by Michael S.
Asha was a
single mother. She went home with groceries, bad
tempers and an important newspaper. Well, not
quite an important newspaper, only the Daily Mail
in fact, but important to the continuation of the
story, so it may as well be high literature.
The boy sat by
the television, watching the static lines bubble
and fizz. Water poured out of a tub and
illuminated the floor for copyright reasons. The
boy was still.
said his mother. No response. Evening!
she said slightly louder. No response.
Dinner in five, she said.
mum he said.
and dragged her bags into the kitchen. Her boy
continued watching the static television. But
then, he was a strange boy, was Yoshi: proof if
ever needed, the dangers of a woman in labour
craving Nintendo video games.
Asha put the
hastily-chosen dinner in the microwave and with
great decision, turned the machine on. She
flicked open the newspaper: disaster here,
perjury there, she's gay today and he's divorced
tomorrow, and she's a he, and he might never play
for the local side again. Then, as she flicked
through the pages, she came across it: the Sudoku
I can do
this one, its easy. she said to herself,
and with her pen (she had still been biting it,
that was a particularly nasty habit of hers) she
put an 8 down in the space. Any space, it didn't
matter. It was only an 8. It was after she'd done
this that she noticed the cartoon strip next to
the Sudoku. Funny, she'd thought it was the usual
comedy dog. Instead, it was a sleek black haired
girl, staring out at the world with her big dark
eyes. The caption was hardly comical: 'finish my
puzzle in seven days, or I'll be havin' ye.'
for a second.
forgot about the curse.
food, came the voice from the hall,
Mum, the phone. Oh, I'll get it. Ah, it was
just the debt collectors.
the room, and saw the newspaper. He went over to
and placed a 7 on the board.
you do that? cried his mother.
shrugged. Felt like it he said.
She turned to
the cartoon. The caption had changed: Ha-ha,
you two are like, so screwed. That's the
And Asha felt
terror, and hunger. So she ate.
...continued in 'Sudoku 4: 'The
Importance of Being Apathetic'