Nanowrimo 2014……day 19 An elderly plush velvet tiger, missing one eye and wearing a green leather cat collar. Circa 1962.

Nanowrimo 2014……day 19

An elderly plush velvet tiger, missing one eye and wearing a green leather cat collar. Circa 1962.

When she cannot sleep or is scared that the bog monster will creep along the corridor because she didn’t get back to bed before the sound of the toilet flushing stopped or when she can hear the TV turned up extra loud and mummy and daddy are shouting, but in the strange way, like a really angry loud whisper, then she sucks Spottys’ ear.

She’s not meant to anymore, mummy says its babyish and people who go to school are too grown up to suck a cuddly toy, but she doesn’t care, his soft velvet ears, damp and warm and slightly frayed where she has chewed on them over the years Feel so good and as she sucks, she gently strokes her nose and feels herself falling back into sleep, safe from the shouting and the bog monster And even the lepers who live under the bed.

Sometimes it is silence that wakes her up, no TV, no voices, even the fridge that hums 2 notes over and over again seems quiet and for a split second, before she remembers that she is a big girl now, she wonders if she is all alone, if the lepers have finally crept out from underneath her bed, despite her booby traps of dolls shoes and pencils and half used up crayons, and have finally made it downstairs to do whatever lepers who live under the bed do when they finally break free.

She can feel a sob building in her chest and she tries to push it back, but, it’s too late and too quiet and the sound escapes, a wail that fills her head with noise
” Mummy…….mummy……mummy”

While her hands stretch out desperately seeking the comfort of Spottys’ velvet body……but she cannot find him and for a minute imagines him lost forever, dragged away by the lepers under the bed.

” mummy…….mummy…….mummy……”

But it’s daddy who comes, eyes half closed, hair sticking up everywhere and she is enveloped in that completely smell that is daddy and home and safety and as she sobs her sense of loss, of panic into his chest, she is snuffling at his neck, the sobs beginning to die away and then, like a miracle, Spotty is pushed into her arms and she is holding onto him as tightly as she can, while her father turns and goes away and once he is gone, she picks at the fraying fabric on the Tigers’ left ear with the very edges of her remaining front tooth and falls asleep.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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