The moment I finish for the day, SD beats it by a handful of words... but has been nagging me to post a couple of snippets from my prose, which I'm writing in between watching Strictly Come Dancing on youtube (go Mark!). I go through moments of enjoying what I'm writing, as well as moments of despair over how I'm ever going to pad it out to reach the magical 50k.
Mixing sambuca and the YMCA was always going to lead to trouble. Robbie was so tired, he felt like his eyes were going to explode. All he wanted to do was head to his bed and sleep for the whole weekend, but Katie had other ideas.
“You need to let off steam,” she said. “You’ve been cooped up in that hellhole of an office for far too long, living on nothing but caffeine and chocolate for days. You haven’t even had time to have a cigarette – and trust me, inhaling someone else’s tar just doesn’t give you the same kind of kick. Let’s go out and get really drunk, flail around on the dancefloor and fall over.”
The girls in the office were the laughing-stock of the company. They hunted, shopped and bitched in packs, and turned up to work every day in floaty bias-cut dresses and brayed, “oh, do you think anyone will notice that this is last season?” Robbie couldn’t bear them – they were blonde, stupid, superficial, resembled horses but were allegedly less pleasant to ride, and, if he was honest, he couldn’t tell one from the other.
True to her word, Marie made an effort the next morning. Her freshly scrubbed peaches and cream complexion now had mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss, and she was wearing a particularly fetching mini kilt. All in all, she hardly looked a day over 16, which suited the Britney fan club in the IT department perfectly. Her target was the most extrovert of the geek squad, a young South African called Pieter. Batting her eyelashes, she asked Pieter to repair her laptop (as well as circumvent the proxy server and install MSN and Skype). By the end of the conversation, she had arranged to buy Pieter a drink after work and step one of the plan was in place. After all, you could always rely on a South African to respond to a short skirt and the offer of a beer….
Over lunch with her best friends Caro and Libby, she confided the outlines of the plan. The trio, nicknamed the Three Disgraces, was like Alka-Seltzer: fizzy, bound to make you feel better but too much to take before 10am. All three had known each other since their teens. They’d gone through teen traumas together, including the break-up of Take That, and gone to university together and had graduated with good degrees from Oxford, despite having forgotten to do any work.
Libby, the oldest of the three by a few months, worked in advertising and had the figure of a real-life Jessica Rabbit – long hair and curves. Caro, who was a television news producer, looked like a Playboy bunny, but was fearsomely bright, while Katie changed her look every time she changed her job. At the moment, she was going through her “slutty secretary phase”, wearing glasses instead of her normal contact lenses, and stilettos.
They were always having adventures and could be guaranteed to have a story to tell. Men adored them, and they were surrounded by a group of loyal male friends – for some reason, women felt threatened by them. They shared a love of cheesy eighties pop music (though frequently teased Caro for loving the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud) and entertainment gossip, and their favourite night out involved vast quantities of sake and karaoke. In short, they were completely mad, but their lust for life was infectious.