A bed time story…for everyone


Margaret in Lower III received some good news this week:  her 1000 word story was awarded Certificate of Merit and selected to be published in the Annual Showcase 2023 – Inspired Words book.

But you don’t need to wait for the book to come out, as Margaret has kindly supplied it for our Gateway readers. Congratulations Margaret!

I look left and right, edging towards the road

“Bye mom, I’m just going to leave for town, okay?” I hear nothing so I just sling my bag over my shoulder and go. Opening the door, I glance towards the road and start walking towards the bus stop. 

I get on, and the driver looks at me and points at a sign saying,’Under 15 and alone? Can’t ride! Call the manager’s number and wait for further instructions.’. My voice slows down at the end and I glare at the driver. “Sorry hun, but that’s the rules!’

A voice startles me, and I turn around, looking to see who it is. It’s a man, with black hair, and a purple hat with a curly, golden ‘W’ on it. He notices me looking at it and quickly hides it behind his back, and then starts to speak.

“She’s my wife,” he says, and both the bus driver and I look at him, confused and puzzled

“I mean my daughter, no! Niece, yes. That’s it, she’s um, uh my niece!”, he stops, and then grins at the driver. The driver nods suspiciously, and gestures for me to go in the sitting area.

I stay until it’s my stop and get off.The man gets off first, and I’m about to leave when I turn around, pivoting on the heel of my shoes. 

“Hey, thank you for the-”, I start but he’s gone. I look around but no one seems to have noticed, so I carry on until I reach a bench and sit down, and I think I’m falling asleep……

I look left and right, edging towards the road. A tesla whizzes past me, blowing my hazelnut brown hair right into my face. I check once more, proceeding to carry on my crossing. I arrive  at the house. I look up, eyeing it. The windows with the cracked surface, the abandoned hedge, the disapproving shadow of the moving thing. Wait, what? I frown and tip-toe further into the thorny entrance, lying motionless as I spot something catching the corner of my eye. Ugh, well if I tell you you’re probably not going to believe me, but at this moment in time, you’re going to have to. I see a bright yellow care bear, the kind that my 13 year old sister wanted for her birthday ( weird, right? ), with a heart-shaped nose and all that jazzy stuff. Now this isn’t weird anymore, but just creepy in a fascinating sort of way. I pinch myself and my thoughts immediately tell me, Rebel, you’re an 11 year old girl, and not a baby, so stop imagining!!!

I close my eyes shut and inhale a deep breath. Opening my eyes again, I shake my head, and peer round the battered gate. Seeing nothing, I open it slowly, the creaking noise making me grimace in fear.  Cautiously walking towards the door, I finally reach it, thinking how I’m going to unlock it. Fiddling with my hair, my fingers reach the figure of a hairpin, and pulling it out carefully, I bend it to form the shape of a key and fit it in the hole, pushing the door open. 

Multicoloured fairy lights hang from place to place, tinsels glistening in the light, and a little party hat stacks on the floor. Peter Rabbit hops down the stairs, followed by Jemima Puddleduck, who was squawking every step of the way, and his two friends, Lily Bobtail and Cousin Benjamin Bunny, who was holding his green hat. Moanna strolls out of another room, followed by Alice from Wonderland and The White Rabbit with a stopwatch slithers through them, shouting ‘I’m late, I’m late!’. I glance up to the ceiling and then stare at it a second time. I could have sworn I saw something. I’m about to look away when Lucy, Peter, Susan and Edward walk down a spiralling staircase. I ramble down the hallway, pausing halfway to touch an engraved name in a wooden template, which keeps changing form. All of a sudden Peter Pan and Wendy fly past me, and Lilo and Stitch come. Then, in sync, everyone stops and stares at me. I gasp back, my body shaking with terror, and reach for the door handle, and that’s when everybody’s smile wipes off their face into a frown, and I kid you not when I tell you this, they literally say, at the same time, 

“What are you doing?”

“Um, going?”


“To my house….”

“Noooooooo!!!”, and they all start running towards me in slow-motion and they start fighting over who’s holding my hand, so I just said that they can share my hands. They just giggle. Then I yawned and, you’re probably wondering why I wrote this down but they literally laughed for like, 20 straight minutes afterwards, no breaks to gasp for air, just continuous laughing, and I well, I started to get a bit concerned, and yeah. I started to calm them down, like a normal person would, and I decided to finally say my first proper 20 word sentence. Okay, here goes. 

‘Hello! My name is Rebel and I’m 11 years old. I live across the road and I broke in here. That’s about 18 words, huh? Okay, I don’t think they understand me. Let’s try this again. Hello! My name is Rebel and-’

‘We heard you the first time kiddo’, a minion says in a really annoying high pitched voice. 

“Well, we might as well give you a tour-”,

Then they look around to face the man that was on the bus.

“Hey, I know you, you’re the one on the bus! You’re Willy Wonka!”

I stop, but there’s no one there. I gape around, but all that’s on the bench are some toys. A care bear, Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Lily Bobtail, Cousin Benjamin Bunny, Moanna Alice from Wonderland, The White Rabbit, Lucy, Peter, Susan, Edward, Peter Pan, Wendy, Lilo and Stitch. I recognise them but I can’t remember where.

I gasp, and gasp again.

 I think they’re from……….


By Margaret W, Lower III

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