As you may know, last week was Millie’s ninth birthday. She made me promise to write her a story, just as I do for both girls at Christmas, but this would be just for her.
What with all the recent drama about unemployment I really didn’t think it would get done…but the final draft spilled onto the page just in time.
Who says I can’t hit my deadlines? ;-)
So, please enjoy this story, written to try and address Millie’s current arachnophobia…
Millie Saves The Spiders
“Mummy!” came a thin, small voice from the fireplace into the empty living room, “Help!”
And again, this time a tiny bit louder, “Mummy! Daaaaaaddy! Help!”
If anyone had been in the living room they might – just – have heard the muffled call for help, and they might have looked at the fireplace where the voice seemed to be coming from.
And if they could have looked up the chimney, past the upstairs, past the attic, right up to the roof, then they might have seen a dirt-encrusted Millie Carter desperately clinging onto the chimney there, shivering as the wind blew the burned and tattered remains of a once-magnificent magic cloak around her.
But no one was there to see or to hear her cries.
Millie held tight to the chimney against the wind and tried not to cry, recalling how she had ended up trapped and alone here on the roof. But she couldn’t help it, and the tears rolled down her face as she remembered…
Spiders. It had all started with spiders.
She had been in her bedroom, dancing, jumping about on the bed pretending to be the world’s greatest popstar. She was singing her most-famous song, the one on the radio every day that all her fans loved. Her favourite bit was just coming up and she opened her eyes to do the famous Bollywood dance move that her fans liked to copy.
“Help,” she suddenly thought. “Help”? Help what? Help who?
That’s when she realised there was writing on the carpet of her room. Help it said, in wobbly black letters. Well, actually it said Hepl but as she watched the l and the p swapped places and settled down where they should be.
Millie stopped dancing and looked at the floor. It definitely said Help and Mummy was definitely not going to be happy that someone had written in big black letters on her bedroom floor.
The letters moved again, breaking up into pieces and scuttling about until they said, You are Mellie Carter? Millie Carter stared at her name on the floor.
“No,” she said, “I’m Millie Carter,” and watched in amazement as Mellie corrected itself to Millie before changing to Sorry which then changed to Us not good at spalling.
“Who are you?” asked Millie, “And how are you writing on…? Oh, wait – is this magic? Are you using magic to make this writing?”
Iz not magic, wrote the floor, Iz just us – iz spiders.
Millie’s eyes opened wide and she gave a little cough before whispering “S-s-spiders?”
Please be frightened, we are not very friendly, appeared quickly on the floor, and just as quickly rearranged to say Please not be frightened, we are very friendly.
As the letters changed before her very eyes Millie nervously looked closer; yep, it was true: the writing was made of lots of little spiders all moving together to make letters.
“Eek,” said Millie, very very quietly, and she went very pale at the thought of all those spiders on her bedroom floor. “Eek.”
Please, Millie, we are need your help, wrote the spiders.
Millie took a deep breath, preparing for a really big scream.
We not hurt Millie, we Millie friends, wrote the spiders as quickly as they could
Millie’s mouth opened ready …
You are brave lady who defeat Lobster King! scribbled the spiders, You see Great Magician Trev.
Millie stopped getting ready to scream. “How do you know about that? The only people who know about that are me, Amber and…” She turned and looked at the gerbil cage. “Sparkle?”
There was no reply.
“Sparkle, are you in there?”
There came a squeaky muffled reply, “Er, no, Sparkle’s not here at the moment.”
“Come out, Sparkle,” said Millie crossly, and the little gerbil appeared from under the sawdust.
“Oh, hello, Millie. Didn’t see you there,” she squeaked.
“Sparkle, why is my floor covered in spiders? You know I don’t like spiders!” Millie looked down at her floor, “Sorry.”
Is OK, spelt out the spiders.
Sparkle looked nervous as she answered. “I know you don’t like spiders,” she squeaked, “but this is important. The spiders need our help, they—“
“I’m not helping spiders!” interrupted Millie, “I don’t like spiders!”
“Millie,” squeaked Sparkle, “listen to me. The spiders knew your Uncle Trev – they helped him in the past, and in return he swore to help them if ever he could. Well, now they need our help, and Uncle Trev is gone – the only person they have to turn to is you. You’re the only person who can help them.”
Millie made a pained expression. “But…but…why did it have to be spiders?” she whispered. “Why couldn’t it have been the… I don’t know, a beautiful unicorn that needed our help?”
Sparkle waved a paw at the spiders bustling about the floor, “Trust me, these little people are really nice guys. Unicorns may look nice but they’re actually kinda stupid and vicious.” She shook her tiny head and tutted. “Unicorns. Don’t talk to me about unicorns.”
There was movement on the floor as the spiders spelt out something new. Please us help, they wrote, You are spiders onyl hope.
Millie looked unhappy and tried not to stare at the spiders, who were trying to spell “only” again.
Millie looked up at the ceiling and shrugged her shoulders unhappily. “All right,” she sighed, “And it’s o-n-l-y.”
The spiders somehow managed to look embarrassed and grateful at the same time. Continue reading