Sam thought long and hard about how to get Frieda to notice him. Eventually he chose hypnotism.

It wasn’t as easy as the book made out. After a week’s secret practicing he tried it on his sister, Adie. ‘Look at this pendant,’ he said.

‘Hold it still, willya?’

‘Look deep into it.’

‘Nutcase.’

‘Aren’t you getting sleepy?’

‘Sleepy? Ohhhhhh. Yeah, I am. I’m getting sleepy alright.’

‘Very sleepy…’

A few minutes later she was walking around on all fours sniffing things. She crawled into his room.

Sam clapped his hands, the signal to break the spell. Nothing happened.

Adie grabbed his I-pod in her mouth.

‘No. Bad dog!’

Adie growled. She took the I-pod into her room then came back for his new hoody.

He clapped again. He admonished. He tried to grab the collar of her shirt.

Adie growled. Next trip she took his console.

‘Bad dog.’

Adie growled, and dropped the game on her bed with the rest. Then she stood up. ‘You’re an idiot, Sam. This is my stuff now. Or I’ll tell Mum you tried to hypnotise me.’

‘Bu——’

Adie growled again.

Sam gave up hypnotism. He wrote Frieda a poem but couldn’t summon the courage to face her with it. He needed an intermediary. His thoughts turned to ventriloquism.

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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