Princess by Jude Higgins

My brothers lifted up the mattress  on my bed and  weaselled in my hairbrush, a couple of hard plastic baby dolls, three Enid Blyton books, Dad’s metal ashtray and discarded pipe, an empty bottle of PLJ, Mum’s summer sling-backs and pot of Nivea, the family bible, grandpa’s pewter tankard, my five year diary, a toasting fork, a packet of Vesta curry and one of Instant Whip, a tin of pilchards, a jar of Shiphams potted meat, the fish knives and forks, the silver plated trophy I won on Sports Day, my box Brownie, my rubber swimming shoes, my transistor radio, our dog’s slobbered tennis ball, my set of glass animals, including Bambi, and although for tea we ate egg on toast instead of packet curry and Instant Whip, grandpa was grumpy without his tankard, Dad had to tap out his new pipe in the waste bin, Mum accused me of taking her face cream, the dog whined for his toy and I wanted to listen to Radio Luxembourg under the bedclothes, I still slept all night and didn’t feel a thing through the mattress and at  breakfast, when my brothers let on, Dad told them to stop sniggering, then smiled at me, said I looked pretty in my summer dress and in the evening when we opened the chocolates he’d bought for a treat, after Mum said ‘no’, she was on a diet, he let me choose first and I picked the  nougat and the toffee, my brothers’ favourites.

Jude Higgins’ flashfiction chapbook The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017 and she has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. She runs Bath Flash Fiction Award, directs the Flash Fiction Festivals UK and the short short fiction press, Ad Hoc Fiction. @judehwriter