It is the responsibility of writers to listen to gossip and pass it on. It is the way all storytellers learn about life.
A dragon dragged past the window, tail flailing as Sam turned the pages of his bed-time book slowly, hanging out the moment of sleep in favour of chat, life, and narrative. Sam was winging stories across the duvet. Pictures came to life in his voice.
It’s months since the last time I was asked to mind him for the evening. ‘He might decide to read to you,’ his mum had said, quietly, before she left. Now, here we were with the chosen book, and my voice, for the first time, was stilled.
Sam read. A few words we had to spell out together, and Sam paused to try it out, then he went back to the beginning of the sentence and read it again, with colour and feeling. He was not just reading, he immersed himself in that story’s world.
When we had turned the last page of the book, and Sam was ready to sleep, I crept downstairs, hugging the memory of those moments.