Grace just stood there, watching the cluster of boys by the banksia tree. Its brilliant red flowers the shape of a microphone. She imagined a drag queen on stage pretending to sing some god-awful song into it.
Karen, the mother of Jeremy, was recounting some story, but it was the way the boys were craning their heads that captured her attention.
There were about ten of them all huddled together. Their eyes moved in unison as if they were partaking in some illicit drug deal.
One boy broke into a laugh, and others followed. Rory was in there, amongst the pack, but she couldn’t see any details.
What are they doing? Karen asked.
I think, Grace said before stopping. She glimpsed flesh. Are they showing their penises?
I guess that is what seven years olds do.
Two boys jumped up and down on the spot and Grace imagined them wriggling their little worms about. It’s exactly what Rory does when he thinks he’s alone in the shower. He’ll soap himself up and watch in glee as the suds and water bounce off his tiny dick.
It was Rory who shrieked in pain. The other boys fled, radiating out as if blown apart by a road-side bomb leaving Rory cupping his private bits. Grace wondered why he didn’t just pull up his shorts.
In the chaos, Karen’s boy ran up the steps. Amidst the sobs, they understood the bee had stung Rory.
As Grace ran to her son, she wondered how she would remove a bee sting from the wrinkly skin of his ball sack.