by Lynn Clement
Petey snuggled up next to Mae’s skirt. She stroked his soft brown hair.
‘Thanks for coming,’ she said.
The shouting continued outside and Mae heard a crash.
‘So how’s your day been?’ she asked him.
Petey was quiet. They sat in silence for a while.
‘I’ve had another crap day,’ Mae eventually said. Petey sat back and looked at her.
‘Yeah, late again and a detention for not having the right coloured shoes on. They’re all full of bull at that school. What do they know about shoes? My black shoes pinch my toes and my trainers are the only other ones I’ve got.’
Petey looked at his own un-shod feet.
A bottle hit a wall and it sounded like a thousand pieces fell on the tiled floor. Petey sniffed. Mae could smell the gin.
‘Not nice is it? I tasted it once, it’s rank. Gave me a headache in the morning but I slept well. Missed school that morning too.’ She laughed, ‘I’ll stick to the cider I think.’
Mae was cold so she pulled the blanket over her arms. She was glad she’d remembered to bring it this time. She tucked the threadbare cover around Petey. He looked up at her with shiny eyes.
‘Ok?’ she asked.
Mae opened her book and adjusted the torch so that the words were illuminated. She read Petey a chapter from The Amber Spy Glass by Philip Pulman.
It was about 10 o’clock by the time the noise had subsided. She had learnt to judge the time by the silence. They’d be asleep. Mae would be sure to creep up to her room avoiding the creaky stair.
Petey had long gone. He’d taken the cheese and gone back through the hole to feed his family.
Mae stretched herself through the open door and stood up. She winced and twisted her back, left and right. Picking up the blanket, she quietly closed the cupboard door and headed up to her room, stepping over the tell-tale stair.
About the author
Lynn has now been writing for pleasure for five years. She particularly enjoys writing flash fiction with a twist or a slant.