The Boy’s Age

Short Story Day 115 of 365

Timmy’s father had been coaching him on how old he was, especially as he went into The Fair. Children five and under were admitted FREE. Free was always good in the Hampton household.

The other Hampton children were clearly not five and closer to 14. Timmy would be 7 in a month, but he looked 4.  

“Now, what are you gonna say when he asks you how old you are?

“I’m five and I turn six next month. But Papa, I’m six and turn seven next month. Isn’t that a lie?”

“Timothy Raymond Hampton. You are five and gonna be six next month. Understand?”

“Yes, I guess so, but I don’t like it.”

Mrs. Hampton had been nagging her husband about not teaching the children to lie. But Mr. Hampton brought it back to “Eight bucks is eight bucks, no matter how you slice it.”

When Mr. Hampton pulled the SUV into the cashier lane, Mr. Hampton said, “Five adults and one child please.”

The attendant looked in the window of the back seat, counted out five adults and one child admittance tickets and told him the amount. He looked out over the top of his car and shook his head.

Mr. Hampton paid.

“Next year, however, you’ll have to pay full price for the little one. You’ve come through my lane for the last five years. I remember you because you always seem a little tense coming through the gate, like you’re hiding something, but that’s none of my business. Plus, you’ve got that gigantic chili dog for an advertisement on top of your car, so you catch my attention every year. Can’t miss it really. Enjoy your time at The Fair.”

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