Sticky Feet – Zoe Chater

I didn’t get invited to go to Sarah’s house. She would come to mine and sleep over all the time; we used to dance with my bears and dress up the cat and make fake radio shows and sing made-up songs. We would always play the way I played on my own; that sort of fantasy daydream sort of play. I never thought I’d go to hers. 

Then, near the end of year six, Sarah was super excited and said I could come and stay over. I was excited, too, but I was a bit nervous as well. Saturday night, Mum dropped me off and Sarah answered the door and her little brother came out to greet us in his pyjamas and he had no shoes or socks on. Sarah told me her mum was asleep and we could stay up as late as we liked as long as we were quiet. 

I remember she said we should have cereal for supper and we went into the kitchen. Her little brother, Ryan (he was probably about four) followed us in and said, “Sticky, sticky!” He was a weird little boy. Sarah got three bowls from the cupboard and then carefully pulled out three big glass jars. One had cornflakes and one had hundreds and thousands – all the way to the top, can you imagine? The third had sugar, the white grainy kind and it was stuck all around the edge of the jar. She and her brother straight away started reaching their hands into the jars and putting fistfuls of everything into their bowls. Ryan said something like, “ten sugars please”; he didn’t speak all that clearly but that’s what I thought he said. There was definitely more sugar than cereal in their bowls. I thought it was weird but also kind of naughty and fun and I felt a bit giddy.

So I went to put some sugar in my bowl and I wish there was a spoon or something but there wasn’t, so I pulled out a handful of sugar but it all started leaking out between my fingers and everywhere, and most of it went on the floor and I was panicking and saying, “sorry, sorry”. But Sarah started laughing, like it was the funniest thing in the world. She was a bit scary to me then; she seemed kind of mad. She got some hundreds and thousands and chucked them about on purpose. She was laughing even more, and Ryan was giggling too and he started dancing in it with his bare feet, saying “sticky feet, sticky feet”. I looked at the floor then and saw there was a lot of spilled stuff and hairs and dead ants all over, and right then I wanted to go home.

We never properly went to bed. I tried to sleep on the sofa but I didn’t have a blanket and Ryan was running up and down the stairs, and Sarah just kept laughing and laughing.

Zoe Chater is a physics teacher by day, writing fiction and poetry by night. A member of Didcot Writers, she has stories in “First Contact” and “The Most Normal Town in England” as well as online through the regular competitions Twitter: @NervousNeutrino

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