By Jackie Holmes Toni Maguire

ISBN-10: 0141966734

ISBN-13: 9780141966731

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I felt sick and wished, as I had earlier, that I had obeyed my mother and stayed in my room. I might not have understood then what I had witnessed but it added to my earlier unease. I crept away from the door as quietly as I could – I knew that the two people inside the room would be very angry if they saw me. Nothing was said to me the next day about what I had witnessed the night before. My mother was her usual brisk, efficient self as she bustled around the kitchen, shooing me out of the way as she prepared the Sunday lunch, and my father hardly raised his head from the pile of newspapers.

That’s enough,’ he said, and the hand fell to the man’s side. ’ my uncle added, cajoling. ’ The boy leant over me. His mouth covered mine as he kissed me. I felt his tongue slide between my lips. His hands stroked my body, then slid between my legs, and all the time I could hear the man instructing his son on what to do next. Click-click, went the camera. ‘Turn round, son, get your legs behind her. ’ The boy’s legs went around my neck as he turned and pressed his mouth to the part I thought was completely private.

An antique bear from a manufacturer called Steiff sat out of reach on a high shelf. It was to be admired, she said, but not hugged, and next to it was a beautiful mohair bear with ‘Merrythought’ on his left paw. The latest addition to my collection was Paddington, who wore a brown felt hat and a red duffel coat and shiny blue wellington boots. Like the others, his bright eyes watched my every move. And there was the friend whom nobody but I knew about: Florence, the little girl who had the qualities of her Magic Roundabout namesake – kindness and patience.

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Can't Anyone Help Me? by Jackie Holmes Toni Maguire


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