If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write - Stephen King, On Writing, p. 147

Purple Paint

Sarah listened to his whispered ‘Sorry mum’, looked into the big blue eyes in the earnest face of her son and remembered her mother’s words. ‘You’re too reactive girl. Take a breath and think before you act.’

It had been a common phrase, a warning reissued every time Sarah had jumped in feet first and usually broken her ankles. It had surfaced when she had thrown away her studies in Law and chosen to go to art school. It had returned when she had dumped her banker fiancé and moved in with a bohemian poet.

She had had it thrown at her when she had announced she was pregnant and intending to bring up the baby alone. Admittedly, her art sold in quantities that rarely paid the bills and the poet had left her for a travelling stripper from Holland the minute he found out about the baby and coping with her son alone was sometimes close to impossible but she had no real regrets. Choices were made and you lived with them if you wanted to live at all.

“Take your shoes and socks off Sam.”
She grinned at her son’s puzzlement as she showed him by example. She curled her hand about his, laughed as she eyed the layer of neon purple paint that was still spreading across the beige lounge carpet, Sam still waiting for some censure over his clumsiness, and walked forward.

Hesitantly he followed her and together they painted the carpet with purple footprints, finally dipping their hands into the spill and decorating the walls to the sound of childlike giggling.

Later, with Sam washed and tucked up in bed, Sarah gazed at their hand prints, side by side on the wall and shook her head.
“Sorry mum but I would rather rush in where angels fear to tread than scold my son and miss the joy of being a child with him.”