Charlie

Fiction

What did Charlie do one day?

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

Charlie was a very clever boy. Even as a young child, his parents knew there was something different about him. But they could not put their finger on it.

He wasn’t overtly naughty. He mostly obeyed them. He was not rude. They weren’t quite sure about the ‘not rude’ part. He wasn’t openly rude. But sometimes they got the feeling he was saying something totally rude in his head while giving them the right response.

Charlie’s cleverness knew no bounds. Because of this, most of his 6-year old classmates could not tolerate him. He was young Sheldon in disguise.

A Friend Like Hobbes

Charlie wished he had a pet tiger like Hobbes. Charlie really identified himself with Calvin, and dearly wanted a talking tiger. Someone he could share all his secrets with. But there was no talking tiger in sight. He even went to a toy store and cajoled his parents to buy him a Hobbes stuffed doll. But this Hobbes was just a stuffed toy. This Hobbes was too full of himself and refused to talk to poor Charlie.

Charlie thought maybe his best friend couldn’t be Hobbes. After all, he was not Calvin. So he decided to try adopting a different animal. For a 6-year old, the next best thing to a tiger is a dinosaur. Not any dinosaur, but the best of the lot — the T.Rex. After much scouting, his parents were able to find him a suitable sized stuffed T.Rex.

T.Rex was brought home amid great fanfare and named T.Rex. By nightfall though, Charlie began to question his intelligence. If Hobbes can come alive, so can T.Rex. Hobbes was a domesticated tiger who was fond of Calvin.

Charlie had no prior relationship with T.Rex. What if T.Rex came alive in the dead of the night and ate him up in one gulp? Charlie spent the rest of the night sleepless and peering intently at T.Rex. He needn’t have bothered. T.Rex showed no signs of coming alive.

Gerry Didn’t go to School

Charlie was also a great fan of Gerald Durrell. At 6, he had already read most of Durrell’s books. Charlie loved the world of animals that Durrell seemed to inhabit. Mostly, he liked the idea that Gerry never seemed to go to school, or never had anything close to a formal education that could have totally ruined him.

Charlie found school dull. He would much rather gallivant around the countryside, peer under rocks, swim in the pond, loll in the garden. Anything but listen to his teachers drone on without any enthusiasm or real information about what they were teaching.

Many a time, he had tried to do what Gerry had done in one book on the other. For example, one day he brought home a slimy green frog that he had found in a puddle. He was excited. He thought his mum will be like Mrs. Durrell and provide him with a basket to host the frog.

Image by Stephanie Curry from Pixabay

He was mistaken. His mom was not Mrs. Durrell. She took one look at the frog, shrieked loudly, and was found standing on the kitchen counter in the blink of an eye. Charlie still wonders how she accomplished that!

Dad was summoned to deal with the frog, Charlie was counseled against bringing anything living into their home other than his friends, and mom was rescued from the high pedestal that she had temporarily adopted.

Charlie was disappointed. What good was reading all those books if he couldn’t do anything described in them?

Visiting Mrs. Durrell

Suddenly he had a brilliant idea. It was so brilliant that he had to talk to himself to convince himself about its brilliance. Again, he wished he had Hobbes to discuss this with.

Charlie decided that the only way he could live Gerry’s life was by having Mrs. Durrell as his mom. How could he do this? Simple. He would invent a time machine, travel back in time, and bring her to the present to replace his current mom. Gerry could have his mom in exchange if he wished.

So he invented a time machine, and went to Gerry’s house in Corfu. He went straight to the kitchen to meet Mrs. Durrell.

Mrs. Durrell was suitably confused. While she was no stranger to strange happenings in her house, this one beat it all.

A tiny 6-yr old was sitting at her kitchen table, eating her freshly-baked scones and calmly telling her that he was from the future. Moreover, he explained to her that he would like her to be his mom, and wanted her to join him in the future.

If all of this was not strange enough, he was also telling her about the wonderful books that her baby Gerry had already written. Her Gerry, who couldn’t string 3 sentences together with grammar intact, had written several books?

Things were getting out of hand. Mrs. Durell needed smelling salts and some air. She went to retrieve the smelling salts from Gerry’s room where she most frequently needed them.

What Happens Next?

We are waiting for Mrs. Durrell to come back. Hold on till then.


Sometimes in the dead of the night, your brain strings together pieces from different parts of life, and from different experiences. The brain then proceeds to create the illusion of a whole new real world.

Today, my brain came up with Charlie. Is he Charlie from the Chocolate Factory? Is he Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes? Is he Gerry from Gerald Durrell’s stories? Is he young Sheldon?

I’ll have to talk to my brain to come up with the next part soon. I am dying of curiosity.

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