Fiction Friday: The Man in the Cupboard pt. 4

Well ol’ Mike Finnegen is back at it again in this installment of the Man in the Cupboard series, hope you like it!

To start at the beginning of the series, click here.

To go to part three, click here.

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The plastic spoon bounced across the tile floor, scattering drops of milk and soggy cereal along the way.  Baby Thomas belly laughed as Kimberly, once again, retrieved the spoon and gave it back with a sigh.  She knew he was hungry, he had been climbing her legs and pushing her around the kitchen for the past twenty minutes, all while screaming and shrieking.  He sounded for all the world like a distressed guinea pig.

“Come on buddy, this isn’t a game.  Eat a few bites.” She waved a different spoon under his nose. “Please?”

With a squeal of laughter he lobbed his spoon across the kitchen once again.  Kimberly picked it up again and this time tossed it into the sink. “No more games buddy, it’s time to eat.”

Thomas let out a wail and stretched out his pudgy fingers towards the sink as far as his high chair would allow.  Clearly breakfast wasn’t going to happen, at least not right now.

Kimberly pulled the angry baby out of his chair and hauled him over to the sink to wipe him down. He grabbed at anything his stubby arms could reach, wildly flailing in all directions. After a few swipes of the washrag she set him down. He sped off as fast as his wobbly legs could carry him.

“He’s a fiesty one isn’t he?” asked a quiet voice above the sink.

Kimberly found Mike lounging on the windowsill, soaking in the morning sun. “Of the three he’s always been a bit of a free spirit.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with him.” She picked up the washrag from the sink, rinsed it out, and began the process of wiping down the kitchen.

“He’d make a right nice pup, much better than a wee lad if your askin’ me.” The tiny tinker swung his cane in the direction Thomas had run off.  “I could do it fer ya, it’s not a bother.”

“You’ll not be changing Thomas into a puppy,” she said with a sigh, “at least not today.  I still love him, even when it’s tough.”  She turned towards him, one hand on a hip. “You can’t really turn people into animals can you?”

Mike blushed. “Well no, not really.  But I know of one who can. It’s a nasty business that is. Not worth it if you ask me.”

“And why’s that?”

“Involves black magic.” He went to spit but stopped when he saw Kimberly’s glare. “It’s not natural, no one should get mixed up in it.  Those who do…” He shuddered. “We’ll let’s just say nothing good comes of it.”

Something crashed to the floor in the next room where Thomas played.  Kimberly tossed the washrag into the sink. “I guess I’d better go check on him, he’s been too quiet, means he’s up to no good.”

In the next room Thomas was gleefully unloading the shelves.  Behind him, scattered all over the floor, was the big box of blocks.

“Well at least he didn’t hurt himself.” Kimberly said as she sat and started collecting the blocks, she wiggled one in the air.  “Hey, Thomas, wanna play blocks?”

Thomas turned and looked at the block only to turn back and pull down another stack of books.  He wore such a look of concentration, like this was his job and how dare she interrupt him.

“Thomas! You stop that, you naughty baby.” She snatched him away from the shelf and stuck him in her lap where he squirmed to get free. “Oh no you don’t.” She laughed and tickled his tummy.

Mike appeared in a poof of smoke on one of the higher shelves, out of the baby’s reach. Thomas stopped his wiggling and stared at the tiny man, wide eyed, mouth open.

“I thought you said none of them could see you.”

“Didn’t think they could, I know the older ones can’t for sure.  This wee one, however, well he’s as bald as an egg.  Guess there’s ginger in there after all.” He gave a half laugh. “Relax, it’s not like its a bad thing.”

Kimberly ran her hand over Thomas’z fuzz covered head. He twisted his neck to look at her and fell over in her lap. “What do we do now?”

“Nothin’. There’s nothin’ wrong.  Lots of kids have imaginary friends growin’ up.  His will just be a bit more real than others.”

“Won’t that cause problems down the road?”

“I suppose. But we don’t have much choice do we?” He shrugged. “It’s not like we can stop him from seeing me.  And I can’t be always hiding from him either. I say we start him young.”

Kimberly looked up at the little tinker sitting on the edge of the shelf and smiled. “I suppose it’s better than having him turned into a puppy. For now.”

“Most definitely.”


For the next part, click here!


Fiction Friday: The Man in the Cupboard pt. 2

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To start at part one, click here!

Two weeks had passed since Kimberly had first encountered that tiny man in her cupboard, since then she had seen no trace of him.  Maybe she was right in thinking that  he was only a figment of her imagination.  Even so, the last time she put the peanuts away she made sure that the lid wasn’t too tight.

The radio blared in the kitchen, bouncing the best hits of the 80’s and 90’s off the walls and throughout the house.  Kimberly sang along to the music as she tackled the dishes and cups overflowing from the sink.  Over the last week with the coming of better weather and no sighting of the tiny Mike Finnegan, she had found a cheerfulness that she hadn’t found in what felt like years.

During a particularly loud rendition of “All the Single Ladies” she heard a loud rap and then the music died.  There on top of the radio sat Mike, swinging his cane.

“What in tarnation is the meaning of all this racket?” he asked, clutching his head. “In my day, people caught singin’ like that were put in the stocks.”

Kimberly couldn’t help but stare.  Seeing him again meant one of two things, either he was indeed real, or she needed her head examined.  “So…,” she rubbed her temples, “you’re real then.”

“As real as the smelly pile of laundry in yer closet.”

“What?!?” She slapped the counter.  The thought of a strange little man in her kitchen was one thing, knowing he was raiding her closet was a more serious offence.

Mike blushed and shuffled his feet, “Erm, forget I said that.”

“Don’t think I can.” Kimberly planted her hands on her hips. “What am I going to do with you?”

Mike jumped down from the radio and began pacing across the countertop. “Well Missy, most tend to ignore me but I can be quite handy.”

“Like how?”

“Well, I’m a tinker, right?”

“I thought you were a leprechaun, is there a difference?”

Mike banged his cane against the counter with a snap. “Now you understand this, no one calls Mike Finnegan a leprechaun.  Little gold obsessed good fer nothin’ mites, they are.” He spat, emphasizing his point.

“Hey, none of that!” She tossed him a cloth from the sink. “Clean it up.”

He grumbled as he wiped up the spot, something about how gingers had a temper.  She couldn’t make out most of it, and was glad for it.

“A tinker, miss, fixes things.  It’s what we live for.  That squeak in the garage door, the one that mysteriously disappeared, that was me.”  He tossed the cloth back, which to him seemed more like a blanket.  “A tinker is happiest when there are things to mend, that’s why we love these old houses.  Always something that needs a fix.”

Kimberly nodded, tapping her chin. Someone who sould fix things around the house would be nice. “What’s the catch?”

“No catch, you lets me borrow things from here and there, a pinch of food, and what not.  A touch of whiskey is always a nice gesture.  Do that, and I’m more than happy staying here doin’ what I do.” He said with a flourish.

“Alrighty Mr. Mike, you can stay.  Just promise me not to riffle through my personal items.  None of the drawers in the bedroom.”

“And the whiskey. . .?” He asked, a hopeful gleam in his eye.

“We’ll see in time.  When I can see things working out well between us then yes, I’ll get you some.”

He danced a little jig, swinging his tiny cane in time to his steps.

“Oh miss? There is one more thing.”

“And what’s that?”

“Promise me never to get a cat.”

Kimberly giggled at the image in her head of tiny Mike being chased by a cat.  “Ok, I promise.”

“Good doing business with ya.” He tipped his hat and with a flash, vanished.


To read the next in the series, click here.