Twelve year old Sophie stood in front of her mirror, admiring her own beauty as she put on her new dress. It was an expensive dress, and it had been her latest birthday present. Because her birthday was on Christmas Day, her parents didn't really have much time to go out and buy her birthday presents, so they often got her presents later on in the year. Sophie was thankful that both her parents were extremely rich - her father was an executive banker and her mother was a magistrate - so she was able to revel in expensive and beautiful gifts from them that no other child in her class had. Oh, and she would often brag about it at school the next day, the next week, perhaps half the term. She was proud of herself and how rich her parents were. Also, proud that she had inherited both her parents' good looks.

She slipped on the new dress and admired it. It was green, silky, with velvet collars. It was sleeveless, but she had some expensive bracelets to go on her wrists. Sophie was more proud of herself and her parents than ever when she slipped on her necklace over her pale neck.

Her parents were also trusting of their daughter, that was another thing Sophie was proud of. She wouldn't have to be reprimanded, ever, because of how trusting her parents were of her. And naïve too, it had to be said. They assumed she was a good little girl and behaved herself when she was alone in the place. But she wasn't always like that. She often ransacked the place and ate all the sweets she could. She also turned on the forbidden oven and made herself Nutella sandwiches. Also Sophie sometimes, being extremely possessive, searched her mother's room for money which she believed firmly to be hidden away somewhere in there but she had never found. She was well-mannered though, and tidied the rooms back after she ransacked them. And she never left the house, either, when her parents were gone, and wouldn't until she was older.

As Sophie stood there admiring her beauty, her father popped in. He smiled.

"Hello daughter, as I'm sure you know we're going out for a bit," he said, "I have a meeting so I won't be back until six. There's food in the cupboards and drink so you can take whatever you want, only-"

"Don't touch the oven," Sophie slyly said.

"Good one. Now, I'd best be off."

Sophie suddenly put on an innocent face.

"Dad?" she said suddenly.

"Yes?" her father looked at his watch.

"When will you get me a - tiger?"

Her father laughed. "A tiger?"

"Yes, a tiger."

"Harold - we need to go!" called Judith, his wife from downstairs.

"Why do you want a tiger, daughter, you've got everything you want."

"Yes, but not a tiger. That's what I want most of all," Sophie smirked.


"Listen sweetie, I have to go but we'll talk more about tigers when we're back OK?"

"You're never going to get me my tiger," Sophie pouted and crossed her arms.

Her father sighed and left the room. Sophie slumped on the floor, her once proud features sunken in disappointment. Downstairs, the sounds of her parents leaving came from the drive. Sophie sunk on the floor with her head in her hands.

"Why can't I ever just have a tiger, they can get me everything else but not that?"

So Sophie turned her mind to wild cats and tigers as the day went on. She lay on her bed drawing tigers. She did not ransack the place like she normally did, but scribbled imagery tigers in her notebooks. Soon it was five, tea time.

"Mmm," Sophie said, suddenly hungry. She looked in her mirror again, admiring her good looks, and then she slunk downstairs.

She began to open the cupboards and get out sugared snacks, but suddenly she heard a banging on the door. Her parents had never given her instructions on visitors.

"Hm?" she asked, turning round to the door. The noise came again, louder. She peeked through the window, and saw nobody at the door.

"Nobody there," she guessed, but then Sophie heard the same banging noise when she turned away. Then a scratch on the door. She ran to the door, looked out, and she saw...

A giant tiger stood out there, regal and majestic from its dark snout to its tufted tail, and, despite the presence of a tiger in the drive, none of the other residents took any notice.

"A TIGER!" Sophie cried with pleasure, and she flushed golden when she saw her dream in the flesh. Without thinking, she yanked open the door.

With a pounce and a bound, the majestic tiger leapt in, bowling the young girl over, and in a few hungry shakes of its neck and muzzle, tore her limb from limb, tore her soft flesh off her, ripped her entire body down to the bone. A million gallons of blood splattered the kitchen walls. Guts and intestines fell everywhere on the floor.

The whole grisly affair was over in just ten seconds, and Sophie barely had any time to even yell. Then the sleek tiger, splattered with blood, slunk out the door, whisking round into the street and back the way it had come, leaving the door wide open.

And that was how Harold and Judith found their once-beautiful daughter as they came home from work, a grisly corpse with all her flesh ripped from her. Her once-majestic dress was torn to ribbons and her jewellery was in splinters.

But the tiger never returned.