Innocence – by ANTHONY SPROUSE

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         Tommy rushed into the living room and immediately dived for his toy box, an enormous blue and green one his parents had bought him recently. He seemed to be getting a lot of gifts lately but didn’t understand why; not that he was going to complain. He reached into the box and pulled out his favourite bears. Fluff; who was the daddy bear. Cuddles; the mummy bear and lastly little Wolfy; who was their son, just like tommy and his parents. He sat down with them all and began to play.

Wolfy hated getting dressed up, but he had no choice in the matter. He had been forced into his best jacket, an emerald green with gold stitching, just like the one Fluff wore. Cuddles however was wearing a beautiful blue dress that swirled around when she turned, like leaves dancing in the air. Wolfy had been told that they were going to an important place called court, but it didn’t sound very exciting to him. Everything had been important recently, ever since that dragon had appeared, nothing had been the same. Cuddles had started growling at Fluff a lot of the time and it was entirely the dragons fault. They never used to be mean to each other; they used to spend loads of time together and tell Wolfy lots of magical stories. Now all he heard though were angry growls being exchanged and all because of that dragon!

It wasn’t as if she couldn’t be a nice, she was friendly to Wolfy and she was extremely friendly to Fluff, but she made Cuddles angry and upset whenever she saw her.

Before they had left home, Wolfy had been asked several times who he liked better, Cuddles or Fluff. But he loved them the same and didn’t understand what they meant. That was why they had to go to this court place today apparently.

When they finally arrived at the court, Wolfy saw a big black owl with long curly white hair; sitting behind a huge desk that seemed to take up the whole room. Then the owl spoke two words that Wolfy didn’t understand but would change his life forever.

“Custody hearing”

Tommy put his teddies back into his toy box and found his mum sat on the floor nearby. He walked over to her and gave her a big hug. Then tommy asked a question that made his mother let out a sob of sadness.

“When is daddy coming home?”


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***Anthony Sprouse is a short story author, novelist, and poet. He has several pieces of work appearing or forthcoming in several publications. Currently he is studying a Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing, and when he’s not writing avidly, he’s most likely getting stuck into a new book with a big mug of hot chocolate.***


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