He found the boy in the garage holding one of those big two litre bottles of coke. The child’s face was all ruddy red cheeks, furrowed brow and pink little tongue poking out at forty five degrees. The screw-top was lying by his feet and he clutched the bottle against his chest. Slowly, wobbling, slightly swaying he raised it to his mouth. The tongue protruded further. Tilting, still tilting, almost horizontal now. And so close. Oh boy, he could just about taste that sugary pop. Just about feel it pouring down his throat, making his tongue fizz and his lips smack. So close now and, yes, just a little further. He carefully brought his lips to the bottle and… His dad grabbed it away from him.
Well, you shouldn’t put bleach in a fizzy drinks bottle really.
Years later they laugh over Christmas dinner. The boy tells the story to his classmates at school. Brings the house down.