All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Billy by Hugh Cron



Billy was upset that no-one spoke to him.

“Hi Billy, how’s your mum?”

“She’s fine, fine, she’s fine.”

“And how about you? Are you behaving yourself?”

“Yes. I’m doing fine, I’m fine, fine, I’m fine.”

“Tell your mum I was asking for her.”

“Yes, yes, yes. I’ll tell her, yes.”

He walked on and into the newsagent. Billy was angry, no-one was talking to him.

“Oh hello Billy, your usual?”

“Thanks, yes, thanks Mr White, my usual.”

“There you go Billy. Will you be going to see any of the films that you see in the magazine?”

“Yes, yes, yes, I will. I’ll see and then I’ll go.”

“I hope you’ve enough money Billy, it’s expensive going to the cinema now. The last time I was there with the wife, it cost me over twenty quid.”

Billy took out his wallet and flashed a bundle of notes.

“Jesus Billy, don’t show anyone that! Now you promise me that you’ll get yourself home and keep your wallet in your pocket.”

“Yes Mr White, yes, yes I will, bye, I promise, bye”

“Bye Billy, tell your mum I was asking for her.”

“I will Mr White, I will, yes, I will.”

Billy was sad that no-one was talking to him. He walked down the street and headed towards his house. He saw the dog before he heard the voice. The brown lab ran over to him.

“Hello Sam. Sam. Hello Sam.”

“Hi Billy, is he annoying you? Sam! Get over here you big lump!”

“No Mrs Duncan, he’s fine, fine, he’s fine.”

“How are you doing Billy?”

“I’m fine, I’m good, good, fine, I’m fine.”

“Have you been at the shop for your mum?”

“No, my magazine, I was there for my magazine, my magazine.”

“…And what type of magazine Billy? I hope it wasn’t one of nudie women??”

She began to smile as his face reddened.

“No. No. No. No, look, no!”

Billy took out the film magazine from his jacket.

She laughed, “I’m only teasing you Billy!! You like your films, don’t you?”

“Yes, yes, my films, I like my films, yes.”

“OK Billy, it’s been nice talking to you. But I’ll need to get Sam home for his dinner or he won’t be talking to me. Bye Billy. Give my best to your mum.”

“I will, I will, bye, bye, bye-bye”

Billy thought about what she’d just said, he knew what it was like for no-one to be talking. He frowned as he looked around.

Billy walked up the garden path and took out his keys.

“Mum, mum, I’m home, I’m home, mum, I’m home”

“Hello Billy? You were a while. Who were you talking to?”

“Jim was asking for you, Jim, I saw Jim. Mr White in the shop, he was asking for you, he told me to tell you, he was asking for you. Mrs Duncan and Sam, Sam, Mrs Duncan, Mrs Duncan and Sam, Mrs Duncan was asking for you.”

“That’s nice Billy. You have some very good friends. They all speak to you.”

Billy frowned and went upstairs to his room.

“…I’ll put the kettle on, I’ve got some pancakes, I’ll put some peanut butter on them for you, you like that don’t you.”

Billy didn’t answer, he began to cry. Still no-one spoke to him.


Hugh Cron



13 thoughts on “Billy by Hugh Cron”

    1. Thanks Diane,
      I think that may be two in a row with no swearing or ‘adult content’ warning.
      I may be due a blow-out!!
      Thanks as always for all your help!


  1. Hugh, your portrayal of Autism/Asperger through dialogue is very clear. We can feel the edgy tension from Billy, and the almost patronising, but gently way that others interact with him, since they know how he is. He has an introverted misrepresentation of his social interactions, however I am sure if you asked him a question about films he would light up and speak profusely.
    The switch between characters and dialogue was adroitly handled and the narrative flow engaging and I found this a delight to read – although underneath there is a sad element that draws out empathy for the reality of the situation.


    1. Thanks James,
      As always your comments are insightful, deep and well reasoned.
      Your take on Billy’s passion and him being able to answer any question regarding films is spot on. No matter what his problems were, he didn’t understand them and that didn’t matter. Billy didn’t know what Billy was but he knew and understood the films. (When you think on it, is there anything wrong with that? Maybe if we all lived to what we understood, life would be a simpler and a better place) The loneliness he felt was another matter though.
      I appreciate every comment you have ever written as they always give me an emphasis or something to consider!
      All the very best my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know a person much like Billy. Your work shows the innate difficulty of effective two way communication between beings of the same biology yet of an utterly different perceptions of reality. This is underscored by the guesswork necessary to understand what is important as opposed to the trivial; and quite often, the real point of contention is never arrived at. I once again enjoy the way you show not tell through mostly dialog and Spartan, never a wasted word descriptions.
    Oh shit, gotta run, one of the cats is at war with the NEW drapes.


    1. Thanks Leila,
      I am so glad that I did this justice for you. You have hit on the communication problem and the only way you can do this effectively is by finding common ground. But even that only papers over the void between folks perceptions.
      Oh and I hope your curtains survived!!
      Thanks as always.


    1. Thanks David,
      You are quite right, there was a lot going on in this but the crux of the story was that his loneliness would never go.
      It is great to have you commenting on the stories!!


  3. In my opinion, this is a small masterpiece which artfully shines a harsh and disturbing light on children like Billy. They say that where there’s life there’s hope, but Billy represents those who live alone in torment outside that rule and the future is as bleak as the present. It’s not much, but thank God he has his movies.


    1. Hi June,
      As with the other folks who commented, I am so pleased that I put this across to you. It is cruel and maybe some people who champion small victories would argue that there is a quality of life, of course there is, but the person them-self has to be able to do something with that. If they are unhappy or lonely, then all our outside kindnesses mean nothing.
      It is always a pleasure to talk (?) to you June!!
      Stay well and be happy.


  4. Liked this lean work, Hugh.

    The real life inspiration for my character, Breezy (pubbed in LS not long ago) may have been afflicted in this same way, but did not have quite the care that Billy had in this loving, protective neighbourhood. In fact, Breezy had the opposite, except for a few who went against the grain.

    I liked that part in particular – the informed friends who were looking out for Billy. And yet, they were superficial; did not fill all of his needs, caring tho they were — “But still no one spoke to him.”


    1. Thanks Mitchell,
      If I ever wanted a blurb for this short story, your comments from ‘And yet..’ were perfect!!
      If I am ever famous and this is published in an anthology of my work, I may be asking for your permission!!
      (If I am ever successful, I am sure that it will be after I am dead and some twat that I don’t know will make the money!!)
      Cheers my friend, it’s great to see you commenting!


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