No more Stupid Steve.
Adam nearly let out whoop but contained it. He could see the mortified looks on mum and dad’s faces. After the funeral, he thought, as he stood up and brushed himself off, there were going to be some changes around here. Adam muddled his face into a suitably scared expression and tottered down the stair to comfort his mortified parents. But inside… inside he was whistling.