She crept slowly into the dimly lit room and stumbled towards the bed in the centre. She clambered up onto the bed and pulled back the covers. Her mother lay huddled in the middle of the mattress, with smudged make-up and tears running down her cheeks.

"Mum….Mummy?" she whispered, "Mummy, wake up!"

The door slid open revealing her grand-mother standing in her dressing down and pink, fluffy slippers.

"Leave her alone, she'll get up when she's ready" her grandmother told her "She's always like this on October 20th."

"Why?" whispered the curious five year old.

"It's the day he left her."


"You're father"

"Oh" she mumbled "Why did he leave her?"

"You ask a lot of questions don't you!" her grandmother said smiling.

Saffron gave her grand-mother her biggest grin, jumped off the bed and ran out the door.

"Afternoon Rose!" Jackie said sarcastically.

"Don't Mum….I feel dreadful." She murmured, stroking her daughter's hair whilst she watched her eat her breakfast.

"I'm not surprised the amount you had to drink last night! It's no use drowning your sorrows…you've got Saffron to look after now." Jackie moaned.

"I was not 'drowning my on, sweetheart, let's go to the park."

Swinging her legs frantically, trying to get as high as possible on the swing, saffron watched her mother sitting on the bench. Rose was sitting with her head in her hands, make-up smudged all over her face, looking pale and green. She swung higher, trying to make her feet touch the sky. She felt so light; she thought she might fly away, off to play among the stars.

Gracefully, she jumped off the swing and pretended to fly like a plane towards her mother. Rose gave her a weak smile and patted the seat next to her. Saffron sat down and curled up in Rose's arms. Rose stroked Saffron's mousy hair absentmindedly, twirling it round her fingers.

Saffron heard a faint grating, groaning noise coming from nearby. The eerie noise was gradually getting louder. She felt her mother stiffen before Rose leapt up and went charging across the estate. Saffron stared at her, confused, before running wildly after her.