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Short story: <i>The New Baby</i>

There's a lot of building, a lot of hustle and bustle and arrangements and strange people with tape measures and hard-hats and somewhat undecorous mustaches, going on about the place and I for one don't like it at all.

I didn't even find out what was going on until it was going on, nobody asked my permission, or even if I'd mind, if the whole situation would disturb me. Mummy keeps going on to everybody about how delicate I am, but she didn't seem too worried about bringing around a whole troupe of horrid, dirty labourers who either completely ignore me or make winking, kissing faces at me which I simply can't stand. Mummy knows how I hate strangers, particularly those who are going to stare. Obviously, I can leave the room, but even when I do that I can hear that the minute I set foot out the door, the conversation has turned to me; how pretty I am, how dainty, how lovely I'll be when I'm grown up but isn't it a shame they can't stay like that for ever? I hate it.

I've found a hidey hole in the window on the landing. It's lovely, at that window. And, even though Mummy says I'm not supposed to go up to the first floor where the work is being done - because I could get in somebody's way - I take every opportunity I get to creep up the stairs and into the lovely wide window seat that looks down at the bright lawn, all filled with butterflies. I do love to chase butterflies, and Mummy encourages it, but I think I'm getting a little old for such childish pursuits.

I found out yesterday that the room that is being particularly worked on is the old spare room. I loved the old spare room as it was; the high brass bed frame with a sturdy mattress and green quilt, which I loved to sneak into for a nap. The shelves full of interesting knick knacks, and the dresser, which had Mummy's old perfume bottles and jewelery sitting on them. I'll never forget the day when I was looking around the top of her dresser and I accidentally knocked one of the bottles off. How Mummy scolded! And I absolutely reeked of perfume, and some of my hair got terribly knotted and Mummy had to cut out the knotted bit because conditioner wouldn't work. It was perfectly horrid, I hate having haircuts. I'm particularly proud of my lovely black hair.

The decor of the spare room is now completely different since the awful men did their renovation. Now it's all in pastels, with little ducks on the wall paper and all new white furniture. It smells like paint. I don't like it at all. I told Mummy, but she didn't care. She and Father have been up there scheming, and buying new furniture, and stocking the room up. She's told me that I'm not allowed in there. As if I want to go in that smelly old room anyway. I hope all this renovating and cleaning doesn't mean Auntie Susan is coming to visit. She's awful. She brings me presents but she insists on pulling my ears and making baby noises at me. And I'm not a baby anymore.

Hopefully the men won't get to do too much more damage to the house. I don't want my windowsill on the landing disappearing. I know that the men gave Father an estimate yesterday to redo the second floor, and he told Mummy that the building expenses were sucking them dry, and what would they do when Mummy couldn't work anymore? Mummy said not to worry and looked happily at the old spare room.

Ugh, there's one of those horrid men again. This one's trying to tempt me with a sandwich. I'll show him.

"Hello there little missy! Hello dere! Does she want some sammich? Does she? Yes she does, yes she... ow! The little shit just bit me on the ankle!"

"All them little yappy dogs are the same, you know? Just give it a quick kick."

This is the result of a thirty minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: landing, haircut, estimate, decor, and ankle.

Image courtesy of Qole Pejorian.

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