The birds that flew over the city
The bus
I look over at Miss Trotters. She is staring at her magazine. This week it showed some gorgeous skinny models, dressed in furs and smothered in makeup. I pretend to vomit. Miss Trotters looks up.
‘Don’t get your blazer dirty!’ She hisses.
I ignore her and reach into my pocket. I pull out a wad of fresh bubblegum and shoved it in my mouth. Miss Trotters glared at me. I rolled the lolly around in my mouth, sucking it extra loud to annoy PigTrotters.
‘Comb your hair, girl! It looks like a dog’s breakfast.’
The thing was, I was sick of moving. I had never made a friend in my life. I was twelve, and I had already visited six orphanages and twelve foster parents. My heart yearned for the country, where I grew up from the age of seven. My greatest desire was to see Mama’s face. But Miss Trotters, the social worker, thought Mama to be an ‘unfit-parent’. The country, she said, was not the right place to raise a child. Especially not in the middle of no where.
Miss Trotters talked to the council, and the council agreed that I should move to the city. Mama is allowed to see me once every five months. I don’t have a father and I never did. It was just me and Mama.
I kick my boots angrily at the seat in front of me. Miss Trotters grabs my hand.
‘Behave.’ She snarls.
I roll my eyes.
Miss Trotters calls up to the cabbie.
‘How long do we have until we are there?’ She asks.
‘Firten minats.’ The cabbie replies in a foreign accent.
I realize he means thirteen minutes. Miss Trotters leaps into action. Well, actually she waddles into action.
She reaches into her flowery handbag and pulls out a mirror, a comb, a needle and thread, a washer and some brown, waxy polish. I groan.
In ten minutes, my wild black hair is pulled into two sleek braids. My dirty face is washed, and my scars are covered with a bit of foundation, which I object to. My worn boots are polished, and they gleam in the afternoon light. Miss Trotters watches me like a hawk as I hurriedly darn the hole in my dress. The bus groans to a stop. Grinning trumiphantly at PigTrotters, I shove the needle and thread into my bag.
Miss Trotters gets up. She shoves her hand bag at me.
‘Look after that, Erica. Don’t spill anything!’
I pull the gum from my mouth and slyly shove it under PigTrotters makeup bag.
I get up and walk out of the bus.
My new life is about to begin.

Keep Reading

Chapter 2

The shadow in the window

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