Wishing Wells

2p

With a little handle to draw up the bucket and a tiled roof on top, there’s a wire grid to stop tight-arses and miseries from dipping for coins and stealing kids’ dreams. The base is grey hollow plastic painted with black lines to resemble brickwork.

You close your eyes and cast a two pence piece into the void, listening for the clatter as it settles among dog-ends and fag packet cellophane in a rusty puddle.

You close your eyes tighter and cross your fingers and say I want to kiss Alison, or I want to be in the Army. Or I want to make a hole in the fence where they can’t see so they’re not waiting for me at the school gate every night.

No one knows where the money goes when it’s emptied. Some say the council get a pay rise or the Mayor gets a new Jag. Mum says it’s for sick kiddies and reminds you that you don’t know how lucky you are.

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