Friday, 14 December 2012

The Friday Column - Her Storybook Life




As Katie settled down to sleep that night she wondered how on earth her life had come to this.

Where once it had shown promise it seemed now that her life was following in the pattern of the very books that her mother had read to her as a child and the books she had read whilst seeking solace in her bedroom.
   
A childhood devoid of happy memories things hadn’t got off to a good start when she started school. With deep fiery red hair and tight ringlet curls the other children poked fun at her, how she yearned for straight blonde wispy hair and blue eyes just like the popular girls – She felt like The Ugly Duckling.

At least her home life was warm and loving she thought as she ran home, as fast as her gangly legs could carry her. Until one day, instead of seeing her father sat in his favourite chair, she spotted an unfamiliar man bent yet rigid chuckling to himself. Her mother beckoned Katie over as she walked through the front door and introduced her to her new father, she never saw her real father again. Just as had happened in David Copperfield, this new man was cruel and violent to both Katie and her mother and Katie knew she had no option but to escape his evil clutches as soon as she could.

The streets of London were paved with gold she remembered reading in Dick Whittington and so she made her way there to seek her fame and fortune only to find a distinct lack of gold but plenty of people ready to take advantage of her or look down and walk past.  Alone in the world with nothing to get up for day to day, she would sit and cry or beg in order to afford a morsel of food.

Days weeks and months merged into one, with no concept of time her only clues were the changing of the weather and the window displays in the shops. As the lights went up and people gathered for the lighting ceremony she knew Christmas was impending, people bustled past laden with bags, the shops full of seasonal merchandise and cheerful tunes bellowed from the doorways Katie felt sadder than ever and less hopeful of her future.

At the next corner Katie turned and started to walk away from the shops, she felt no festive cheer and for what was probably the millionth time she felt a tear drop fall down her cheek. As she passed by the houses she saw yet more things that reminded her of everything that she was missing out on. She had barely eaten in days, there was no roof over her head, she had no one to chat to and share laughter with.

Approaching a house she peered through the window, against a backdrop of opulence she saw the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, she witnessed a family coming together at the dining table ready for a feast, her eyes widened in awe at the most magnificent display of food she had ever seen.  Katie felt her knees wobble, she was cold and so very hungry, her eyes were struggling to stay open.  Just like in the Little Match Girl, the saddest book she had ever read, she wondered if this was real or just a vision and laid down to bed.  That night drifting to sleep she wasn't certain she would ever awake.

On Christmas morning Katie felt a gentle tap on her shoulder, a lady dressed in white from top to toe with long flowing blonde hair smiled warmly and invited her in..



An original work of fiction - all rights reserved
Illustration from www.freedigitalphotos.net

2 comments:

  1. What a lovely story. So, was the lady in white an angel taking her away, or someone saving her from the streets?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really enjoyed reading this and am interested to know who the lady is... I like your references to the books. You've really captured Katie's sadness amidst everyone else's joy.

    ReplyDelete

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