Friday, 26 March 2010

#Fridayflash - Safe & Sound

"Can I go to Lily's for a sleepover on Saturday?"
"No, you can't."
"Why not?" Petra's pulls her face in a pout that looks like a stuffed salmon. Her mother sighs.
"Because not."
"But everyone's going to be there."
"Everybody minus you."
"But WHY?"
"Because Dad's on lates, and I say so." Her mother doesn't add that Lily's parents cannot be trusted; that Lily and her friends wear clothes beyond their age; who knows what they get up to? No wonder she prefers Petra to be safely under her eye at home.
"It's not FAIR."
"Life's not fair sometimes. Haven't you got homework to do?"

Petra sighs in return and stomps upstairs to her bedroom. She opens her laptop and begins her history essay,"To what extent was Germany's defeat in World War 1 responsible for the rise of Hitler?" She looks up a few websites for information; weighs up pros and cons; ponders the nature of oppression and considers herself hard done by. At last, the essay reaches a state that will satisfy Mrs Blandings. She emails it across and  switches to her Facebook page. Suzy's latest update makes her grin.

Suzy wishes Year 10 teachers would stop going on about GSCE's.

Petra posts,

Petra has finished her history essay & wishes her parents weren't such control freaks.

Suzy must be on-line. Her response is almost immediate.

Mine too. Do you think they learn it at parent school?

Petra yawns, types back,

LOL. I'm tired. Off to bed now xxx

Just before she closes down, a final message appears,

Sleep well. Talk tomorrow.S xxxx

She smiles and exits.

A hundred miles away, Tony smiles back, as he sits in his bedsit, preparing updates for tomorrow.


Marisa Birns said...

Yes, this does show that in this age of technology, parents should not feel confident that keeping their children at home under their sharp eyes, means keeping them from harm.

Well done!

AJ Campos said...

It's frightening to think that this stuff happens all the time. This story is a good reminder to parents to not just know who are children's school friends are but also their facebook friends.

Michael Solender said...

creepy true, but creepy none-the-less. well done.

John Wiswell said...

Maybe it's weird, but I didn't think Tony was a predator until I read the Comments. I thought he was another kid her age either playing a prank or experimenting as another gender.

trev said...

Geez.Not everyone on the web is a psycho. Some of us are Labrador Retrievers...y'all remember that New Yorker cartoon, doncha?

Cheekiness aside, nice compact presentation of a topical issue.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Thanks for the comments folks. I am afraid he is a creep John, though I take Trev's point. To be honest I'm equally concerned at the parents whose over-protectiveness puts their child in even greater danger...

Jane Henry said...

Brill Gin. Really wasn't expecting twist at the end. So long as you're their friend on FB it is possible to see what's going on. Most of it is pretty silly actually - and I'm fairly sure my two know everyone they're friends with. They do get lectures about this stuff at school, but you're so right, it's easy to let the wolf inside without knowing it.

Sam said...

Every parent ought to read this! Very topical, and creepy.

mazzz in Leeds said...

Ooooh, creepy!

"ponders the nature of oppression and considers herself hard done by" - oh, how well I remember this!
There was no internet to worry about when I was Petra's age, but it's a good job for my mother's sake that she doesn't know the half of what I used to get up to... :-)
Very good exchange between Petra and mum

(minor point: you have a rogue "'s" in the 3rd line!)

David Masters said...

Brilliant irony, Virginia. You caught me out with that twist.

And Mrs Blandings is a great name for a history teacher.

Laura Eno said...

Very true and sadly most parents still don't get the technology part.
Well done!

Laurita said...

Love the irony, and you make an excellent point. Over-protective parenting does not mean your child is safe.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Really well done, Virginia. The tale itself is very well told, really believable dialogue, clean natural storytelling.
The twist, though, is what brings it all home.
I guess no matter what we do, as parents, we can't protect our children completely.
Sometimes I wonder how any of us managed to survive our teenaged years.
Coincidentally I was watching To Kill A Mockingbird on TV last night and I marvelled at the young children running all over town, unsupervised, the way I used to do, the way kids just don't do at all anymore. It's a shame, really. I think our adult fears have cooped up their freedom to be young.
No wonder they resent us.