She put her finger to her lips and bid me down on my knees.
‘I saw the brown foot again.’
‘But I did. The wolves tried to eat me, look.’ She put her finger against my eyelashes. I pushed it away and inspected a red scratch, then took a breath. She shook her head and re-advised me to whisper.
‘But how? Where they inside?’ I took a look over my shoulder, then readjusted so that only my forehead was visible over the window ledge. Our enemy huffed from the opposite lawn.
‘No. Yesterday when I was riding my scooter so fast. Do you penember? I was so fast?’
I took the cue and followed her at a crawl into the foyer. Her petticoat was torn and threatening to wrap around her chubby ankle, so I curled it onto my knuckle and tugged.
‘Oh, yes. I do RRRemember. You were the fastest scooterer ever.’
She took no notice. ‘Yeah,’ she said. She settled onto a stool in front of the stove and pressed a button. She waited until it made a squint sqwee noise, then wrapped her oven mitt around the pot and presented it to me. ‘Here, Mommy. It’s hot. Blow.’
I drew up my knees and cradled the tiny pot. ‘Yum,’ I said, after checking to make sure it was cool enough. ‘What is it?’
‘Ice cream. Mommy, the werewolves won’t eat you and my sister, right? I don’t want you to be a ghost.’
‘No way. You know they can’t.’
She replaced the spatula and took my face in her hands. ‘Because you talked to the Werewolf King?’
‘That’s right, monkey breath.’
‘I’m not monkey breath, I’m Cinderella.’