I compare poetry to painting, believing that I lack any drawing/painting skills but believing my imagination and training in writing has enabled me to transfer my love of visual art to the written word
She waited for Veronica to go, then slipped into the office behind the main desk in the entrance foyer, having planned the moment all afternoon. It was there on the rack, just like she'd known it would be. Left for the cleaners.
A copy of the key to the apartment on the top floor where the Ogre was currently staying, Agnes Harlesden.
*** Earlier: I'm being stalked by your son, she'd texted Arthur Harlesden before the evening shift. He's been following me in his car and he's paid someone to come into my room at the bungalow...
What next? I don't remember fully...we were in Dawn's room back at Lyme House, although I don't remember any more of the walk in the early hours of the morning. Everything disjointed, like when you've had too much to drink. We were fully clothed, and Dawn was crying and pushing me to the door, saying I was a user who'd treated her like a slag… the door slammed and I went back to my room.
I woke up late in the morning, groggy and disorientated.
Quarter to eleven. It took a while for me to work out the day....
Philippa and Aidan disappeared pretty early on. Paul too.
Just me, Jace and his mates from the expensive school. Dawn and a group of local school kids dressed in hoodies, hanging around a deserted fairground. Everyone had forgotten about Jace and me and the railings by the sea.
Now that Philippa and Aidan had gone, the whole thing with Dawn seemed like a bad idea. Making out with Dawn would prove nothing to anyone, but it was too late to back out. I'd already given her signals, dishonest ones. She'd read them correctly…she was...
Better still, Philippa had seen it all. Seen me run to Jace's rescue. She'd fancy me now. Correction, she already did fancy me, but she'd fancy me even more after my attempt to help Jace.
For a short time, I enjoyed playing the hero. High fives. Banging fists. Some of the little kids jumping on me and pestering me to give them piggybacks while loads of girls hugged Jace and sobbed dramatically.
I couldn't cope with Philippa and Aidan. They were sitting together on one of the disused fairground horses, deep in conversation, and they definitely looked like boyfriend and girlfriend, regardless of what Philippa had told me. Dawn and Paul stood around uncomfortably, like parents at a teens disco. School kids in hoodies swigged back vodka and cider and/or danced to loud music.
I was about to make another exit from the party when Jace turned up with three lads about my age. 'Yo, Gavin, where are you off?'
I received Philippa's text just as I was about to call at her room: hi, going 2b late. Go on without me. cu outside theatre at 9? x P
The time was quarter to eight. I searched round for Paul in case he was driving, but I couldn't find him, so I got a taxi to town and paid the extra. When I arrived at the Grand Theatre, businessman Terence Harlesden stood in the foyer dressed in an expensive suit, greeting people.
'Ah, our star performer from the classes,' he said when he saw me. 'I told my father Arthur about you and he hopes to...
After lunch, I skipped the rest of the master classes and walked back to Lyme House. I needed time to think.
When the others returned from the Grand Theatre at about four thirty, Philippa came to find me. We took a walk through the surrounding fields, across a stile and through a rusty gate. We sat down at a set of picnic tables close to a cluster of trees in the shade. Rummaging in her bag, Philippa got out a couple of cartons of juice and handed me one.
She hurried out of the bungalow and raced to the main House where she phoned for a taxi. She asked the driver to take her to the village halfway between Lyme House and the town. Twice in a day. The house with the grand piano again, set in a cul-de-sac.
A woman answered the door to her, tall and beautiful with long black hair, like a model from Elle. The woman she remembered from ten years ago. Dad's other woman. Terence's ex-wife.
'Katie Whittaker?' she said, weak and clammy again.
A stationery figure in a light blue anorak, staring directly at her, like a crow perched on a fence. For a second or two, she thought of Ash, always wearing blue. But Ash was in bed in Yorkshire, sleeping off a hangover. The figure remained still, like the silence around her.
In a daze, she started the walk back to the House. Dad and Katie Whittaker and their son, a little boy with brown eyes and a dimple under their chin. Dad and Katie Whittaker and their son, a little boy with brown eyes and a dimple under their chin. Dad and Katie Whittaker and their son, a little boy with brown eyes and a dimple under their chin.
The words spun round and round, like a train speeding along track. Was the dark haired woman from the music room Katie Whittaker, the former wife of Dad's cousin and best friend? If so,...