Tuesday 4 January 2000

I wake at midday with snotty-nosed kids climbing all over me, the wind rattling the roof and rain cascading over the broken gutter onto the patio. There's an empty space beside me where Stephen should be. There's sticky black stuff in the bed and footprints on the floor. What the hell is going on? Zee screams 'Eggs, Mummy. Eggs and blood!' I hit the floor running, pulling my rumpled T-shirt down to my thighs, delaying going to the toilet until I can see what disaster the twins have produced.

'Stephen!' I yell.

On the carpet in the middle of the lounge room is a liquid mass that's practically bubbling it's so primeval. Arranged around it are an egg carton, a tomato sauce bottle and a small can of black full gloss paint. They are all empty. Footprints splay out around the mess in a mad mandala.

Zen and Zee stand in the doorway, watching me.

I think I am going to hit them.