:: Article

Carry On Campers

By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.


A rare butterfly swoops, flutters and glides overhead.

Simon, we should help them.

Quit with prodding me.

Simon, we should help them.

Stop prodding me then.

Okay, Simon, but we really should help them.

Why? We never asked to come on this stupid holiday.

No, Simon, but we should help them anyway.

Stop prodding me and stop calling me Simon.

On the other side of the field Margot and her partner can’t help but mirror their offspring:

Did you bring a hammer for the pegs, Brendan?

Did I what?

Did you bring a hammer for the pegs, Brendan?

Yes, that’s why I’m using my fists to bang them in.

Well they’re not going in, Brendan. If you’d brought the hammer like I told you to . . .

Like I told you to? I don’t remember you telling me anything.

Well I did tell you, Brendan. You just never listen.

The rare butterfly arrives on a flipping flapping flap of canvas.

Well I’m not listening now.

I don’t care if you’re listening or not, Brendan.

I’m not listening and stop calling me Brendan.

The rare butterfly snags itself on a guy rope as a stolen three year old’s trike motors noisily up the hill. Clutching the handlebar and his booty sack containing a hammer and torch is Demon Dave, the local playground thug, who laughs and wheezes like a giant badger astride a dwarf vintage motor.

Did you see that, Simon?

Stop prodding me?

The pikey on the trikey, Simon. Did you see him?

I saw him, yes, but stop prodding me.

He was too big for it, Simon.

Yes he was. So what?

Well, I think we should help them anyway, Simon, it’s getting late.

What’s that got to do with what we were just talking about?

It’ll be harder to put the tent up in the dark, Simon.

Stop prodding me and stop calling me Simon.


Alan McCormick’s stories have appeared in many places, including the Bridport Anthology, Matter, Decongested Tales and Litro, and on the net at dogmatika, DeadDrunkDublin, nthposition and Pulp.net. His illustrated work with the artist Jonny Voss can be found at 3:AM and Scumsters.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, February 4th, 2011.