Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why I hated summer as a child.

“Summer’s coming,”
Mum says.
“Let’s put this duvet away.”
I watch her,
stuffing the winter duvet
into the wardrobe.
“That’s better,”
she says.
“You’ll be much better off
with just a sheet.”
I stop.
I panic.
A sheet?
A SHEET?
Oh no.
No, no no.
What Mum doesn’t realise
is that my winter duvet
as stuffy and heavy as it is,
is my only protection.
Protection from monsters.
Do you see how easily a leg can be grabbed
under the flimsy veil of a SHEET?
How exposed a back can be
to a creeping intruder
under the thin, bareness of a SHEET?
Night comes.
I’m lying,
tense,
beneath the sheet.
She tried to tuck it in
but I wriggled free,
not wanting to be trapped.
I’m awake.
I look around in the darkness.
Shadows are morphing.
My mind is racing.
I try to hold my breath
in case I miss a noise;
a noise from a monster.
It all becomes too much,
I can’t bear it any longer.
I turn on the light.
I slide out of bed,
and shove the rejected sheet
on my untidy floor.
I haul the winter duvet
out from the wardrobe,
embracing it like an old friend.
I’m happy now.
Too hot;
swelteringly hot in fact,
but happy.
Take that, monsters.
And mum.

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