Miss Katie and the vacuum cleaner are engaged in their usual struggle. They are evenly matched in size for Katie is small for her age and the vacuum cleaner is a huge old monster, heavy and own-way. Besides, Katie is only just getting used to electricity and is scared every time she has to plug anything in. When she turns the beast on, it roars and buckles out of control. Sometimes it reduces Katie to tears. But she doesn’t give up, ever. She spends a lot of time washing up and cleaning and scouring and tidying. Every day. She wants her mother to know she has a useful daughter, one who knows how to do things and not one come to suck her blood, as she says every time she is vexed.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 1. Purchase the book to read the full piece.