Pears for tea, that’s what me and Albie called it. Ma twisted my ear until I’d the whole cake of soap in my face, I was coughing up bubbles for hours. If I’d known it was a dirty word, I’d never have brought it into her kitchen. Got to be more careful what you pick up off the street, Albie told me, words ‘round here ain’t hygienic. Where else was I to get ‘em? Make ‘em up, he said.
If Ma had cared to ask what a twimbler was, or a glanky, or chongling, we’d have been blowing bubbles from both ends. She didn't.
We called it Upsy and just me and Albie spoke it. After he was called up, we wrote it. A new Upsy word in every letter. Spippish, that was his last. Only I know what it means.
First published in Ad Hoc Fiction.