‘The early morning train was cramped and when Jacqui King stretched her long, stocking-clad legs she felt a twinge in her lower spine. She immediately knew for sure that it was sciatica or, if it wasn’t, it was some sort of freak reaction caused by a brain tumour. Or maybe that old standby cancer.
“Just because you’re a hypochondriac it doesn’t mean life’s not out to get you,” she said aloud.’
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‘The telly is on but no ones watching it. Eggheads. Me Ma shouts the wrong answers from the depths of the back kitchen. We all call it the back kitchen, despite it being situated at the front of the house. My sister, Olivia, occasionally looks up at the telly and blags that she knew the answer. Me arl fella is scanning The Echo, bins perched on the end of his nose. I’m impressed that they remain there, despite the vigorous head shaking he’s doing in accordance with his reading matter. The aroma that floats through the ether can only be described as tea, generic tea. There isn’t a particular smell. Everything just seems to amalgamate into one. Foodstuffs petrified to come out and play incase me Da kicks off.’
‘She was the warm breath in your ear that told you to speak to the quiet girl at the end of the bar — the dare you followed until my number was stored in your phone.
She was the flame that lit your cigarette, the high that hit you when you took that first drag of the day, the black tar that stayed in your lungs long after you stopped smoking.’
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