“Sweet Jesus! I can’t stand it any longer!” said Cleo.

“You can do this. Soubressaut.” I could almost see the images of reflected glory as they shimmered in my sister’s head.

“We only have three days left… Allegro! Allegro! What is the matter with you?”

“It really hurts mum, and the painkillers aren’t working.”

It was awful for Eva when all those years ago, our mother wouldn’t allow her to have ballet lessons, but this was inexcusable. Cleo had no interest in dancing.

As I crept away, the poor girl was still complaining of the pain in her tooth.

© Jane Paterson Basil


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