Sample from Sam Victory

Sam stared at the drawing of a circle that was held in front of him.

 ‘What is this?  The man holding the picture looked at Sam.

‘A black hole.’

‘This? ‘ Dr Greene held up a picture of a triangle.

‘A dinosaur tooth.’

Dr Greene scratched the outside of his nose and wrote something down on his piece of paper. Sam kicked his feet back and forward. He wanted to go home.

‘Finally, this.’ A third sheet of paper had a black rectangle on it.

‘That would be a box.’

An eyebrow rose up over the white paper. Dr Green looked at Sam.

 ‘Could it be a cupboard?’ Dr Greene whispered.

‘It could be the back of one.’

‘Why do you say that?’ Dr Greene leant forward towards Sam. Sam noticed two white hairs growing out of his eyebrows.

‘Because there are no doors.’

The man’s eyebrows raised and he wrote something down. Sam sighed. He really hated going to see the doctor. His mum thought her son wasn’t normal and thought he could be fixed. If she wanted him to be like everyone else why would she sent him to a man that made him misbehave?

Dr Greene wrote down some more comments in his folder. It gave Sam time to look round his office. Dr Greene put down his papers and put his hands neatly in his lap.

     ‘Any stress this week Sam?’

Sam thought about the last few days, getting stuck on a climbing frame, almost eaten by a pigeon, being yelled at by his teacher, having his art work torn in two. It wasn’t a good week but he didn’t want to go over that with Dr Greene. 

            ‘Can you tell me about the stationary cupboard?’

Sam starred at the dark wooden shelves that lined one of the office walls. Among folders and files, there were a few pictures that entertained Sam less each week. Dr Greene holding a certificate in his hands, a group photo of younger men, wearing cricket whites. As Sam gazed across the shelf, he noticed that there was a new one. Dr Greene and another man with a large fish hanging between them. The fish looked sad and very dead.

            ‘Did you do your daily happy list?’

            ‘Yes…’ Well, Sam had done it at least once this week.

‘Did it help you find your happy place?’

Sam had been going to these session for nearly a year now and he still had no idea what Dr Greene was talking about.

            ‘But you still went into the cupboard.’ Dr Greene wrote in Sam’s file.

            ‘What do we say Sam?’

            ‘Happy lists make happy places.’ Sam picked at a piece of dried food on his jumper.

‘Well, we have five minutes left.’ Dr Greene looked up at the gold colour clock that was on his wall. ‘That went quickly.’ He smiled at Sam. Sam wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. He stretched his back and yawned, he was hungry and wanted to go home.

 ‘Do you miss your sister?’

Sam squirmed in the chair.

‘The day you came home from your grandparents. You found out your sister had died?’

Sam wanted Dr Greene to stop. He rubbed his head. Sam’s sister had died suddenly when she was nine months old.          

  ‘You made a decision that day…’ Sam looked at him. ‘Where did you go, where did your dad find you?’ Dr Greene moved closer to Sam. Sam could see the hairs poking out like stumps from his nose.

‘Nothing.’ Sam tried to move away.  ‘I need the toilet.’ Sam jumped up and walked towards the door.

***

Sam sat outside the doctor’s office as Dr Greene talked to his mum. He could tell it wasn’t good by the way she looked at him when she came out of the office.

‘Let’s get the car.’ She walked out of the office, Sam reluctantly followed. Sam felt like he couldn’t win. He knew that in order to be a superhero he needed a superpower. He had spent the last six years trying to figure out what it could be. He had not had any contact with asteroids or poisonous spiders, and when he tried to get bitten by an ant to see if he could be ‘Ant Boy’ and lead the ant world, he only succeeded in accidently sticking an ant to a plate of honey; then when he tried to save him a leg got left on the plate. So far he had tried flying, spinning webs and X-ray vision. Sam had a really long list that he had tried but he could not figure out which one of the powers was his. The more he looked, the visits to Dr Greene increased. He read, analysed and practised but ended up on his back covered with bruises more often than not.

When Sam and his parents got home, his mother took off her coat and shoes, and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner. His dad sat in his favourite brown chair, a light from the nearby shelf. His left fingers played with a small hole on the side of the chair. He had a large book on his lap. Sam stood near the door not wanting to disturb his dad. His dad flicked a page over, Sam then noticed it wasn’t a book, it was a photo album.

‘Your great grandfather was the accountant on the railways. Your great uncle worked for one of the top accountancy firms in London. He had his own office.’

Sam shuffled away from his dad.‘ Your granddad he did the books for the mines.’

Sam opened his mouth. ’I.’

‘But the one thing we Victory’s were all good at is maths. Maths is everything. Numbers make the world go round.’ His dad continued to look through the album.

 ‘I am sorry. I had a bad day and needed -’ Sam tried to explain what had happened.

‘Sam, you can’t hide in cupboards anymore. Sam, being a superhero is not a valid job.’ His dad shook his head in dismay. ‘Being an accountant is a satisfying job, you can make a difference.’

‘No!’

Mr Victory jumped at Sam’s outburst. Sam had a flash forward to becoming his dad, sitting in a grey office, with a large calculator and pages of numbers. That would be his worst nightmare. No. That was not going to happen.

Mr Victory looked very upset. ‘Mr Mann is recommending that all of your class go and follow a parent at work in a few months and I said I would be very happy for you to come to see where I worked.’ Sam gasped. The thought of being an accountant, like his dad, terrified him. Sam needed a way of getting out of this situation fast.