Friday Frippery: If you can’t beat ’em…

First draft working title: Gone, Lass!

A Misery-fest Domestic Noir novel


Chapter 1

I wake. I groan despondently. I had hoped today would be different. But this isn’t heaven, or even hell. It’s worse than that. I’m in my bedroom, this room which has seen so much trouble, with my head on my old, lumpy pillow, mouldy now from the dampness of tears. I ache all over, but I know it’s just a response to the pain in my heart.

I stumble to the kitchen. 8 a.m. Is it too early to have a drink, I wonder? A bottle is open on the table – there’s a couple of inches of red at the bottom. I pour it, still unsure whether to have it or coffee. I notice there’s a dead fly floating in it. Oh well! I put the kettle on.

bottles of wine

I take my coffee to the computer. I haven’t showered. It seems so pointless to be clean, today of all days. My mind is pulled back to THAT DAY, ten years ago, when…. but no, I mustn’t think of it. I desperately want a drink.

I think about phoning my daughter, but she hates me calling in the morning. Or the afternoon. Or evening. In fact, she hates me. Ever since that day when she was five and I made her go to school. I remember the scene vividly. “WTF, Mum!” she yelled. “Why the flock would you make me do this? If I learn to flickering read, one day I’ll find myself reading The Girl on the Bus or Babies, You’re Dead! You’re a bad mother, you flubbing titch!” (We had taught her to swear early in the hopes she would write crime novels one day, but she still had some work to do…)

I think sadly of my hopes for her and my disappointment at what she’s become. A politician. I groan and bury my head in my hands, the grease from my unwashed hair leaving an oily deposit on my hands. I think about vomiting, but decide to leave it till chapter 2. I desperately want a drink.

Empty glass bottles

Breakfast. I must eat. I had some leftover pizza last Tuesday but since then I haven’t been able to face food. I look in the kitchen. The bread is mouldy. The milk is mouldy. There’s jam. I scoop the mould off the top and eat it from the jar with a dirty spoon. I remember those happy mornings when David and I were first married and we would gaze at each other lovingly over lightly boiled eggs and buttered toast. It’s six months since he left. With that floozy. And the dog. I miss the dog. It’s dead now. He forgot to feed it. I knew he would. I desperately need a drink.

I open my e-mails – 600, all from Nigeria. I think about moving there. It appears I have lots of rich relatives over there, though apparently they’re all dead. Here I only have my daughter. And my mother. She hates me. Ever since the social services made her take me back after she abandoned me at the recycling centre.

I spot an e-mail that’s not from Nigeria! Though I know better, my hopes rise. Could it be from a friend? Unlikely. I only have one friend, and she hates me. Ever since she asked me “Does my bum look big in this?”, and I told her the truth. I open the e-mail. OMG! WTF!! It’s from him! The man from THAT DAY, ten years ago, when… My mind recoils from the memory. I rush to the kitchen for the wine and chug it down in two gulps. The dead fly gives it added body. I put my head in my hands and groan. Can this day get any worse, I ask myself? But I know from experience – it can…

wine bottles


66 thoughts on “Friday Frippery: If you can’t beat ’em…

  1. 😆 Oh, FictionFan, this is priceless!!! Just absolutely priceless!! Oh, now you must have a visitor stop by. A long-lost brother who’s wanted to find his sister after that time when – but he can’t think about that. He arrives and she doesn’t want him to see her as she is. She must get away! But he could be her only salvation. But he’s – no, she mustn’t think about it. Oh, God, I need a drink!


  2. *laughing lots* That was so amazing! And you call yourself uncreative… I’m still laughing. Is this what crime novels are like?

    I love the part about wanting to vomit, but saving it for chapter 2. You, FEF, are amazing.


    • *laughing too* Thank you!! I was inspired by the bitterness brought on by reading yet another misery-fest. Yes, I fear this is what crime fiction has come to… now do you understand why I can’t take any more?!

      Haha! I couldn’t bring myself to describe it, but it wouldn’t be true domestic noir without it… Awwww, shucks! *blushes*


      • Yes! But think of this on the good side of things. How many crime novels can you wipe from your TBR? Lots, I’m betting. This is a step forward. Congratulations, madam!

        *shudders* I so couldn’t read domestic noir, whatever that is. *laughs* You must do more!


        • Only one, tragically! I’ve been avoiding them like the plague for the last few months. I took your advice and ditched it yesterday though – it felt good! I may ban books about murdered children too – that should get rid of a few more…

          You never should! Though I might add some to your TBR just for fun! *chuckles wickedly* I can’t! I’ve run out of ideas! I won’t get any more till about next June now!


          • One?! Goodness. We must get rid of all the romance next. Just must. Yes, get rid of the murdered children as well. Just read action stories, I say.

            Next June? Hmm…okay, I’ll be waiting, don’t you know. No, no…did you hear? My TBR has closed down for the year.


            • No romance on the list! Well, maybe one, but it doesn’t count because it’s Ms Austen so it’s really deep social commentary! The murdered children might deal with another three or four, but sadly a couple are from favourite authors, so they’ll have to stay. And hardly any action stories either…

              That’s OK! I’ll start work on next year’s then…


  3. I know this is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but oh, my, you’ve so very well captured the essence of too many novels these days! The first person POV, short short sentences, swearing, everybody hating everybody, fixation on drink, etc. Well done, FF! Now that I’ve read this, perhaps I’ll have courage to return to the murky middle of my own work in progress and find an escape route! Thanks for a Friday Pick-me-Up!!


    • Haha! Thanks, Debbie! I’ve read so many of them it just seemed to flow once I’d started. And I feel so much better for having got it out of my system… 😉 But I’m afraid my imagination runs out after about 500 words, so I’ll leave the proper novel writing to the proper writers! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. GOOD HEAVENS! You should instantly be gathering money from all those truly dreadful writers who map out this territory far less inventively, succinctly and with little grasp of language skills. They should be asking you to teach these skills.

    Alternatively, write some more, and send it to publishers. They may not realise it’s deeply wicked humour, and publish it, as the new Gone GIrl Dead Baby On A Train

    PS I’m VERY upset about the dog, and think I need a glass of wine. Or a box of chocolate. Perhaps i should just melt the chocolate in a bain marie and tip the glass of wine in it. Eat with a spoon

    Will there be another chapter next Friday?

    What a brilliant woman you are. PS if you want a publisher to accept it you MIGHT need to add a few grammatical howlers. Perhaps some mis-placed apostrophes


  5. OMG!!! I’m hysterical laughing! I’ll provide a blurb! “FF manages to capture the struggles of reading cliched crap with tact and grace. I was swearing and drinking myself into a coma the entire time. It was a hell of a hangover. A+.”


  6. That must have been hard work emptying all those wine bottles:) I was expecting bucket loads of chocolate wrappers thrown around the floor to be tripped over 🙂 Well done you – for a minute I thought this was going to be an actual start of a book…. 🙂 Keep going we expect big things from you.


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