Spring sunshine creeps through the curtains on the first day of April, where every muscle in my body aches from yesterday’s unforgettable race. I reach over and find Emelia missing and the house silent. Noise is ever-present in my household. How strange? I quickly dress and head to the kitchen, where Agnes, our housekeeper, maintains full command. Silence greets me.
A cold shiver runs down my spine. This house usually throngs with patter of little feet, prancing paws, dancing shoes and stomping boots. The sitting room couch provides raw comfort, as I try to reconcile the current situation. Where have they gone? Why am I alone?
There is a knock at the door, which I open to find a youthful face from my past, who hands me an envelope containing the following message, ‘Dinna laugh, dinna smile, hunt the gowk another mile’. I laugh discourteously, head into the living room, write the same message and seal it in an envelope. When I return to the door, the figure has vanished and I am left standing with the fool’s letter.
I bolt upright, where cold sweat drips from my nightmare onto the bedsheets. I take one deep breath, lean over and find Emelia dozing softly.
I look at the ceiling and pray. The nightmare had a clear message: family is everything.