(Continued from Pink Slippers part 1).
Lying in his new bed, Kyran rubbed Bunny’s ear and sucked his thumb on the other hand. The house had been making some strange noises and he’d been scared. Now, though he was on the edge of falling to sleep. I soft crying caught his attention and he wonder if Baby Kat had woken up again. Listener harder, he realised it was Harriet Hippo and he could hear the voices of the others trying to calm her.
‘What’s it?’ he asked sleepy.
‘I’m missing baby hippo,’ Harriet answered.
Kyran looked at the ceiling, which was reflecting the multi-coloured fairy lights strung up over his bed and wondered if he had seen the baby hippo almost Kat’s toys. Pushing back the duvet and blankets, he picked up Harriet and Bunny and took them to his half-opened bedroom door.
Peering out, he saw and heard nothing. The night light in the hallway glowed and the bathroom light was shining through the open door. Kyran noted the baby gate across the stairs and his parent’s door being a jar. He tiptoed out, opened Kat’s door a little more and slipped inside.
Her room was dimly light by a lamp on the changing table next to him and another night light in the far corner. Quietly, Kyran walked around checking out the shelves and the still unpacked boxes.
‘She’s not in here,’ he whispered.
‘Check the crib,’ Bunny suggested.
Nodding, he walked forward and looked down at his sleeping sister.
‘Look!’ Harriet gasped.
He twisted his head and stared down at the back of the crib. There were three shapes sitting there. Kyran frowned and moved closer. He dropped Harriet into the crib and watched her rub noses with a smaller hippo. The two small teddy bears, who had been standing guard of the baby hippo, seemed happy to give up their duty. One baby to watch over was far easier.
‘Let’s go back to bed and leave them here,’ Bunny whispered.
Kyran nodded his agreement and walked back to his bedroom. Rubbing his eyes, he climbed back into bed and snuggled down again. Putting his thumb in his mouth, he sucked it and rubbed Bunny’s ear again.
‘Did you find her?’ Bearington’s whispering voice drifted up from the end of the bed.
‘Yes,’ Bunny answered, ‘they’ll stay with Baby Kat now.’
‘Good. Goodnight then.’
‘Bark!’ Sir Barks-Alot added.
‘Goodnight,’ Mr Snuffles murmured.
Kyran smiled and let sleep wrap around him. He dreamed he was back in the old house again, standing in the front garden with Harriet Hippo in his arms. The wind shook the trees and the house looked menacing. Harriet wriggled in his arms and he set her down on the floor.
‘We have to find my baby!’ Harriet cried and pointed towards the house.
Kyran bite his lip, the house looked scary and he really didn’t want to go inside.
‘Quickly!’ Harriet called and trotted over to the front door.
He followed her and pushed opened the door with a loud creak. Stepping into the hallway, he saw that the wall paper was coming away from the walls and the house was very dark. He heard Harriet sniffing around and something crunching under her large feet.
‘Upstairs,’ she muttered before beginning the climb up.
‘I can’t see,’ Kyran hissed back.
‘It doesn’t matter. You know the way.’
Screwing up his face in thought, Kyran decided she was right and followed her up the stairs. Around them the house groaned and made other unpleasant noises. The front door slammed and Kyran jumped. He glanced back at where it should have been, but couldn’t see anything. He froze, caught in the middle of the stairs, unable to go up or down.
‘Come along! We have to hurry!’ Harriet’s voice came out of the darkness.
‘No,’ Kyran sobbed, his bottom lips shaking and tears pricking his eyes, ‘the house doesn’t want us here. It’s angry we moved away!’
‘But we have to find her! We can’t leave her behind!’ Harriet shouted from the top of the stairs in the darkness.
Clutching the railing, Kyran lifted his foot up and climbed the rest of the steps. At the top, Harriet tugged on his pants and led him into his old bedroom. He felt around for the light switch on the wall, but wasn’t tall enough to reach it. Picking up Harriet, he let her click it on. The room was bathed in a dirty yellow light. His bed, Baby Kat’s cribbed and their wardrobe where still in place. Setting Harriet down again, he watched her run around the room searching for her baby and calling out. Kyran walked over the wardrobe and opened the door. A wooden box flew out, hitting his shoulder and causing him to cry out. Twisting around, he saw the box lid flip open and a pair of pink ballet shoes fly into the air on little pink wings.
‘Harriet! Look out,’ Kyran called.
He ducked as the ballet shoes swept passed him and tangled themselves around the hippo.
‘Get off her!’ he yelled and rushed forward, but the box moved and tripped him up.
Sprawled across the floor he cried loudly and yelled for his Mummy.
A white light came on above him and Kyran woke in a heap, tears wet on his face. He heard his bedroom door open and hurried footsteps coming over. He tried to see through the tears, but give up as he felt his Mummy’s arms wrap around him.
‘Hush. It’s okay. I got you. Did you have a bad dream?’ she asked.
Kyran nodded, ‘the box,’ he sobbed.
‘The box?’ his Mummy repeated, unsure she had heard him right.
‘In the wardrobe. I found it,’ Kyran answered in between short breaths.
He felt his Mummy frown as she pressed her head back to his, ‘It’s okay. It can’t hurt you. Go back to sleep now.’
‘It’s the shoes,’ he gasped and tightened his arms around her, ‘they don’t want us here and the old house don’t want us back.’
‘What are you talking about, Kyran? What shoes?’ his Mummy asked.
‘The pink shoes in the box,’ he replied, ‘in the wardrobe.’
He felt Mummy let him go and turn around. She got up and he wiped his face quickly. He watched her opened the wardrobe door and stare inside. She looked deeper, but it was dark inside and she couldn’t see very far. Kyran felt around for Bunny and after failing to find her, checked the floor and saw her leg sticking up. He got out of bed, picked her up and opened his top drawer.
Pulling out a torch, he brought it over to Mummy and give it her. Clicking it on, they both looked into the wardrobe. After a few moments, she walked in and checked the back corners. In the right one, she found a small wooden box. Picking it up, she brought it out and put it on the end of the bed, as Kyran sit opposite and began pulling the duvet back around himself.
‘Don’t open it,’ he called out as he saw his Mummy’s hands press down on the lid.
‘Alright,’ she said, ‘I’ll take it with me.’
Turning off the torch, she put it back in the draw and balanced the box on the top as she kissed and hugged him goodnight. She tucked him in then left. Kyran watched her pull the door slightly closed and listened to her footsteps going into the room next door. He sniffed and shuddered, felt for Bunny and hugged her tightly.
‘We should never have opened it,’ Bunny whispered in his ear.
Kyran heard a shuffling on the bed and rolled over as Bearington and Mr. Snuffles came to lay on the pillow beside him. He felt the duvet dip slightly above him and looked up to see Sir Barks-Alot watching him.
‘It doesn’t matter, it’s gone now,’ Bearington responded.
‘Do you think the shoes will get Mummy?’ Kyran questioned.
‘No, no. She’s a grown up. The shoes would never think of doing anything to her,’ Bunny answered, ‘go to sleep now. It’ll be better in the morning.’
Nodding his head, Kyran closed his eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. It took a long time for him to do so and in the morning, when Baby Kat started crying he didn’t get up as he usually did. He rolled over and went back to sleep, till his Daddy woke him for breakfast. He hardly talked as he got washed and dressed, but a soon as they were in the kitchen and he saw Mummy he rushed over to her.
‘Did the shoes get you? Where are they?’ he asked.
‘The shoes?’ his Daddy cut in.
‘They didn’t get me,’ his Mummy laughed, ‘and I put them away. There was a box in the back of his wardrobe and he had a nightmare about it,’ she explained to his Daddy.
‘I should have taken the box when we found it,’ his Daddy muttered shaking his head.
‘Did you look inside?’ Kyran pressed as he fisted the bottom of her t-shirt.
‘Yes,’ she answered.
Kyran gasped and felt like crying again.
‘But it’s okay. They were things just left by the last family that lived here. Maybe we could find them and give the box back?’ Mummy suggested.
Kyran pulled a face and hugged her. She rubbed his back then helped him on to the chair next to her. Daddy was busy getting things ready for breakfast and Kat was in her high chair, watching everything going on.
‘I won’t open the box again, if that’s what you want,’ Mummy spoke seriously.
‘Ok. What do you want for breakfast?’
Afterwards, Kyran went back to his bedroom to finish unpacking the rest of his toys and boxes. Humming to himself, he pulled things out of the boxes and found a new home of all of his things. His friends watched him from the bed, making suggestions about the placing of certain toys and books. Finally, everything was unpacked and he went to join them on his bed. Picking up Bunny he sat her in his lap and looked around his room.
‘The walls, floor and ceiling still need doing,’ Bunny pointed out.
‘You’ll have to pack everything away again,’ Bearington mused, ‘you wouldn’t want paint and wallpaper over anything. Can you imagine that?’
Kyran giggled, ‘I guess so.
‘What about the box and the shoes?’ Mr Snuffles required.
‘Don’t bring that up!’ Bunny snapped.
‘Mummy will keep them safe. She said she was going to try and give the box back to the family that where here before. We shouldn’t be scared,’ Kyran explained.
‘We are going to brave and grown up,’ Bunny declared.
Kyran nodded, ‘and the new house isn’t scary at all.’