Puppy for Sale

by James Matthews

Chapter 2

Best Friend

It was getting late and Cindy and I had been chatting for ages it seemed. We talked about this make believe world where you could buy parents from a shop, each telling the other what we would look for in potential parents. We talked about them like they were TV's with different features. Cindy said she wanted a mum who could bake, and I said I wanted a dad who could fish. Some of the "features" we wanted were really funny and now again we would have to stop talking because our stomachs hurt with laughing so much.

"Something tells me you are going to find some soon Puppy. I just know it."

"Sweet of you to say Cindy, but look at me, I come with so much baggage, who is going to want all this?"

"You know what Stibbs, you are so hard on yourself. How about looking at how awesome you are as a person, and forget the bad stuff for a minute. It's not like you can get a perfect child in this world. I mean look at Ben Andrews, he was twelve and an asshole, and he went after that nice couple from Wales took him in."

I laughed. "Ben Andrews, yeah he was a character. I wonder how that went?'

"That's one way of putting it... I hope he calmed down!"

"Didn't he set light to his pillow one night trying to burn a spider?" I asked, remembering, clearly now.

"Yeah that's him; he was a fool, and so immature."

"Hmm, I wonder how he is getting on." I asked, as my mind wandered back to some more of the pranks he pulled.

"They probably have him buried under their patio by now if I look back to some of his ways."

"Aww, Cindy, don't be so hard on him. He was ok, just a little weird that's all. Plus the fact we don't know what kind of life he had before he came here. For all we know if may have had something terrible happen to him, after all no one comes here unless it's for a fucked up reason."

Cindy sighed. "True enough, just look at my parents, now that was fucked up. I wonder if they ever came back to England or whether they are still out in Brazil."

"Don't even think about it Cindy, they are assholes and not worth your time thinking about them."

"I just get curious...sometimes I just want to get them in a room and ask why!"

"It's a natural question I guess. I've felt like that a number of times Cindy, so I know how that feels. But I do wonder if getting the answer would make us feel better. Maybe it's just best not to know, and then you don't have to worry about it."

"Wanna watch some TV before bed?" Cindy asked, changing the subject.

"Sure why not?"

I got up and followed her to the sofa's that were scattered around the recreation room and Cindy turned on the TV, it was getting close to eight in the evening and that meant it would be around the time Family Fortunes was on. Cindy and I always watched that together, each trying to get the top answers before the contestants did. I would normally sit on the floor in front of her and she would play with my hair while we watched. In a sense we were a little family unit ourselves and it was nice to have that closeness to someone. Deep inside I wanted more than anything for her to find a loving family to join, but with that also brought dread. I dreaded the feeling of being alone...being without my best friend.

"Ok Puppy, Cindy, its ten o'clock, time for you both to be heading to your rooms now. Please switch off the TV on your way out. I'll be back in five minutes so please make sure you are both out of here," said Charlotte Grange, pointing her finger towards the exit of the room.

"You seem to be everywhere Charlotte, do you know that." I said, irritated by the fact she was always telling me to do something. Where have you been, what are you doing? Be here at that time, eat this, go here, bring me that, go see that person, Grrr!

"Its magic Puppy, maybe I'm a witch."

"No, I've seen Harry Potter and the witches in that are nice." I replied, causing her to roll her eyes.

"Puppy, a life without rules is a recipe for bad behaviour, you'll thank me one day, now c'mon, off with you, I need to clear this room up."

"C'mon Cindy, lets go." I murmured, pulling off the seat.

"And separate rooms, I don't want to come by and find you both sitting up until the early hours of the morning. You both have class tomorrow with Elaine Bates."

"Actually, Charlotte, I take it back. Compared to Norman Bates you are wonderful."

"It's Elaine, don't you let her catch you calling her Norman."

Charlotte tried as hard as she could to stay stern with me, but I could see the hint of a smile come to her face with my last comment. I think she hated Elaine Bates almost as much as all the kids did.

Elaine, or Norman as most of us who knew the movie character called her, was an old wrinkly woman with a naturally miserable face. She never smiled and never said well done when we excelled in class. She would find any reason she could to shout at us, and had a real passion for tough discipline. I hated her, and I was scared of her.

I began to leave the room with Cindy in tow. We walked out into the corridor and travelled along it until we came to Cindy's room. About a year ago we both requested if we could be on the same floor after the kid next to Cindy's room found new parents. After going on a hunger strike we both got our way and I was allowed to move into the room next door. It was a good thing because after forty eight hours of not eating, I was ready to give in, but luckily it freaked enough of the staff out to realise it was a request we felt passionate about.

"So what are you gonna do now?" Cindy asked me as we stood outside her room.

"Watch a bit more TV I guess. Should probably get some sleep though, I tend to need all the mental energy I can get when Norman Bates is in town."

Cindy let out a cackle and cupped my jaw in her hand. "You're a funny guy Puppy Stibbs, you know that?"

"Not as funny as you, I'll see you in the morning. Don't forget your pen; you know what she's like."

"Oh don't worry; I keep that in my case all the time now. God, do you remember when I forgot it one morning and she made me stand facing the wall for an hour and a half."

"She's a bitch, and yeah I remember, that's why I'm telling you."

Another weird thing about Elaine Bates is that she insisted that all writing be done in fountain pen only. Biros were banned, and anyone using one in her class would have their exercise book ripped in half and everything written in it had to be copied again into a new book solely in fountain pen ink. It was a mistake any child would only ever make once.

"Well Good night Puppy, sleep well."

"And you Cindy, sweet dreams." I replied, kissing her forehead.

I stood and waited until Cindy was in and her door closed before I took a few steps and was at my own room. I opened the door and flicked on the light before chucking myself onto my bed.

There was a rule at the home that from the age of nine all beds had to be made by the child and it was the first thing that had to be done each morning before breakfast. This was to install routine into us and was one of the many things we were taught to do so that should we be picked for adoption, we would be litter trained as one of the staff so elegantly put it. Making my bed every morning was one act I had got used to years ago, and if I was honest, I could not imagine ever getting into an unmade bed now, it would just seem odd. So I knew there was some sense into what we were taught.

My bed was up alongside the window and I liked it that way, as when the room was hot in the summer it felt nice having a breeze come through I could feel. I reached up and grabbed my TV remote from my small table and brought the screen to life. Flicking through the channels I settled on some old black and white western and started to get myself ready for bed. Mine and Cindy's rooms were two of the few that had facilities in them such as a shower, toilet and sink. My old room did as well, and these were usually reserved for the older children as maybe they thought we were more self-conscious about our bodies. Well if that was the case, none more so than me.

I was a skinny kid with not an ounce of definition. But this was showing signs of change as my body had started to mature due to puberty, plus the fact I was gifted some weights from one of the workers whose son no longer used them.

I stepped into my little bathroom and looked in the mirror. My smooth face had started to become fury above my top lip and on my chin. Luckily I was gifted with good skin and didn't suffer from acne. I kept my hair short in this respect so as not to let grease from it touch my face. I had seen how acne can affect a person and so did everything I could to limit that. You can probably guess quickly that I am very self-conscious, I do worry about my looks and my appearance. I think I always have because I saw it as a selling point of myself to prospective parents.

Fat lot of good it's done me so far!

I took my brush and started to comb out the product from my blond hair making it all flat again. I then washed my face and armpits with my face-cloth and brushed my teeth. It was too late to shower now which is why I settled for a quick wash, but I knew my hair needed washing so planned to set my alarm a little earlier so I could get a proper shower in, in the morning.

Stopping for a quick wee, I stood there in my boxers feeling a chill wrapping itself round my legs... legs that had very rapidly become covered in thick blond hair. It was a part of my body I felt very proud off, because there, I felt like a man.

I pushed the button on the cistern and left for my room, climbing into bed. Propping my head up using my elbow I tried to understand what was going on in the old movie. But it was no good, it looked like it was about to finish anyway so I opted to turn it off and attempt sleep. Before doing so I clicked a few buttons on my alarm clock that sat on my small bedside table and made sure I gave myself an extra twenty minutes come the morning rush to get ready.

It seemed attempting to sleep was quite easy as before I knew it I had drifted off.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead