“Open the door Emma, my key won’t bloody work…”
“Em! I know you’re in there – c’mon, it’s pissing down out here!”
“Jesus Christ woman, what is this?! I’ve just got off an eight hour flight, I don’t need this crap!”
Gripping the kitchen chair, she pulled the wooden seat tight against her thighs, ready to assume the crash position.

I changed the locks while you were away, she breathed,  You’re not coming in.

She willed him to find the envelope, why had he not found the envelope? Castigating herself for not using something stronger than masking tape to secure it to the door, she mused on the last 8 hours.  Was this day that she’d spent so long planning for to be defeated by the flimsy properties of masking tape when faced with an unforecast, and yet strangely appropriate, storm?  The note was pretty rubbish as well, all those words that she’d mentally constructed so carefully had flown, leaving her with your typical ‘Dear John with a twist’ letter.  Still, it said enough, if only he would find it.

As her husband gamely kicked at the door she allowed herself a half-smile.  It had been his idea to install the doors and the security system, she’d always thought it was OTT, until now of course.  He’d practically salivated as he’d shown her the profile drawing of the door with its steel (or was it titanium?) layer, double thickness something or other and deadlocks upon deadlocks.

Kick away, it’s anti-scuff paint. Serves you right for spending our Disney fund on more security than we’d ever need…

She felt the nervous laugh rise in her throat but contained it, paranoid that he’d sense her presence and teleport his rage inside the house. Rising, she edged towards the stairs.  If she could get to the twins room she’d be able to see the front door. Her mind wandered, weighing up whether it would be worth crawling round to Matthew’s room to borrow his periscope. She dismissed it, she’d never find it but would almost certainly impale herself on a rogue piece of lego or a pokemon character.

The thunder flatulently masked the creak of the stair as she rose, but not the crescendo of wrath emanating from her unwittingly estranged husband.  Crawling into the twins bedroom she crouched behind the now redundant changing station.  Thighs burning, she slowly pushed her way up the wall swearing that when all of this was over she really would start exercising. Maybe she’d get some running shoes and become one of those fit mums she skulked past in the park.

She could see him now, and suddenly his rage became real.  The sick fear balled in her chest and she leant heavily against the wall, sucking her lip, willing the unwelcome tears to stop.

Where’s the envelope? WHERE’S THE SODDING ENVELOPE?!

As her husband turned to the window she spotted it. Dropping to the floor she finally released the laugh, quickly followed by a gasp of pain as her flimsy arms refused to hold her weight, winding her. It had obviously fallen before he arrived home, ready for the cab driver to deposit the suitcase on top of it.


Glancing down the corridor she spied Matthew’s light sabre. Where’s the bloody force when you need it most?

The sound of the home phone penetrated her thoughts. It would be Gemma, checking that she was ok.  Reaching for her mobile she flicked to Tweetdeck. Her mentions column was crowded with cryptic messages of the ‘earth to @maudlinmother’ variety and she had 6 DMs, all increasingly agitated about her safety.  It felt good to respond, even without a resolution, she knew they were there and that people knew she was here and were thinking of her.

Recalling his disapproval and ridicule of her ‘twatty friends’ renewed her strength. This was happening today and she was making it happen. She rose again, staring at the envelope the same way as a student she would stare at the pockets of the pool table, willing them to magically expand when her balls went near them.  This time she willed the envelope to glow, or grow, or do something to draw attention to itself.  Her husband, now more wet than there were superlatives  for, finally looked down and saw it.

And so it begins…

10 bad eggs….
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33 thoughts on “10 bad eggs….

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I am supposed to be leaving the house right now…actually 5 minutes ago…but you stopped me in my tracks! What a gripping beginning, I NEED to read the rest! Well done! I would write more and it would all be positive but I MUST go, don’t distract me again til this afternoon! I am so excited for you!

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I’ve been reading all your blogs and think you’ve definitely got the hang of this writing lark, unlike myself, who struggles to string together a few sentences.
    It wasn’t just the lure of haribo that persuaded me to support you before you know.

    What happens next?????

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Bloody hell, Paula, that’s excellent but I understand your reluctance to put it “out there” because I get the same feeling when I post some of mine.

    But you shouldn’t be because it’s really really good.

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I want to read the rest of that book now.

    Really gripping.

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:23 am

    *grits teeth to lie*
    nope, sorry, can’t do it,

    That was gripping, and i felt a rush of exhiliration at the end for Emma, sensing her potential and the relief she must feel. A real, physical, rush.

    We want more!

  • July 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    OK, I’ll admit to feeling nervous about reading this, because I was really worried about my reaction. What if I didn’t like it? What would I say to you? I couldn’t just pretend that I hadn’t seen it after egging you on to publish. All I can say is ‘Phew’, it’s bloody gripping, I loved it, and I’d like to read more. You can come out now and link it up to the workshop. OK?
    PS Nice use of a periscope.

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  • July 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I really think this is very good indeed. I love the opening dialogue, it really grips you, and it is written so well that you just get carried along with the (very) down to earth narrative.
    If you wanted any constructive criticism (from someone who is so not qualified) the first long paragraph and final one could be simplified a little. I’m only saying that really to give you something to work on, as i suspect you might find it a more balanced comment. Really it is quite magical. You have to post the next bit!


  • July 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Oooooo, I like… a lot!! More please….. x

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

    well you can’t leave it there!!! I need more now!!

    Great writing – and I’m not lying! πŸ™‚

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Please post the next bit. I need to know what happened!
    I love reading and this is a great opening.

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:37 am



    I’ll stop shouting now. Ooh I have goose bumps! You’re really good at this! Great mix of humour and tension – that’s a hard combination and you get it JUST RIGHT!

    Oh I’ve started shouting again. I DON’T CARE! WELL DONE YOU!!!

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Oh. Wow. Just wow.

    When can we rest more? I need to know what happened next.

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Hurry up and write the next bit. I was transfixed and laughed too. Really enjoyed it. I want to know more. Why is she kicking him out? What happens now?
    I loved it. Brave to put it up for public consumption too. Well done you.

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I love it! Seriously gripping, I want to know what happens. Love the refs to Twitter πŸ˜‰
    Well done for putting it out there, you’re braver than me! xxx

  • July 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

    We want more! We want more!

    Why are we waiting? Why oh why are we waiting?

    Brilliant, Paula. I think you’ve been hiding your light under a bushel. Or that faraway tree.

    That was magic.

  • July 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    This is a great free-standing piece P & an even better ‘start’. You have been hiding that talent under that duvet haven’t you! Lets see the rest &….didn’t mention a book?

  • July 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Yes, more, definitely more. That was fantastic. Dagnammit, another blog to add to the reader… πŸ˜‰

  • July 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    truly fantastic… i need more, NOW!! you could be my holiday read? is a daily update too much to ask?
    well done for having the balls to put it out there. though in honesty you needn’t have worried.
    nice post. x

  • July 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    carry on…..I want to know what happens next. ;0) Brilliant. XX

  • July 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Could feel the tension all through and felt myself rushing to the end to find out what was going to happen. Loved the style of the piece, it felt very natural and ‘of the moment’. Hurry up and post the next instalment…

  • July 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Brilliant piece of writing. How long do we have to wait to find out what happens?

  • July 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Hey P listen to all these great comments, now breath and take it all in. You have a gift with words. It’s that simple. Whether it be fact or fiction. I love the way you work your sentences and the way they flow together. So much emotion is conveyed and we learn all we need to about this woman in a short space. It’s perfect as it is. I am not sure we need to know what happens next. I like that it ends with a beginning. The beginning of this woman’s new life. Well done girl x

  • July 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    wow! Do you need my comment too? I’ll give it to you. I thought it was gripping, I couldn’t let go and I too want to know what happens next, please carry on

  • July 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Paula – it’s brilliant – tense, nervous, exciting… I want to know why, how, and all the rest. Have you written more? I know you said it’s a start but this is flowing so well there has to be more already… please say there is πŸ˜€

  • July 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    OH MY! You are cruel, you can’t leave it there…we’re BEGGING for me. Give us more!!!

  • August 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Have I missed the next chapter of this? I need to know what happens next, put me out of my misery pleeeease

  • August 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you all for your lovely comments – unfortunately it’s had the effect of giving me complete stage fright! I’m too scared to write more in case it’s completely crap!! Going away in a couple of weeks, hoping that will help me find my mojo again. xxx

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