Missing by Alice Buckley

“Happy birthday to you.” Everyone finished squawking. I blew and the orange flame disappeared leaving a perfectly square, lilac-coloured cake. My eyes watered in anticipation, how long could it be now?


“Go on darling, cut it! I want to taste it!” Dad yelled, much to my obvious embarrassment. I picked up the knife, judged the angle then pushed. I cut it into eight equal pieces: one for everyone at my party. They dug in quickly; I hesitated because I felt slightly sick.


“Eat love, you are so skinny, it’ll do you good!” I blushed and took a miniature nibble. It was so rich I could hardly manage it but I persevered, a grin plastered on my face.


“Well, bye then everyone,” I cheerfully exclaimed later on, wishing that they would just go and stop all of their silly laughter and chatter, “See you tomorrow!”


Finally, it was just Dad and I. Dad and I. Dad and I. My head spun.



“What is it?”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Fire away!” It all came out in such a rush:

“What happened to Mum?”

The grin vanished from Dad’s face as I muttered the word Mum.

“No, no, it’s OK, it can wait.” I stuttered.


I fled to my room, tears cascading down my face, cursing my foolishness but also thanking myself that I had stopped there and didn’t hear the rest of the tale. There was always next year.