I was only 5 but my life was over, and my world was about to end. We were moving house, and I knew that we would never be coming back to this house. On the morning of the move, I couldn’t find Camel. I loved Camel and he loved me; He was the only one in the whole world who loved me. Mean Big Brother didn’t love me, although he loved being mean to me and my parents never even noticed me. Where was Camel? The minutes were ticking by and if I didn’t find him before we left, I would never see him again. My mum and dad wouldn’t have delayed the removal van and weren’t interested in helping me find him. Neither I nor Camel mattered to them. I was in tears and desperate. Mean Big Brother was smirking the way only mean big brothers can. He had hidden Camel, and he was enjoying tormenting me.
“Where is he?” I pleaded.
“I don’t know where your camel is. How would I know?” He said, knowing that I knew he was lying and loving every minute.
“You’ve hidden him. Where is he?”
“I haven’t touched him.” Pretending ignorance and disdain.
At the very minute, it seemed, that we had to leave the house, Sergeant Major Dad shouted at Mean Big Brother.
“For God’s sake, give him his bloody camel.”
Spineless, Mean Big Brother obeyed immediately and ran to the piano that we were leaving behind, lifted the lid and gave me Camel. Now we could live our lives together, I thought, unaware that growing up, teenage and then adulthood would inevitably separate us. But I never forgot my faithful, plastic friend and always I knew that one day we would be together again.

With Mean Big Brother and Sergeant Major Dad gone, the time came when my elderly mother needed to move house and I came home to help. I knew that I would find Camel somewhere with my other things, probably in the loft. Mother had accumulated elderly-mother-level amounts of tat, but I found nothing from my childhood. No Kangiroo, no Robot and worst of all no Camel.

Christmas 2022, I opened my little presents from my wonderful, darling wife. Amongst the chocolate, the books and the tennis socks, there he was, New Camel. Reunited at last and together forever.

Image credit:Francesco

Most of my writing has been on medical issues and research, but I also wrote for a medical newspaper about cases that had changed my practice or my ways of thinking. I completed a course via Oxford University on Writing Fiction and am now writing fiction, short stories and flash fiction, and have started work on my first novel. My inspiration is my daughter, Abi, who has just published her first novel. I live with my lovely wife, Penny and my devoted dog, George in a village near the beautiful city of Bath in the UK.