Maybe we should preserve SOME of the mystery.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named [oh, shit, I didn’t think of a name yet. what’s her name? umm. not something too cutesy or too Brittany. she’s nine, I think. nine seems good. if the story is set in the present, that means she was born in 2010. depending on month, but let’s say 2010. ok, google popular girl’s names 2010. top 100 baby names of 2010. Sophia? I like that, but… not Isabella, not Olivia… Emma, maybe? Chloe, Ava, really? huh. didn’t realize Ava was so popular, I wonder why? Lily no, Madison no, Addison? Abigail? Abby’s good, I think. ok] Abigail. Abigail was nine years old, and her best friend in the whole world was a cat named [sigh. ok. cat names. umm. it’s definitely a girl, so… uh. hmm. google female cat names. Luna? Chloe and Bella again? geez. Lucy, Lily again, Sophie… that would be obnoxious, the girl could be Sophia and the cat could be Sophie, how dumb is that? Lola no, Zoe no, Nala, erm, no… now that I’m thinking about it, I kind of like Lucy. Lucy the cat? fine, Lucy the cat, I can always change it later] Lucy. Abby liked to watch Lucy chase grasshoppers in the
garden backyard, [the garden? now we’re in the 1800s? how about just the backyard, sheesh.] [ok, but backyard sounds weird now. forget it, you can think about it later] but she didn’t like it when Lucy actually caught the grasshoppers. Lucy would creep, and creep, and then pounce, and she would snatch the grasshopper and eat it all up. Abby liked to watch Lucy creep and pounce, but she didn’t like it when Lucy ate the poor grasshoppers. Abby knew that Lucy was having fun, but it wasn’t fun to listen to her [pronouns. should I say “listen to the cat” instead? is it clear that it’s the cat? I think so. let’s read it over later] crunching a bug between her sharp teeth. It was icky, and it made Abby’s tummy feel strange. [yeah, that’s not disturbing or anything. I mean, it’s true, but yuck. but it’s supposed to be yuck. never mind]
Abby had a baby brother named [shit, boy’s names. google popular boy’s names… he’s, what, two? so popular boy’s names 2017… Adam no, Augustus, seriously?! weird. Caspian? was there a Narnia movie that year? I think it was before that… whatever, umm, Charlie maybe, Dante no, Edward no, Emmett no, I take it Twilight is still a thing… Everett, Ian, Jonathan, Kane, Kian, Magnus, Maverick, what is wrong with people? let’s go with Charlie] Charlie. Charlie was just two years old, and Abby didn’t like him very much. Charlie smelled funny, he always seemed to have something smeared all over his face, and he was always grabbing onto Abby’s long hair and pulling it. [yeah, I’m thinking of babies, they always manage to grab your hair and yank on it, and good luck prying their fists open, you usually only have one hand free and half the time you need someone else to do it… but Charlie apparently never stopped doing it, the little jerk.] [wait, ok, he smelled funny and he was grabby… feels like it needs something else in there. ugg, you’re not supposed to be editing, you’re supposed to be just letting it flow. but now that you’re thinking about it, it’s going to keep bugging you. just add something, umm… two year olds, icky, yeah, put some crap on his face. little kids are always smearing crap all over their faces] [ugg, quit italicizing things, you do that way too much, remember that last draft of the book? you un-italicized like a zillion things. but I like it here. but you always like it… just move on, for cripe’s sake] Even though it hurt a lot, Abby wasn’t allowed to hurt Charlie back, which she felt was very unfair. [awesome, now people are going to think you’re advocating child abuse. she’s a kid, it’s fiction, quit overthinking everything]
Whenever Charlie screamed, Mommy would run to him and fuss. When Mommy was fussing over Charlie, she never had time to listen to Abby. This was also unfair. Before Charlie came along, Mommy had lots of time for Abby. They would bake cookies, or [gosh, isn’t that wholesome. what do nine-year-old girls like to do? what grade is that? fourth, I think, that sounds right. what were you doing in fourth grade? probably destroying things. but she’s not necessarily thinking about what they would be doing now, she’s remembering stuff they did in the past before stupid old Charlie came along, ok, I know] Mommy would read to her or show her how to fold little animals out of paper. Now, when Abby asked Mommy to do those things, Mommy just hugged her and then ran off to stop Charlie from putting something into his mouth.
Now After Charlie came, Abby spent a lot of time in the backyard with Lucy. Mommy didn’t even seem to notice that Abby was spending most of her time alone with her cat. [bad mommy]
But Abby had another friend now. When she was smaller, she used to be afraid that monsters were hiding under her bed. Mommy would stroke her hair and tell her that there were no monsters, and Daddy would laugh and say that if there were any monsters, they would never dare to hide under Abby’s bed… but Abby knew that they were both wrong.
There was a monster under her bed, [italics again, jeez. but she’s a kid, everything is like rawr, just leave it, you can look at it later] and at first, Abby had been scared of her. But the monster talked to her when no one else would, and slowly, Abby began to realize that the monster just wanted her to be happy.
More importantly Best of all, [no, too… something, maybe it just needs to sound younger] the monster agreed that Charlie was annoying and in the way and shouldn’t be allowed to take up all of Mommy’s time. The monster thought that Abby should do something about it, and Abby agreed.
Abby watched Lucy creep, and pounce, and crunch, and when she thought, I could do that, her tummy still felt funny, but this time, it felt like a good kind of funny. [there is something seriously wrong with you]