Away Awhile

Chapter Eight
The Pie & Pastry Postal Service

I was up and dressed by 8 o’clock in the morning, even though there was no school. The minutes on the clock just wouldn’t pass fast enough. Today was the day my friends and I began our deliveries. I wasn’t due to leave for Mrs Shawwal’s until 10am so I sat on the chair by the door and waited. Mum, after reluctantly agreeing, said I should go into a good action with as many blessings as I could. To pass the time, I took down my Quran off the shelf. This was my very own Quran which I had been given I finished reading the whole thing the first time. My Quran had pictures of birds and trees, and short translations of all the passages (though I knew some Arabic words because Mrs Shawwal gave me a crash course). My favourite page was the first with the Fatiha, because it was decorated the most, so usually I just read it over and over.

At last the clock struck 10 and I whizzed out, unlocked my bicycle and began the short journey to Dally’s. It wasn’t as quiet in the morning as it had been in the evening. People were still going out, to work I assumed, and a few people were walking their dogs. As we agreed, Mrs Shawwal had left a series of brown-papered packages in her outdoor mailbox along with a sanitiser. I took off my gloves and squirted it on my hands. Each package had the name and address of the person who had ordered it. Through the paper, I could smell the savouries; they must have just been baked. As I cycled back towards the house, I couldn’t help but feel pleased at my organisation. No double-backing would be needed. The packages I had were only for the people on my route, and my route was only the way back towards my house and roads surrounding me. At each doorstep, I left the package, rung the doorbell. When the door was answered, I stood a few metres away to let them know their food was delivered. We didn’t need to worry about the payment, because through some magic, that had all been done already. As untechnical as Mrs Shawwal was, she was a businesswoman and she knew her way around mobile banking.

The route complete, the parcels delivered, I cycled the final stretch back home with a huge smile on my face. I had actually done something – something helpful, and mine was just the first round of the day. My friends would be covering the rest of the area over the afternoon. It was the first time I ever had felt like I was part of Something Big. Maybe I would also have been pretty pleased at the independence but, halfway through, I had seen a certain dad’s car sneakily following me. Ha, of course Mum wouldn’t have really let me go by myself. Even so, my smile stayed wide and I just had to say Alhamdulillah.


Continuing the story of the semi-fictional journal entries of a child, based on what is happening. Taking inspiration from real life scenarios; a little of the sad and grave aspects, a lot of the uplifting, rallying together aspects. Chapters are about all the community work that is really happening, looking after neighbours and the elderly, ways children can and are preoccupying themselves, and inward reflection.

Good for kids to read, being written in a child’s voice. Short chapters with original illustrations.

(NB: this chapter is set before the lockdown.)