Short story in Easy Living magazine
I only realised they were leaving us there when I saw my Dad attempting a three point turn out of her awkward drive, my mother waving from the passenger seat. ‘It’s okay – I’ll look after you,’ said my elder sister taking my hand in hers.
My stepgrandmother wore her hair like a scallop shell and gold ladybirds in her ears. She was up and about early, hauling coal even in the swelter of summer, in case the boiler ever went out.
We pleaded to go to the Warren where we’d glimpsed donkeys and candyfloss and rubber rings in the shape of seals. ‘Presently, presently,’ she said and put her finger to her lips.
She had a spinning wheel so we spun straw into gold or took it in turns to prick our fingers on the spindle and sleep for a hundred years. We jumped from one rug to the next, never touching the green where crocodiles lurked.
At night we lay like toy soldiers in a box in a double bed with nylon sheets. The static made our hair stand on end. We pushed a torch to our fingers until they glowed red or held it under our chins and did spooky laughs. The moulding on the headboard looked like squares of milk chocolate and when I cried for my parents, my sister broke off pieces and fed me them, whispering secrets in the dark.
I don’t know how long we stayed that Summer, but it seemed like forever.
This story appears in the September issue of Easy Living magazine.