Having each picked a seat, with Lucy making sure she bagged the sofa, leaving space next to her for Daniel when he came back in from the garden, the girls eventually settled on a film. Usually they’d all prefer something animated and cute, or funny, but Danielle had argued her case and they were getting ready to watch something which was billed as a “horror comedy”. The description on the DVD case did make it sound pretty good, but some of the photos looked really frightening, and secretly they were all hoping that it was made to look worse that it was, or they’d be having nightmares…and that’s the last thing you want at a sleepover!
“Are you sure this is the one you want to watch, girls? It’s quite frightening in places, although the funny parts really are funny too! If I let you watch it, I need you to promise me you’ll turn it off if it gets too scary, I don’t want you all up all night because you can’t sleep.” Lisa had bought the DVD to watch herself, and in truth it wasn’t the sort of thing she’d usually encourage Emily to watch, but she didn’t want to disappoint the girls now they had their heart set on it. Besides, it was a birthday sleepover, and if you couldn’t bend the normal rules a little then how boring would that be.
The 5 girls all agreed, and solemnly promised that they wouldn’t get scared. Anyway, who was to say that any of them wanted to go to sleep…it was a sleepover, there were far more exciting things to do than sleep!
Just as Lisa was setting up the movie, Em and Dan came in, announcing that the tub heating up and by the time the film had finished, it would be ready for them to get in. Dan caught a glimpse of the DVD cover Lisa had in her hand, and whooped excitedly. It was a movie he’d been dying to watch, but his Mum wouldn’t let him because she thought he wasn’t old enough yet. Emily also noticed the movie choice, although she was a little less excited, knowing that her and scary movies really didn’t mix all that well, and not wanting to embarrass herself in front of her friends if she got frightened.
“Ok you lot, settle down and I’ll start it playing for you. Anybody need the loo before I do? Although at least we can pause it unlike at the cinema, I always seem to end up missing the best bits, haha!”
The girls and Dan politely chuckled at Lisa’s joke, but all said they were fine, eager to start watching – even those who were a little apprehensive about it.
“Ok then, here goes!” And with that she set the DVD to play, and announced that she would bring some drinks and snacks through in half an hour or so, not that any of the kids heard her as they were already transfixed.
Making the most of the couple of hours peace, and fully accepting that it was likely the last she’d be able to enjoy until after the kids had gone home tomorrow, Lisa first set about tidying around the trail of destruction which seemed to follow the group wherever they went, and then decided to sort some laundry. She’d thrown poor Lucy’s jeans into the washing machine earlier, but was waiting to fill the load up before setting it going. Climbing the stairs, she first emptied her own washing basked, which contained nothing more than her night things, and then noticed Daniel’s wet clothes from their waterfight had been neatly folded and left on top of his bag in the corner of her bedroom. Bless him, she thought, they’d never dry like that – and given the generous splattering of mud it really would be best if she popped them in the wash. At least he’d not left the strewn everywhere though, like Emily usually did with her dirty clothes.
Venturing into Emily’s room, it came as no surprise to her that various girls clothes were scattered about, some clean that had had clearly just been pulled out of their bags in excitement, and others soaking wet and in ned of a good wash. She did her best to pick through it all, muttering and tutting to herself as she found soggy t-shirts half shoved into bags of clean clothes, and some trainers that looked like they would squelch if anybody tried to walk in them.
Not knowing what belonged to who, she wasn’t brave enough to try to make sense of the clean clothes, deciding that the girls would figure it out for themselves, and would no doubt end up sharing outfits anyway. Instead she scooped up everything that looked wet or dirty and deposited it on the landing along with hers and Daniel’s clothes, before turning her attention to Emily’s washing basket. She found that at least part of the outfit she’d been wearing earlier had made it in there, which was progress of sorts, and even her pyjamas from the evening before had been deposited in the right place for a change, wonders really did never cease. Picking them up, however, a pair of grey leggings fell out onto the floor, and she could see that they weren’t her daughters.
Noticing that the fabric was wet, Lisa assumed that one of the girls had been wearing them when they’d been playing outside in the water earlier, although she couldn’t picture who. Upon holding them up though, she could clearly see that they were wet as if somebody had worn them and had an accident. She knew what had happened with Lucy at the park, which was an understandable little mishap, and of course was fully aware of Daniel’s little nighttime problem which may or may not put in an appearance, but it surprised her that one of these pre-teen girls seem to have wet themselves, and she was a little worried by this revelation.
Making her mind up not to risk embarrassing anybody by asking about it, she resolved to keep a closer eye on them all to make sure that they were ok, and tossed the wet pants and undies which she found balled up inside them onto the top of the washing pile. Whoever they belonged to, she’d get them washed and dried before they went home. And if she noticed who claimed them, maybe she’d try to have a quiet word with them – or their Mum – just in case something was the matter.
Satisfied that she’d got everything that needed washing, Lisa scooped the pile together and made her way back downstairs to load up the machine. As she reached the foot of the stairs, she was startled by the loud scream which came from her living room. Not one frightened voice, but a collective effort which sounded like it came from all of the kids. Oh blimey, what had she let herself in for, she thought with a chuckle. It was going to be an interesting night, she was sure!4
Audio Version of Chapter