Chapter Seven: Daniel

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                                                                 Chapter Seven

                                                                         Daniel.

                                                   Breakfast Time, Sunday 6.45am

Daniel surprised everyone and arrived long before anyone was up, except Godfrey, who let him in and the dogs out. Aunt Beth buzzed Ettie on the phone beside her bed to let her know her brother had arrived. Not even noticing the five painted jam jars scattered around her room, with the nightlights burning black in their metal cases; Ettie quickly pulled on her dressing gown and flew from her room and down the stairs, two at a time. She hadn't seen her younger brother in ages. Sliding along the passage and into the kitchen she found Daniel eating toast and marmalade and Godfrey frying eggs and bacon, the last night's events long gone from her mind.

"Good morning Miss Ettie," said Godfrey in his usual slow English voice, "did you sleep well?"

"Oh yes, good morning Godfrey, best sleep I've had in ages!" Although she couldn't remember putting it on, Ettie clutched at Charlie's silver web necklace and smiled thinking, the dream catcher must have worked.

"Would you like a cooked breakfast Miss Ettie?" asked Godfrey in an even lower tone.

"Oh, just a bacon sandwich would be lovely, thank you," she answered quickly then, turning to her brother, "Danny! It's great to see you! Have you missed me?"

"T'huh! Like a tooth brace!" he grinned; showing her he now wore a multi coloured one.

"Ugh, lovely! Give me a hug!"

"No fear! Might catch something! Gittoff!" he waved her away.

Ettie quickly retaliated , "Oh of course, I forgot. Hasn't your rash cleared up yet?"

"Dah!" Daniel poked his tongue out, showing his half eaten toast.

"You've grown," said Ettie, taking no notice.

"Do you know Aunt Beth has already said all that," groaned Daniel, rolling his eyes.

"Do you realise we haven't seen each other for three months? Your hair's different too and what have you got in it, treacle?" Ettie made to touch his somewhat spiky gingerish blonde hair. Daniel ducked and swiped her hand away with another, "Gitoff!"

"Is Daddy here?"

"Do you know Aunt Beth has already said all that too and by the way it's D.J now. Dad's gone." He grinned triumphantly as though he'd been part of an evil plan that had succeeded against all expectations.

"He's gone? And he didn't come in to see me?"

"He didn't come in to see anyone."

"He knows I'm here, doesn't he Daniel?"

"It's D.J. now!" he shouted loudly.

"Did he know I was here?" asked Ettie firmly.

Daniel shrugged, took another slice of toast and chewed on it, open mouthed.

"I haven't seen dad since Christmas." sulked Ettie.

"You saw him at Easter."

"No I didn't!"

"Yes you did!"

"Daniel, I should remember when I last saw my own father!"

"I told you, it's D.J now! Everyone at school is calling everyone by their initials. I'm Daniel James, so it's D.J."

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