This Writing Life - Bedtime Stories

My brothers and I shared a bedroom on vacation when we were small. We'd crawl into our bunks and Mum and Dad would pop in to say goodnight. Then... it was storytime. I remember telling endless adventures with Stingray and Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, a bit of Supercar thrown in for good measure, and of course, my secret ingredient--those unknown heroines who always came to the rescue when the world was falling down. I don't recall what mystical name I gave them, but I know they were powerful women, even more secret, even more clever than International Rescue, and they always won.

I remember feeling nervous sometimes, because my stories gave me a power I didn't deserve. That awesome threat: "You do as I say or I shan't tell you the next bit of the story when we go to bed." I really hated it when I had to go through with my threat. All those words spinning busily round in my head and I couldn't let them out. Much better when the brothers gave in. Then I would just feel guilty instead of guilty and sad.

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