The boy let out a wail of dismay loud enough to be heard by the bus driver, who naturally assumed it was an emergency and braked so hard he threw the passengers sharply forward and spilled all manner of travel cups and canisters, drenching many a sweater and lap. It was just after they’d had stopped for tea, which only added to the misfortune.
And still the boy wailed, pitch and volume rising in tandem until even the most deaf of the geriatric tourists could hear him.
The boy’s grandfather was first on the scene, an ancient man with guard’s mustaches the color of old linen. He struck the screeching lad smartly on the shoulder with his swagger stick and commanded him to buck up. When this had no effect, the feeble grandmother shouldered in and took the now red-cheeked boy in arthritis-twisted hands, cooing and stroking his hair.
The boy wrenched from her grasp, insensible with rage and pain. He waved the dead game console above his head like a talisman and screamed over and over that he was bored.