NEW from best selling author of All Expenses Paid (fact meets fiction)
As part of the anthology MY DREAMS and other stories.
Now read an extract from the chilling tale recounted from a three year old girl.
Who knew I would be writing my autobiography and I’m not even four years old yet!
In fact I will never be four years old because I am already six feet under.
Naturally I am getting help writing this. Hey, I was very bright but couldn’t do much in the way of reading and writing yet. I was very good with colours though.
I remember the label on the bottle was bluey-green with some pink lettering on it. Daddy called it sleepy juice. He gave it to my brother and sister all the time and they have passed their fourth birthdays now.
We’d had a lovely day swimming in the pool. Daddy being daddy, making us laugh. Mommy being mommy, playing with her new phone. She said it was like a tiny computer. I wasn’t allowed to touch it. Things had changed since my brother and sister arrived. They weren’t naughty but they needed a lot of attention. Babies do. I got that. I liked being a big sister most of the time but I missed being the special one.
At nursery school my friends talked about going on holiday like it was a good thing. This puzzled me. At home I had my own bedroom and could have a light on and play for a while after bedtime. On holiday, my brother and sister shared my room and we had to have the lights out straightaway. Holidays seemed like a kind of punishment.
I had a big piece of fish for tea and round sort of chips but they still tasted like chips because I put ketchup on them. Mommy frowned and daddy shrugged. I wondered if they were being punished for something too.
My brother and sister had an ice cream each. They love that. Chocolate for my brother and vanilla for my sister.
I like the taste but it makes my teeth hurt for a while. I have to brush my teeth properly every night before getting into bed. My toothbrush makes a funny noise when I do it. Mommy says it is good practice for when I have my big teeth. Mommy explained that the tooth fairy is just a silly story some adults tell children. Mommy can be quite serious sometimes. Daddy says it is because she has a very important job.
More important than yours I once asked him. He went quiet for a long time then said, No, not really.
Aren’t grown-ups funny. Still, as I will never be one no need for me to worry about that.
After tea, mommy got us all undressed and into our beds. I asked if daddy was going to come and read us a story. Mommy said, no it was too late and we must go straight to sleep. Then it would soon be time to get up and we could go swimming again.
Mommy came out of the bathroom with the sleepy juice bottle but my brother was already snuffling in a sleepy way and my sister was sucking her thumb and her eyelids were fluttering.
So mommy just said, Open wide. And I drank the sticky stuff from the pink plastic spoon.
I heard mommy in the bathroom rinsing the spoon in the sink. She left the bathroom door open a little so she could see us better. I was lying on my side, snuggling my long eared bunny and pretending to be asleep. Good. I heard the light click off and the door close.
A car went past very near our door but I couldn’t see it. The only windows were high up and had big lacy curtains on them so you couldn’t see out and I wasn’t tall enough to open them.
We always had bed time stories at home. I don’t like holidays.
Daddy said a change of routine was a good thing. I didn’t know what he meant.
He didn’t even come and kiss us goodnight tonight. I wanted my bed…at home. I started to cry a little bit. But only quietly. I would be in trouble if I woke my brother or sister.
You’re the big sister. You have to set a good example. I tried.
Suddenly the door opened and a man was standing there. I blinked a lot trying to see if it was daddy.
‘Daddy?’ I called out.
‘Sshh, honey. Don’t wake the twins!’
‘Okay daddy,’ I said.
‘I wanted a bedtime story!’ I whimpered.
‘I know, I know but we were busy. You know that happens sometimes. Sorry. We’ll have double tomorrow. Okay?’
I nodded and grabbed at daddy’s sleeve but he was wearing short sleeves and I grabbed his arm instead.
‘Ouch,’ he mocked me.
‘I need some cream’ he said. ‘Silly daddy got sunburned today.’
‘That’s not good,’ I said seriously.
‘And why are you still wide awake?’
I wanted to tell him how I hated sharing my bedroom and wanted to go home. I didn’t think that would please him so I said. ‘Not tired, daddy.’
‘Want some sleepy juice?’
I nodded. At least the morning would come quicker and we could all be together again. I didn’t like it here. I wanted the time to go faster. We could go on the airplane again. I liked that bit. Whoosh up into the sky. The twins had cried, holding their ears. Mommy gave them a drink each and they had settled down.
‘Open wide,’ said daddy. And I did.
It wasn’t the pink spoon this time. It was metal and cold and hard. It clunked on my teeth.
‘Did you clean your teeth tonight?’
‘I did daddy, yes.’
‘Okay well, snuggle down and go to sleep.’
‘Who me?’ I said cheekily.
‘Yes you, princess. Sweet dreams.’
And that is the last thing he ever said to me.
…To be continued
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With hopefully, some useful pointers along the way, this book will delight all age groups. Ageism needs to be tackled early on because by the time you get there…it’s too late.
No humans, not even men, or animals, even mice, were harmed during the making of this book.
Original cover design by the one and only Simon Birch.