Skip to content

Karen Boswell

Thirteen-year-old Ellie loathed her younger sister. Six years ago, blue-eyed Bess was gifted to the world. From that moment on, Ellie was usurped. When Bess was a baby, Ellie took every opportunity to whisper through the bars of the cot.
            ‘Cuckoo, cuckoo.’
            Christmas had brought Ellie a gold choker, studded with diamond chips. Bess had been given a silver locket with pictures of her parents placed lovingly inside. Ellie craved that locket.                
            After Christmas, the family took a trip to their holiday cottage in snowy Snowdonia. Upon arrival, Ellie was charged with looking after Bess, whilst her parents visited the local store for supplies.
            ‘Come on, Bess. Let’s go outside and build a snowman.’
            The younger girl excitedly agreed. Ellie carefully wrapped her sister in a heavy woolen coat. She wound a sky-blue scarf around Bess’s pale exposed throat and placed a matching bobble-hat onto Bess’s blond curls. Ellie donned her emerald-green puffa-jacket and coffee-coloured beanie that complemented her poker-straight, brunette hair. Clutching her favourite companion, Snuggles the teddy-bear, Bess eagerly took hold of Ellie’s outstretched hand. They headed outside onto the white, crisp carpet that covered the ground. Wellington boots crunched their way along the lane towards a large ice-covered pond. When close to the edge, Ellie seized Snuggles from the young child’s grasp and threw him into the middle of the frozen disc.
            ‘No, Ellie, no!’
            Bess ran forward to retrieve her beloved bear. On reaching the toy, the ice splintered, cracked open, and started to swallow the screaming, flailing child. It took longer than Ellie had anticipated, for the bulky, leaden clothing to drag Bess under.
            Twenty-four hours later, police divers pulled the putrefying corpse from its frozen tomb.
            The locket that Ellie had coveted was placed around Bess’s neck and buried with her.
            Twelve months later, Ellie’s parents split up. They argued constantly over who would get to keep Ellie. Eventually, they decided to flip a coin. Her father lost the toss. She is moving in with him at the weekend.