Today was bad. Snotty Kid let go of the string and arghhhhh I went so high! It was super scary, but fortunately I blew into a tree. I wedged myself in tight. Safe.
Snotty Kid didn’t even bother to get me. He said, “Forget it. I’ll buy a new one tomorrow.” And he left me. Here. Alone.
It’s getting dark.
Made a new friend. A kite. A bird kite not a kite kite.
I’ve been rescued! A beautiful young lady with glasses climbed the tree and untangled my string. No one has ever wanted me so badly. But then she said, “My kids are going to love you.” My tail drooped.
Worst day EVER!
Turns out the lady is a teacher. My new home is a kindergarten classroom. OMG. The lady left me here after she rearranged all the desks and stuck things on the walls.
But my kite friend found me! He tapped a message on the window. The kite gang are coming to rescue me (bird kites, not kite kites) in five days. I can survive here for five days. Right?
I can’t survive here for five days.
I’m already covered in red paint, apple puree, and something brown that smells like… jeez, when will these kids master toilet training?
Today Miss taught the kids the alphabet:
“A is for Apple”
“B is for…”
“Big Bottom,” Tommy yelled. “Like yours, Miss.”
Tommy got sent to the naughty corner.
After lunch, Miss took me outside because it was windy. Every kid tried to fly me, but I refused to lift off. No way I’m going up in the air again. They’ll probably let go of the string like Snotty Kid did. And no trees to snag on here. I’m not ready for kite heaven.
All the kids were sad, but Tommy punched the fence after his turn. He got sent to the naughty corner again.
Four days to go.
Britney and Lulu gave me a makeover today. I’m now super sparkly and have a tail made of pipe cleaners. Good. Keep adding stuff, girls. It’ll be even harder to make me fly.
Tommy asked if he could decorate me too.
Britney said, “No way. Your fingers are too chubby.”
Tommy shoved the pots of glitter on the floor and yelled, “Well, you’re too chubby!”
Miss came over and sent him to the naughty corner again. “We don’t speak to our friends like that.”
Three days to go.
I have a rip. I’m so embarrassed.
It happened this morning. Tommy was zooming me around the room. It was fun, swooshing up and down. But then Britney tripped him and I got snagged on an open stapler.
Miss gasped when she saw me. I must have looked hideous.
Britney pointed at Tommy. “He did it.”
Tommy’s mouth dropped. “But Britney tripped…”
Miss held up her hand. “Tommy, I’m very disappointed in you. Go to the naughty corner. Tomorrow, your job will be to mend the kite.”
That afternoon at pick-up, Miss asked Tommy’s dad to stay behind. “Too rough, breaking things, unacceptable behavior. I know it’s hard with his mum in hospital…”
After they left, I looked out the window and saw Tommy’s dad shout at Tommy and yank his ear. “Useless. Good for nothing.” Tommy’s eyes were wet when he got into their car.
Two days to go.
I spent today watching Tommy. Really watching. This morning he caught a ladybird on his fingernail. He was so gentle with it when he showed it to Lulu. Then after lunch he tried to join in the soccer game when Miss was doing paperwork, but Britney said she wouldn’t play if Tommy played. So Tommy went and sat in the sandpit by himself and dug tunnels. I saw Lulu look over a couple of times until Britney told her to stop it. Then Britney tried to do a cartwheel and she split her pants. Karma I guess.
Later, Miss sat at a table with Tommy and they tried to fix my rip. Miss said she’d spoken to his mum and she was all better and would be back home next week. Tommy’s face lit up. Said he couldn’t wait to move back to his normal house with his mum again. Miss told Tommy he’d done a real good job with the sticky-tape and they took me outside to see if I could fly. But no siree, nothing was going to get me to leave the sweet safety of the ground.
After Miss left to clean up some impromptu finger painting on the glass doors, Tommy whispered, Can’t even fix a kite. Guess I really am useless.
Rescue day tomorrow!
Tommy arrived early to patch me with extra strong sticky tape. Lulu came over and asked if she could help. Tommy smiled and said sure. Lulu said maybe the pipe cleaner tail was too heavy, so she’d take it off.
Miss said, “Wow what an amazing job you two have done.” But then she said she wasn’t sure the kite (me) would ever fly. “Something’s not quite right with it.” How rude.
Tommy and Lulu took me outside.
Britney sniggered. “Tommy can’t fix anything with those chubby fingers.”
Miss gasped. “Britney, I would never have expected such words from you! Off to the naughty corner.”
Tommy whispered, “Come on kite, I know you can do it. I promise I’ll hold the string tight.”
Then there was a big whoosh and the gang of (bird) kites arrived.
But my rescue would have to wait.
Tommy ran with the string and Lulu threw me up into the air.
This time, I didn’t fight it. I soared!
“You did it, Tommy!” Miss said.
All the kids cheered. Lulu said I was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen in her whole entire life.
My kite friend flew up to me and asked if I was ready to be rescued.
I looked down at Tommy’s smiling face and all the kids running around excitedly.
“Actually, I think I might stay.”
Jane Brown is a programmer and short fiction writer who lives by the beach in Australia. Her stories have been published in The Centropic Oracle, Martian Magazine, and Etherea, among other places, and she was a finalist in the 2021 Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy Short Story. She can be found on Twitter at @janebrownau.
WHY WE CHOSE TO PUBLISH “Diary of a Wimpy Kite”:
The title of this grabbed our attention first. Then the unusual and totally unexpected point-of-view narrator pulled us into the story. With those two elements in place, author Jane Brown goes on to craft a delightfully heartwarming piece with not only well-drawn human characters but a non-human main character that feels equally real and human.