Four stripes on the crossing, twenty-one slats on the fence in front of Mr Jenkins’ house, eighteen feet of adults waiting at the bus stop, sixty-three stitches on the hem of the lady’s dress in the opposite seat. Mike’s mother holds his hand firmly. They are on their way to the doctor’s again.
More tests. Mike knows he can’t press his face against the wall and count the fibres in the old wallpaper, because it makes his mother upset. He swivels on his chair, three pushes to a full turn. His mother and the doctor are talking: two tired voices. Mike counts the heartbeats in his chest. The number is always the same. Continue reading… (160 words)