Our mother was a magician. She performed on stage and everything. She was brilliant. One day we came home from school and she had bricked herself up in the chimney.
“I’m in here,” she said cheerily.
“What are you doing in there,” I said.
“Hiding,” she replied.
“From who?” I asked.
“Everyone,” she said.
“How did you get in there, anyway?” Jane asked. “It’s tiny in there.”
Jane knew that cause once she’d crawled in the fireplace and pushed her head up there looking for fairies, and she’d almost got her head stuck.
“It was a bit of a squeeze,” Mum admitted.
She must have done some impressive contortions to slide herself up there. I could see Jane looking up and down the wall, imagining Mum’s body all stretched out up the pipe, standing on tiptoes, her arms pointing right up to heaven.
This still didn’t explain how she’d bricked up the fireplace behind her, but then Mum never did like explaining her tricks. She said it’d spoil them.
“Now go outside and watch this,” she told us, and we went and sat in the garden and waited. Eventually there was a puff of smoke, and a great fat pigeon flew out of the chimney pot and fluttered away across the street.
Two weeks later child protection arrived, and we’ve been in the orphanage ever since. They’re still looking for Dad.
1. Written on August 8th, 2019__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.