Thursday, November 06, 2008


Just a little extract from the novel I'm working on for National Novel-writing Month:


I wish I’d stopped drinking last night when I said I would; working with a hangover would be interminable, especially with Marlow yammering on about the evils of anything other than red wine. Elegance is a bottle of the most expensive red you can afford, according to him. Well, it was beer or nothing last night. I’m fed up being piss-poor.

The shower always made me gasp and moan; the weight of wet hair down my back equalled pure ecstasy. It battered my hangover into submission and I felt more myself as I clambered out of the bath – I’ve never been elegant. An image of Frankie and his pet policeman forced itself into my head; he was driving me mental, this son of Satan – a true teenager, and definitely not my favourite child at the moment. Everyone said he would grow out of it, that he’d be a fine man – yeah right.

My first call was Moaning Millie; she wanted her mother to help her with her new baby – wasn’t that what a mother did? She whined that she was tired and had expected her mother to come clean the house, take over so she could sleep. I didn’t tell her that her mother had probably had enough of her and her sister to last a lifetime and was now in clover with her own little flat and piles of peace, contentment and bloody freedom!

Marlow smirked from his booth. He sat there surrounded by all kinds of balms, stones and healthy spiritual stuff; Dr Witch, I called him – he never moved from his place and we spun around him like the little satellites from his very own solar system.
‘Don’t even think it.’ I said.
‘I would’ve thought you’d have found something more interesting than alcohol by now.’
‘Shut up.’
‘I know what you’re going to say next; It was Jess’ fault. Now isn’t that right?’
‘You said that, not me – and I was not thinking it.’ I couldn’t look at him because he was always right. ‘Bitch.’
‘Patsy you’re a patsy.’
‘Yeah well. Jess is bad; she thinks she’s a terrible mother.’
‘She is.’
‘She is not…and you don’t know her. Well maybe you do, but you weren’t there. It’s too easy for the childless masses to slag single parents off – they haven’t got a clue. We’d be better off in Huxley’s Brave New World; created in test-tubes and grown in jars for nurseries somewhere distant. I don’t think we should be parents at all; we’re all bad, selfish and stupid.’
‘You’re in a lovely mood this hangover, aren’t you?’ he dug into his bag and offered me a French Fancy.

I couldn’t get Frankie out of my mind, wondering if he was smoking wacky-backy or breaking into some empty factory for lead and copper. He was supposed to be in his room studying and watching TV – he was probably talking on my landline but not to mobiles; I’d had them banned, so at least he wasn’t costing me too much money. Bella would keep an eye on him; she was a terrier when she started. That was the only fault with this job; I liked working at night because it stopped me wasting my time in front of the box but it meant that I wasn’t there to supervise my wayward son – but he was sixteen; he should be part-way sensible by now. I prayed he didn’t turn into a Hoodie, and wouldn’t buy him anything with a hood on it – not even a jacket!


BetteJo said...

Ooohh - very interesting! Is that the beginning - or someplace in the middle - can't tell. But it does make you want to keep reading ...

ireneintheworld said...

it's somewhere in the middle. i'm hoping to blast through 50,000 words during this month of nano! at least get to the end of the first draft - i'm a good starter bettejo but a terrible finisher; i always go off at tangents and never get to the end. maybe this time. x