Friday, 27 May 2016

To Marry a Queen

To Marry a Queen

Chloe looked at the proximity of her father's hand to her aunt Julia's. The placement was so casual, so accidental, that the connection between his thumb and her forefinger could only be deliberate. “Who touches someone's hand and maintains the connection?” she asked later, holed up in her bedroom with her best friend, Jessica, “other than a stalker, obviously. It's got to be on purpose.” She leaned forward to snag another packet of store-brand crisps. “And she didn't move her hand away, either.”

“I think they're having it off.” Jessica sucked more Bacardi and Coke through a straw, her cheeks flushed from the amount of alcohol a fifteen year old can put away when the bar has been left unattended. “It's disgusting. They're in their forties at least.”

“He can't be. He hasn't even paid for mum's funeral yet.”

“How do you know?”

“A man came round yesterday. You know the sort. Black suit and knuckledusters.”

Jessica nodded. “From the funeral parlour?”

“Yeah.” Chloe filled her mouth with crisps and chewed through them like a paper shredder. She hunched her shoulders up and lowered her voice in an impression of the man. “Tell your dad there's always a spare plot in the cemetery.”

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