Excerpt for That Horrible Child by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

That Horrible Child –

A Collection of Short Stories

Kylie Abecca

Artwork created by

Vanessa Mulcay

That Horrible Child –

A Collection of Short Stories

Copyright © 2016 Kylie Abecca

Copyright © 2016 Vanessa Mulcay


Complete Poetry Works – Volume One -

A Complete Collection of Poetry


For more of Kylie’s work visit: www.kylieabecca.com


Stories are in alphabetical order, not chronological order


Forward by Sylvia Gerritsen

Abandoned Baby

Board Punishment

Candy Caper

Deaf School

Dirty Woman

Good Morning Tickle

Kidnapped Grandpa

Lady Rose

Little Piggy

Money Spider

Nail Polish Nightmare

Play-Doh Paint

Rise and Shine

School Gatecrash

Smelly Beach

Tampon Terror

Tampon Terror 2 – Mum’s Bodyguard

The Helmet Slap

Tooth Decay

Tree Hugging

Weed Control

You Never Asked



Further Reading

Important Contacts


To be honest, it has never been a secret that I was a horrible child. My mother was often confronted with questions regarding my ‘disabilities’ and many people tried to self-diagnose me with behavioural disorders.

I was loud, had no social filter and was constantly looking for the next opportunity to have fun or save the day. I’d like to think that has changed, but who knows.

I have always had an active imagination and to this day I tend to think differently to most people.

These collections of Short Stories are all true accounts from my childhood, some dating back to my earliest memories.

These stories have been told and retold by my entire family and they have given us many laughs. I hope they do the same for you. The stories shared in this book are all written from my own point of view of events as I remember them.

I could spend decades adding to this book and still not have it completed, so I have kept it to my favourites. If you enjoy the stories in this book and would like to read more, you can find them on my website: www.kylieabecca.com

I also invite you to share your own stories of memories from your own childhood or stories of your children. I welcome any feedback and would love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail me at: kylieabecca@gmail.com

Everyone was a horrible child at some point in their lives, just not many of us are willing to admit to it.

The stories in this book are light hearted and fairly harmless, however any one of them could have turned badly very quickly. If you are concerned about the behaviour of a child, there are some contacts at the end of this book that may be of help.


By Sylvia Gerritsen

First of all, I would like to congratulate Kylie on the publishing of this book. Kylie has faced numerous health issues both as a child and into adulthood. This of course does not excuse her behaviour during her childhood, but to achieve the publishing of so many articles, short stories, a book of poetry, an as-yet unpublished novel and now this short story book of events of her childhood makes me very proud.

Many of these stories came to fruition purely because Kylie has a good heart and believes the best of everyone, her love for everyone and everything often delighted me and warmed my heart, it had me randomly bursting with laughter or giggling at work. But as you will see, it often had me tearing my hair out in frustration and fearing for her physical and emotional wellbeing - not to mention my psychological wellbeing.

I should point out that Kylie was rarely just 'naughty', nor was she destructive or nasty to either people, animals or property. She was simply figuring things out differently to most other children and getting herself (and me for that matter) into all sorts of randomly strange situations. I'm sure people thought she was being outright naughty but when you asked her to explain why she had done something, her explanations 'kinda' made sense - in a weird sort of way.

There were times I wondered what I was doing wrong and I sought help from both friends and professionals but without success. If she wasn't destructive, rude, nasty or violent then what was the problem? It was difficult to explain to people, if one or two of the incidents had occurred it would have been considered normal or even cute, but living day to day with numerous incidents was very draining to a parent. The following stories are just a few extracts of what we lived with.

To this day Kylie thinks differently to many other people and she has to explain why she does things a certain way, when she does explain her actions it usually sounds logical. (this frustrates me too but now I don't have to live with her). I truly hope you enjoy reading these stories, I'm sure you'll get more joy in reading about them than I had in watching my daughter make them.

I love you Kylie,



Being an only child had its ups and downs. I didn’t have to share my toys or my candy, which was something my friends often complained about. On the other hand, I was often lonely and begged my mum to get me a little brother or sister for my birthday or Christmas.

“What would you want one of them for? All you’re going to do is argue with them all the time.”

“At least it will give me something to do and I won’t be so bored.” I admit, it was a subject that my mum and I never managed to see eye to eye with.

Every now and again, during one of my moments of loud complaining and grumbling about being bored and how it was all my mum’s fault, claiming “If only you would give me a brother or sister to fight with….” Mum would hand me a shiny gold coin and give me permission to walk the few blocks to our local deli to buy myself an ice cream and some lollies.

Thinking about it now, this was actually quite clever. Here I was thinking I was being spoilt and feeling grown up and my mother was given some peace and quiet for a while, which was rare for her even though she only had the one child to deal with.

I was usually very well behaved when it came to these privileged trips to the shops. I knew that if I buggered up, I wouldn’t be allowed to go again. I would race there as fast as I could, then spend hours counting every cent to make sure I got the most for my money. Since the one and two cent coins were still in circulation, I was sometimes able to get a whole grocery bag full of candy if I shopped properly.

I remember one particular time; my mother gave me a five-dollar note. I was gobsmacked. I had never been entrusted with such a large amount of money before. I was asked to buy a loaf of bread, some cheese and two tomatoes and I was allowed to keep the change for myself to buy an ice-cream. I was sent off on my mission with a huge grin across my face.

When I got to the deli, I instantly noticed the bulky pram, parked outside the front entrance. I peered over the side of the pram and looked at the chubby faced baby. I wondered if this baby had any big brothers or sisters – and if not, whether it would like to have one.

I bounced into the deli and raced around to grab the essentials, before making a quick dash to the ice cream freezer and grabbing a few lollies to make up the remaining change. It was the most careless I had ever been with my money. It was also the quickest trip I had ever made to the deli.

Re-emerging from the small shop, I waited a while for the owner of the baby to come out, so that I could ask for a hold. Being such an impatient child, I walked back into the deli and had look around. There was no one else in the shop.

Then where was the owner of the baby that had been parked at the front door?

After another quick browse, I decided that the poor thing had been abandoned. I released the breaks on the pram (which worked surprisingly similar to the breaks on a wheelchair, which I had learnt a few years earlier) and headed off for home.

The walk home was a little slower than usual since I had the pram, but I was so excited, I had finally got myself a little sibling. Thinking about it now, I don’t think I ever did find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl.

I pushed the pram up the long hill to our front door and through to the backyard, where mum was sitting with my step dad and a couple of friends. Without sparing a single thought to the idea that anyone would disapprove of me bringing home an abandoned baby, I pushed the pram over to the table. Mum had her back to me and so I waited patiently for her to finish her conversation, doing my best to be polite, hoping that would heighten my chances of being able to keep my new find.

Slowly the conversation died down and everyone started gaping at me. I smiled back, feeling rather clever for being able to find myself a sibling when mum couldn’t. Mum stopped talking and looked around the table, before slowly turning to face me. I had stood between her and the pram, with a face splitting grin. I handed her the loaf of bread and the block of cheese.

“Where’s the tomatoes?” I felt the blood drain from my face. In all the excitement of finding the baby, I had forgotten to get the tomatoes and since it was common knowledge that I absolutely hated tomatoes, it was quite likely that mum would believe the error had been intentional.

“They didn’t have any.” Mum nodded and I let out a sigh of relief, proud of myself for thinking so quickly on my feet. Mum turned back to the table to continue her conversation, but she noticed that everyone’s mouth had dropped open and they were all looking behind her.

She turned around and spotted the pram. I don’t think I can remember my mum ever moving as fast as she did that day. She sprang to her feet in an instant and gaped at the newborn baby in the pram. It would have been all of a few days old, a couple of weeks at the most.

“Where the hell did you get that?” Her voice bellowed and echoed beneath the tin roof, but despite the scary tone she used, she was unable to hide the fear on her face, or the shaking of her lower lip.

“I found it.” My voice was soft, especially in comparison. It had only just occurred to me that mum might not let me keep the infant.

“Where the hell did you find it?” Her voice had lowered, as she peered into the pram and noticed that the baby was still fast asleep.

“It was out the front of the deli. No one wanted it, they just left it there. I checked the shop before I took it and there was no one in there.”

“Did you check the toilets?” I turned to dad, my eyes grew wide and I opened my mouth, trying to think of something to say to my defence.

“No, but…”

“Take it back right now Kylie.” Mum was speaking through clenched teeth and I knew that I was in a bucket load of trouble.

“But can’t I?”

“NO! Take it back right now, before someone calls the police and you go to jail for kidnapping.”

I’d never thought of that. Obviously.

I put my head down in defeat and made my way back to the deli. I walked slower than ever before. Relishing every last minute with my temporary sibling. I still hadn’t even seen the colour of his or her eyes, as the baby had been sleeping the whole time.

When I got back to the deli a very distraught mother was pacing back and forth, speaking rushed words into her mobile phone. I could see her from across the road. I had hoped that there would be nobody looking for the baby and I would be able to take it back home and keep it, but when I saw the woman let out a cry of relief and come running toward me, I knew there was no chance in that happening.

I explained to the mother that I had thought the baby was not wanted and so I had taken it home. I’m not sure she was even listening to me. She was too relieved to have her baby back in her arms. Shortly after, the baby woke and I saw that it had bright blue eyes, just like mine.

‘What a shame’, I thought. ‘We would have made such great siblings’.

As I was working up the courage to ask the lady if she would let me have a hold of the baby, my mum pulled up in the car park and ordered me to get in the car. She raced into the deli and came out with a packet of smokes… And two tomatoes!

We drove home in silence and when we got back, I silently snuck off to my room. I don’t know why I didn’t get into more trouble that day, but my guess is that my mum was simply too angry to deal with the situation.

We make jokes about it now and mum often tells people to be careful around me, as I have a habit of ‘picking up strays’. She smiles and says “I’m not just talking about dogs and cats and snakes and turtles, but she will bring home ANYTHING that is left unattended, from spiders and kangaroos, to old men and new born babies. Just watch her.”

Some people laugh that knowing laugh and look at me shaking their heads. Others laugh as though they understand what mum is saying, not knowing the truth behind her words.

To those people my mum simply tells them “I have no sympathy for you. You were warned.”


Kylie Logic:

In my mind this baby had been abandoned and since I had wanted a sibling for such a long time, I figured we would be able to give the baby a loving home, especially as we already had a spare room (an argument which did not convince my mother in keeping the infant).

still have a habit of collecting strays. In fact, that is sort of how I met my ex-husband, but that is a story for another day.


I was excited to be going to spend the night at my friend’s house. As an only child with two full time working parents, it was a privilege to spend time with other children.

The first few hours went along smoothly, until her younger brother got bored and decided that the most exciting thing to do, was to annoy his older sister. He raced into her bedroom where we were playing and grabbed her favourite porcelain doll, before running down the hallway with her close at his heals.

I was mesmerized, as I stood at the end of the hall, watching them as they fought over the doll. My smirk faded as my friend’s dad emerged in the hallway entrance. Someone was going to be in real big trouble.

“Okay, both of you, in the kitchen. NOW! Kylie you too.”

Me? What did I do wrong? I slumped after my friend and her brother, glancing at the doll, sprawled out on the hallway floor. I followed suit and sat at the kitchen table with the others, while my friend’s dad opened a nearby cupboard door. The other two children groaned.

“We weren’t fighting dad, it was just a game.” My friend grumbled. She stomped her feet under the table, as her father placed the Monopoly board on the table. I rubbed my hands together. I loved board games, so this was a nice treat. No yelling, spanking or time out, we got to play a game.

“You know the rules. No arguments.”

My friend grudgingly opened up the box and set up the game, casting an evil look at her brother.

Half way through the game Josh yelled out “You cheated, you took money from the bank.”

“I did not.”

Their dad waltzed over and put all the pieces back at the beginning. “Start again. No arguments.”

Josh lowered his head to the table. “I hate monopoly.”

I smiled. “Can I go first this time?” They both nodded solemnly.

We managed to finish the game without any arguments and when I asked to play again, I got a look of disgust from the other two. “We only play board games when we’re in trouble. Dad recons it stops us from fighting and teaches us to get along.”

What a wonderful idea. From then on, every time I went to stay at my friend’s house we would be forced to play Monopoly. I would intentionally cheat in order to cause arguments so that we could play again.

I don’t have children of my own, but whenever I look after other people’s children, I also use the same technique in order to resolve arguments. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, everyone gets the ‘punishment’ of playing monopoly.

I often wonder if my friend, or her younger brother, ever realised that I was the one hiding their toys in order to start their arguments. Despite their hatred for the game, I still love playing monopoly.

Kylie Logic:

I never could understand how someone could hate playing a board game. I guess I figured that the more we got to play games together, the more my friend and her little brother would learn to love them as I did.


My mum was always very particular when it came to food. She was constantly looking for healthy alternatives to lollies and chocolates. Not that I wasn’t allowed to have candy, or the occasional treat, just that she made sure that when I did have something sugary or fattening, that it was just that – a treat.

I on the other hand, never understood why a treat shouldn’t be something you can have every day, or three times a day for that matter. Truth be told, I still don’t completely understand the problem with it, though I am sure that would change if I had my own children. Maybe.

Mum used to stash all the junk food, so that I couldn’t get into it when I woke up early hours of the morning in search of entertainment. She always changed her stash spot, to ensure that I never figured it out. Sometimes she would stash them in the cupboard, right up the top, behind other pantry items. Sometimes she even stashed them in the freezer, or in her room, depending on how cunning I got.

One morning I woke early, as per usual and I was craving sugar. I searched high and low for lollies, but I couldn’t find any. Eventually I tried the cupboard. It was rare for mum to stash candy in the pantry, but it did happen every now and again, so I gave it a shot.

I looked on every shelf, dragging over a kitchen chair to see what was on the higher shelves. It wasn’t looking good. Then, just as I was about to give up, I spotted three small silver wrapped packets that looked like lollies, stashed right up the back on one of the higher shelves.

I crawled onto the shelf, knocking off a lot of the contents, but totally oblivious to the mess I was making. I was on a mission. I grabbed the packets and made my way to the lounge room. It was the safest spot in the house. There were plenty of places to hide the wrappers if I heard mum making her way down the hallway.

I opened the first packet and a handful of individually wrapped squares fell to the floor. I proceeded to unwrap the first square and popped it in my mouth.

It was horrible. Not just yucky, but truly horrible.

I spat it out instantly, not allowing myself time to find something to put it into. The horrible brown glob landed on the carpet. I sat for a moment, looking at it, with my hand to my mouth. What the hell was that?

I was obviously desperate for something sweet by then, so I figured I would try the next one. Perhaps it was just a lolly that had gone bad. Surely they couldn’t all taste that horrible.

By the time I heard mum’s footsteps tip toeing down the hallway, I was onto the third packet, with only three squares remaining and there was a pile of horrible brown globs stuck to the carpet.

Mum walked in the lounge room and looked at me for a moment. I knew I was going to be in deep trouble, but I proceeded in unwrapping the next square.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m trying to find a good one. These lollies are yucky.” I braced myself. She was going to yell at me, or ground me, or ban me from candy forever. Whatever happened from here was not going to be good, that I knew.

Mum burst out laughing. I stopped, the last square only inches from my lips. This was certainly not the reaction I had expected. Mum raised her hand, motioning for me to continue. I put the last square in my mouth, screwed up my face as the now familiar taste filled my mouth and spat it out on the pile with the others.

Mum burst into laughter once again, slapping the palms of her hands on her thighs, before cradling her ribs.

“What did you think they were?”

I looked at her, then at the brown mess on the carpet.

“Lollies.” I began to sulk, as I realised the whole lot had been bad and I had missed out on getting my sugar fix.

“They’re not lollies Bub, those are stock cubes, and you use them in cooking.” I had no idea what that meant at the time. I was just grateful that not only did I not get into too much trouble, but I wasn’t grounded or banned from sugar either. Though I never heard the end of it. For days mum told anyone and everyone – and they all thought it was just as hilarious as she did.

I still have a sweet tooth, though I am a lot more selective these days.

Kylie Logic:

Just because there is one ‘bad apple’ doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Never judge a book by it’s cover – or in this case, never judge a candy by it’s wrapper.


When I first started primary school, we lived only two blocks from the school grounds and I begged mum to let me walk to school each morning. I would walk past the old folk’s home, then continue down the road past the park, then cross the road where the lollypop lady stood and I would be at the school.

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