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Dad had taken all the jam. Again. I’d heard him get up extra early and scrape the last few drops out the bottom of the jar. There were only the crusty remains around the rim left and they’d started to go green. Thomas didn’t care (he preferred cheese anyway), but I wanted jam! I’d even hidden it in that tiny gap at the back of the fridge behind the mango chutney and the out-of-date scotch eggs but he’d still managed to find it. It just wasn’t fair! I wouldn’t have ham or sausage or cheese or mayonnaise or tuna or anything! I wanted jam.

I was going to have to have manky school dinners again! Uuugh. The sandwiches tasted like they’d been thrown in the duck pond. Don’t even get me started on the desert. The custard was out of date and it’s the really lumpy stuff with skin on. It was served with rice pudding and a sprinkling of Mrs Rodgers dandruff! If you were really lucky and you were first in line, you might have got some jam on the side – I was NEVER first. By the time I got served there was hardly anything left. Some people would take that as a blessing. I didn’t. Food equalled life; even if it was revolting.

Jam’s not my favourite food anymore. It’s the reason I’m stuck here, in the afterlife. It’s all because of jam. At least, I thought it was.

You see, I was out on a morning stroll, dreaming of jam, when I saw a half-eaten jam sandwich outside my house. It was summer, my favourite season, so there were often bits of food left around the place. However, I’d never seen a jam sandwich left unattended. The sweet, delicious filling oozing out between two slices of white bread- I couldn’t resist! It looked a bit different; it had what looked like a dusting of snow: strange in mid-summer. It smelled soooo good. So, after checking no one was around, I dug in.

It was about an hour later when my breathing went a bit funny, all wheezy like an old person. I guess I didn’t take much notice at first but as time passed it got worse and worse. Then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe. It was like all of the air had been sucked out of me. I started coughing. I collapsed onto the floor, drenched in sweat, trying to scream for help but no sound came out. Multi-coloured stars popped in front of my eyes; everything went blurry. I bashed my fists on the floor, using up all my remaining strength. The last thing I saw was a drop of rich red intoxicating jam and then everything went black.

So that’s how I died. I thought it was jam, until my uncle told me what that white stuff on the sandwich was. Wasp killer- typical. Didn’t bother me much; it seems to be how most of us wasps die these days.


Bethan Olliver


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