‘colour room’ by Jasmine Savory

this morning i was colouring with my crayons. but then i heard something so loud downstairs that it made my head hurt.

mummy was shouting at daddy.

emmie was still asleep, so i went downstairs by myself. i sat on the stairs really quietly, but mummy saw me anyway.

‘morning bailey. i’m popping out for a minute, okay?’ she said. she had her favourite woolly coat on. in her hand was an orange suitcase, the one we always use on holiday.

‘where’re you going?’ i asked, slipping my bum off the steps. ‘nowhere much dear, don’t worry-’

‘nowhere. meaning him, right?’ daddy said.

‘let’s not do this now nate. see you later bailey’. mummy raised her hand but didn’t wave it. ‘luce, this is crazy. please-’

‘nate, i’m going. the writing’s on the wall, it has been for a long time. sorry’. and then she closed the door.


daddy stood there for ages. i sat there for a bit longer, and then i heard emmie crying and went back upstairs.

her face was scrunched up like a red cabbage. ‘hi emmie’, i said. ‘stop crying emmie.’

she didn’t. i picked her up, and she nudged my box of crayons with her foot and toppled it over. all the colours spilled out in a rainbow. she giggled and put one in her mouth.

i left her there to check on daddy.


he was gone. i heard the bedroom door shut- maybe he was tired. his eyes were very red. my tummy started grumbling so i went to look in the kitchen for breakfast. there was soft bread which i ate with lots of strawberry jam.


then i went back to see emmie. she had drawn all over the walls in orange and green, random squiggles and shaky lines. i gasped the way mummy does when we do something naughty. emmie stood up and made an even bigger scribble. i knew that when mummy came back she would be really upset. but she had said herself: ‘the writing’s on the wall’. maybe she wanted us to do this.

i picked up the yellow crayon and drew a sun. then i took the blue crayon out of emmie’s mouth and drew a cloud. it almost filled the wall.


after a long time i heard a gasp. daddy was standing at the door. ‘hi daddy’, i said.

‘dadee’, said emmie.

he wandered over to us. ‘what did you do?’ he whispered. ‘it’s for mummy’.


‘she said that the writing’s on the wall. and now it is’.

daddy blinked. then he began to laugh a lot until tears were in his eyes. he sat down next to me and put emmie on his lap.

‘yeah. you’re right’. he said, picking up a soggy green crayon. he showed emmie how to draw a smiley face and i kept on drawing more suns, clouds. we did that all day, until we had made our very own colour room.