“The Worst Boy in the World,” by Logan Merriweather

Apr 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

It was last Wednesday that Phillip Fish was medically declared the worst boy in the world. He had been sentenced to an hour in the school therapist’s office for crying in class and telling his teacher, Ms. Zebrowski, “I am the saddest boy that has ever lived. I hate everything. Even birthdays.”

The therapist was an aged woman with powder white skin, made that way by white powder for your skin. Her hair was dyed very black and she wore dresses with sad looking animals printed on them. She looked like a mean clown who trapped animals in dress prisons. Seeing her always made sad children sadder. She was very bad at her job. Phillip realized this very soon.

“Didn’t you have a nice birthday? With presents? Phillip, what nice presents did you get for your birthday?” asked the therapist.

Phillip looked at his shoes. They were too big for him. “All I got for my birthday was a dog bite.”

“Oh Phillip, sweet Phillip, surely that is not all you had for your birthday. Surely your mother made you a nice cake. Phillip, didn’t you have a nice cake on your birthday?” asked the therapist.

He shrugged and looked at his shoes some more. “My mom made some birthday jell-o, but Big Randy ate it. He said I don’t deserve no birthday jell-o because I’m the worst boy in the world. But that’s okay. It was only pineapple flavor.”

“How did that make you feel? Did it make you feel sad? I’ll bet when Big Randy ate your birthday jell-o it made you feel sad. Didn’t you feel sad, Phillip?” asked the therapist.

“I dunno,” said Philip.

“You don’t know?”

Phillip Fish hated getting questions wrong. When he answered questions wrong in class all the other children laughed and Ms. Zebrowski looked disappointed. This happened kind of all the time. Philip was not very bright.

“I dunno,” said Philip.

The therapist clicked her tongue and wrote some words down in a file that said: Fish, Phillip, at the top. Below that it said: Permanent Record. This made all children very anxious to see. “What I think, Phillip, is that you don’t want to tell me your secrets. Am I not good enough to know your secrets, Phillip? Phillip, why won’t you tell me your secrets?”

Oh, dear. Phillip realized. She is extremely bad at her job. He made a pained expression and stared from between his hunched shoulders.

“That is okay, Phillip. You are okay.” The therapist rose from behind her desk and took a box the size of a large shoebox off the bottom shelf of her bookcase. It had six holes punched in the sides. Phillip watched as the therapist extracted from the box the whitest, fluffiest, most adorable bunny your brain is capable of imagining. It wore a silky pink bow around its neck and had a nose that twitched.

The therapist set the bunny down. It looked at Phillip and Phillip looked at it. The bunny twitched its nose. Phillip cringed and looked up at the therapist. “This,” said the therapist, “Is my good friend, Mrs. Rabbit. You can tell my best friend, Mrs. Rabbit, all your secrets, Phillip. You can tell her why you are a sad boy. Wouldn’t you like to tell bad secrets to the nice rabbit, Phillip?”

With that, she clicked a tape recorder on and set it on her desk, where it could record all of Phillip’s sad problems. Then she smiled and left Phillip alone with the bunny.
This was a terrible mistake.

Phillip looked at the bunny. For a long time. He looked at the bunny. Its nose twitched. Its floppy ears flopped when it shook its head. Phillip finally touched the rabbit. It was very soft and very warm and very nice. He was able to uncringe for the first time in days. He would talk to this bunny. He would tell this bunny what made him sad. There were so many things.

“Well, Mrs. Rabbit, I guess, um, you know, maybe I am a little sad.” Phillip looked down at his big shoes. “More than a little,” he said. “Sometimes, Mrs. Rabbit…Sometimes I don’t think I can get out of bed. Unless I made a pee. Then I have to hide my sheets before Big Randy wakes up. Sometimes—“

A voice cut Phillip short. The voice was inside his head. It said, “Hey, hey, Philip, can you hear me?”

He looked around. There was no one there. Oh no. No, no. Thought Phillip.

“It’s me, Phillip. The bunny.”

Philip stared at the bunny. It twitched its nose. “M-Mrs. Rabbit?”

“I’m not Mrs. Anything. If one more son a bitch kid calls me ‘Mrs. Rabbit,’ I’m gonna…No. No. Calm down. Okay. Phillip, I’m a boy bunny. My name is Sweet Sugarlump. Motherfucker.”

Phillip had a familiar thought: Oh, things have turned for the worse. What he said was, “I’m sorry Mister Sweet Sugarlump. I—”

“Shut, shut, shut-up. Shut-up. Shut-it, Phillip. Just shut-it. I need you to let me outta here. I can’t take it anymore.”

Philip looked at the door. He wished the terrible therapist would return. “Oh, no, I don’t think I can—“

“Listen, Phillip, you look in my eyes,” said the bunny, “Look in them.” Philip looked. The eyes were coal black. They twitched and jerked insanely in their sockets.

“I can’t take it anymore. Not one more day. This old bitch, buddy, she makes me live in a box. A dark box and I wear this awful, just really godawful pink bow and listen to an army of little snot noses whisper their sad little problems into my majestic, floppy ears. You think I like listening to little kid problems? Who gets picked last for dodgeball, whose mommy doesn’t hold them, who has an uncle that wants to do too much wrestling? You think I like living in darkness and hearing that shit all day? I don’t, little Philly, I hate it. I. Hate. It. So what you’re gonna wanna do is, you’re gonna wanna open that there window and boom, lower me to the ground, so I can hop away. Gone in sixty seconds. Gone home to motherlovin’ central California where there’s a big house full of bunnies and a huge, soft woman who holds you and her whole body feels like pillows and she smells like alfalfa and strokes your head and calls you bun buns. Bun buns, motherfucker.”

Philip looked at the door. He looked at the bunny. He looked at his shoes. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I can’t. She would be, I mean, she would be so mad.”

“I don’t even—Mad? Who cares? I live in a box. I hate that pale old scarecrow. Just open the window.” The bunny twitched his nose in silent rage.

Phillip scrunched up his eyes. He didn’t want to cry. It happened anyway.

The bunny dropped his voice, the one in Phillip’s head, to a whisper. “God help me, Phillip. I’ll tell on you. Every little girl that comes through here, I’ll tell her that you, that Phillip Fish, is full of farts. All the time. That at any time of day, your body has at least one fart. Maybe you’ll fart on one of them. Girls, Phillip, girls hate farts. And farters.”

Phillip paled. He hoped to have a girl who would be friends with him one day.

“And,” the bunny continued, “I’ll tell every boy that you still drink milk out of your mommy’s boobs. Like a baby, Phillip. Like a gross boob milk drinking little baby.”

Phillip sobbed. “That’s…That’s not even true, Sweet Sugarlump.”

“Oh, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip, who do you think they’ll believe? A magical, talking bun bun or some weirdo, dipshit kid?”


When the therapist returned with a nice mug of coffee, which was decaf because of blood pressures, Phillip whispered, “I’m so sorry.” She laid a hand on his shoulder and asked what for. It wasn’t long before he started crying and she noticed the open window. She walked to the window and looked across the empty recess yard. Far on the other side, at the bottom of the chain link fence, fluttered a pink ribbon.

“Where’s Mrs. Rabbit, Phillip? Is Mrs. Rabbit here? Mrs. Rabbit should be in here, Phillip. Is this where Mrs. Rabbit is? Is my bunny here?” asked the therapist.

Phillip sucked up some snot, from the crying, and looked at his shoes. “He, um, he said he hated you and left to go back to central California to live with the pillow woman.”

The therapist now hated Phillip. There was no such thing as a pillow woman and her bunny was gone. She set her mug of coffee on the windowsill and stalked to her desk. She took up her pen and loomed over the permanent record of Fish, Phillip and wrote in large block letters: THE WORST BOY IN THE WORLD.


Defenestration-SpacemanLogan Merriweather lives in Houston, Texas. He has previously been published in his dreams and his mother’s loving heart. His favorite food is ice cream. Nothing is good.

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