Paper Birds

Tommy’s my favourite brother, he ay looks aw golden, and he ay has good ideas. He said, ‘C’mon we’ll away oot the now, while it’s still lighty, c’mon lets get the bikes and head up the Law.’

I said t’ him I could smell Mum cooking fish doonstairs, but Tommy ay hates the breaded fish Mum makes on Fridays. He says its soggy and he’d rather starve. We decided t’ sneak oot the front door, then go doon the back alley t’ get wir bikes fae the garden.

Me and Tommy both hae bikes that wir brother Sean fixed up fir wi. Sean’s the eldest and he doesnae live wi us anymair. Sean made wir bikes oot o bits o auld bikes, but they go fine enough. Mine is bigger than Tommy’s coz I’m taller than him. Tommy wisnae very happy aboot that at first, but Sean said when Tommy grows up a bit, he’ll get my bike, and then I’ll just hae t’ run alang behind. Wir bikes were leanin against the side o shed nearest the kitchen windee, so I wis scared Mum might see wi. But my wee sisters were makin such a racket inside that Mum didnae notice us. Mum has twelve bairns including Tommy and me, I dinnae ken why, she just likes bairns.

Halfway up the Law Hill we stopped at some bramble busheys and picked a load. We sat doon and shoved them in wir gobs.

‘Wer haein brambles fir wir tea instead o borin breaded fish,’ Tommy said, and his face wis aw covered in purple juice, his fingers aw mud and bits o berry, and he wis smilin so wide I could see in his teeth wis tiny wee seeds. We licked wir hands and looked oot at the city aw wee fae up there, and tried t’ see if we could see wir hoose.


You can read the full story in Riptide Journal Volume 8