Daddy said that the FLOODS were coming and we believed him − it rained for days and we didn’t go out. Alice was grumpy because the holidays were being wasted but I didn’t mind I LIKE staying indoors. I decided to get everything out of the cupboard in our room. First I found NOAH’S ARK and lined up all the animals, but some of them wouldn’t stand up because they had broken legs. Next I played with Tiny Tears, but she couldn’t cry anymore. Then I tried to draw an Ark on the Etch-a- sketch but I couldn’t make the sides straight so I gave up and decided to find all my cuddly animals and get them ready for the REAL ARK. At dinner time on the fifth day of rain Daddy said that ALL THE SINNERS IN THE WORLD WOULD DROWN AND GOOD RIDDANCE, and I held Easter Bunny tight between my knees so he knew I would save him, and so that Daddy would not make me take him back upstairs because WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TOYS AT THE TABLE. That night I had a nightmare about water coming in the window and I woke up screaming. Mama said to Daddy NOW look what you’ve done! And she gave me a glass of milk and a biscuit even though we aren’t allowed to eat in bed. I saved the biscuit under my pillow because there won’t be much food on the Ark. When they had gone I couldn’t get back to sleep − I was too busy remembering all the BAD THINGS that I had done like writing POO in the back of a school book, and I decided that I would have to build MY OWN ARK in case Daddy couldn’t save me. I must have fallen asleep praying because the next minute the SUN was shining and Alice was bouncing on my bed saying Get up Lazy Bones the rain’s gone, and Mama says if we clear up we can go to the shops! And I knew that my prayers HAD been answered, and that I should try hard not to sin anymore. But I DID want some sweets, and as Mama says I AM ONLY A CHILD, so I kicked the mess under Alice’s bed, and wondered whether Daddy would buy me a new Tiny Tears if I accidently broke her arm off, because if I’m not going to die yet I WOULD like a doll who can REALLY CRY!
Bird Sisters (Nine Arches, 2016)