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“I’M TELLING YOU IT WASN’T ME!”
“Don’t you raise your voice at me, Young Man. Who else is it going to be, because it certainly wasn’t your mother and Lola can’t reach the tool cupboard. That leaves you.”
James sniffed. “And you.”
“You think I took a hacksaw to your school bag in the middle of the night?” Dad looked incredulous.
“Well you and Mum bought that ridiculous Elf thing and I found it sat by my bag holding the hacksaw and surrounded in mess. I figured I was getting a new bag for Christmas and you’d give it to me early so you could make him do a stupid prank. Lola thought it was funny.”
Dad spluttered, speechless for a moment. His cheeks were flushed and there was a vein throbbing in his neck that James found himself weirdly transfixed by.
“It was not me, or your mother. We are not made of money and that school bag had months of use left in it – years even! If it wasn’t such a blasted mess I’d make you sew it back together.”
“Oh whatever. I’ll find something else so you don’t have to say it was you. Pretty sure Lola thinks you yelling at me is hilarious too.” James grabbed what was left of his rucksack, rescued his books and pencil case and went to the kitchen to find a Bag For Life under the sink. His mates were going to have a field day with this.
He couldn’t resist aiming a kick at the maniacally grinning elf on his way out to school. It was lucky it hadn’t ended up in the bin with the tattered remains of his school bag. He couldn’t believe his Dad had gone so far as to yell at him to convince Lola the bloody thing was real. Unless Mum had done it first thing and not told him before she went to work, but that seemed unlikely.