William had finished writing. There was ink rubbed into his fingers, splatterings on his shirtsleeves and even a little up his nose. His parchment was full of words though. He smoothed the corner with his thumb and felt a puff of pride.
It was a story about a cat and a dog. They were good friends but weren’t supposed to be. They came from families who didn’t get along but they loved each other so they ran away together, travelling all the way to London.
Cat and dog got chased by a fierce, sharp-toothed bear in a forest twenty times the size of the woods around William’s house. They stayed over night on an island where they sheltered from a storm that roared around them like an angry lion. They met a daft talking wall, a grumpy king and some soldiers on horseback setting off to fight a battle in a far off country. William added a ghost, a funny jester and a princess to his story. When cat and dog arrived in London they were very tired. They found a room in the King’s palace and fell asleep.
William gazed down at his work. He was still in the story so he didn’t hear her come in. A hand snatched the parchment away. The quill fell to the floor.
‘Come William. We have business in Coventry. We must leave now.’
Mother threw the parchment on the fire and William watched the flames gather around it. All his wonderful inky words, and over an hour’s work, gone in seconds. He looked up at his mother, sighed and accepted it.
As they walked through the wood, William could see pictures in his head. He could still hear cat and dog voices. They shouted, whispered, laughed and cried. William felt what they were feeling and he knew he could recall the tale. Maybe he could write it even better next time. He remembered how cat and dog died. He wanted it to be sad at the end. Sad like his brother and sister who’d died before he was born. Making you want to start again from the beginning, even though you couldn’t.
Yes. Deliciously sad.