Empty Cot

The panic hadn’t set in but the tears had. Her bottom lip quavering as the shock of discovering the note on the empty pillow and what it said sunk in. They were going to kill her baby. Rip her limbs from her body; gauge out her eyes; horrific torture, unless she gave them what they wanted. But she wasn’t sure she could find all they were looking for and so many conditions. Why so many? And what did this word ‘revenge’ mean. Had she done something to deserve this horror, it certainly didn’t feel like it. Could she find someone to help her, but no - the most important condition of all - tell no one. No. One. Otherwise her darling Felicity gets it.

The tears were coming easily now, but she still managed to force herself up from her bed. She checked the cot once more hoping that her baby would miraculously appear or have never been missing along; her desperate searches a figment of her imagination. But no, only the hollow on the pillow gave a clue that Felicity had even been there. She couldn’t believe that she had left her alone. Even in that short time asleep in her cot she never imagined that she wasn’t safe. But there were obviously monsters out there. Monsters who would take an innocent just to punish her. She grabbed her bag and filled it with a few clothes and other things. Random Stuff. She had no idea why she was even packing but it felt like the appropriate thing to do. She dried her face with her sleeve and scurried the down the stairs and through the house to the kitchen.

When she opened the fridge door the voice caught her by surprise, she didn’t think anyone else was home. ‘Hey missy moo, what you after in such a rush?’ She broke far too easily and despite the instructions cried the whole story of how her nasty big brother Jack and his bully friends had stolen her beautiful baby doll Felicity because he knew it was her most favourite and was threatening to destroy her unless she gave in to this whole list of demands and conditions all because of something about revenge for breaking his police car with her digger (‘it was an accident!’). Her tears reached a crescendo as she realised she had broken the most important one of all. Tell. No. One. Obviously translated as do not tell Mummy. ‘Oh really, well we’ll soon see about that.’

After a lot, and it really was a lot, of shouting; She still didn’t quite understand this new word, even though she knew the ramifications; Felicity was returned unharmed. That evening she was tucked up safely, order having been returned to the household eventually. After the shouting had come lots of talkings and cuddles. And as Mummy switched off the light she was left alone with her sweet baby, to ponder this new word she had learnt today - revenge.

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