Brother For Sale - Chapter 7
I put Todd inside the teddy suit and picked him up. He blew raspberries on my cheek as I opened the door.
“About blooming time too!” The old woman snatched Todd. She squinted, turned him upside down and shook him like a jammed ketchup bottle. Todd gurgled and grinned. “Look Lilly – it moves and makes noises all by itself.”
The old lady threw Todd into the girl’s outstretched arms. “Careful!” I said, “You might hurt him.”
“It’s not a him, it’s a her,” the girl squeaked. She pulled a pink ribbon from her bag and tied it round Todd’s neck. “You can’t hurt teddies. Teddies are soft.”
“Well this one you can,” I squeaked back, trying to untie the ribbon, “so just be careful.”
The old woman squeezed my wrist and leaned towards me. “It doesn’t belong to you no more sonny. Now go get your mummy.” Her breath stank of minty cat food.
“Mum’s just popped out,” I said.
“Well here’s the money. Daylight robbery tell her, but what can you do.” She slapped the wad of notes into my hand. “Right come on Lilly. Give me teddy. I’m going to be late for bingo.”
I slammed the door and pushed my back against it, gasping for breath. I stared at the dirty cash between my fingers and shoved it in my pocket.
I dashed to the window. The old granny was half way down the path. Todd reached his arms towards the front door. He saw me peeping from behind the curtains and stretched his open teddy arms, right at me.
And that’s when it happened. First time ever.
Todd began to cry.
In half a second, sniffles turned to wails. His face was red as a strawberry splat and he wriggled like a wild cat in the old woman’s arms.
What had I done? What was I thinking?
Granny spun round. I half expected her throbbing face to turn green and muscles to rip open her coat. I swept the curtains closed.
Seconds later, thumps and punches hammered against the door.
“Lewis! What’s going on in there?” It was Mum. I had to get my brother back and quick.