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The Doormat that Roared
 
My mother wrote a lot of stories and articles.  Some of them were published.  We have a number of them carefully kept.  However, we do not seem to have a copy of my favourite.  This was a story called “The Doormat that Roared”.
 Unfortunately I certainly cannot remember it well enough to write it in my mother’s style.  This is an attempt to give the basic idea of it.  It is not what my mother wrote and I have updated it a bit.
 
The Doormat that Roared
 
Lisa had been a very happy little girl, living with her loving mother and father.  Lisa’s father was an area sales manager and his area was the North of England and Scotland.  This is a big area and Lisa’s father was often away.
 
Tragedy
 
Lisa was eight years old.  She went to school that day. When she finished school, her father picked her up.  This was a nice surprise.  Lisa thought her father would not be back from Glasgow until the next day.
Her father was looking very sad.  He had terrible news.  Lisa’s mother had been killed in a road accident.
He got transferred to the local office of his company.  It was much less money, but he could be with Lisa more.
A year later Lisa’s father remarried; Lisa did not like her stepmother. 
The stepmother was lazy and made little Lisa do most of the housework.  Lisa’s father was able to get his old position back so they had more money, but this meant he was away for a lot of the time.  He did not see how Lisa was being treated.
 
Triplets
 
Things got much worse when the stepmother got pregnant.  Lisa was expected to do nearly all the housework.  It was no better when the triplets were born.  Much of the work of caring for the babies fell to the eleven year old Lisa.  When her father was home she still had to do a lot of the work, but at least she was treated politely. 
Most of the time her father was away and her stepmother shouted at her.  She was totally foul mouthed, and Lisa could never please her.
This went on for years.  Of course, Lisa did badly at school.   She never has time to do any homework, and by the time she went to school she was already exhausted.  Lisa’s grades in science and nearly all the other subjects were terrible. She had to repeat a year.
The only subject she did well in was English.  Her essays were outstanding.
 
Leaving School
 
Lisa left school at sixteen.  She was expected to look after her lazy stepmother and the spoiled triplets all the time.  Lisa’s father still loved her, but never realised how badly Lisa was being treated, or how unhappy she was.
 
Birthday
 
Lisa father asked her what she wanted for her sixteenth birthday.  She asked for a computer and printer.  Most of the family’s income went to the mother and the three spoiled brats.  Lisa got almost nothing.  Although her father wanted to get her a good computer with broadband internet, the stepmother refused to allow such waste on her stupid stepdaughter.
The stepmother thought that Lisa would spend her time playing games and talking to her friends on Facebook intead of doing the housework.
In the end the only thing the stepmother would allow him to buy Lisa was a second hand computer with the cheapest printer she could find.  There was no internet connection.  There were also no programs for playing games.  The old computer only had a few programs like a spread sheet, and a word processing program.
Lisa was delighted.  She kissed her father and told him that it was perfect.  Each night after Lisa had finished all the housework and the others were on bed, Lisa was on the computer.
Nine months late, on a Saturday when the father was there.  Lisa announced that she was leaving home.  The stepmother was scornful:
“How can you live?  With your grades, no one will give you a job.”
Lisa answered:
“l am going to be an author.  My first book is already finished.”
This provoked an even more scornful retort:
“No one will buy it.”
Lisa’s father was more interested:
“What’s the book about?”
“It’s autobiographical.  The publisher liked it and has sent me an advance of $250,000. 
“The Title is “The Doormat that Roared.”
 
Based on a story by Cicely Challis.  Re-written by Steve Challis