Creative Writing, Words, Not War

Nasty Bug

for emily

Mummy held my hand this morning and told me things were changing. Apparently, there is a nasty bug that’s making people poorly and we need to keep safe. So we can’t go to the park tomorrow, we won’t see our friends at nursery, and I won’t be able to see the animals at the zoo. 

“But,” Mummy said, “it means we’ll be spending lots more time exploring indoors. Both of us together, finding things to do.” 

I ran upstairs and grabbed my favourite blankey, and snuggled up on Mummy’s lap. It sounded a bit frightening, this big bug chasing people. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to imagine what it would look like.

Five beady black eyes on stalks as tall as buildings, peeping round houses, trying to find us. A purple body with spidery legs all the way along it, scuttling through the streets, coming to catch me. Slimy trails behind its bum like the slugs leave in our garden sometimes. 

My tummy felt fluttery and my eyes were stinging until they started leaking. Mummy squeezed me tight and told me that it was OK to be a bit frightened – she was a bit frightened too – as long as I remembered she would always keep me safe. Mummy cried a bit too. 

Then, this man came up on our telly. He looked a bit tired, with floppy hair and little eyes. He was sitting at a desk, with his hands crossed. 

“Who’s that man there? What does he want? Why does he have so much serious on his face? Has he got a hairbrush? What is he saying now? Can we go to the park, now? Can the bug get into our house like the ants do sometimes? Will you be my teacher now? What are we having for dinner?”

Mummy didn’t answer my questions today. Today she just held my hand. Mummy looked worried. I held her hand even tighter. When the man had finished talking, Mummy said ‘that’s enough of that’, and switched on my favourite cartoon, but it didn’t look like she had forgotten what the man said. 

Mummy went into the kitchen to make our dinner (I still didn’t know what it was), and I sat down at my colouring table, picked up my crayons and started to draw. I drew five beady black eyes on stalks, a purple body with spidery legs and a big slimy trail behind its bum. I coloured it in the neatest I’ve ever coloured in before, and underneath it, I drew a picture of me and Mummy fighting the big nasty bug. Mummy felt sad about the man on the telly, but I didn’t. 

I went in the kitchen and pulled Mummy’s trouser leg, holding out my picture of the Nasty Bug. She laughed and held it up and said “well that’s a very nasty bug indeed.” I told Mummy that we were fighting it and that it didn’t matter what happened because I would always keep her safe too. Mummy smiled then. 

“I know we can’t go the park Mummy. I know we have to stay indoors. But we can have lots of fun together, can’t we? I can make a den and we can hide from the Bug in it and we can eat a picnic in the garden and dance in the kitchen. And you’ll still be able to read me a story before bed, won’t you?”

Mummy picked me up and rested me on her hip. “I will read you a story every night.”

“Then that’s the best thing in the world Mummy. I love you very much.”

“I love you too.”

Me and Mummy are staying at home now, but we will have lots of fun together. My Mummy is my hero. I’m tucked up in bed waiting for my story. I think she’s still a bit worried, but she doesn’t need to be. Because she’s my superhero, and as long as we’re together, we can beat any mean old Bug. 

A short story a day, throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. By me, for you.

#wordsnotwars #fictionforfriends #proseforpals

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