Brother For Sale - Chapter 8
I flung open the door and tried to grapple Todd free.
The mean old lady swiped my hands away like a ninja . “You said it didn’t cry. How do you turn the blasted thing off? Tell me quick or I might do something I regret sonny.”
The little girl squealed like a mad ref’s whistle.
I got hold of Todd’s feet but granny had his arms and wouldn’t let go.
“What on earth is going on?!” Mum swooped between us and pulled Todd to her chest. “Call the police Lewis. Quickly!”
“It should be me calling the police. This is a mad house! You’re a liar sonny - you said the stupid teddy never cries.”
“Stupid teddy!?” Snake-veins bulged in Mum's neck. “How dare you? This stupid teddy's my son!” Todd sobbed even more.
Looking like champion curlers, neighbours congregated at the end of our path sweeping up non-existent leaves.
“Tell me what happened Lewis?" Mum said, "I can trust you.” The granny fixed her gaze on me. My time was up. I had to do something or the old woman would blow my story.
Just as she was about to speak, I blurted, “She tried to kidnap Todd. When I answered the door, she pretended she was a... postman.” I looked at the pink girl sucking her thumb. “And while she kept me talking, that girl sneaked into the house and took Todd.”
The granny said nothing. She didn’t even argue. She lifted her wrinkled hand and flung it towards my trousers. Her chewed up nails clawed around my pocket like a crab. “Kidnapper eh?” She snatched the wad of notes and waved them in front of my face. “Maybe you want to tell your mum how you got this?”
Mum went still. She turned to face me. Her mouth gaped open beneath the deafening stare.
“Come on Lilly. They're one goose short of a gaggle.” The old lady took her granddaughter’s hand and elbowed her way through the neighbours. “Lunatics - the bleeding lot of them.”
Todd cried on and on and on.
Mum's lips shrunk to a tight pout. Her wide, teary eyes closed to a squint. Bullets of rage shot from her glare and peppered my body with fear. She stretched out her arm and pointed a shaking index finger, towards the open front door.