“Johnny” shouted Marjory, her voice carrying the length of the garden. “Johnny, stop running about. Go and sit with your Grandfather.”
Johnny dawdled, scuffing his shoes along the garden path towards the small arbour where his Grandfather sat. As he walked he ran a stick along the fencing boards so it made a clackety-clack sound.
He knew most adults found the noise annoying, but Grandfather Eddie clapped his hands together, jumped from his seat and said, “Go back a bit Johnny, go back and do that again”.
Johnny liked Grandfather Eddie, he was funny. He did lots of stupid things and told jokes his mother called ‘only nearly funny’. That was when he wasn’t grumpy.
Not that he was ever grumpy for long, he had his special sweets, his toothache drops. If he felt bad he ate two or three of those and he was smiling and laughing again in no time.
Johnny often wondered why his Grandfather did not go and see the dentist more if his teeth hurt. Surely a dentist could make the pain stop, or he could take Grandfathers tooth away altogether?
Grandfather Eddie wrote songs. Not old songs like he was old and Nanna was old, but songs you hear on the radio, the ones you could listen to on Spotify and Reverb Nation. He knew all the stars and artists. Grandfather had been on television, he won awards and trophies and stuff for writing songs and music, they were on display inside the house in a tall glass cupboard next to his collection of guitars.
Sometimes the famous people came to eat dinner at Grandfathers house, or to have a barbecue. Some of them were coming today. Which is why Johnny had to be on his best behaviour. Although, when you heard and saw all the things these people did, Johnny wondered why he had to behave when no one else did?
Adults can be strange at times. Most times.
Johnny sat opposite Grandfather Eddie and, looking directly at his face, watched as he tapped away on the laptop keyboard. His mother said, “Don’t disturb your grandfather when his typing.” So, Johnny waited patiently.
“That’s it,” Grandfather said, with a big grin spreading across his face as he shut the laptop. “So, Johnny, that’s the Vampire Dunkin Monkeys next big hit in the bag. That’s the Grunge-punk awards won for next year and it’s all down to you and your clackety-clacking”.
“I could have done more Clacking, but the Lemon tree is in the way,” said Johnny.
“You have done quite enough for one day young man; I shall reward you handsomely when the record becomes a big hit.”
“Can I have a fast car, an orange one, with silver wheels?”
Grandfather Eddie laughed. “When you are old enough you can have all the cars you want and any colour wheels you wish for.”
“Eddie,” it was Nana’s voice. “They are arriving.” She shouted down the garden to where Grandfather Eddie had his writing arbour.
“Right, Johnny,” said Grandfather Eddie as he stood and stretched his back. “Let’s go to work, let’s get that fast Orange car for you, shall we?”
“Go to work? I thought they were your friends?”
“My friends are Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, William McKinley and Grover Cleveland. You would do well to make their acquaintance too, young man.”
Grandfather Eddie popped two of those toothache drops, he kept in a small tin in his pocket, into his mouth as they walked towards the house.
Johnny noticed the change in Grandpa, by the time he walked to the house his tooth and that bad back must have got better, Grandfather Eddie was now shaking hands, offering greetings and chatting and buzzing like a teenager.
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