Apocalipstick

Free Apocalipstick by Sue Margolis

Book: Apocalipstick by Sue Margolis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sue Margolis
Tags: Fiction, General, Humorous
go.” The edginess had turned to pure anxiety. She fell theatrically onto a kitchen chair. “Ooh,” she said, breathing hard and tapping her chest, “I just went a bit dizzy there for a second. Darling, do you think you could fetch me my pills and a glass of water?”
    “’Course,” Rebecca said, jumping up. She went over to the sink and picked up a glass from the draining board.
    “Gran, you OK?”
    Rose was rubbing her forehead. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
    “But I am worried. Perhaps I should phone the doctor.”
    “No, no, it’s nothing. It’ll pass as soon as I’ve taken my tablets.”
    Rebecca handed her the box of pills and the glass of water. Rose pushed two tablets out of the foil and knocked them back.
    Just then the front doorbell rang. As if by magic, the tension left Rose’s face and her mouth turned smileward.
    “Oh,” she said, “that must be Warren. He’s Esther’s nephew. The picture’s gone fuzzy on my PC. She said she might send him round to take a look at it. Apparently he’s a wiz with computers. Lovely boy. Oxford degree. Very brainy.”
    As she toddled off on her short bandy legs to answer the door, Rebecca tried Max’s mobile again. Still no answer. She left another message. After two or three minutes, Rose returned.
    “Look, Gran, I’m really sorry, but I just have to go. I’ve got to have a shower and get changed.”
    “OK, but you must come and say hello to Warren. He’s in the living room with the computer.” She cleared her throat. “Be rude not to.”
    “All right, but it’ll have to be a very quick hello and good-bye.”
     
    “Hi.” Rebecca waved tentatively from the doorway. “I’m Rebecca, Rose’s granddaughter.”
    Rose pushed her so hard from behind that she nearly fell into the living room. She turned round. Rose was making shooing motions with her arms, urging her granddaughter farther into the room.
    The penny finally dropped inside Rebecca’s head. She turned to glare at Rose, who was still busy shooing and pretending not to notice.
    Warren stood up. He was tall and stooping, with masses of wiry ginger hair.
    He gave her a nervous smile and introduced himself. Rebecca couldn’t work out if he had been expecting to meet her or had been set up, too.
    “Why don’t I take your coat,” Rose said.
    Underneath he was wearing a red Alan Partridge V-neck with snowflakes all over it.
    “Your grandmother tells me you’re a journalist,” he ventured.
    She nodded. “What about you?”
    She was guessing something in environmental health.
    “Local government,” he said.
    “Which department?”
    “Planning and urban traffic calming.”
    She smiled to herself. OK, not quite environmental health, but it wasn’t far off.
    “Oh, right. Must be interesting. You working on anything in particular at the moment?”
    “I’ll say he is,” Rose butted in eagerly. “Warren’s planning a whole new road system for the center of Chalfont D’Arcy, aren’t you, Warren?”
    “Yes. But it’s all a bit hush-hush at the moment.” He tapped the side of his large, pointy nose and began rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet. “I’m working on this neotraditionalist road-growth paradigm based on grid street networks. Wouldn’t want the press getting hold of it.”
    “God, no,” Rebecca said. “I mean the
Sun
would seize on something like that in a flash. Anyway, it was great to have met you, but I really must get going.”
    “But I’ve made a lovely supper,” Rose pleaded. “Look at the table. Look at all the trouble I’ve gone to. It would be a crime to waste it.”
    Rebecca turned toward the dining room table at the far end of Rose’s through lounge. Her grandmother couldn’t have found room for another platter or serving bowl if she’d tried.
    “It’s your favorite,” Rose said to Rebecca. “Poached salmon. I even got those baby corn you like.” She turned to Warren, who was still rocking and looking stupid. “Ever since she

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