Fifteen

On the eve of her fifteenth birthday he arrived. A deal was a deal after all. Her mother had promised him that he could have her when she turned fifteen. She’d always known that this would be so, but she still did not want to go with him. He was not attractive; he looked more like a toad than a man.

On her birthday morning her mother gave her cake for breakfast and a silver amulet for luck. Then, her clothes packed in a small suitcase with wheels, she set off with the toadman.

He drove a Cadillac. She had to admit that was cool {she still didn’t like him}. He wore skinny jeans and winkle picker boots, again that made him hip and cool {but she still didn’t like him}. He played rockabilly on the radio and that was cool too {she was never going to like him}.

Intriguingly he did not speak. When she thought back he hadn’t spoken to her mother either, just sat in the car all night waiting for her fifteenth birthday to dawn.

After many hours of driving {most of which she slept through}, they arrived at his house. Toad hall she called it in her mind, trying not to remember how fond she’d been of toad, ratty and mole in her youth {she wasn’t going to like him}.

She soon settled into the routine the housekeeper outlined for her. She only saw the toadman at dinner everyday. He never spoke, just ate his dinner in silence, stared solemnly at her and then left.

One day a tall man in a dark cloak burst in upon their evening meal.

“Aha!! You thought to deceive me!” he screamed quite demonically. “She’s coming with me!”

He went to grab her arm. Now she’d had enough of being ordered about and in the last few months things had become clearer in her head. She’d become an expert at housework, witchcraft and self defence. The toadman’s housekeeper was an excellent teacher. So, she stabbed her fork into his hand and hit him over the head with the wine bottle. The red wine seemed to have an unfortunate effect on the caped man, as he melted clean away.  Simultaneously the toadman grew taller and leaner and helluva lot better looking. He still looked a little toady. But it was a vast improvement on before.

“Thank you” he croaked.

“No problem” she said settling back down to finish her dinner.

So they sat together in comfortable silence, ate their Shepherd’s Pie, followed by Jam Roly Poly and custard.

{she was starting to like him}

Copyright April 2013

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