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Friday, 18 July 2014

KBR Short Story: Charlotte's Bedtime

by Dianne Bates

Charlotte couldn’t get to sleep. Mummy had told her a story and Daddy had brought her a drink of warm chocolate. Mummy had sung her a song and Daddy had whistled a tune.

It was no good. Charlotte tossed and turned and wriggled about but she didn’t feel sleepy one little bit.

“Just close your eyes,” said Mummy. “Close them tight and tell yourself a story. You’ll soon be fast asleep.”

Charlotte closed her eyes.

“I’ve closed my eyes,” she said to herself. “Now I must tell myself a story.”

Charlotte thought very hard for one whole minute. Then she opened her eyes again.

“I don’t know any stories,” she said.

Mummy sighed. “Yes you do,” she said. “Think of the story I told you tonight.”

“Oh yes,” said Charlotte. She shut her eyes, and then opened them again.

“I can’t remember that one,” she said. “Couldn’t you tell it to me again? And then I’ll go to sleep very quickly.”

“No,” said Mummy. “No more stories.”

“What about a song?” asked Charlotte.

“No,” said Mummy. “No more songs.”

Charlotte was quiet for a moment. Then she looked at Daddy.

“What about a tune?” she asked.

“No,” said Daddy. “No tunes either. If thinking of a story is too difficult, just shut your eyes and think of something lovely. You’ll soon be fast asleep.”

“All right,” said Charlotte. She shut her eyes.

“My eyes are shut,” she said to herself. “Now I must think of something lovely.”

Charlotte thought very hard for two whole minutes. Then she opened her eyes.

“Are monsters lovely?” she asked.

“I don’t think so,” said Daddy.

“Oh,” said Charlotte. “Because all I can think of is monsters. Big fat hairy ones with long teeth and sharp claws.”

Daddy sighed. “I thinking of something lovely is too difficult,” he said, “maybe you could shut your eyes and think of all the things you’d like for your birthday.”

“All right,” said Charlotte.

“My eyes are shut,” she said to herself, “Now I must think of all the things I want for my birthday.”

Charlotte thought very hard for three whole minutes. Then she opened her eyes.

“When is my birthday?” she asked.

There was no answer. Charlotte sat up. Mummy and Daddy were both fast asleep.

“Oh,” said Charlotte. “I wonder if they thought of all the things they wanted for their birthday? Or if they told themselves a story? Of if they thought of something lovely?”

Charlotte lay down to think about it.

“I know what they thought about,” she said. “They thought of something lovely.”

She yawned again.

“They thought about ME!” Charlotte said, and then she closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Sometimes known as Daisy, Di Bates wrote this story for her grand-daughter Charlotte who lives in Canada and speaks French (as well as English). Di has published many books for children. The next one is a junior novel, A Game of Keeps (Celapene Press). You can read more about Di and her author husband Bill Condon on their website www.enterprisingwords.com.au

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.

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