Danny Doesn’t Know Everything by Christine Steenfeldt
‘What would you do if you saw a T.Rex right there?’
Danny, my know-it-all big brother is pointing at the thicket of trees so green and clumped together, they look like the broccoli Mum makes him and me eat almost every day.
I stop nibbling at my Scotch egg. ‘Run.’
He sighs. ‘No,’ he says, ‘you wouldn’t. Think about it, Amy.’
I eat a bit more, breaking through the breadcrumbs, down to the layer of sausage meat. I concentrate on not eating any of the egg. I don’t like boiled egg; the slimy white revolts me and I hate the claggy feel of the yolk on the roof of my mouth.
‘Why do eggs smell like farts?’
‘Because they come out of chickens’ bums,’ Danny replies. ‘And don’t change the subject. This is really, really important and your life depends on it.’
‘I know, I know!’ I’m so excited I stand up and do a little dance of joy and I don’t care that I drop the egg. ‘You stay still, really, really still.’
‘Because?’ asks Danny.
‘Because T.Rex only sees movement. They said so in Jurassic Park.’
‘Good girl. But what if it’s a velociraptor that’s after you?’
I feel the fizz of fear in my tummy I get when I’m watching a scary movie or listening to a scary story. ‘Stay still?’
Danny shakes his head. ‘Wouldn’t do you any good.’
‘Climb up a tree?’
‘It’d wait till you went to sleep and fell out.’
‘Run inside and hide in my bedroom?’
‘Amy, Amy, Amy, don’t you ever learn?’ He looks disappointed in me. ‘They’ve evolved, remember, they can turn door handles.’
It comes that night. For such a large creature, its tread is light, only the creak of a floorboard gives it away. I’ve shut my door, I’m safe.
Although my eyes are closed as tight as tight, the darkness changes colour as the landing light comes in, as uninvited as the beast. A velociraptor?
I lie still, arms and hands pressed close to my body, legs stretched out, toes flexed so that I make the smallest of mounds under the covers. Its breath is on my face, now my neck. I hold mine.
Slowly, slowly the duvet starts to slide over my rigid body, cold air and fear replace the comfort it offered.
A hand on my leg, fingers gently lifting the hem of my nightie.
‘Relax.’ It breathes out the smell of beer and cigarettes. Not a velociraptor then.
‘Don’t move, don’t move.’ Danny’s words thrum though my head, over and over. ‘It only sees movement. If you keep still, it’ll give up and go away.’
I don’t move but it doesn’t go away. Not a T. Rex either.
Danny doesn’t know everything.