Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British · Language

Hold-all

Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Hold-all:

Noun

A large rectangular bag with handles and a shoulder strap, used for carrying clothes and other personal belongings.

"The little boy with a shock of dark hair off-set by his pasty complexion enters the living room, dragging several plastic carrier-bags behind him. He's grunting in exertion and pauses to drop the items, wiping sweat from his forehead. And straight into his eyes.

'Gah!' He shrieks, rubbing it in more furiously in order to clear it.

The commotion garners the attention of his father. 'All right there, Jax?'

The little lad squawks in dismay, rapidly shaking his head. 'Nooooooo!'

Jax's father crosses the distance between them and kneels in front of him. Gently, he grabs his child's flailing limbs and urges them to still at his sides. He shushes him soothingly and dabs at the reddening skin with a damp flannel he brought in from the kitchen.

Brown orbs flutter instantly. His father sits back on his heels and waits. Eventually the eyes clear and Jax strains to see his parent properly.

'Am I blind?' He asks.

'Not this time, I'm afraid.'

'Drats. Next time?'

'Yeah, sure, I'll try my best not to react so quickly to ensure my son's all right so that way he loses his vision.'

Jax giggles steadily and knocks shoulders with the older man.

Then, a woman enters the room and eyes the two on the floor in concern. She takes in the littered plastic bags and the rag beside them, causing her eyebrows to disappear toward her hairline. '…all right?' She draws the question out, stepping tentatively inside.

'Fine now!' The father chirps.

'Yeah, says you.' The lad pouts, purposefully jutting out his lower lip. 'I thought it would be cool to go blind.'

The woman starts, shifting her footing, and locks eyes with the man. 'Umm…okay? That's not weird. Jax,' she addresses her son, 'are you all packed for Granddad's?'

The child nods enthusiastically and points at his belongings scattered round him. 'Yeah, I packed it all myself!' He beams proudly.

Wife and husband share an amused glance.

'How about we start on lunch while Mum goes upstairs to pack your red and black hold-all?' The man suggests, standing briskly.

'But why?' Jax queries. 'I've all my things right here.'

'Yes you do,' his mother interjects and smiles winningly at him. 'But why don't we put it in one bag so that way we don't leave anything behind?'

Jax contemplates the suggestion, shrugs, and shoots off into the kitchen as he hollers food options over his shoulder."

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