Joey – short story

This is another piece that I wrote for uni. I’m not sure if I would re-write this, but I do have a few ideas to make this a bigger piece. Let me know what you think.


We followed Joey behind the sports shed and towards the oval.

“Are you sure there’s a good spot here?” Samantha asked.

Joey looked over her shoulder and rolled her eyes. “Of course I’m sure.”

She continued to march on, and I took a muesli bar out of my lunch box.

“Don’t eat!” Joey looked over at me. “We’re almost there.”

We arrived at a large tree, the branches stooping low and providing a lot of shade.

“Is this it?” Samantha asked.

“Is this it?! This is the best spot to have lunch! It’s close to the classroom for the end of lunch, but it’s also away from the boys, so it’s not noisy,” she told us, before sitting down against the trunk.

I sat down beside her and took out my muesli bar. “It is a pretty good spot.”

Samantha rolled her eyes and sat down as well.

Joanne “Joey” Miller was my best friend in year three. The last night I saw Joey, she was pulling on her faded green socks. They were a bit smelly, but she always wore them to bed.

“Ew!” Samantha shrieked, pointing at the monstrous socks. “What are those?!”

“They’re my socks. I have to wear them,” Joey told us.

“No, you don’t!” Samantha exclaimed as she scrunched up her nose.

“Yes, I do!” Joey slithered into her sleeping bag. “My dad gave them to me to keep the monsters away,” she muttered.

Samantha pinched her nose and battered at the air in front of her. “They stink!”

My mum came in and told us it was time to sleep, and she turned off the lights.

The next morning, Joey was cramming her sleeping bag away when her mum’s, Rosie and Christy, came to pick her up.

My mum talked to them both in hushed tones.

“I thought we talked about the socks, Joanne,” Joey’s mum Christy said.

Joey’s mama Rosie picked up her backpack. “We’ll talk about it at home. Come on, it’s time to go.”

Christy turned back to my mum. “Thanks for having her. And I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s no problem,” my mum said. “I just thought I’d let you know.”

Joey tucked her sleeping bag under her arm. “Bye, guys! See ya on Monday!”

But when Monday came, Joey wasn’t at school. Samantha and I thought it was weird. She liked to be at school early, so we decided she must have been sick.

Mum was waiting for me outside the classroom at the end of the day. She peered into the emptying room and looked down at me.

“Did Joey come to school today?” she asked me.

“No.”

“Have you seen or heard from her since Saturday?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

Mum paused for a second, and she bowed down to me and looked me in the eye. “Jemima, I’ve got some bad news. Joey’s mums think that she’s run away.”

That night, as I was finishing my homework in the lounge room, dad watched the news. A lady started to cry and I looked up. It was Joey’s mums, Christy and Rosie. Cutting across them was a yellow banner on the screen that said, ‘Breaking news: ten-year-old girl missing’.

“We just want to find her,” Christy said.

Rosie held a photograph in her shaking hands. “We last saw her in these pyjamas.”

Christy looked at the photo. “She wasn’t wearing the green socks, though.”

Joey was wearing blue pyjamas with pink spots, and bright neon green socks. She stood like a starfish, her arms and legs spread wide, and she had a large smile on her face.

I frowned at the screen. She always wore the green socks. It didn’t make sense to me that she would be in her pyjamas without her socks.

A police officer started to talk, and I returned to my homework.

A few days later, mum took me to Joey’s house after school. She brought along a casserole. We sat in the lounge room with Christy. Joey’s grandparents were here, and Rosie was talking to them. A couple of my friends were here as well, with their parents. Most of them had brought along containers that looked like our casserole dish.

When I came back from the bathroom, I saw Rosie and she smiled at me.

“How are you, Jemima?”

I shrugged. “Alright, I guess.”

She nodded and I gave her a small smile.

“I bet you miss her,” she said and I nodded.

After a pause, I asked, “Why wasn’t she wearing her green socks?”

Her eyes widened at the question. “Oh. Well, er, they weren’t in very good condition, so we decided to throw them away. And she’s a big girl; she doesn’t need to wear socks to bed. There aren’t any monsters to keep away.”

I frowned back at her. “But she always wears them. She says she has to.”

Rosie’s eyes started to well with tears. “Really?”

I nodded. “Is that why she ran away? Because she didn’t have her socks?”

“Uh, I don’t know.” She paused and forced a smile. “Why don’t you try some of the sponge cake?”

She pointed at the table with food on it before leaving me. I saw her go to Christy, and put a hand on her arm. They seemed to whisper to each other, and I think Christy started to cry.

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