The Fruit Loops were piled in the ceramic white bowl. Father poured the milk over the mountain of sugary cereal as he reprimanded Tabias.
“No April Fool’s today, buddy. I know it’s a fun day, but teachers complained last year. The number of neighbours’ mailboxes and lawn gnomes I had to replace was ridiculous.”
Father ranted so much that he had stopped paying attention to the milk and it spilled out of the bowl.
“Yes Dad,” Tabias retorted to make him stop. The Fruit Loops had snuck out of his bowl too from the waterfall of milk. They were colorful and swam like fish, jumping the edge of the table and falling to the floor. Father threw a cloth on top of the mess, swiped it up, then kissed Tabias goodbye for work.
“Remember,” he turned back to reiterate.
“Yeah, yeah. No April Fools tricks.”
The door closed. Tabias finished his breakfast then went to the bathroom before the school bus arrived. He rolled his eyes at the new wallpaper, the colourful cupboard handles, and the scented sea shell soap piled in the soap dish.
The wallpaper drew his attention back again. Large colourful fish seemed to swim around the small bathroom just as the Fruit Loops had in his cereal bowl. He recalled stories from Step-Mother about fish being the first trick of April Fools. Newspapers would hide a fish in the prank column to let readers know it was bogus.
Tabias ripped the thin strip of paper off the still-damp wall and ran to the school bus.
“Good morning Tabias!”
Mr. Jenkins, the grumpy neighbour who hadn’t enjoyed his April Fool’s the prior year, called. He waved and didn’t notice as Tabias smacked a damp fish onto his white picket fence. The glue will dry nicely, Tabias thought to himself.
The school bus was just pulling up to the bus hut. With the snow trying to melt, the hut was barely visible under the layers of frozen, not frozen snow.
He slapped a yellow fish on the wooden bench before following the lineup of out-of-towners onto the bus.
A green fish sat on the seat beside Tabias, a purple one ended up the folding bus doors before he got off at school, and a perfect smiling black fish had found a new home on the green garbage can in front of school.
The girl with blonde hair in math class got a pink fish, the janitor got a brown fish. The girl’s washroom stick girl got covered with a white fish, and the stick boy washroom got a mandarin fish.
Teacher Bal opened the classroom door as Tabias walked down the hallway.
“Tabias,” she called to him, “you’re not doing any April Fool’s tricks are you?”
“Temerarious!” Tabias replied with a fancy bow. “Never rests.”
Taking his seat, the teacher closed the door, a blue fish glued to her back.
Norma Rrae is an author based in Fort St. John. Read more of her works at notmewriting.com.