‘Who’s fucking shoe is this?!’
Even as it wrenched me from my slumber, I knew the yelled question was somehow referring to me. Murmurings followed, building before terminating abruptly with a sharp knock on my bedroom door. Instinctively, I turtled my head under the covers.
‘Cooeee, Cinders!’ It was Jamie. The call was punctuated with more rapping. ‘Open sesame, darling!’
I didn’t have time to answer before the room was invaded. I poked my eyes above the covers to see Jamie and Alex, every inch the ugly sisters in their awful dressing gowns. Jamie was holding my silver heel aloft like champagne on a tray.
‘Oh God, it’s the beast,’ Alex’s nose screwed up in mock revulsion.
‘Don’t you be so unkind to poor Sleeping Beauty,’ Jamie patted Alex on the arm and moved to sit on the end of my bed, grinning ear to ear. ‘Although you could use a little wishee washee, dear.’ Jamie put down my shoe, freeing the hand for a moment of nose holding.
‘So, where is he?’ Alex asked. ‘Prince Charming?’
I pushed my palms into the mattress and raised myself into a sitting position. The clouds were clearing a little.
‘Buttons,’ Jamie stage-whispered, pointing to my chest, which wasn’t at all contained by the shirt I was half-wearing. I fumbled at the fastenings until I’d managed at least one more. Alex coughed impatiently.
‘Prince…?’ I managed to squeeze out.
‘Don’t come all Baron Hardup with us, dear,’ Jamie spoke more sternly now. ‘We know you had a lad in last night. It was man Friday in here. We heard.’
‘You were painting the air pretty blue,’ Alex accused.
‘Blue?’ Jamie’s eyebrows shot up. ‘You were fee-fi-fo-fucking!’ the last word rang out. A pain shot through the back of my head. I jerked forward in reaction.
‘He’s behind you?’ Alex laughed.
‘He probably was last night,’ Jamie chirped in. I wanted to argue, but judging by the scratches I’d just noticed across my stomach it seemed they might be onto something. Either that or I’d been playing little spoon to a tiger.
‘He must be gone,’ I offered, conceding.
‘Oh no he isn’t,’ Alex was holding up a pair of jeans which definitely weren’t mine. ‘Not without these.’
I closed my eyes and tried to work out what was going on. It was then we heard the roar from outside.
‘Uh oh,’ Jamie gulped. ‘Something’s woken Widow Cranky’
The roar grew.
‘Sounds more like a giant to me,’ Alex said. ‘One who’s lost their golden goose.’
Jamie’s face lit up and my two uninvited guests looked at each other in excitement before turning to me.
‘The lost boy, he’s in George’s room!’
There was a clattering, a banging of doors, and the sound of running. My door burst open once more. A man I didn’t know from Jack flew in, naked as the day he was born.
‘I’m, s-sorry,’ he wheezed. ‘I went to pee, I must have…’
He froze as he realised there was an audience and looked down at himself. Three pairs of eyes followed his gaze, arriving just in time to see his morning stalk shrink back to the size of a bean as booming steps echoed outside the room.