By Basil Wang

Locked in the bedroom closet, little Johnny sat chewing his fingernails raw while thinking about what was inevitably coming. After putting every single object in his bedroom against the door, he hoped that his dad would not have the strength to push aside the stack of chairs, books, and shelves which he had collected. Suddenly, the sound of a doorknob rattling and the pounding of the door reached Johnny, and his heart began to pound against his rib cage like a snare drum. The rhythmic pulsing rung so loud in his ears that he felt as if it would give away his location. Perspiration beaded against his brow and mixed with the hot tears that were now flowing down his cheeks and chin. His lip quivering uncontrollably, occasional strangled whimpers escaped Johnny’s throat as he thought about the prospect of his dad finding him. Suddenly, the door clicked as it was opened, and realisation hit him with the blinding light which flooded the closet. Looking up, he saw his dad, and any colour that had remained on his face drained like water, and Johnny gave in to the nausea which had threatened to take over and collapsed onto the ground.

“Oh poor little Johnny! It’s just a flu shot.” He whispered, looking down at his unconscious son who was sprawled over on the ground.