As the Sun sank low,
a whole daytime since that first of mornings,
the girls followed their bedtime routines
in preparation for the next dawning.

Red was complaining and moaning
as she made her way to bed.
‘I’m starving. I want something nice to eat.
My Grandmama would never leave me so underfed.’

Bleary eyed, Emily drew pictures
which she coloured-in outside the lines.
Whilst Mouse traversed a newspaper he was reading.
It was The Guardian, or maybe The Times.

Mary cleaned, scrubbed, brushed and swept,
before contemplating the Land of Nod.
When finally all the chores were done,
she knelt and said a little prayer to God.

‘As I lay my head to rest,
my soul is Yours to take.
Please give me strength to persist,
if I’m not in Heaven when I wake.’

By the far wall,
the Twins had pushed-together parallel beds.
Spanned by one extra-long pillow,
long enough to lay their twinned-up heads.

Jenny and Josie took off their bracelets,
before they settled for the night.
Putting their charms under their long headrest,
hidden away and out-of-sight.

One said to the other:
‘Do you think She will come tonight?’
‘Maybe,’ followed by a request of,
‘keep hold of my hand very tight.’

Brick Girl wondered, who is the She
that visits when the sun goes down?
What visitor inspires this odd custom
when the girls are tucking themselves under Eiderdown?

Brick Girl went and sat
on the end of the Twins beds.
She asked, ‘Why do you put your charms under the pillow?’
motioning to where they lay their heads.

‘There is a Lady who looks for things,’ said Jenny,
‘Mary told us all about it.’
‘Mary never lies,’ said Josie, ‘so one day she will come.
Neither of us have any doubt of it.’

‘Who? The Bogey-woman!’
Brick Girl said in jest.
‘Hide you money and silver charms.
So she cannot steal your treasured best.’

Then Red crowbarred into the conversation—
‘No. For the Twins it’s somebody much more scary.’
The three girls turned their heads,
as Red announced, ‘They’re scared of the Tooth Fairy!’

It took a moment for Brick Girl to realise
why Red’s jibe of bedtime fairy folk,
compelled the Twins’ to gasp-a-hand to their toothless mouths,
just-a-moment before their tears broke.

Brick Girl hugged them both together,
but couldn’t find a single word to say.
She could guess why neither girl hadn’t any teeth.
And it had nothing to do with the Fey.

After a while, Brick Girl left the Twins alone.
She then walked over to Red.
‘Why is it you are so nasty?’ she demanded to know
of the resident in the scarlet bed.

‘Oh, I’m awfully tired,’ yawned Red,
ignoring Brick Girl’s question.
‘You’d be much nicer, if you weren’t so horrible,’
said Brick Girl, ‘but that’s just my humble suggestion.’

Red made loud snoring noises
and pretended to be asleep.
This infuriated Brick Girl,
making her temper harder to keep.

But, on the plus side, Brick Girl thought,
a sleeping girl cannot interrupt,
which will save the time and the trouble
of telling her to ‘shut up’.

Brick Girl began to lecture
the unmoving girl in bed.
Although she’d have a more attentive audience
if she tried talking to the dead.

‘You’re an angry and hurt girl.
And you take it out on your friends.
But it was Wolf who murdered your Granny.
He brought your life to a premature end.

‘I know you don’t want to be here.
Believe me Red, none of us do.
But we’re all in the same boat…
We’re just trying hard to get through.

‘So stop being a bitch!
And stop treating everyone like poo!
Have you not even realised, Red,
that nobody here actually likes you?’

It was then Brick Girl ran out of steam,
as no longer faux-snoring, Red had begun to cry.
And although she tried her best to hold it in,
Brick Girl saw a wetness at the redhead’s eye.

‘I’m sorry,’ said Brick Girl softly,
‘I hadn’t meant to upset you, Red.’
But Red refused to acknowledge even these words
as she continued to play dead.

Returning to Mary’s loaned mattress once more,
Brick Girl ended her first full day in Nowever.
A chorus of heartache sent her to sleep.
Where she dreamt dreams of her family no longer together.

_

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