Written for multiple prompts:
Today’s things are: cotton candy, Snakes & Ladders, pinwheel
NO CHILD’S PLAY
By Neel Anil Panicker
Detective Chacko avoided children like the plague.
Not that he didn’t like them, or worse, found their antics boring.
The plain fact was that life hadn’t prepared him well enough to bond with kids three feet and below.
In fact such was the level of his discomfiture that he could sense their presence from a fifty feet radius. Then, his entire being would go kaput__absolutely non-functional, not unlike one who is going through a seizure.
Only in his case, the magnitude of the problem would shoot up to the point of infinity.
And so it was with utter trepidation that he sidled upto to the frizzy haired five year old who held a cotton candy in one hand as if it were a weapon of mass destruction and whose free hand was tucked behind his mother’s back , and asked, his voice, a hurriedly manufactured sweetness, “Dear Ashu, tell me what you saw?”
The question brought forth an instant reaction: The little boy recoiled further behind, this time his free hand too disappearing behind the folds of his mother’s saree.
Bad start! Chacko cursed under his breath, and prodded on, this time after a quick swipe at the room.
“So, I can see you love playing Snakes & Ladders. Is that your pinwheel baby?”
Damn it. Stupid question!
The little kid turned around and lo! In a jiffy he had escaped through the back door.
“Sorry Mr Chacko, my son’s slightly unpredictable. Also, he’s running behind schedule. His friends are waiting for him at the park.”
Chacko looked askance at the child’s mother, his face the epitome of embarrassment, then sheepishly made his way out, mumbling something that was even indecipherable to his own ears.
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