Bedtime Stories

A Spot of Bother

By Patsy Fagin

Rated General


(This story takes place when Vincent is a teenager)

Vincent had disappeared and Father was very concerned. He asked everyone, but no-one seemed to know where he was.

“Mary, have you seen Vincent?”

“No Father, have you asked any of the others?”

“Yes, but no-one knows where he is.”

“Don’t worry; I’m sure he’ll turn up when he’s hungry. After all he is a growing boy!”

“You can say that again,” Father replied with a chuckle. “He seems to have shot up all of a sudden.”

Dinnertime came and went and there was still no sign of Vincent, and Father was becoming increasingly worried. He decided to call a general meeting to see what they could do.
By this time everyone knew that Vincent was missing, and they too were worried.
Father called the meeting to order.

“As you are all aware Vincent has gone missing, which is very worrying. I can’t begin to guess where he might have gone, but I know that he would never have gone off without telling someone where he was going. Has anyone at all got any idea where he might have gone?” Everyone shook their heads.

“He won’t have gone far,” someone said.

“No, I’m sure he wouldn’t,” another person replied.

“Well then where is he?” Father asked.

Suddenly, some instinct caused Father to look at Devin.

“Devin, do you know where Vincent is?”

Devin looked at his feet and mumbled, “Yes I do, but I promised Vincent that I wouldn’t tell you.”

Father addressed the meeting again.

“The mystery is solved folks, Devin knows, and he’s going to tell me. Aren’t you, Devin?”

“Yes Father.”

When everyone had left, Father said, “Now, Devin, where is he?”

“There’s a little cave behind the Great Waterfall that only me and Vincent know about. We go there sometimes, when …”

“When what?” Father asked ominously.

Devin dropped his head. “When we want to get out of doing chores,” he mumbled.

“So that’s where…” Father murmured. “So why has Vincent gone there?”

“Because…because he’s got a zit right on the end of his nose.”

“A…zit?” Father was puzzled.

“Yeah, you know.”

Realisation dawned. “Oh you mean a spot?”

“Zit, spot, whatever.”

Father struggled not to laugh. “But why is he hiding?”

“Because it’s a doozy, that’s why,” he was informed.

“Well thank you for telling me Devin. Now isn’t it time you got back to your chores?”

“Yes Father.”

Devin started to leave, and Father said, “Devin…”

He turned back. “Yes Father?”

“No more playing hooky, alright?”

“Yes Father."

As soon as Devin had left, Father set off for the waterfall, although he had no idea how he was going to reach Vincent when he got there, not if the cave was behind it. But luck was with him, because Vincent was sitting on the rocks near the waterfall. As soon as he heard Father though, he got to his feet and was about to make his escape. “Vincent…”

“How did you know I was here?”

“Devin told me.”

“Devin should learn to keep his big mouth shut,” Vincent growled.

“He told me you have a problem. A…a zit. On the end of your nose.”

“Yes,” Vincent growled again.

“But surely it can’t be that bad.”

“Look Father, it’s my zit and my nose, I know how bad it is.”

“Vincent all boys your age get zits, it’s nothing to worry about.”

Up until this point Vincent had had his back turned to Father, when suddenly he swung round and pointed to his nose.

“Now tell me that this is nothing to be worried about.”

Father was stunned, because he had never seen such a big zit, and it was bright red. He bit back a chuckle, because he knew that to laugh would be fatal. He knew how sensitive Vincent was about his “differences”, and this added insult to injury. But the name “Rudolf” popped into his mind. Devin hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d said it was a “doozy.”

“Look Vincent, I’ll admit it is rather … large, but I’m sure I can give you something to put …”he began, but Vincent interrupted him, “How about a paper bag, to put over my head?”

“Don’t be facetious. I was going to say to put on it, to help it heal more quickly,” Father replied. “Besides, you always heal more quickly than other people, I’m sure you won’t have it very long.”

Vincent gave Father a withering look, and then he said, “That is irrelevant, and “won’t have it very long” doesn’t solve the problem now.”

“Let me have a closer look at it Vincent."

Vincent reluctantly stepped closer to Father, who took Vincent’s head in his hands and turned him towards the light.

“I don’t think it’s a zit Vincent.”

“Well what is it then?”

“I think it might be some kind of insect bite, possibly a midge bite.”

“But how could I get a bite…” Vincent started to say, when Father finished his sentence, “Down here. You can’t. You’ve been Above again, haven’t you?”

Vincent would have dropped his head if he had been able to, but Father still had hold of him.

“Yes Father.”

Father was just about to start a tirade about the dangers of going Above, when the look on Vincent’s face stopped him, and he decided that he’d been punished enough.

“Come on Vincent, let’s go back to my chamber, and I’ll put some antibiotic cream on it. That’ll soon clear it up.”

They headed back to Father’s chamber, and had almost reached it, when they came across one of the younger boys.

“Hi Father, hi Vin…,” he stopped mid sentence, because he’d caught sight of Vincent’s nose.

“Don’t say a word,” Vincent growled.

“I wasn’t going to…honest.”

“Did you want something Thomas?” Father asked him.

“Yes Father, may I borrow one of your books about birds please?”

“Yes you may, but could you come back in half an hour?” Father asked.


He turned around and headed back the way he had come, when some devil seized him, and he started to sing “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer” under his breath.

“Why you little…,” Vincent started to say, and was just going to go after him, when Father took hold of his arm.

“Vincent…,” Father said warningly, “he doesn’t mean anything by it.”

Vincent relaxed. “No, I know he doesn’t, it’s just that …”

“I know,” Father replied. “Now come on, let’s get that sorted out.”

Later, when Father had dealt with the bite in his usual efficient way, and they were sitting having a cup of herbal tea, Father asked, “Vincent, are you alright?”

“Yes thank you Father, I am now.”


“Yes Father.”

“The next time you have a “spot” of bother, come straight to me.”

“Yes Father.”

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