The story that I chose for today is “Charles” by Shirley Jackson.
“The Lottery” by the same author is perhaps more famous and more anthologised but that dark story can wait for another day.
In this, the narrator is the mother of two small children. Laurie, the older of her two children, has just joined the kindergarten class in a school.
For several days from the first day Laurie on returning home from school describes the mischiefs that Charles did and the punishments that he received from the teacher.
With the third week of KG, Charles was an institution in the narrator’s family. There were some signs of the clever little nipper improving but still his tricks don’t seem to have ended completlely. Laurie’s mother is eager to go to the PTA meeting where she would have a chance of coming face to face with Charles’s mother.
Read the story. It is available for free online. Please google for it and select a suitable site from where you can get a doc file. (I am unable to provide a link. I reread it in a book that I have.)
In what genre would you put this story? Parenting? Psychological? Fantasy? Humour?
“I watched him go off the first morning with the older girl next door, seeing clearly that an era of my life was ended, my sweetvoiced nursery-school tot replaced by a long-trousered, swaggering character who forgot to stop at the corner and wave good-bye to me.”