Rampaging Wretch v The World
The cigarette butt falls to the ground silently, where it lies
smouldering. I glance up and down that street, and when all is clear, I
pick up the can of paint spray. The faint hiss is hardly heard as cars
and lorries run past, there wheels screaming on the hard tarmac of the
I work carefully, drawing word after word, pouring my heart and soul
onto the crumbling bricks of the church. Quite a nice touch I think.
Writing, "God sucks, Satan Rules" on a church. I didn't honestly think
that. It was just a way of taking all my emotions and portraying it
trough something as meaningless as this.
Before, I thought graffiti was pointless, but now it's part of my
I carry on vandalising the wall, listening for any footsteps, and when
I hear the struggling whisper of the last remaining paint, I throw the
The sky begins to darken, and I know I had better walk home otherwise
my mother's landlord will lock the door and refuse to open till
As I drag my feet, I stare down at my body. You wouldn't think I have
a figure if you looked at me. I hated the world and the world hated me.
To show I didn't care what anyone thought, I used no make-up except the
odd black lipstick, I followed no fashions but simply wore faded,
scuffed denim jeans and a biking jacket which had once belonged to my
That's another thing that I hate. The fact I have a jerk for a father.
He left me and my mum three years ago to pursue his dream of working
abroad. I haven't spoken to him since I was nine years old. That was
three years ago. He doesn't write, he doesn't call. He doesn't even
send money for mum. Mum told me he wanted to work with foreign
agencies. But I know the real reason. I found the letter he wrote to
mum. It said something about how he still cared about her, but he's met
someone else and they're perfect for each other. Her name was Danielle,
and she used to work with my mum in the theatres. She was a thin leggy
blonde, with cherry coloured lips and perfect white teeth. God, how I
hated her. I remember telling dad that once. He told me that she was a
very nice woman and that I should be polite. Yeah, right. Like I didn't
know what was going on then.
As I near my street, the cold October winds blow my short auburn hair
behind me. I can't be bothered to control it as it flutters in front of
my face, the wind making my eyes sting.
I haven't always been like this. You know, a "rampaging wretch" as my
form tutor told my mum. I used to be normal. I had a giggly circle of
friends, I had good grades and a good home. Great parents, and then
there was Adam. He was among my circle of friends, and I hadn't really
thought about how good-looking he was until we got into our first year
at Secondary school. Then we started going out and we were the most
popular, admired and envied couple in our year. But then things
changed. At the start of our second year, Kirsten arrived. I greeted
her warmly and soon we became friends. Then I introduced her to my
other friends and Adam, and pretty soon everything I had was taken away
from me. Adam suggested we see other people, meaning he wanted to get
close to Kirsten. My friends told me they still liked me but wanted to
hang around with other people as well. Meaning they wanted to hang
around with Kirsten. They forgot about Nancy Davis, and I forgot about
I arrive outside my rundown London slum of a house to hear my baby
brother Tom screaming. I creep up the stairs and try to sneak past the
kitchen where my mum is seated, but she spots me and signals me to come
in. Her face is red and her brow is furrowed in what's an unmistakeable
frown. She doesn't look happy.
"Where the hell have you been? Don't you know you had to be back an
hour ago! Tom's been crying his eyes out and I have no fresh nappies!"
She sighs. "I'm sorry, love." She says in a gentler tone. "Would you
mind nipping down to the shop and getting some nappies?"
I nod, and take the money. As I turn to leave I stop and look at her.
Her pretty red hair curls around her face and her green eyes are dull.
When dad was still here they used to sparkle and she was always
laughing. She lost her job at the theatre because she became pregnant
with Tom. My mother used to be a dancer, you see. I remember her
favourite dress, which my Uncle George bought for her. It was a short
sleeved crimson silk dress that trailed on the floor. She had matching
crimson silk slippers and headband. She was so beautiful, and always
smiling. Now her face is worn, her cheeks sunken in and dark patches
under her eyes show the signs of age.
When I appear after going down to the shop, my mother and I sit at the
kitchen table sipping mugs of hot sweet tea. A delicacy, which we
I kiss her on the cheek and whisper goodnight.
The One Where It All Begins
The sunlight streams through the open curtains and streaks across my
pillow, half blinding me with the pureness of it.
"Nancy! Get out of bed!" my mother screeches from the kitchen. I lie
there, curled up underneath the thin duvet, thanking god it's Saturday.
As the sun floats into the bedroom, I feel the warmth on my bed and I
remember the holidays I had, before Tom was born. We'd fly to the most
amazing places, swim in crystal clear water and feel the hot summer sun
on the backs of our necks.
"Watchca doing? Imagining you live in a palace? Or what you wanna eat
for breakfast?" my mother's proclaim enters my mind. She smiles as I
poke my head out from under the covers and sits on the end of my
"Close," I reply, sitting up and leaning back against the wall behind
my bed. "Actually, I was recalling the holidays me, you and dad used to
"Ah, the good times. Mosquito bites, sunburn and cold water." She
laughs and her eyes sparkle. "Come on, get up. We've got a lot to do
today." She pulls my duvet off, and I wrap up into a ball.
"Why?" I ask, rubbing my arms. I stretch out to touch the radiator. It
was stone cold. Obviously the heating has been turned on yet.
"We're going house hunting."
"But&;#8230;but we have no money and we don't own this place so how
can we sell it?"
She waves an envelope in front of my face. I give her a quizzical look
as she hands it to me, and pulling out the letter, I read it
Dear Alison Davis,
I am sorry to say this, but I most regretfully have to inform you that
you're relative; Abigail Spry, has died due to prolonged suffering of
cancer. She passed on January12th 1998.
Because you are her only descendant, she has left all her money and
values to you and your family. Please can you attend the hearing of the
will on the 14th January. Yours Sincerely,
I look at her.
"Abigail Spry? Is that my great Aunt Abbie? The one who lived up in
My mother nods.
"Aren't you upset? This was your Aunt."
"Upset about Aunt Abigail? No way, she was an old bag. All she ever
did was grumble."
I read the letter again.
"How much is it?"
"I have no idea, but according to my cousin, James, she was quite
"Are you serious?" She nods her head again. I laugh, jump out of bed
and she picks me up in a huge bear hug. We dance around the bedroom,
convinced our life is going to get better from this point.
An hour later, once I had dressed and washed, we leave the house with
Tom in our arms and a positive tone in our voices. I 'm clothed in a
decent pair of jeans and a navy turtleneck jumper, my brown hair
brushed pack into a ponytail. My mother's wearing one of her few nice
skirts and a blouse. Tom's wearing a pair of faded dungarees that once
belonged to my Uncle's son.
We catch a bus into the city centre, all the time talking about what
kind of house we can get, but still reminding ourselves that it might
not be a lot. After visiting a few estate agents, we go to a caf? on
My mother orders two cups of tea, and a large slice of chocolate fudge
cake to share.
"So? Did you like any of those?"
My mother sighs. She shrugs her shoulders, but before she can answer,
Tom starts crying and she bends down to quieten him down.
Once he is calm, she stretches her arms.
"I quite liked that old farmhouse just outside the city. You know, the
one with four bedrooms. How much was it again?"
"I think it was around ?60,000 but that's only because it needs some
"That was really nice, you know, with all the original brickwork and
"Are you sure we have that kind of money to spend though?"
"I dunno. We won't search for any more houses until I have gone to the
meeting and read the will, okay?"
"Yeah, okay. When's the hearing?"
My mother forages around in her handbag and pulls out the
The Hearing Of The Will
Monday morning. I'm lying in bed, head under duvet, while my mother
screams at me to get up.
"I'm not going to school!" I shout back.
She stomps up the stairs and throws open my door.
"What're you talking about?"
"I don't wanna go to school today."
She looks at me, raising her eyebrows.
"I'd rather come with you to the hearing of the will."
She sits on my bed and strokes my cheek.
"Is it because you can't wait for our lives to get better?" I nod.
"Tell you what. We'll go to the hearing, then I'll take you and Tom for
lunch and we can look in the estate agents. Is that okay?" I grin.
"Good. Well get washed and dressed so we can make an early
An hour later, we're seated in a waiting room, ready to be called by
the receptionist. My stomach rumbles as I realise just how hungry I
"Mrs Davis?" the receptionist calls.
We stand up, and are greeted by a lanky man with greying hair and a
"Mrs Davis, I'm Daniel Troche. If you'd like to follow me."
He turns around and leads us into a large office, where he sits behind
a mahogany desk. My mother and I sit in the chairs in front of him, and
another man sits behind us.
"As you know, this is the hearing of the last will and testament of
Abigail Spry. With us we have Brian Coley, my partner. If you'd like to
pass these around."
He hands me photocopies of the will, I pass one to my mother and one
to Mr Coley.
He reads the will aloud, and I am about ready to doze off when I hear
him call out what's been left to us.
"&;#8230; I therefore bequeath all my possessions to my niece,
Alison Elizabeth Davis."
"Doesn't it say how much?" I blurt out, frowning at Mr Troche.
"I have the amount right here," he says, lifting up a briefcase and
placing it on the table. He rummages through loose bits of paper, when
finally he finds it.
"Here it is. Abigail Spry, blah, blah, blah&;#8230; ah, yes. The
amount shown here is&;#8230; um&;#8230; two hundred and
"Two hundred and fifty pounds? Is that it?"
"I think you misunderstood me, Miss Davis. What I meant was two
hundred and fifty thousand pounds."
Now I really gasp. My mother's silent. I'm speechless, and even Tom
doesn't make a noise.
"Is everything all right, Mrs Davis?" Mr Coley asks, leaning forward,
a concerned look on his face.
My mother ignores him. She turns to me, pure bliss spreading across
"Can you believe it Nancy? ?250,000!"
We jump up and hug each other, just like when we received the
"Right, so if you could just stop jumping for long enough, I'll write
you out the cheque." Mt Troche laughs.
He scribbles on the little piece of paper and hands it to my mother.
She stares at it, before folding it and slipping it in her pocket. She
breathes in deeply and leans towards Mr Troche.
"Thank you ever so much," she says. "You don't know how much this
means to me."
"Oh, I'm sure I do." He replies. They shake hands and my mother steers
me out of the office.
"What do we do now?" I ask.
"So, what you're asking me is to take you right now and show you
We were sitting at another desk, this time in an estate agent in the
high street. We had been looking through houses for sale and had fallen
in love with an old farmhouse. It had all the facilities: wc, running
water, electricity. It had a well-built lounge with a huge stone
fireplace and exposed oak beams, three bedrooms and one guest room,
"I don't know whether I can take you today, we're very busy at the
"How much did you say the house was?" my mother asks. Her voice and
posture are those that mean business. She has a look in her eye that
says she's not to be messed with. The estate agent gulps.
"The house is ?180,000 including an acre of land. These kinds of
properties are very hard to come by with such beauty near London.
Obviously there'll be lots of bidders for it."
"When may we see the house, then?" I ask.
He takes out a list and scans down it.
"There is a slot tomorrow that's free. About nine thirty. Is that
"That's perfect. Where shall we meet you?"
He scratches his forehead.
"Meet me here, and I'll take you in the company car."
"That's agreed. Good afternoon, My Falti."
We leave, and walk up the street until we find a nice little coffee
shop where we order lunch.
"I really like that house mum," I say, and sink my teeth into the soft
white bread of a chicken, mayonnaise and lettuce sandwich.
"So do I, Nancy. So do I."
The car rounds the corner, and in front of us stands the farmhouse of
our dreams. It was a half an hour drive away from our old house, and
the scenery is breath taking.
"Wow," I breathe. My mother's sitting up rigid, impatient to get out
of the car and inside the house. When the acre finally stops, we all
jump out, Tom in my arms, and race up to the house, peering inside the