Carrying the bundle of dirty, wet laundry through to the kitchen Lisa quickly loaded it into the washing machine, with plenty of soap powder, and then set it going on a hot wash. As soon as she did so, she immediately questioned the wisdom of her actions…the kids were going out into the hot tub after their movie, which would mean swimming costumes to be washed at the very least, and having seem the mess this lot had gotten themselves into with a hosepipe, quite possibly a lot more besides! Ah well, another wash load wouldn’t be too much hardship, and at least she’d known that her visitors would have something dry and warm to change into afterwards.
Turning her attention back to the kitchen, she set to work preparing snacks for the group, as she knew that if they were anything like her Emily they’d be starving again by now, and a hot chocolate alone would never be enough to satisfy them. Every movie needed popcorn, she decided, opening a large bag each of salted and sweet, and emptying them into a large serving bowl to share. Complimenting this with a couple of ‘grab bags’ of chocolates from her treat cupboard, Lisa thought this would be quite enough junk food to be going on with, and would keep them all going until later, when she’s been thinking of ordering pizza – quick, easy, and best of all no washing up!
Eyeing up the hot chocolate, Lisa considered this for a moment and then decided that they’d just had one, so probably wouldn’t be ready for another rich drink quite so soon. I’ll whip up another batch for them at bedtime, she thought to herself, it may help them to settle down, and with a bit of luck I could possibly even catch 40 winks myself at some point. Coke was always a popular choice, so she grabbed a large bottle from the fridge and placed it on a tray with 7 cups, balancing that on one hand and the snacks on her other as she made her way back through to the living room.
“Snacks anybody?” Lisa called loudly, as she pushed open the living room door. At once, 7 small bodies leapt into the air in fright, as she’d chosen a particularly quiet moment of suspense in the film to make her entrance.
“Muuuuuum!” Em cried out. “That was mean, you made us all jump out of our skins. Oooh, did you say snacks?” Her indignation was short lived, as the smell of popcorn shafted over her, and her eyes lit up at the sight of the cola too.
Lisa placed both trays on the coffee table, and invited the kids to dig in, letting them know that there was more pop in the fridge if they wanted it, to a chorus of thank you’s.
Glancing quickly around the room before beating her retreat, she was amused to see that young Lucy was cuddled up next to Dan on the sofa, the picture of bliss. On the other side of the room, meanwhile, Danielle who always came across as quite cocky and full of herself, was looking particularly pale and frightened. Ironic, really, given she was the one who had wanted to watch this movie.
“Ok Kids, I’ll leave you in peace to watch the rest of it. When you’re ready, go and get your swimming things on and then come out to the hot tub, I’ll be out in the garden catching up on some weeding whilst the evening is so nice.”
They all nodded in response, already engrossed in the movie again, with Lucy cuddling back up in the crook of Dan’s arm, and Danielle hiding her face behind her hands. Emily, Becky, Katie and Laura were all on the edge of their seats, leaning forward, clearly enjoying the suspense. Lisa closed the door softly too behind her, and then made her way out to the patio, hearing another almighty scream just as she stepped outside…and this time it was a lone voice, followed in short order by a pearl of laughter from the rest of the group. If she had to hazard a guess, she’d say that Danielle had just been scared out of her wits by whatever had been creeping up on the characters in the movie, much to the others amusement.3
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