Quiet Time

‘New balls, please!’

Miranda coughed to disguise a snigger. It got her every time, that phrase. She daren’t look up because she knew she’d be getting some terrible looks.

There’s a hush. She coughs again. Always struggled with silence, too. She thought about interminable assemblies in the great school hall, where 600 girls sat in ‘quiet contemplation’. There was that one time when there was a gastric bug going around. There was nothing ‘quiet’ or ‘contemplative’ that morning. She felt the laugh welling up and coughed.

The player served, grunting like a sow expelling a piglet. Now, why would she have to think of such an image? It wasn’t helping. At least all of the grunts disguised her breathy laughter.

Finally, the words she’d been waiting for. ‘Game to Mr. Stevenson. 30 minute recess.’

Miranda, wondering if she’d ever grow up, climbed down from the lofty umpire’s chair.


R. J. Kinnarney is an author and tutor. Her first children’s book, Abigail Aces Acting, has been described as ‘delightful, unpredictable and very funny’. It’s currently being enjoyed by children and by adults who’ve refused to grow up. Short listed and long listed in short story and flash fiction competitions, too! Website: rjkinnarney.com Tweets: @rjkinnarney.

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