Denise Beardon tells a cautionary tale.
Emma and Tia follow the dance routine. Onesies skewed, their red hot faces fixed in concentration. Thirteenth birthday party friends surround them: loll on sofas, stuff mouths with pizza, slurp fizzy drinks.
Beds blown up with pumps, sleeping bag snake games, torch-lit ghost stories. The girls settle at midnight. Lights out.
Nine slender polyester breathing humps asleep across the floor. The first gentle snore.
A small screen, blue and purple, flickers inside her sleeping vessel. Emma frowns.
Hey I know ur there
Leave me alone
I wanna see you
Snapchat me naked
like u did b4
Or don’t. Then the whole school will know
Emma wriggles her upper half out of the bag, unzips her onesie, unclasps her bra. Selfie. Click. Send.
Her stalker shares it among his friends.
Except one boy says no and tells his parents. That is how this nightmare ends.