Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Hi all.  I’ve been busy helping my dear ‘friend’ Doreen Doily launch her educational videos online.  Please check her out.  She loves having comments and new requests for subjects to be covered, so please help her in that way.

I am also considering translating Kedda’s version of Private Parts  for our times,  since not many of my readers can understand what’s gwannin on.  Funny that, seeing as how I’ve even taken the trouble to illustrate it: there is a massive pic of a deccoed moufleur staring out at the reader.  The only person who understood what the pic really is, was my friend Sue, who is a gynaecologist in America.  Well, that’s a no-brainer, as Doreen would say.

I was astonished to read Caitlyn Moran’s Times Magazine article on the Camel Toe, and to see her read it out on Youtube.  Talking about her vagina, she says ‘In another world, I’d like to think I’d be in the running for a prize to acknowledge its munificence — in the same way others are rewarded for growing a large sunflower or marrow.’

Well, this other world she is describing is Kedda’s world, the world described in Private Parts!  Kedda spends all day in the salon, decorating people’s genitals.  Indeed, because everyone has their face covered by a darsk, from birth, their only outlet for self-expression is through the extravagant grooming of their moufleurs and vaddervanillis.

I knew my timing was right!  The world is ready for Kedda and her fokkadokka understanding of the trilly fashwerve.  I just need to translate it from Keddaling, quick.

The world is also ready for Doreen, because there are too many long-drawn-out tutorials online.  Doreen makes the excellent point that ‘you only need a minute because…it’s enough.’  Today she’s doing ‘cooking,’ and will be asking this important question: why should one stop at a fried mars bar?  Why not get on and fry a flake, a twix, a bounty?  Students are going to love it.




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I took the boo home. Fore I could even tube a cutty, Broze splaypeared. Asked if I’d had any tresting trav. Too right, I said. I told him bout Greenvressis, bout our developing design. ‘!Olk,’ he dixed. ‘Sounds wellfokka. Keep it up. Our doptive always said, with your skills, you would be in the elite one day, Ked.’

‘But, Broze,’ I said, ‘this chap is welleird…?I donti even tink he is a chap.’ I whispered: ‘He had a fakie.’

‘Yea well, Ked, takes all sorts. Life would be dullard if people were all the same. This Greenvressis chap, fakie or no fakie, is a fokka ting if he’s helping you do grooti designs.’

‘You’re right,’ I said.  Greenvressis and his siccideas were deflon fokka.

‘You mark my words, Ked,’ said my broze, ‘you’ll be vailing for Miley herself one of these days.’

It was wellierd he said that, because you would not believe how velochy things can change. The next day, three blokes were standing waiting at the salon door when I got to trav.  They all wantied xactly the same as Greenvressis, who I scuvered was called Pliny. They were after the same vressis, vadderay, zlicked vringe, mote and all.

‘We troobi dat Pliny,’ one said.

‘Yeah, we troobit,’ said another.  ‘Need it for this aftube’s topslot catwalk.’

‘The Pliny is the big shebang,’ dixed the third.

I siddered them. ‘!Oh my Cyrus, we gone and set off a nouvo fashwerve all by ourselves,’ I vlatted.

I travved all foretube. I vailed on one, telling the other two to drong off and get a cutty on the corner, but they dinti troe. Just sat there waiting their turn. The middle one had quiteamintive vaddervanilli. I told him if he zired to look the same as Greenvressis he would have to have some vuction and put on a lengthening cone at nights. He said he dinti mind, he just had to have the nouvo fashwerve.

Through sheer hard grind, I got through all three of them by bloffeetime.  They sferred me some likes and troed off. During my tenninit break, I lined Dunqui. ‘?You tubing,’ she asked.

‘Yes, velochy, hanti got a mint, got queues dronging on,’ I vlatted. ‘You wonti believe it, Dunq, I got a new thing troeing on with the trilly fashwerve.’

‘?What is it.’

‘Scalled a Pliny, it’s only, wait for it… H13 green vressis, split into stinct vlocks, with a suttle vringe xinches bove the gnangle.’

‘!Cloof’ she slaimed. ‘?Vadderangle.’

‘Obvion, since like three daysago, ninety.’


I could hear Dunq pulling ixes exmogga and sembling them.

‘Lotsa, paler H13 green vurls peeking through a metallic vadderay, thin rays.’

‘Uuuw,’ she darsksighed. ‘Vice. You got your dij on that vulse, vlady!’

‘Tanky,’ I said. ‘I have been getting quiteafew plimentos raysamont.’

I sferred her an ix of the green vressis. Dunq bobbed and morflitted through her oftinf and vamped it all up a bit, hoiked the imix. She sent it out on vlogix within tenninits. By the aftube I had a new line of blokes waiting. ‘Oh Miley,’ I sclaimed, darskooing at them all. ‘Have to call inforsemints.’

I darskalled FaddyFalon Timps. Ordered four vailers just for the aftube, maybe for the next day too. I just had time to chuck a whole load of stentions into the last of my dye before the timps turned up. I straited the new neeks and, since the queue was throbling, we just troed at it: dying, vlombing, plaiting, cutting the vringes and then zlicking and snippisnipping into them to give them that natural look. Luckily FF Timps are always well-trained. They have nifty blingers and get what I’m montring them first time. We had to call Bowares to get a nother vat of that horbil H13green stuff in. I litters dinti even get time to tube a cutty, all aftube. Five of us were vailing flat out.  For blokes with short flair, it took even longer as we had to put in the prettadyed stentions first.

I flitted some likes to FaddyFalon, and sferred a centidge to MileyMuns too. Best to keep up with your Emmemms daily therwise they’ll be after you.

At home, I stepped into my blopak for a freshnub dryclenz. The kems and the wind did their vail. I felt better, but my blingers were still aching. I put on Killapayn prugbluvs to numb them up.

I had to troe exo. Needed some prugs. If you’ve litters vailed your blingers off all day, you need a good vlatt. Liza met up with me and we troed down Festivoy. Tubed three tripvoddies, ordered a retroverdose, which obv is only safeprugs as they would never let you realinfoverdose, got straight in a vlatticube and vlatted our vlips off for bout four hours. We were hauled out just after midnight and chucked exofest.

My darsk throbling with staddered newinf, I sloggered home at one in the morning. Someone splaypeared as I drapped in the door.

‘?Where you been, vlady,’ the person sclaimed.

?Was it Dunqui. It sounded like her, and she was surrounded by all her stuff, but it dinti look like her.  To be fair though I could hardlon bleppa her I was so stroyed.

‘?Dunqui…is that you,’ I slurred.

I tried to set my darsk to better saturation and contrast.  Difficult, as my blingers were still numdup from the prugbluvs. I fiddled drunklon with tilt and shift. That was better. !Oh. !Dunqui’s vapearlies had gone. !Her what-had-been-bangup-but-maybe-were-not-bangup-no-more silky stentions sewn with vlu lace had gone. !She had H13 green vressis. !Miley. I had nevah evah bleppaed Dunqui strutting one of my designs fore.

‘!You not just got your moufleur on the pulse, vlady,’ she sclaimed. ‘!You litters the big shebang.’

Yop! I couldn’t believe this. Maybe the prugs had put me in some sort of tastical slozerix. Had I reallon managed to chieve a bendgend fashwerve? I coudnti dix a thing, I was that moved, and still that stroyed from the vlatticube.

‘!Olk,’ said Dunq, pouring me ixes of bothsex slebs with the nouvo look, ‘you litters have done it, vlady. The bendgend. All the girls here are wantiing one. ?You know what this means, donti you.’

‘No…?I litters donti have a cluebo in hellion,’ I slurred.

‘It means….you going to urfup, vlady.’

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I climbed into my slozerloc and had wellierd slozerixes about red, open darskiddenflappas and bright vlu darskiddenbleppas looming at me exomist.  I woke up midnight darsgasping in panink. Thank Miley we’ve covered all that shizzos up and moved on. I donti tink private parts should be bleppaed or parled on. They are private. Like zactly. Private. And anyway, how on Mileyship would anyone get by without their darskinf?

This all vert-hurt my thortpac so lucklon next day it was the Kend. Thank Miley for the Kend. Two days of chilled times. I laxed, ported lotsix into my darsk and zorbed. I tubed healthy joococtions. I tretched in my tretching chamber, pulling zistant bands to the latest wobberrap my broze sent me. After thirty mints I frizzed my vressis, put in a quick double-colour streak with a simple orange and black stention and went out for a cutty with my friend from beauty school, Niella. She hearts to updress, and was looking fokkadokka with glittery diamond fakies bringing out her propped mouf. We tubed cakeycake, moving on to kol at about xoclock. We met up with Liza, who had tarted up her mouf with some rather exoshwerve plakkiplaits at least, thank Miley. We tubed trip voddies and became stantly runk. Obvion after that we flipped our liddergauze, tubehaled a quikpliffa each, had a good vlatt, and passed exo in a vlatticube gether. Fokka night.

Greenvressis turned up again trestot Monday. The colour was growing on me. The dye was spensive, and I realised that in the light it had a grooty urple gleam. As I was upvlombing his furls, he said, ‘It zires one last thing.’


‘A mote.’

Onestlon, cuzmos get the zarrest ideas in their murky thortpacs sometimes. I don’t let on that they’re totallon bonksfest.  ‘A mote, !Sure.  !Siccathort. Might just set it all off…’

We fitted one just low the vadderbase. I put the controls in his bluv. He tried it out. !Olk, it was ackshallon fokkadokka. The mote made the vaddervanilli jump just slightlon, causing the vressis to flash their grooty gleam.

As I was waiting for Greenvressis’ likes to darskload, Talika said she was troeing exo to the corner jop. Greenvressis waited til she sappeared, then, exo nowhere, slipped a bluvved didge under his flairline and gave a sharp tug. I darsgasped as the whole flairy green area came away from his groyn. !Behind it were vlips. !Big vlips with brown flair and china flowery beads. I couldn’t believe it. I had not spected fakies. I certainly had not spected such a sophistokid fakie. ‘Shh,’ he…she whispered, ‘our time is coming. !Be pretta.’

‘!Pretta?’ I darskchoked. ‘Prettawhat?’

‘Prettarun.’ He…she put a didge to his vlips. ‘We’ll get you exo, Ked,’ he..she whispered, ‘don’t wuzzo.’

I wantied to dix that I dinti zire to be ‘got exo’, as I was fectly sicca where I was, and that I hadn’t been at all wuzzoed until he..she exoblew my napses…but I was too shonked to parle.

His likes had sferred to my darsk so he, she stuck his…her fakie back down and stood up, clipped it back to its bangup ninety-degree angle and troed off. I was so shonked I dinti even realise I problion should have pressed my fliplarm. Was he…she from the zistance?

It was hard to tell. I was afeared. Would his darsk not pick up even his whispers? Did he have a way of unabling darskinf? I had seen reports on my splay that some people had gone off-grid, with riculoso zults. Who would rush to help you, if you were ill, fureggs? Darsks send constant healthinf to dotters so they can monitor you. Now that’s sensible, and that’s normynorms.

Dammidams.  I had troobied vailing with Greenvressis. I dinti zire him…her to be zistance. I dinti zire the spambort van to come and take him…her screaming wayway.

I told myself I was wuzzoing for nothing and it was problion allsicca.  Fakies aren’t against the law. He…she had problion gone temps a bit loopiloop, right?



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Pearly cover

Chapter 2.

I let go of the sun’s rays and the light went out of me.  If only that lovely girl could have chosen me.  I just knew she was right for me.  All of the next day, I was in the window again, but nobody asked to try me.  I felt dull, grey. The sun must have been behind clouds as there didn’t seem to be any light to play with.  I dozed fitfully.  Lucy’s voice woke me from a troubled dream. ‘Mum?  See!  She’s still there!’

The shop owner, Pudgy-Fingers, picked me up again.  New as I was to the world, it was disorienting to be swung around, flipped suddenly horizontally instead of vertically. Pudgy-Fingers placed me down on a velvet cloth with some other flutes.

‘You can try all of these,’ he said.

‘I don’t need to…thank you. I already know which one I’d like,’ said Lucy.

She looked again at my engraving. Her face was so close I could feel her breath clouding my surface. ‘Pearly,’ she whispered. Gentle hands picked me up and cradled me. I could tell she did not know how to play. But she tried. I tried my hardest to make a sound for her, but without the breath going in the right direction it was nigh on impossible.

‘Don’t worry,’ said her mother’s voice. ‘You need a teacher, that’s all.’

‘Can I start today, Mum?’ she pleaded.

‘It’s already late. Maybe tomorrow.’

I was pulled apart and put into my case.  I was carried, swung slightly. I felt rumbling beneath me, crude vibrations. I was scared, but felt reassured that Lucy was near. I could pick up, muffled through my case, her eager chatter.

I loved being at Lucy’s house. It was calm. Lucy took me out, slotted me wonkily together and left me out, balanced on my case, all night. The next morning, very early, so it was still almost dark, I awoke to high and joyful chirpy noises outside. A  fascinating crescendo of sound bathed my whole being. I listened and learned in wonder, as strengthening light and fragrant air poured in upon me through tall windows.

That day, I was taken out in what I knew by then was a car, for us to have our first lesson with Lucy’s new teacher, Silvia. The first thing Silvia said to Lucy was ‘Oh, what a lovely flute! Gorgeous, isn’t she?’

I always liked Silvia after that. Also, she helped Lucy to progress quickly, and that was good, as I wanted to play interesting things.  She showed Lucy how to slot me together correctly and adjust me.  She had Lucy stand up tall and straight and taught her how to hold me so that my head-joint was locked securely against her chin, with the little finger of her right hand pushing forwards like a lever, and the side of her left index pushing back. Silvia demonstrated on her own flute how to play a long B. As the note sounded, I heard, ‘Bonjour, my friend! Enchantée! Je m’appelle Madame Douce.’

Silvia’s flute was quite old and from a place called France, the other side of the big water, she told me. Her tone was very sweet and gentle. She was my guide, as we played a lot of things together to help Lucy.

Lucy learnt the notes B, A and G first. She had to play lots of long notes to increase her lung capacity. At first she would let air escape too fast so she could only manage one second, but she quickly learnt to play more quietly and control the air-flow.  She could do three, then four seconds, but within a few weeks Silvia was timing her for eight seconds, then ten, then twelve. At first our sound quavered and was uneven, but quickly it became steadier. After about four lessons, we could already play ‘Hot Cross Buns,’ ‘Au Clair de la Lune,’ which Madame loved as it is French, and ‘Merrily’. This was all good…. except we played them all about fifty times.  ‘Merrily’ goes, BAGABBB rest AAA rest BBB rest BAGABBB rest AABAG. I can do that off-by-heart for you any time! Seriously, my girl was hooked on that tune. I didn’t mind because by then I would have done anything for Lucy and I took comfort from the fact that every time she played it, she was improving.

Luckily Madame and Silvia taught us C and F so there were a few more tunes we could play. Lucy got hooked for a few weeks on ‘When All the Saints’.  It’s a tricky one as, being in the key of F, there must be some B flats. If your player forgets to put his or her right index down to make the Bs flat, it sounds very odd. Whenever Lucy forgot the B flat, I would sort of shrink from the B natural to make it sound even odder than it was, to give her a clue. Eventually she got it.

About five or six weeks in, we hit a stumbling block: middle D.  I so wanted Lucy to learn D, because I knew that as soon as she did, she would be off, as D leads into the easier middle octave where the fingerings are all the same as for the bottom octave.  However, D is hard for a child to learn as it uses a lot of fingers. Beginners have quite weak fingers and can’t press our keys down hard enough. With the best will in the world, a flute can’t put its own keys down. To play D, every finger which is up for C goes down, including the left thumb. Every finger which is down for C goes up. This means going from C to D is a big change. D is the only note that you raise your little finger for. But after playing D, you have to put that little finger straight down again.

Lucy found it very hard. Her little finger did not have much strength in it as she was so little. She forgot to lever her hands properly to lock me against her chin, so every time she went from D back to C, I would slip as she took her thumb off the key. This made me nervous I was going to be dropped, which made my sound buzzy.  Lucy cried often and couldn’t bring herself to play. She started inventing excuses to miss her lessons.  I lay in my case feeling like I had failed, and panicking in case Lucy decided to give up. I sent out thought waves to her ‘Please, Lucy, don’t give up…give me another chance…pleasepick me up…play something.’

But there I lay, for days and days, ignored. ‘Lucy,’ called her mother, ‘you must practise your flute!’

‘My fingers hurt,’ she wailed… ‘I can’t do D.  I hate D.  It’s….it’s just….TOO DIFFICULT.’

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Hi all, I have not written anything since my last chapter of Sally-Anne.  I kind of burnt myself out, and blogging went out the window, as teaching has consumed large swathes of my time, my main new strength being in ‘verb-training’ children and adults in French, on the board, with swirling multi-coloured pens.  I love doing this, and seriously love my verbs, but….it is taking me away from my writing.  I find, if you don’t write, even for a few days, the ability starts to shrink, and it feels weird, alien, lost, as though it’s not going to be read, by anyone, ever.

Update on the last few months:  well, despite Fred tripping over his own laces going down Bell’s Hill, and breaking his arm, in an apparent kack-handed attempt to get out of going, we went on a yoga retreat in Morocco.  Fred mainly avoided the yoga and drank wine instead.  He then grudgingly allowed himself a couple of gentle twists of the spine…. which instantly sorted out his long-term neck injury.  Ha. It does help, see.  I have been trying for many years to get him to do a bit of yoga.

I came back and joined about a million cat, greyhound, working donkey, soi dog, vegan, SPANA charity things on facebook and spend quite a lot of time ‘liking’ these and sending them money. There is even the wonderful Primrose mouse sanctuary, which you must ‘like’ immediately.  The kids in the village of Tigmi had kept asking us for ‘un stylo, un stylo,’ so I sent them 200 bic biros as bic always last for ages.  (Well, not in our house they don’t, as the parrots like destroying them.  How can I allow that?  See, I am not controlling my environment to the best of my abilities right now.)

I went to Jac’s chakra-opening yoga workshop, designed to open up the lower three chakras. It was a lot of twisting and folding forward.  It felt good.  In the relaxation at the end I got a lot of rich purple waves going up my field of vision, slow, soft, delicious.  It was like being stroked by angels.  I know what that feels like, blissful, as I have experienced it, but this time it was in colour. It was great but I now feel strange and am a bit wuzzed that I opened those three and am now not in balance.  Are my upper ones still shut? Am I wonky like a plane with one wing pouring smoke?

Luckily, in a couple of weeks I am going to the follow-up workshop to open up the top three, or is it four?  I feel like this is the only thing which can now sort me out.  But by then will the bottom three have closed up again? Will I then start spewing dark toxins from the other wing? Shit, shit, my chakras….

I have been re-reading ‘the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’  It’s actually much better than you think it’s going to be.  I thought, ‘Oh, it’ll be like, ‘get up early,’ and ‘tidy your house’, ‘don’t eat beans and egg on toast’ and stuff like that, but it’s not.  It’s more ‘be proactive,’ ‘think win-win,’ ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood,’ etc.  With the fabulous ‘Sharpen the Saw’ encircling all at number 7, which means, look after yourself, do yoga, eat well, so that you are a maintained instrument for progress, change, evolution.

I have thus determined to spend more time in my planning and prevention quadrant, rather than in the crisis quadrant or the losers’ tea-making and thumb-twiddling quadrants.  So I have moved all my books for teaching French upstairs to the drawers of my desk, marked by days of the week on which I will need them.  I stole this technique off my neighbour Sue who is very organised.

I have got up to the chapter on where we centre ourselves.  Some people are money-centred, or family-centred, work-centred etc.  The book seems to be arguing that all these are flawed.  It claims it’s best to centre oneself on principles, like honesty, I suppose, which do not ever change so we would not be at the mercy of changing family/work/relationship/financial circumstances.  Would it be OK to be centred around Nature? It’s not a principle, but…it’s a massive help. When I am wandering through the woods with the dogs and a friend if I am lucky, I feel truly me and truly happy.

I did a Hale Dwoskin exercise which made you condense what you want to do with your life into four words.  I ended up with ‘Walk, Yoga, Write, Inspire.’  The ‘inspire’ is meant to contain within it all my teaching.  It is hard though to get it down to four.  Janet spotted that I had no mention of friends or family in there, which gave me a bit of a panic.  I considered changing the big four, but couldn’t see which one I could possibly take out.  Then I thought, friends and family can join me on a walk or in the yoga if they want to, even in the writing.  Maybe not in the teaching, unless they want to learn French, or a bit of flute.

We have a new clan member called Dara Fearghus, (what a groovy name!), my cuz Roland and Anna’s new baby.  We are all so excited.  He is gorgeous.  I am trying to finish a children’s story for him, Pearly, narrated by….a flute, haha.  It’s like a mixture between Black Beauty, the Little Fir Tree and Toy Story.  Always best to acknowledge your sources!  I will start posting chapters in the New Year.  Gosh, maybe tomorrow?  Ooh, 2015!  Wow.  It sounds futuristic.  That means I must be old.

We are having a ‘Loners and Losers‘ New Year’s Eve thing tonight.  Only about two people have said they will come.  Maybe no one wants to admit to being a Loner and a Loser, or maybe they are all genuinely Out Tonight so therefore not Loners nor Losers.  To be fair, we only created the event a couple of days ago.  Anyway, they are missing out on Fred’s curry, a pool tournament, a roaring fire, lots of wine left over from Christmas, a bottle of Champagne from one of my students, and the company of us Lovely Loners and Losers.

Happy New Year to all my readers!  Thank you for reading, from the bottom of my heart chakra. Please also read the several installments of Pearly, which will follow soon.

My New Year’s Rezzos:  Enter lots of writing competitions, for a laugh, and for serious, starting now.  Also Fucking do Loads of Fucking YOGA!  Don’t forget!  It helps everything:  mind, body, the world.  Get off your Arse and off your Stupid Computer and Awaken them Chakras!  That’s just a note to myself.  I am not being horribly bossy to the world.  However, if you also wish to adopt as your New Year’s Rezzo ‘Fucking Do loads of Fucking YOGA’ then, please do, feel free.

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Sally-Anne, thats me.

Sally-Anne, thats me.


Chapter 21.

LittelBaby and LittelBrudda had looked up from there werk. Neether of them cried owt. May be thay had known we were on borowed time. Suddernly the copper biside me let go my arm and dropt to his nees. I thort that was odd. Then he let go of my hand cuffs and fell flat on to his fase, his hare in the edgis of the streme. I looked up the streme. LittelBrudda had anuther large flat stowne in his hand and was bringing his arm back. Thwack! The stowne hit the humungus thug what was sitting on Duncan, on the side of his hed. I saw it all in slo moshun as LittelBrudda aimed again and down fell a massiv police woman, who topperled side weys, mowth opern in mid showt. The larst man, a mussly skinny chap not in uniform, ducked but not farst enugh. LittelBaby had parsed LittelBrudda anuther rock, wich sored owt of his hand and thuded hard in to skinnys cheke. Down he went.

There was a silence. Jus the gergling of the streme and the tweating of berds.

LittelBaby clapped her hands. ‘Oo good atta trow de stownes!’ she said.

‘Yeh,’ said Duncan faintly. ‘Not bad, LittelBrudda!’

A car dor slammed bihind us. Three more men stood there, with guns, glaring at us thrugh goggels. The guns went kuh chi kuh, kuh chi kuh, like geting redy to fiyer. You often here that sownd in the moovies but not often in rele life. LittelBrudda had anuther stowne in his hands. ‘Dont, LittelBrudda!’ scremed Duncan.

It was such a high screme that I wantid to showt ‘Your a gerl, your a gerl,’ but I realised it wasent the moment. Quite often I have to kerb my inpulsis.

‘We give are selvs up!’ I showtid. ‘Plese dont shoot.’

There was a crack of a gun. Three cracks. I thort ‘oh shit, have I bene shot?’ But I dident fiyul eny pane. I looked at Duncan. He was still standing. I looked at the babies. They were still standing in the streme. The three men buckeled at the nees. One of there guns went of, but in to the trees. Who had brogt them down? It was a mistery. The leves jus shimmered in the silence.

Then there was a cracking of twigs. Some one walked owt of the bushis. It was CrazyStranger with a gun in his hand. ‘What…?’ I croked. He terns up all over the plase.

‘Iyum sorry, Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘that I apere to be following you arownd all over the plase.’

‘Well, it is a bit weerd,’ I said, ‘but thank you, eny wey.’ I noddid at the three flatterned blokes.

‘There not ded,’ he said. ‘Its salt. Theyull come rownd in a bit, we shoud move.’ He put owt his hand. I shook it. ‘Iyuv bene looking owt for you for a long time, Sally-Anne,’ he said.

There was more crackling of under growth bihind him and a dumpy lady with a rownd red fase was standing there. I thort I was having one of my vishuns. ‘Mum?’ I wispered.

‘Well, Yes, and No, Sally-Anne, my love,’ she said.

She all weys has been a bit odd, so I jus ignored that strange rip lie. ‘What are you doing here?’ I arsked, not berlieving my eyes.

‘Me and Prefeser Snow go back a long wey,’ she said. ‘To nine munths bifore you were born, Sally-Anne.’

‘Weyull explane in a minit. Get in your car and follow us,’ said CrazyStranger.

We quickly swept up are blankits, tent and food and rammed it in to are crappy car. We followed CrazyStranger along a windy root for abowt forty minits. All the time, I was saying to Duncan, ‘What? What is that? Why woud Mum know CrazyStranger all this time?’ We went owt of the woods and on to a bigger rode, along anuther windy lane, thrugh a cupel of villigis, thrugh a ford, parst a farm and we parked bihind a pub where there was a littel play grownd and got owt and let the babies play in the swings.

CrazyStranger sat on the botterm of the slide. He sihged. He lookt quite old and tiyerd. ‘Your muther was the surogut for my very ferst, originle, succes full attempt to bring a neyanderthal being in to the werld, Sally-Anne.’

‘What?’ I was gob smacked. ‘Was she? Why did I never mete that neander thingy then? Did it ever live at are howse?’

Duncan garsped. He was looking at me. ‘Oh my god,’ he said, ‘Sally-Anne, its you!’

I stared back at him. ‘Am I a speri mint?’

‘Yes, you are,’ he said.

‘Wow,’ I said. Lucky it dont still mene chewing gum then.

‘Well, it dont make no diffrence,’ I said, ‘seeing as how I dont evern get properly what one is!’

‘Thats why your dad left,’ said my Mum, ‘He coudent cope with you being so…diffrent. Thogh Iyud only agreed to do it for him! To pay of his dets, the un grate full….’

‘Is that why Iyum a freek? And why pepol dont make eny sense…?’

‘Your not a freek,’ said CrazyStranger staring at me with….love, I think it was, ‘you are a wonder, and thats also why you were chosern to bring LittelBaby into the werld. The sientists had tried again and again but the babies were all weys miscarried or still born. They figered you were the only one who coud do it.’

I thort back to how it all startid. ‘So Jess was pade to get me to Wantababy….’

LittelBaby was in the swing, going ‘Weeee! Weeee!’ My mum was pushing her. It made me nerely die of happy ness wotching them, so I coud hardly consentrate on all this stupid speri mint stuff.

‘Oh, yes…thay pade Jess, thay pade Wantababy, thay pade Frances…it was a teme effert.’

‘You were manipulatid,’ said Duncan. ‘It menes cuntrolled,’ he addid, ‘like a puppit.’

Ooh, it made me feyul weerd that pepol had been wotching me, and plotting me like that. And oh shit, Frances was NarstyLady….Still, I was glad she wasent LittelBabys rele mum…who was LittelBabys rele mum then?

‘Who is LittelBabys rele mum then?’ I arsked CrazyStranger.

‘Her rele mum? Her rele mum….and your rele mum…two different wimin, lived sixty thowsand yeres ago, in a cave in Romania, in a big famly group of Neyanderthal. But you, and the babies, you are cloned….’

‘Cloned menes like copied, Sally-Anne,’ said Duncan.

‘…yes, like copied, from three of the children of those two wimin. There remanes were fownd in a beautifle cave on a hill side. It was luvley, tidy, all the speres lined up, pichers on the walls and a harth, or fiyer, in side.’

I knew that. I had sene the cave, I had sene the piols of fer, the fiyer, the brambels at the entrunse, the view. I had smelt the smoke, the animuls, the children, the love. In those vishuns I must of been seeing memries parsed on from my rele, aynchent muther and farther, or memries parsed on from my oridginle self. Was it like I was getting eccows of her feelings? Iyum not clever enugh to know.

‘Does that mene I have lived bifore?’

‘Not quite. Some boddy pritty much ixactly the same as you lived bifore.’

‘Why did you help us get away from the laboratry?’ I arked. ‘Do you…not like,’ I coudent really say Bludshoteyes, ….’ that Procter Docter man what kept the babies in cagis?’

‘I dont like them precisely bicause they kepe babies in cagis,’ he ansered. ‘Docter Procter wantid to kepe you in a cage, for your hole life, Sally-Anne. ‘

My hart clenched with horrer. If I coudent be owt side and fiyul the brease on my fase evry day, I think I woud die. He continewed: ‘I had a massiv falling owt with Procter and his stupid son, with me insisting on having you broght up by your suragut and having your freedum. But I never dremed they were hatching a plan to get you to be the surogut for a new generashun of battery caged neanderthal. They were one step ahed of me there.’

‘So you fownd owt I was pregnunt…’

‘And I vowed to help you kepe your baby owt of the cagis….’

‘But I woudent lisen…I thort you were crazy!’

‘I dont blame you for that,’ he laughed, ‘but I all weys had watched you from afar, taking notes and injoying the fact you were loving the owt dors, loving to darnse. You are a true oridginle, Sally-Anne. No boddy else sees things the wey you do.’

Who else had said that to me? It rang a bell. It was the lady who gave me the book to write in. This book. ‘The lady…’ I said, ‘The lady who gave me the book…’

‘Yes,’ said Prefeser Snow. ‘My wife, Cecilia. We were really hoping you might rite some of your advenchers down, as it woud be a fasinating rede.’

‘Shes going to,’ said Duncan.

I dident even know then that I really coud rite it all down. But see, I nearly have, and Iyum nearly at the end of the story so far. My hand akes fit to bust I hope you know.

I lookt over at my mum pushing the babies in the swings. ‘I have one more queschun,’ I said, wispering. ‘Why did you choose my mum/not mum? Like, shes not…..’

‘Bicause ferstly, she agreed to do it. You dont find meny who are brave enugh. Also, she had a high persentige of neyanderthal genes,’ said Snow. ‘Her blud test rejistered highist in the like leehood stakes of being abel to bring you in to the werld.’

Duncan carried on talking to CrazyStranger. It was to sientific for me so I went over to the swings. My mum was laughing. I dident think Iyud sene her laugh in yeres. ‘Look, Sally-Anne!’ she said. As the babies came for werd in the swing she was hi fiving there littel swinging fete. ‘Hi five! Hi five!’ Thay were screming with dilight.

‘Mum…do you want to buy them littel rabits?’ I arsked her, with teres prickeling bihind my eyes.

‘Oh, yes,’ she said, blinking rapidley like she had jus wokern up, ‘I do! I want to buy them rabits, and books, and ice cremes. I just had to come with the Prefeser, and see my grand childrun, and say good bye, cos….your going of… for a time?’

‘Yeh, were of to an ilund,’ I said.

I hugged my mum/not mum good bye. She felt wunderfley sollid and warm. ‘Dont eat too meny donuts and thanks…for being brave enugh to bring me in to the werld,’ I said.

‘Your a very speshul gerl, Sally-Anne,’ she said, ‘and dont you ferget it.’

‘I carnt ferget it, Mum,’ I said. ‘Its jus part of being speshul, you dont ever get to ferget it!’

On the way up to the top of Scot Land we terned up the radio and sang along lowdly. We sang ‘I want to brake free-hee!’ and ‘Were all Going on a Sunny Holiday!’ Are crappy car was back firing and fucked up but we trundeled along happiley, and sloley.

‘We can get up the top this time for shure, Sally-Anne,’ he said.

‘To the Orknees?’ I said. We had talkt abowt this a lot.

‘Yes, the Orknees.’

As we drove, I streched in to the back and held LittelBabys hand often. And LittelBruddas. I wantid to explane to them that we woud for ever be in danger but I thort may be thay all redy knew. Thay are so clever. Thay know things. More things than I do.

‘You know, Sally-Anne,’ said Duncan.

‘What Duncan?’

‘You dont have to wurry eny more abowt NarstyLady. There not going to be arfter us no more.’

‘How come? I thort thay woud be arfter us for ever.’

‘CrazyStranger, he said that as soon as we were of, he was going to hand his self in.’

‘Hand his self in?’

‘Yes, he said hes eighty two now and he dusent mind being in prison for NarstyLady if it menes that his speri mint, thats you, and the babies, can be wiold and free.’

I startid to cry with gratty chood. What a gift. I realised that if CrazyStranger loved us that much then it ment I was kind of his dorter.

Duncan startid laughing. ‘He arsked me what he shoud say if thay arsk him why he set light to her hare.’

‘What did you tell him?’ I arsked.

‘I said, ‘just say you gave her a fag so she coud have a larst smoke on her wey down the river.’

We coudent help it but we chuckeled and chuckeled abowt NarstyLady and her por berning hed all the way up to the top.

We stopt in a wood to camp, the night bifore are crossing on the erly morning ferry. When ever the babies were in naycher to gether, its like we coudent kepe are eyes of them. Thay had a beautifle bright grene shimmering light arownd them. You coud see spex of dust darncing in this light. It was like enerjy, like as if I was seeing enerjy. It moved in curves, like waves. I was addictid to wotching the babies.

LittleBrudda had soft gowldern hare all over his boddy. It was soft and moved in the wind, like the wind was brushing it. He gazed up at the sky, up at the moon. He only moved when abserlutely necisery. He charntid softly, like ‘oom, gana, wana, gana, oola moona noooog.’ He coud clime trees really well. I dident see no harm in it. I let him clime. Theres no sense taking some one owt of a cage and puting them in to anuther one, bisides wich, he was making up for lost time. ‘You go as high as you can, LittelBrudda!’ I called. So up he went, hand over hand, foot over foot. Duncan came back from finding wood for the fiyer and he looked arownd and saw LittelBaby sitting in a littel nut tree picking cob nuts. ‘Where is LittelBrudda?’ he arsked.

I pointid up in to an inormus beech tree. ‘Sally-Anne,’ said Duncan. ‘You are completley barmy! He is a baby!’

I saw that LittelBrudda was right at the top. Oops, it was bit high. ‘He might be a baby,’ I said, ‘but he is very strong and very good at climing. Bisides wich, I know what he nedes bicause I am a neander thingy and so is he.’

‘LittelBrudda!’ showtid Duncan. ‘Are you all right?’

‘Me or righ Dung Dung!’ the baby charntid back, swinging from a brarnch, miols abuv us. ‘Me high, me high, wid di berdies, no wurri!’

Duncan startid climing up. LittelBrudda showtid down to me: ‘Sally-Anne! Sally-Anne! No wurri, me hi five di toptop leves fo oo, Sally-Anne!’

Duncan went up as high as he coud to help LittelBrudda get down, but Iyum telling you, pepol like LittelBrudda…. not that there are eny, as he is uneke…. dont nede no help. He was a jenius climer, a proper legend.

We realised that night that it was LittelBabys, and there for LittelBruddas, ferst berth day, the 31st of Octoba, 2023. We lit a fiyer and sang ‘Oh dragen fly with your wings so blue,’ and ‘I….have bicome…comfterbly num,’ and ‘Happy Berth Day to you hoo.’

Next morning at dawn, porpusis lept all arownd are bowt. Slanting sun light berst thrugh clowds to glint on the dark cherning waves. Seles poked there heds owt of the water to wotch us go by and uther sele famerlies viewed us from rocks. LittelBaby was fasinatid. ‘Ooh, ooh, LittelBrudda!’ she said again and again. ‘Sele for oo. Sele for oo. Baby sele dere!’

The bowt stopt a cuple of times at rimote, wind brushed ilunds but we did not get of. We were heding as far awey as possibel from the sivel eyes ayshun. ‘Vanish, LittelBaby,’ I said, ‘thats what we nede to do, even if that CrazyStranger Snow is hanging owt in prison for us.’ I squezed her. We had a sete on the deck. She kissed my cheke and cuddeled in side my red puffa what I got from Oxfam. I looked at my luvley famerly. Duncan was in his big grene jumper with moth holes in it. LittelBaby was waring her hat with the fer lining, grene flowerey dungarees, and wellies. LittelBrudda was waring red trowsies what Duncan fownd in Sue Ryder for him, a brown fleese and a tartan hat with furrey ear flaps. They were all so gorjus I wantid to hug them tight to me for ever.

LittelBrudda was clutching on to the rales, wotching the fome bihind the bowt and the gulls weeling over the sparkeling sea. He had that far awey look in his eyes. He crooned on a mono tone: ‘Goo nana wolla noo noo….Flana gonoo omma wooooo.’

‘Spirit is evry thing,’ translaytid LittelBaby, popping her hed owt of my puffa, ‘life is a fract chured sperience, but in the end, we are all one.’


‘Yes, Sally-Anne?’

‘Whats fract chured?’ we said together. We laughed.

‘It menes brokern,’ Duncan said.

Its lucky that I can under stand Duncan, and Duncan can under stand LittelBaby, and LittelBaby can under stand LittelBrudda, uther wise in are famly there woud be a bit of a langwidge baryer.

The End

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Wantababy: Chapter 20

Duncan, why carnt I go on my fase book?

Oh Duncan, stoppit! I jus  want to go on my fase book!

Chapter 20.

Are tires squeled as Steve had to yank the van rownd in a cercle rarther than crash in to the gates. A littel car was roaring along biside us. I wotched as it drove right up clowse to the men shutting the gates.  An arm came owt the windo and sprayed some thing at them. Thay recoiled in pane, screming. A skinny old man, oh my god it was CrazyStranger, how dus he get in on evry thing, then lept owt of the car and heved on the metel gates to opern them for us. We saled thrugh and Steve stepped on it. I strapped LittelBaby in to her sete and kept LittelBrudda on my nees. I operned the fridge and got owt some donuts as I coud tell the por babies had been pritty much starved in that horribel lab.

Arfter less than a minit, Zoe showtid from the frunt. ‘Weve got cumpny!’

Duncan looked owt the windo. ‘Shit, there trying to ram us in the arse,’ he said.

I looked at the sticky donut in my hand. I had a good idear. Some times I am jus brillyunt like that. I have really good idears like owt of no where.

The Dunkin Donuts van is very cool as you can serve donuts owt the side and coffees owt the back. Still clutching on to LittelBrudda, I flipped the hook on the cownter at the back and it dropped down. We were ram paging along back werds, looking straight at BludShotEyes and Monobrow who were  driving like the clappers and looking right in to my eyes. I picked up a nice sticky creme filled donut and threw it with all my strenth at there wind screne. Sadley, I missed by abowt a miol and hit a por man riding a long on his bisickle. I always was shit at throwing.

LittelBrudda lent side weys from my arms and swiped a donut. I thort he must be hungry. ‘Yeh, you go ahed and eat one, LittelBrudda,’ I said. He jus looked at me like I was crazy and threw the donut smack into BludShotEyes wind screne. He picked up two more in each hand. Smack, Smack, Smack, Smack evry donut hit its targit and berst its jucy in sides, custerd or jam, all over the glars. I handid LittelBrudda a cupel more custerd filled ones. Bulls eye, bulls eye dispite BludShotEyes car swerving abowt like mad. Oh, yes, he had a good eye, that baby.

‘Good skillz, LittelBrudda,’ yelled Duncan who had sene evry thing in his mirrers. The wind screne of the car bihind was smery custardy yello with red jammy splogis. Thay put there wind screne wipers on wich dident help, as it jus made the hole wind screne yello and red mixed, so a sort of disgusting browny goo. BludShotEyes wownd down his windo and stuck his hed owt of it in a desprit bid to see where he was going. LittelBrudda was redy for him with a jammy one square in the fase. That was the larst straw and thay veered of the rode in to the ditch.

I lent back and rilaxed. I strapt LittelBrudda in next to LittelBaby. He was looking less ugley to me by the secund. ‘Whats your rele name? WunderBoy?’ I arsked him.

‘He LittelBrudda!’ cried LittelBaby, dis mayed again (she all weys sownds dis mayed) at the thort he might have anuther name.

‘Me One Nine Tree,’ he said. ‘But now me LittelBrudda me tink.’ Wow, his fase when he smiold was jus extrordinry.

We stopped at a super markit car park. Steves friend was there with a car. Zoe and Steve helped us piol the babies in. I still thort it was weerd that Zoe was Steves sister. Zoe said ‘Hey Sally-Anne. I can see why you wantid to kepe your baby. Shes imminensly cool, thats why.’

‘Thank you, Zoe,’ I said. ‘Thank you for helping us get the babies owt.’

‘Iyum sorry,’ she said, hugging me, ‘that I forsed you in to all this.’

‘Zoe,’ I said, ‘if you hadent, LittelBaby woudent be in the werld, and LittelBrudda woud be in a cage for the rest of his life, wich woud be a massiv tradgerdy.’

We waved them of. I got in the frunt next to Duncan. The car was quite crappy but more nippy than the van at least. I got a crick in my neck staring rownd at LittelBrudda. He was abserlutely captivating. Gorjuss. Intellijence radiatid owt of his eyes. The babies fell aslepe all most at the same instunt, as we got onto the M6. The car was ratterling and banging, but thay dident care. I saw there hands creeping over to wards each uther in there slepe. The next time I looked rownd, thay were clutching each uthers hands.

Duncan was looking in the mirrer. ‘Some ones following us,’ he said. ‘Look,’ and he pulled owt past a red Toyota with a granny driving it, and pulled in again arfter. The car bihind us followed us smoothly. It was uncomfertably close bihind us. I peped over my sete.

‘Two pepol,’ I riported. ‘Looks like two men.’

‘Shit,’ said Duncan, ‘Shit, shit, shit, how did the wankers find us?’

‘You can get awey from them,’ I said. ‘You are clever and strong and brave.’

He looked at me. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘you only think I am clever and strong and brave bicause in relashun to you I am.’

‘Your not my relashun,’ I said. ‘You are jus my boy friend.’

Duncan pulled owt into the therd lane. ‘What you doing?’ I said.

‘Wotch this,’ said Duncan. He continewed in the therd lane, crusing to the right of a grene minni in the secund lane. The car following us came quite clowse bihind us in the therd lane too. ‘Hold tight,’ said Duncan. ‘Theres an exit, Sally-Anne, what Iyum gonna take, but, right now, Iyum prertending Iyum not gonna take it, OK?’

The next secund he had yanked the stereing weel to the left and zipped in frunt of the minni what beeped, then cut across the ferst lane in frunt of a lorry what honked and zoomed left up one of those lanes that you are not ment to go on un less you are an imergency. The car following us had not had time to do all that and was stuck on the moter way.

‘Oh, your so clever, Duncan!’ I brethed in admirashun. He is a grate boy friend aksholy.

We kept driving as farst as we coud. It felt grate to have two babies insted of one. I kept looking rownd at LittelBrudda. He was so intreaging. We were still heding North. This time we woud get the bowt to the far ilands.

‘Thayull be arfter us, Sally-Anne,’ he kept saying, checking the mirrers, ‘we carnt stop.’

‘Who is thay?’ I arsked.

‘Who knows?’ he ansered. ‘But the police for one. Bicause of you know who.’ We dident like talking abowt NarstyLady, so we tried not to menshun her name. ‘And then, sientists from LittelBruddas lab. You carnt jus waltz in, grab some ones clone speri mint and not ixpect reeper cushons.’

‘Duncan?’ I said.

‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said.

‘Whats reeper cushons?’ we said to gether.

I laughed bicause Duncan all weys knows what I am going to say.

‘Its like when something happerns bicause of what you did,’ he said.

‘But evry thing happerns bicause of what some boddy did,’ I said.

He smiold. ‘I guess thats true,’ he said.

So dus that mene evry thing is a reeper cushon then? So insted of saying ‘Hows things?’ you woud say ‘Hows reeper cushons?’ Onistley, why pepol have to go using really long werds to explane some thing really quite simpel I will never know.

I looked owt of the car windo at the grars vergis going by. Sheep, and horsis, probly with werms in there lungs, and fiyulds. Littel towns, rows of howsis. I wundered what evry one was doing in those howsis, in the towns, in the werld. Can eny one ever know what goes on in pepols howsis? No, is the anser. Thay carnt. I wundered if pepols thorts all kind of add up and make one big wall of muddel and wether we can may be change things with are thorts.

‘Duncan?’ I said.

‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said, pulling owt parst a lorry and changing into fith gear and squeezing my leg like all at once.

‘Can we change things with are thorts?’ I arsked.

He was quiert for a bit. Sometimes my queschuns are so hard that even Duncan carnt anser them.

‘I think so,’ he said. ‘Some times. Uther times, no.’

I looked at him. He nodded in to the back setes at LittelBrudda. ‘See, are thorts got him owt. We magined how it woud be and we thort it thrugh and then we did it.’

I laughed. ‘I dident magine it quite like that thogh. I never thort Iyud get to have a go on that chare on weels.’

‘When we have a howse,’ said Duncan, ‘Iyull buy you a chare on weels like that.’

‘Thay are quite hard to get owt of,’ I tolled him. ‘If I hadent come up against the wall ivensholy, I woud still be going back werds and trying to get up.’

‘Iyull get you one with a brake,’ he said.

We picked up some rolls, cheese, termartoes and lettis at an MnS, left the A rode arfter abowt an awer and took a winding lane thrugh a forist. Ortum was in full flud arownd us, gowld and yello and red leves tumberling down. We stopt by a river. We had to, to let the babies have a wee. They hardley needid nappies as they liked to wee owt in naycher. We had a pick nick. I jumped up and down and did a bit of darnsing cos I was stiff from siting in the van so long. LittelBaby stomped up to the streme. LittelBrudda followed her. ‘LittelBrudda!’ said LittelBaby, pointing at the streme. ‘Ook. Big big iver.’

‘Ooh,’ said Brudda, ‘Wotta dat?’ stufing cheese in his mowth like he hadent eaten for a munth. Thay padeled in the streme. Thay splashed each uther. Thay dident seem to fiyul the cold. Thay picked up pebbels. LittelBrudda terned his fase up to the sun and looked at the shimmering leves in wunder.

We drove on. We had joined up with the M6 again. It felt like are hole life was going to be spent on this rode.. Are next stop was of the moter wey. We went along side a fiyuld with cows and stopped by a ford. LittelBrudda woke up and blinked at the sun light. ‘Oh, oh,’ he said when he spottid the cows.

LittelBaby looked at him. ‘Cow,’ she said.

‘Cow,’ said LittelBrudda. ‘Oo, big dat.’

LittelBabys eyes filled with teres. ‘LittelBrudda never seed a cow bifore,’ she exclamed. ‘Por LittelBrudda. Mama we gotta showshow LittelBrudda evry ting. All de hole werld.’ She took LittelBrudda by the hand. Thay toddeled of to gether. ‘You knowknow de rose hip?’ LittelBaby picked a rose hip and gave it to LittelBrudda. You knowknow de blatt berris?’ She picked a black berry for him. She picked up a pebble. ‘Peddel,’ she said and parsed it to him.

‘Peddel,’ he said.

‘Ha ha,’ said Duncan, weeping with the funny ness of it. ‘Pebbel, pebbel, LittelBrudda.’

We had to let them have a rest. We had been driving for awers. We were nere the border. I sat by the streme on a rock. I put my toes in the water and wotched LittelBaby and LittelBrudda picking up pebbels and throwing them plop into the streme. It was like perfict. We were a proper famly. I wantid these moments to larst for ever. I wantid to kepe LittelBrudda and LittelBaby safe. Bu I under stood suddernly that these moments are so preshus bicause there are not aloud for there to be too meny of them. I was scared. ‘Duncan?’ I said.

‘Yes, Sally-Anne,’ he said. He was lying on a bank in the long tangerled grars and daysies and moss, hands bihind his hed, his eyes clowsed.

‘How can we kepe things like this, Duncan? How can we hold on to LittelBaby and LittelBrudda?’

There was a pause. All I coud here was the rushing of the water in the streme and the squeles of dilight of the babies. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he said.

‘Yes?’ I said.

‘Im not shure we can,’ he said. ‘I think thay are some pepol very cross abowt us having LittelBrudda. Thay are angry with us. Crazy angry probly and trying to find us.’

I felt teres going down my chekes, farster and farster, plopping and plopping on to the erth. ‘I know,’ I said, ‘I know, Duncan.’

I went over to him on the bank and lay biside him. I put my hed on his arm pit. We held each uther tight and warm. Duncan was kind. Its like he coud fiyul my down hartidness. We wotched LittelBaby and LittelBrudda padeling in the streme thrugh harf shut eye lids. My teres made evry thing split into rane bows. Big arcs of meny culours sored across my vishun. LittelBaby and LittelBrudda were un bareabley beautifle suddernly. My boddy gave a sob. Duncans arms hugged me harder. ‘Dont be sad, Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘Whatever happerns, no one can take this awey from us, what weyuv had all redy.’

‘But LittelBaby and LittelBrudda nede us,’ I sobbed, ‘and thay nede each uther.’

Arfter anuther four awers driving we put up the tent in a cops near Inverness. We were of the rode in thrugh a mass of brambels in a real thickit. No boddy coud of spottid us even if thay were looking.

The babies were talking to gether in there own non sencicol langwidge. ‘A gogo gotta peddle for youyou.’

‘For meme! Peddel! Tank oo.’

‘Me trow dat peddel farfar wayway.’

Thay waddeled abowt with there littel nakid boddys in the dapply evening sun. I went in to kind of a trance with the beauty of it. The berds were signing, the grarses were softly sweying and the erth semed to be brething. The light was pulsating softley. The babies ate more bred, sardines, appels and black berris. Then thay crawled in to the tent and fell aslepe with there arms arownd each uther. I crept in biside them. LittelBaby opernd her eyes and looked at me. ‘Mudda,’ she said, ‘I lub LittelBrudda. I lub hib so much.’

‘I love LittelBrudda too, LittelBaby,’ I said, ‘and I love you too, very very much.’

She nuzeled in to my arm and fell aslepe.

Next day, we left at five in the morning and drove and drove. ‘LittelBaby,’ I said. ‘The truth is, the pepol who had LittelBrudda in the cage will want him back. Thay are looking for us.’

‘I know dat, Mudda,’ she said, solemley. ‘But I tell dem, dey can not hab de LittelBrudda. He my Brudda. I need hib.’

I cried again, looking at her and how luvley she was. How coud I tell her that her needs had nuthing to do with it? How coud I tell her how evil the werld was?

‘Mudda,’ she said. ‘LittelBrudda made me fiyul bedda. I fiyul hole proper. I fiyul me. I am me.’ She gazed at LittelBrudda with love. He looked at her owt of his massiv black eyes. When thay looked at each uther there was like a flash, a spark of elexrisaty. You coud see it.

We all weys tried to stop at farst flowing rivers as they loved water so much. At abowt eleven in the morning, we stopped nere Aberdene, and wotched them in growing wunder as thay played to gether. Thay were scooping up the sandy mud from the botterm of the streme and slopping it into piols on the rocks. ‘Me make an ‘owse,’ said LittelBaby. She piold sticks and pebbels on to it and scooped owt the middel. She stuck things in the top. LittelBrudda did the same. He smoothed the big piol of wet mud with his hand. He fetched water in a big flat lefe and pored it over the top to make it smooth. He cuvered the owt side with leves. He made a dor. He was so abzorbed in his tarsk and we were so abzorbed wotching him, even LittelBaby, who was fetching piols of leves and grars, that we dident see them approche. We dident here a thing until we were sarowndid by and hand cuffs snaked rownd my rist and clicked. I exclamed and looked rownd. Duncan had been pinned to the grownd by a humungus uniformed thug.

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