The Sleeping Beauty
CHAPTER
1
Why Me???
I lie on my bed reading. It’s eerily quiet. There’s not even any bush noises outside to keep me company, no rustling leaves, no bird calls. Just the sound of dad’s breathing coming from the next room. It’s been so quiet ever since Mum died. That evening it was just me and dad, lying in our beds, not wanting to say anything, just thinking and crying inside.
My dad doesn’t look at me properly anymore. Its no wonder. I remind him too much of Mum. With my pale skin and fair brown hair, I definitely take after her. Now, whenever I pass him, he looks at the floor as he walks past.
Yesterday he looked at me properly. I heard his gasp, stuck in his throat. I saw the tears in his eyes as he looked down quickly. He walked to his room and shut the door. He stayed in there for a long time, before coming out in his pajamas. I didn’t see him the rest of the night.
The next morning I was just getting ready for bed myself when I decided to take a peek in at dad. He was asleep, snoring slightly. My breath caught in my chest as I saw what was lying beside him. It was a picture of Mum. It was on the day before she died. She was laughing in her hospital bed as Dad kissed her sloppily on the cheek. I smile fondly at the memory and before I can stop it a tear rolls down my cheek.
I hear a snort. Dad is awake. I quickly duck out of the room before he notices me, before he gets a chance to wake up. I am brushing my teeth when he walks in bleary-eyed, hair sticking up in all directions. “Go to bed Hannah” he says, too sleepy to see me properly. I walk out the door, into my bedroom, pull the curtains closed and fall asleep.
It is almost four when I wake up. Dad is not home yet so I read a book over a bowl of Fruity Loops. I slept for ages today. I go outside and stretch, before going to get food for our kittens. They are called Pixie (a tabby cat), Tamsin (a ginger cat) and Lilly (a white cat). I love them so much. We got them cheaper than normal because my dad has a weekend job at RSPCA and he gets a staff discount.
I go on my E-lessons for a while. I love E-lessons because if you get bored you can just do something else and nobody knows because there isn’t a teacher breathing down your neck . All that you have to make sure of is that you complete the selected lessons by the time that they are due.
Now you may be wondering ‘ Why do you have to do E-lessons instead of being in a normal classroom?’ or ‘Why do you go to sleep when your dad wakes up?’ It’s because my internal body clock is the wrong way round. I’ve seen tons of doctors, millions of specialists. They say that there is no cure for it.
Apparently it’s a very rare condition that I’ve had since birth. When I was little I never went to pre-school or anything like that. I needed a special robot nanny (made by my mum, the inventor) to take care of me in the night, because well, my mum has to sleep too. I went to bed at 6 am and usually woke up at 3 pm. I didn’t have many friends because if I wanted a play date it would have to be at 3:30 pm or 4 pm.
Back then I still had Mum. When I woke she would always be there. We would go on fun trips when I was awake. We would go to high tea and eat lots of yummy scones and cakes and mini sandwiches. I would always pretend I was a princess. Or maybe she would go to the carnival with me. She would go with me on the Ferris wheel and it would lift us so high I imagined my mum and I were flying, with beautiful wings on our backs.
But one day, a few months after my 10th birthday, I woke up and I heard Mum coughing . It sounded really bad. But I thought she was going to get better, like I did when I got a cold. She didn’t.
My dad said that she was sick. She had a disease and wasn’t going to get better. The day she died was the worst day of my entire life. On that day the colour went out of my world. I think I lost my dad that day too.
Now that I am older I can take care of myself. I don’t need a nanny. I see my father a couple of hours after I wake up. My dad sleeps in a little room that is soundproof so that I don’t wake him up when I am moving about at night.
I am often alone. I usually just talk to people on the Internet. People from other countries who are awake when I am. I have one best friend. Her name is Mackenzie and she lives in Philadelphia. I live in Perth so she is usually awake when I am.
We always face time each other but I wish we could meet in real life. She loves my cats, especially Pixie. When I asked her she said that she would love to come see me and if she did then she wouldn’t bother sleeping for a whole day to get rid of jet lag, she would just talk to me. She is my best friend in the whole wide world. Better still, she has added a little colour to my dulled world.
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