The good news is one of my meals out was with my writing chum Charlene. After a moan about work, flat hunting and Christmas shopping for those awkward family members (you know who you are!) we headed to Le Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden for a cake and to share some writing. Charlene seemed to quite like my effort (and mine hers too!), although she pointed out that it does need a bit of tweaking. But, it's Christmas. So below is a bit of a taster, just for you. I hope you like it - and I'd love to receive any feedback... Happy Reading.
“Stupid upper class bitch.” She muttered to herself as she put a cigarette between her lips. Taking a drag, she looked around the room again. In the corner next to the patio doors stood the Christmas tree. Sparsely decorated with twinkling fairy lights and uniform white and silver baubles (“so it doesn’t look cheap, mum” Angela had insisted) it glowed gently, a beacon of hope in the otherwise grey afternoon. Below it was the usual stack of present for the kids, the grandkids, Dave. It had been a struggle this year, but Sam wasn’t one to let the family down when it came to Christmas.
“Er, hello? Earth to mum!”
Sam turned in her seat to look at her daughter, her mouth already open to put her back in her place for her cheek. Behind her youngest stood Ellie, the new girl on the estate who seemed to have latched on to Angela and the other more established kids. Sam tried to pull herself into a more upright position on the slouched sofa but, with her can on one hand and a fag in the other, soon gave up. She heard her daughter mutter something (Pissed. She had used the word pissed.) but chose to ignore it.
“Y’all right girls? What you up to? What’s going on?”
Angela rolled her eyes to the ceiling.
“We’re going to the pub. Everyone else is going, it’s too cold to hang around out there. You got a tenner?”
She held out her hand. Her expression was beyond expectant. There was no negotiating in her daughter’s large brown eyes, the eyes that never failed to bring back her father’s face to Sam no matter how hard she tried to block it out, to forget. Sam sucked at her teeth and rolled her eyes in return as she popped her cigarette between her lips and delved into her jeans pocket. Casually she inspected the contents. One crumpled ten pound note, a couple of pound coins and some shrapnel. All she had left until the 28th. And certainly not enough to pay the rent.
The rent. Sam nearly snorted a laugh.