Liam never stopped smiling. We all thought he was just a happy kid but after the Incident you had to wonder if he hadn’t some private joke running through his head.
He was about 4 or 5, settling in to our family as an adopted Vietnamese orphan. Mum always wanted more than me and taking Liam and his older brother Gyap filled her quota.
Not everyone was happy. Grandpa for one. He’d spent two years on the Burma railway at the end of the war and Liam and his constant smile brought back something of those horrors. The Incident changed him too.
It was a wet cold day and we kids were driving mum mad. Grandpa was in the snug, a little sitting room next to the kitchen, trying to do the crossword when she suggested we played hide and seek ‘but don’t disturb your Grandpa’.
I suppose it was that admonition that made me avoid the snug. I spent ages checking wardrobes and boxes in the walk in attic. Finally I went to ask mum. She grinned. ‘Ask grandpa.’
Gramps, as we called him, winked and nodded at the thick curtains. That’s when Liam’s face appeared wreathed in a grin. He jumped out doing a jig followed by a less than happy Gyap.
He looked down at this trousers and we followed his gaze. Gyap was still getting to grips with English. The stain seemed to grow as he waved angrily at his increasingly excited sibling. ‘He piss me’.
I thought grandpa would burst. He rocked with laughter. When mum came to see what the fuss was about Gyap’s trousers were a distinct lemon hue.
Grandpa looked at mum. ‘I told you they were the yellow peril, didn’t I?’
This was written for the Flash Frenzy challenge 132, here