There it sat in an old rocking chair, unemotional, dusty, cobwebbed, unloved and forgotten. Forgotten over the years by its owner, never to be played with again now that Wendy had new toys to play with, and the fact that she thought she was too big to play with dolls anyway. The doll’s bright blue eyes stared sightlessly into the dark murky corner of the attic where it sat forlornly. A large house spider crept silently along the cobweb it had spun on the doll’s long blonde hair looking for trapped flies or other mites in its web.
Wendy now preferred to play games on either her X-Box or her tablet, while listening to music of her favourite band or singer on her iPod. Times change and a child’s taste changes. Every now and again her best friend Jodi would have a sleep over and the two of them would discuss which young singer they liked the best, or which game they would play and then spend hours shooting at zombies, they both loved The Walking Dead game and had become skilled in shooting down the zombie hordes.
Even though Wendy’s parents thought the game might be too scary for a twelve year old girl, the game never scared her and she would boast of how she would be able to save her mum and dad if there ever was a zombie apocalypse. Playing with silly dolls couldn’t help save her mum and dad she thought as she zapped more of the walking dead! And anyway she never did like the doll that her Aunt Margaret had bought her, its face scared her for some reason, she only played with it for a few months then asked her dad to put it up in the attic where it had stayed ever since.
It was time for bed and Wendy had washed and brushed her teeth and said goodnight to her mum and dad then went up to her room. But as much as she tried, she just couldn’t get to sleep, and lay there tossing and turning, getting warmer under the heavy quilt. Lying on her back she opened her eyes. “Hmmm it’s no good I just can’t sleep.” She thought to herself as she lay still on her back in the hope that sleep would envelope her and carry her off into a land of happy dreams. It was while Wendy lay there she thought she could hear what sounded like scratching noises coming from the attic above her room. “’Oh no it sounds like we’ve got rats up there, I’ll have to tell dad in the morning.” She thought to herself.
Listening intently to the noise she realised that it sounded more like something being dragged across the ceiling, and then she thought she could hear footsteps. “Hmmm it must be dad; he’s always putting bits of junk in the attic.” And with that thought in her head Wendy drifted off to sleep.
The following morning Wendy rose out of her bed and scurried to the bathroom to shower and brush her teeth. Upon getting dressed she brushed her shoulder length blonde hair, then walked downstairs to be greeted by her mum Tina, her dad Bill, had gone off to work and as it was the school holidays, she could spend time with her mum, which she loved doing. Being the only child Wendy’s parents would spend as much time with her as possible and spoil her.
“Hi chicken how did you sleep?” Her mum asked.
“Well it took me a while to get to sleep with dad moving stuff around in the attic, but once he stopped moving stuff I feel asleep.”
“What do you mean honey, your dad never went in the attic at all last night. Are you sure you weren’t dreaming it.”
“No mum I was wide awake, it started off like scratching sounds and then dragging sounds as if something was being moved. I then heard footsteps, and when it all went quiet and I went asleep.” Replied Wendy.
Wendy’s mum brought a nice breakfast of bacon, sausage, egg and beans with toast over to the table and then sat down after getting her own breakfast from the kitchen counter.
“Well I’ll give the Pest Control Company a call to see if they can come and check the attic out and lay some traps, they sound like they are big rats, her mum said with a smile, now eat your breakfast and once I’ve called pest control we can go to the beach once they’ve been and set the traps up.”
Mother and daughter continued chatting over breakfast and both were looking forward to a lovely summer break and a holiday in Cornwall once Bill Rodgers had finished work in two weeks’ time.
An hour later a knock came at the front door and upon opening it Tina was happy to see a man with the insignia of the Pest Control Company on his cap and uniform.
“’Hello Mrs Rodgers, I’m John Carter from the Pest Control; I believe you have a rat problem in the attic?” Carter shook Tina’s hand and said hello to Wendy as she came through to the hallway from the living room. Taking Carter up the stairs, she pointed to the door of the attic, and taking the key from her pocket opened the door for him.
“Well I’ll leave you to it Mr Carter, I’ll be in the living room if you need anything.” Tina said as she turned to go into the living room.
Forty minutes later Carter walked into the living room, “Mrs Rodgers, I’ve looked all around the attic and checked for any signs of vermin but couldn’t find anything. I’ve set three humane traps which should do the trick, so if there are any rats or mice up there, they’ll be dealt with.”
Handing her a business card he said that if she needed any more help to call him direct, as it would save having to go through all the rigmarole of pressing one for this and two for that when you ring.’
Tina gave Carter seventy pounds and fifty pence via her bank card after he had worked out the total amount on his machine and printed off a receipt and wrote an invoice out for her as well.
“Well thank you Mr Carter for your help and I hope the rat problem will be sorted.” Tina replied shaking Carter’s hand and showing him to the door.
Tina gave her daughter a big hug and a kiss on the forehead, “Now then chicken, that’s the noisy rat problem sorted, let’s go the beach shall we and have us some fun in the sun!”
The beach of Coldport Town was one of the best in England and had been nominated best beach on no less than five occasions and won each time. Wendy and her mum crossed the road, walked forty yards along the pavement until they came to the concrete steps that would take them down to the golden sands where families were enjoying the school summer break, playing and making sandcastles and swimming with their children. Young couples were lying on towels sunbathing as the golden sun blazed down on everyone. The temperature was already in the high sixties and was going to get hotter by the afternoon.
Wendy and her mum held hands as they walked barefoot along the soft golden sand, both enjoyed the feel of the sand grains between their toes.
“Are you looking forward to going on holiday Wendy?” asked her mum.
“I am mum, I can’t wait for dad to finish work, and I’m so happy that you’re letting Jodi come with us.”
“Well we couldn’t exactly keep you two apart could we and as long as her parents are happy to let her come on holiday with us, then we are honey. It’ll be a great holiday as none of us have been to Cornwall before.” Tina said as she put her arm around her daughter and gave her another hug and a kiss on the head.
“Love you mum.” Wendy said looking up at her mum with a big smile on her pretty face.
“Love you back chicken.” Tina replied taking her daughter’s hand as they walked along the golden sand.
As they continued down the stretch of beach they both talked about what they would do while on holiday and where they would visit. The family had so many plans not just for the holiday in Cornwall, but for the whole summer break. Ahead they saw an ice cream vendor and they both decided it would be a good idea to have an ice cream.
“Two large cones, one chocolate and one vanilla please.” Requested Wendy’s mum and after receiving them and paying the two pounds and sixty pence they continued walking along the beach.
“It’s days like these I love mum, no school, no homework, just loads of days enjoying myself with you and dad…and Jodi ha ha.” Wendy said licking the already melting ice cream.
As they walked along the golden sands they headed nearer to the sea and spent some time paddling in the warm blue salt water and then spotted an old Punch and Judy show, which had all the young children laughing at Mr Punch’s antics. An hour later they both felt hungry and after drying off their feet with the soft blue checked towel Tina had brought with her in her back pack they both slipped their sandals back on they headed back into town to Max’s Fish Bar for dinner. Max served the best fish and chips around town and was always very busy but they managed to get a table outside in the sunshine.
Tina Rodgers was a teacher at Coldport High School and at thirty eight years of age had been a teacher for ten of those years. She stood five feet nine inches in her stocking feet, a slim built woman with long blonde hair and deep blue eyes that peered out from a beautiful elfin shaped face. After a whirlwind romance and a proposal of marriage Tina became a mum at twenty six years of age.
Wendy’s dad stood six feet three inches with short dark hair and chiselled features and was an ex-rugby player and still worked out when he could. He worked as an analyst for a motor tyre making company called Deep Tread Super Tyres. His job was to analyse the components that were used to make the tyres and then get the prototypes tested to ensure they were good enough and safe enough to be put on the market. The company’s fortunes had grown over the last two years leading to huge pay rises for bosses and workers.
Bill Rodgers pay had increased tenfold and the house they had bought opposite the beach showed their wealth. With their combined wages they were able to buy the £500,000 house which was double fronted and boasted two large living rooms, a large country style kitchen, a large hallway with a solid oak staircase in the centre that lead up to the first floor that boasted a master bedroom with en-suite, and Wendy’s bedroom also with en-suite and two guest rooms with en-suites. In the middle of the two guestrooms was an oak door which opened onto a small flight of stairs that lead up to the attic, which was big enough to walk upright and packed with all sorts of unwanted junk from their previous house. At the back of the house they had a conservatory and a large swimming pool, leading from the conservatory to the pool was decking that housed a barbeque and table and chairs.
Wendy was the spitting image of her mother, the same elfin shaped face, blonde hair and the deepest blue eyes which always sparkled. She had also inherited some of her dad’s genes as Wendy was quite tall for a twelve year old and had a slim but solid frame. And for a twelve year old she was highly intelligent, another gene inherited from her parents.
Life was good for the Rodgers family and they had fitted in well with other wealthy home owners along that stretch of road and were often invited to house parties by some of the other home owners. The Rodgers family were certainly looking forward to a two week holiday.