Blinking open sleepy eyes
to see dust dancing on a sunbeam.
Brick Girl felt a peace in this room
which was tranquil and serene.

Crumpled sheets on unmade beds
and blankets scattered on the floor.
She must be the last girl up
judging by the voices from beyond the door.

She sat up at the side of the bed
and stretched a big yawn.
Noticing how – upon putting her toes to the ground -
the wooden boards were warm.

But no, there was another noise in the dorm!
There it is again, like a thunderous roar.
It was coming from under a mountain of red sheets,
one of these girls making a monumental snore!

Navigating between toys and clothes
Brick Girl began creeping
cautiously out of the room.
So as not to disturb the girl who was still sleeping

Brick Girl then took in the scene of the attic,
as unnoticed she was able to enter:
Mouse was reading aloud to Emily,
like a tiny rodent mentor.

They were sat upon
a once grand Victorian sofa.
But it’s gilding gone, its cloth threadbare,
It’s time as a showpiece, long since over

Brick Girl could see a kitchen
beyond where this pair sat,
with peeling melamine cupboard doors,
like in an abandoned council flat.

A good ol’ fashioned stove
brought images of a welcoming country home.
This oven of rustic black metal,
not sanitised futuristic polished chrome.

Tins and jars sporadically cluttered
on the shelves, and on the workbench.
Ingredients spilled, condiments open,
past their use-by date, judging by their stinky stench!

A deep ceramic Belfast sink,
complete with dripping taps.
Piled high with crockery and cutlery,
garnished liberally with day-old scraps.

At the opposite side of the room,
was what looked to be the lounge.
Made of improvised furniture,
presumably, whatever the girls could scrounge.

Wooden crates covered in padding.
A broken rocker (providing a static ride?)
Beanbags and cushions as nests on the floor,
arranged by the log-burning fireside.

There too, an antique cheval mirror.
Alongside an ornate dressing table.
Beside a cobbled together bookshelf
which looked dangerously unstable.

At this dresser were the twins.
One standing, the other sat in a chair.
Chatting and gossiping, like old wives,
as one brushed the others hair.

Mary was not to be seen
She was probably doing some job or other
No doubt busy up to the eyeballs,
toiling away like every girls mother.

‘Hello young Miss,’ said Mouse.
This turned all heads in one direction.
‘Morning Mouse,’ replied Brick Girl.
‘Afternoon,’ said Mouse in correction.

‘I slept that long?’ blushed Brick Girl,
‘I normally get up so early.’
‘Not to worry,’ said Mouse,
‘unless you’re a lazybones like that Red girly!’

This made Emily laugh,
and Brick Girl couldn’t help but join in.
Even though she looked odd with a plank through her head,
she had such an infectious grin.

‘Ahem!’ coughed Mouse,
‘Emily really should get back to her book.
She’s learning about Hansell and Grettel,
and other things that witches like to cook’

Brick Girl left them to their studies
and walked towards the twins.
Still smiling to herself about lazybones Red
and her snoring making such a din.

‘Hi Jenny, hi Josie,’ she said approaching.
‘Hi!’ came the duet replies.
‘I don’t want to seem rude, but who is who?
You look identical to my eyes.’

‘She’s Jenny,’
said the girl in the chair.
‘Which means I must be Josie,’
said the girl standing, brushing the others hair.

‘No. I must be Josie,’
said the girl in the chair.
‘I thought you were Jenny!’
said the girl who was brushing her sisters hair.

I am Josie. You are Jenny,’
said the one in the chair.
‘But my bracelet says “Josie”,’
said the girl standing, behind the other’s chair.

‘Then you must be Josie,’
said the girl in the chair.
‘And your name is Jenny,’
said the girl still brushing the sitting girls hair.

‘It’s nice to have a new girl here,’
said Jenny (the girl in the chair).
‘We’ll make you welcome. You’ll fit right in,’
said Josie (the one standing, brushing her sisters hair).

‘Thank you both,’ said Brick Girl smiling.
‘It’ll be fun to play some games.
Bye Jenny, bye bye Josie,’ she said to the wrong girls,
already mixing up their names!

One twin asked the other,
‘Can I borrow your bracelet today?’
‘Sure, if you let me borrow your’s too.’
Brick Girl heard this as she walked away

*

‘Red’s still in bed.
Emily’s being taught.
The Twins are at the hair salon,’
these the thoughts Brick Girl thought.

She then wondered, ‘What now?
It’d be nice to go out and play.
Maybe Mary is already outside.
It’d be a shame to waste this lovely day.’

She looked about for crannies
and nooks in the wall.
Quickly finding one big enough
through which she was able to crawl.

‘I’m an explorer,’ she said to herself,
‘in a brickwork maze.
Oh, I hope I don’t get lost,
I could be missing for days.’

So off she set, squeezing down passageways
and under planks of wood.
Intrepid Brick Girl began to explore,
venturing further than maybe she should…

_

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