Happy Birthday SweetheartTilsy lives with her single mother in Croydon, London and is 16 today. She pulls herself wearily out of bed mouthing the words 'my birthday' She opens her eyes and stumbles towards the bathroom, sleepily turns on the shower and smiles at herself in the mirror. Downstairs Harriet boils the kettle for the third time and waits for her daughter to arrive. She has placed a small parcel on the table and there are cards from her best friend and her father. The phones rings in the small hall of their ground floor apartment, Harriet instinctively moves to answer it.."hello..." "hello...is Tilsy there, Mac here...want to wish her happy birthday.." Tilsy grabs the phone hair wrapped tight in a towel and smiling broadly "Hi Dad!" as the conversation chirps happily...Harriet returns to prepare a pot of tea with toast and a small fry up for Tilsy
As Harriet pops the lid on the tea pot she glances out the window to the back garden, noticing the small gravel path leading to the two small trees, leaves are scattered and the unmistakeable feel of Autumn...but up beyond the furthest part where the bushes meet the wall something sparkles..."trick of the light" She thinks..although it looks as if something is shining unnaturally bright at ba
Tilsy bounces in " aaaagh...look at my cards..Dads all emotional...it's embarrassing seeing as He hasn't been around for the last five years...incredible...not sure whether I can take all this gush"
ripping her card open she sits down and begins to read out loud to Harriet, who is bringing the tea to the table and returns to pull out the plate of two sausages, fried egg, hash brown and three crispy rashers cooked just the way She like them..." awwwh Thanks mum" "Happy Birthday Darling! you sit now and enjoy your breakfast" surrounded by cards and eating, Tilsy seems so content, so genuinely happy with a very simple display of presents for her birthday.
Harriet's life with Mac was over, and He suddenly was very attentive towards Tilsy.Harriet did not trust him, He was up to something, She felt a vague sickening mistrust. At least he rang...perhaps He will leave her a present later....back to the sparkle at the bush...it was still there...She opened the back door, pulling her dressing gown tight and made her way down the gravel path to the shiny ob
She is moving swiftly back towards the kitchen and zooms through saying "ther's a gun in the garden, calling the cops" out in the hall she dialled 999 but before she could connect Tilsy had taken the phone out of her hand..."mum hang on wait...it might be a toy...or at least lets see it first...." surprised that her daughter had boldly interrupted her action, she followed Tilsy out back to the spot...."don't touch it...it may have finger prints"
it's a toy laughed Tilsy...look mum it's a toy...She picked it up but then as if frozen said "uuh no it's heavy...it's heavy mum" Harriet screamed at her to put it down...Tilsy obeyed her and they both headed back inside where Harriet decided again to phone the police...just as they hit the hallway, Macs car pulled up outside....Mac emerged with wrapped present...Harriet opened the front door saying " we found a gun in the garden!"
Mac half smiled "no way...let's see"
He marched through the hallway dropping the gift into Tilsy's arms as he passed "that's for you, happy day" "thanks Dad...it's back there by the bushes..." He had vanished from sight and Tilsy ripped open her present ...it was an iphone...."aaaaaagh that's fantastic Dad! oh my God I can't believe it...yesssss"
Her father was down the end of the garden staring at the gun...Harriet stood beside him and they were silent..."what's wrong mum?" Tilsy moved towards the open door to join them.. "no..no.. put it back..." Harriet insisted..She just cleared the door when She heard the bang...Harriet fell to the ground....Mac pointed the gun at Tilsy and She dived backwards into the kitchen and crouched on the floor... seconds later...another bang...then nothing..."oh god...oh god....what's happening" but frozen in shock She couldn't move...just waited for the next moment and the next barely breathing transfixed by shock...she moves, still crouched underneath the kitchenwindow, and stretches wobbling to look out...Mac her father is lying beside Harriet... theres is blood coming from a head wound and Harriet has blood coming from her chest.... both are still. Tilsy's body began to shudder and She made her way to the phone and dialled 999...."There's been a shooting...my mum and dad....are dead.." her voice escalated into broken hysterical screams....6 BeechWood close, Croydon......but already a siren wailed getting closer, neighbours voices in the front garden..
written inside the card handed to her by her father were the words: Happy 16th Birthday Sweetheart, Your Dadx