Pop. Pop. Pop.
My eyes are wide open. It’s dark. It must be the middle of the night. Maybe three or four am. Yikes.
I look about the window and see the street is empty. And dark. No street lights in Carrasco in those days. There used to be one lonely one about two blocks away, where the beautiful, one-and-only Bowling Alley had been; but the street lamp disappeared when they cleared away all the rubble of the Bowling Alley after someone bombed it.
What’s that noise? Mummy? I’m whispering in my head, I’m scared. But no Mummy comes.
I can’t go back to sleep. I’m counting blue sheep jumping over fences. But it’s not working. They’re not happy. They can also hear the pop, pop, pop. They’re shivering and running away. Wait! Come back, please, come back.
Maybe I should go to the bathroom? Or maybe not. The snake might be under the bed. For sure the snake’s under the bed, because that’s where it lives at night. Sometimes with the crocodile. I’ve seen the crocodile creep up the stairs dragging its long, long tail eight steps behind it.
Mummyyyy? Help me; I’m frightened of the popping sounds.
Niggy? I call my little dog in my head, but Niggy’s a bit deaf and quite old – he’s my age, but Mummy says in dog years, that’s about 49. Yikes, that’s really, really old. Although he still fights dogs, bigger dogs, all the time.
I wish I had some chocolate. Chocolate always makes me feel better. Chocolate makes me smile. Chocolate. Two chocolates, three choc…
“Noony? My Daddy’s shaking me awake. It’s morning. The sun is getting ready to break in through the curtains. “Were you dreaming? You were doing something quite funny, making a popping sound like this,” and Daddy put his finger in his mouth and snapped it out against the tight left side of his lips. Pop. “Like that, Noony.”
“Oh.” I’m turning scarlet, I know it, I can feel the red burning in my face and neck. “Pop?”
"Did you also hear me in the night?" I whisper into the blankets I've pulled up to my nose.
"Yes, I think I did. Come on, it's time for school."
I know it's safe to get up now, because the big black shoes have already chased away the snake and the crocodile too.
I hop out, put my finger in my mouth. Snap it out. Pop.
It worked. All day yesterday I'd practiced and it hand't worked.
I was good at this now.