Mummy says I’m not allowed out of my room until the little hand is on the seven. The little hand is nearly on the six now. Not long until breakfast. Maybe Mummy is still in the kitchen. I don’t think she went to bed last night; I didn’t hear her come upstairs.
I drew a picture for Mummy last night. I like it. I hope Mummy does too. It’s me and her holding hands in front of our old house. Daddy isn’t with us. I miss Daddy. Things would have been better if Daddy was here. I drew a dog too. I’d like a dog. Mummy says that we can’t have one, but I think we can. We should get a dog. It’s my birthday soon; maybe Mummy will get me a dog. I’ll show Mummy the drawing. She’s been sad lately; it should make her happy.
Do you think it will make her happy? Do you think she’ll like it?
The little hand is nearly on the seven now.
I can leave my room. I wonder if it still smells down there.
I knock on Mummy’s door to see if she’s in there. Last time I went in without knocking she shouted at me. Ever since Daddy left she shouts at me a lot. It never used to be like this. She hasn’t been to bed. She must still be downstairs. I hope she likes my picture.
I don’t like these stairs. Mummy says I’m being silly, but I’m not. The fourth step always screams when I stand on it. I think it’s the fourth step. Mummy says I’m good at counting. I can count to ten.
Step one. No noise. I make sure to hold onto the banister just like Mummy tells me to do. Mummy says I’ll fall if I don’t hold on. Step two. Three’s next, isn’t it. Yep. Step three is fine. Four is next. I don’t like this step. It’s nearly as bad as flushing the toilet. Mummy tells me off for not flushing the toilet, I run out the bathroom before the noise starts.
I jumped passed the step once. Mummy shouted at me and told me to never do it again. She said that I could be hurt if I did it. Mummy talks about me being hurt a lot since Daddy left. I fell over outside and she wouldn’t let me out again until the weekend. There wasn’t even any blood. I didn’t even cry. Mummy did.
I put one foot on the step. No noise. I step on the edge of the stair. It starts to make a noise and I run down the rest of them.
The kitchen light is on. It still smells really bad. I nearly threw up when it started. I remember I had a really upset tummy once, I chucked up all over the bathroom. It smells worse than that. It even smells worse than the time we found an old rubbish bag at the old house and it ripped open. Flies were everywhere. There’s a lot of flies here, actually. There weren’t this many flies yesterday. Would you be able to help me get rid of the smell?
Mummy’s still at the kitchen table. She’s still where she was last night when I went to bed. It looks like she’s been crying a lot. I tell her that I’ve drawn her a picture. She doesn’t say anything. She just stares at me. I show her the picture, I don’t say that I think we should get a dog. I think she’s still cross with me.
She was crying the other night, she told me to go to bed before dinner. I hadn’t even been naughty that day. Not even a little bit and she sent me to bed without dinner. She hasn’t left the kitchen since. She doesn’t even shout at me anymore.
Can you make her happy again?
I’ll get my own breakfast today. Mummy didn’t eat any of the dinner I made her last night. It’s still on the table in front of her. I scrape the stuff into the bin and put the bowl back in front of her.
Do you want any breakfast?
Okay. I get my bowl from last night. There’s not any of my milk left. Mummy says that I have the blue milk and she has the green. There’s only green milk today. I’ll have toast today.
Mummy doesn’t let me use the toaster on my own. Will you help me?
The bread’s quite furry today. I put a slice in the toaster and pop it down. It makes me jump when it pops back up. I put some jam on it and sit down at the table next to Mummy.
I have to move away from Mummy. She smells really bad today. It isn’t much better over here. I fill Mummy’s bowl with her milk. Mummy likes these cereals, it might make her happy.
I finish my bowl. They weren’t nice today. Mummy hasn’t touched hers. I don’t know why she’s still so cross with me.
Can you turn the radio on? Mummy likes her music. She normally dances around the kitchen when she makes my breakfast. She does when she’s happy.
Mummy, I’m sorry.
Mummy. I love you.
Mummy, say something.
I try to hug her. Her head moves, a worm drops out of her eye into the lumpy milk in the bowl.
She’s still just staring at me. I turn to you.
Why did you do it?
I need my mummy.
© 2015 David Chitty
David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.