There seemed hundreds of people crammed into the little Victorian house. Allie wandered around the black clad trunks of their legs, worrying that they’d somehow make the walls fall down. Her mother was always instructing her not to put too many things in her dolls house, in case it collapsed from the weight.

Hushed voices and tears filled every crevice of each room, frightening the imaginatively named “Polly” into silence. Even she, a bird of relatively modest intellect, understood that this was not a time for song. There was an unearthly stillness, despite the many people, and they all moved slowly, as if trying to break out of a paused moment on the VCR.

Allie wondered absently how so many people could make so little noise. It wasn’t like this when she’d had her birthday a few weeks ago. There were only about twenty people in the house then, but they were very loud! There were coloured balloons at her party, and a clown who was comical just to look at. Allie decided this gathering looked like it needed some coloured balloons and a clown too, maybe then Polly would sing again, and the sun would be able to break through the heavy mist that seemed to hang over the house, or at least those inside it.

Once she’d finished her tour of each room, memorizing the faces that took the time to look down at her, Allie found herself back in the living room. Her mother was sitting curled up in the big, brown leather armchair, a mug of coffee cooling on the table beside. She’d never seen her mother sitting there before, it was “dad’s chair” and her mother hated it, claiming that it didn’t go with any of the other furniture. But today she seemed to cling to it like a lifeboat, coiled up, her feet beneath her as though she wanted every part of her body touching the leather. As if she wanted to melt into it and become “mother armchair”. And there were tears, pouring from her eyes, spilling onto the leather, making it glisten.

Allie crawled onto her mothers lap, and stroked her hair, murmuring the soothing nothings that she’d heard so many times after a nightmare. She wanted to ask why her father wasn’t home yet; wanted him to be here to stop all the crying. Someone had said that he’d gone to heaven, which sounded like a beautiful place, with castles made of stars, floating on puffy white clouds. But she missed him, and it was time for him to come home now. Allie wondered if they could go and visit, and somehow discovered the voice to ask as much, but no one seemed to want to answer. She found herself instead, lifted away from her mother – whose body had started to shake from the effort of sucking in each breath of air – and hugged so tightly that she almost couldn’t breath.

Later, once she’d escaped from the sobbing mournful faces, Allie sat on the floor of her room with her pencils strewn around her, and drew a picture. It was an image of her father standing at the edge of a cloud, and her mother and herself on the ground below in front of their house, looking up at him. Before putting away the paper and drawing materials, Allie took a brown pencil from the bottom of the tin, and drew a road from the cloud to their house, so that he wouldn’t get lost on his way home…

By Audryn

I search for truth and understanding...


  1. I’m really glad you asked us what we thought of this (on “Of A Grandma”), it’s fantastically written, so well that theres absolutely nothing to draw away from the vivid images that it creates. Touching, I love it.

  2. Thankyou for the great comment! 🙂 This is actually the first story I’ve ever handed in for my creative writing subject at Uni, only I had to add a paragraph because of word limit’s, which isn’t in this version. I’m glad you liked it, hopefully my tutor will also! 🙂

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