My grandma baked all the time. Her bread was divine, pastry lighter than air and Christmas puddings, which were started at around this time of year (if memory serves), were matured to perfection come Christmas day.
I remember that she always had books upstairs, old picture books that belonged to my older cousins and sometimes I got to read them. There was one on the tales of Sinbad’s journeys but I don’t remember any of the others.
Between her house and my other grandparents’ house, I have grown up with books and reading and that is the foundation on which I write.
I wrote this story a few years ago. It’s nothing much in the way of special, but it amused me while I was writing it and again each time I re-found it.
Little Dorothy walked down her street as she had done for… well forever, she thought. Mum had died a long time ago and Dad just didn’t talk to her any more. She had no brothers or sisters and was not allowed pets.
Sometimes she would see the kid from across the road mistreating his cat. She didn’t dare to shout at him to leave it alone, he was much bigger than her, but she watched and hoped it would scratch him and run away. Maybe it would even run away to her so she could love it and care for it and Dad wouldn’t know because Dad didn’t take any notice of her, not even when she was crying alone in her bed, missing her Mum. That cat would be loved so much.
She hated school holidays; the only kid on her street was the horrid kid who was mean to her cat. She started thinking of it as hers, she even tried to entice it over to her, but it was too scared of strangers.
Halloween was approaching and she looked forward to it almost as much as Christmas. Dorothy would stay up late because her Dad went to the pub a lot more lately, more than he did when Mum was still alive. She would watch the cartoons on TV. The Simpsons always did a Halloween special and Scooby Doo was spooky in any case. When she heard him come back through the gate, she switched the TV off and ran up to her room so he wouldn't be angry with her for staying up late.
On Halloween itself, as it got dark, she watched the street through her bedroom window, then
she went out in her favourite ‘Little Witch’ outfit and sneakily watched the kids from other streets come round, knocking on the doors and greeting the occupier with a chorus of “Trick or Treat!” She always wished they would ask her to join them, but they never did, probably because she hid too well.
The last group of kids had just left her house, Dad had ignored their knocks and she was about to go inside when she saw the kid across the road holding that poor cat by the scruff of its neck. Then he held the cat down, put his knee on it and was doing something to its tail. He was tying a firework to it! Dorothy was furious! That poor cat! She ran down the steps from the front door and down the front path. She stood at her gate, biting her bottom lip. The old fears came back, the hair-pulling, arm twisted up behind her back; she was frightened of him but then the cat yowled. Dorothy ran across the road and stood behind the boy. The cat redoubled its efforts to get away and scratched the boy’s hand, making him yell. As he tried to cuff the cat for scratching him, Dorothy took hold of his jacket. He turned around and looked at her.
“Yes Davey, it’s me. Let the cat go Davey.”
Davey stood up, let the cat go and she saw that he had wet his pants. He took another last look at her and he ran away from Dorothy, right into the path of his big brother’s car.
The screech of brakes and sickening thump of metal and bone told Dorothy that she’d have a new playmate pretty soon. Davey’s brother had only just got his licence back after the accident two years before. Dorothy thought he should never be allowed to drive again, after killing her and her mother as they went Trick or Treating.
This week I re-released Deadlier Than The Male in two parts. The first part , is the present day part of the book. Red's StoryDeadlier Beginnings is how Hazel was first bitten and made Wolf for Luke, the werewolf that wanted to have her for his own.