Half-Term Holiday – Nik Way


Jessamine told me that in France the ants can fly. I didn’t believe her, but there they go; lifting off the gravel like smoke. They’re bigger than the ants at home and they haven’t got their wings under control yet but they’re flying. I’ll have to apologise to Jessamine.


Today Joe rode his first bike. Mum was pleased. He went down the road from the house and back again. I drew a picture of him on a bike but he got so excited he tore it up. Mum said he didn’t know what he was doing, but she always says that.


We had dinner on the porch because it was still hot. The bugs were loud as traffic. Brendan caught a grasshopper in his hands and said he’d show me how to catch one too, but mum said she needed to talk to us, because her and dad weren’t going to be married anymore. Joe scrunched up red, so mum had to calm him down. I went to my room and drew a grasshopper.

Friday night

I couldn’t sleep because of the wooden beams in the ceiling. Mum came in and I told her I could see dead faces in the bark patterns, the knots became eye sockets and the dark lines bones. Mum said the house is very old and remembers lots of wars. She thought I was upset about dad, but I told her that the last time he came back from sea I had forgotten about him. I thought she’d be pleased but her face was like the wooden beams.


It was too windy for us to be on top of the ferry, so instead of watching the grey sea chop itself, Mum bought me and Brendan hot chocolates while Joe sat in the soft play area. Brendan let out a long sigh, and said that when we came on the ferry a week ago, we were still a family. Brendan’s always dramatic like that.


Jessamine was pleased I’d seen the flying ants. At lunch, instead of hunting for the school ghost, we were RAF ants doing bombing runs over enemy territory. In the story we were brother and sister. We whizzed around the big oak tree in the playground, elbows flapping over tripping roots and cracked earth.




Nik Way is a writer and producer. He has been published in several anthologies and was long-listed to be the Young Poet Laureate of London in 2013. He is a member of the poetry collective Spare the Poets and produced their debut show ‘Milk Teeth’ at the Roundhouse in May 2016. He is currently being supported by Spread the Word, working to produce a solo show in 2018.

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