I had some good news. The short story I put in for the Bishops Stortford College Festival of Literature Short Story Competition has been short-listed! Due to its ‘adult content’ he he you know me! it cannot be displayed in Waterstones nor in the Library nor in the school Library. No matter, it is on the Bishops Stortford Observer’s web-page and you can see it and the other short-listed entries here. There is a WARNING in capitals what makes me laugh.
I was very cheered to be short-listed. I know it is a little local competition and everything but it is a wonderful feeling to have your work appreciated even so. I am all zingy with excitement. And people keep stopping me in town to say how much they loved the story!
It cheered me so much that I decided to make more of the story. It feels so much like a Chapter 1. So, I might not have done no bloggin over the last three weeks but that is because I now have 32 chapters of ‘The World According to Shardonnay.’ And I’m telling you, I ain’t never had so much fun in my life.
Forgive me if I am talkin a bit weird. I been thinkin in me new character’s voice so much that now I can’t speak right no more. My friend Cath inspired me to do this. Years ago, I saw her at the school gate flouncing about with a feather boa, sneering at the other mothers. ‘Cath, are you alright?’ I asked her. ‘Just getting into character, dahling,’ she replied with a bitchy flourish and a vicious eyebrow put-down. She was about to play that cow what is the Baroness in the Sound of Music and did an incredible job. So, yes, whichever character you are tryin to work out, just become her or him for a few days or weeks. You might end up with no mates, but you will deliver a sizzling performance. So do forgive me if I don’t get me punctuation right, but I have been getting inside the mind of Shardonnay.
- Here is: The World According to Shardonnay.
Chapter 1. Little Swimmy Spermy Things
I dunno. It’s typical bloke really. He just never had a clue the poor chap. I would leave him spreadeagled on the bed, run up the corridor gaggin, spit into a jam-jar and trot over the road to Pat’s. She handed over the hundred quid without a word. No probs.
Twice a day, at least, I were doin this. For about ten years. No, thinkin about it, it were more like thirteen. Or even fifteen, now I come to think of it! Don’t the years go fast? That is one hell of a lot of little swimmy spermy things floatin about in the world. What a waste it would have been to have flushed all them down the sink though, or swallowed em, ahh poor little things. No, they deserved a chance at life, I thought to meself. And I were givin them that, Oh yes.
Runnin round Pat’s, often in me dressin gown, I would curve me body around the jar. I felt like quite protective over the little things. So fresh. So new. So healthy and with all that potential for….well…for becomin little human beings, I guess. Oh, yeah, it weren’t that I didn’t know what I were doin. I knew exactly what I were doin. But I’d made the decision not to worry about anythin what would result from it. Kinda brave, I know. I am one brave lady. And I needed the money. My mum always says to me, she says ‘Shardonnay, if you need the money, love, you need the money. Whatcha gonna do?’
Pat had ladies waitin, feet in stirrups. She’d put Matt’s lovely fresh creamy bollock juice into a syringe and squirt it up em. The ladies would lie with their bums up on cushions for twenty minutes or so to make sure them sperm had the best old chance of gettin to whatever eggs might be comin down the tubes.
Pat got all her ladies to write down what sort of baby they was after. She showed me the slips of paper once. So funny some of them, honestly. Made you wanna die laughin. ‘I want a blond clever boy baby. I want him to be good at maths and top of the class in science.’ Like, that kinda stuff you can order? Surely, I may be wrong, but isn’t it like how many hours the poor kid’s gonna spend at his desk swottin what will give him that? Not just the one teeny tiny swimmy thing what starts him off.
One day I asked her, ‘Do you ever think you might get found out, Pat? Cos, I mean, it can’t be….like legal, all this, can it?’
She looked at me and laughed. ‘It ain’t legal, Shardie, you are completely right there. But I just don’t think about it,’ she said. ‘I decided not to bother with all that a long time ago. I might be run over by a bus tomorrow. So who cares? And so far I only have satisfied customers.’
Well, that weren’t quite true. She has been known to get her colours mixed up. One Indian lady pacifically asked for a darker baby, she only got one pale as the dawn. And another lady gave birth to rich dark brown twins what she were not expectin one bit!
Chapter 2. The ‘Fertility Clinic’, Lol.
Sometimes when I deliver the morning lot, Pat invites me in for a coffee. I just sit there and help her label the jam-jars. A typical mornin sounds a bit like this:
‘Tass, can you get Mrs F a towel and cushion, please? Delivery just come through from over the road. Ready to shoot.’ Pat sighed and put the kettle on. ‘Honestly, it’s all go around here. The morning shift is mental.’
Tass reached up to the shelf for towels and a cover for the cushion. ‘Come on, Mrs F. Let’s get those yoga pants off of you, and get you ready for this jolly old conception. Third time lucky, eh, fingers crossed?’
‘Ooh, I do hope so, dear. I’ve been wanting a baby for years. Just never realised I could get top-ranking sperm on my doorstep.’
‘Until you bumped into Lisa in the Rosey Lea, right?’ Tass positioned her syringe. ‘Been taking your folic acid? Been drinking your Synergy drink?’
‘Yeah, god, it’s horrible, tastes like sludge. Ooh!’ Mrs F grimaced slightly as the syringe went in.
Tass counted to ten under her breath. ‘It’s so good though. Boosts fertility by hundreds of percent.’ She slowly pulled the syringe out from between Mrs F’s legs.
‘Does the sperm donor know who gets his sperm?’ asked Mrs F, curious.
‘Erm….don’t know, you’d best ask Pat,’ said Tass. ‘Now, don’t move, keep your butt on the cushions, let gravity help.’ She smiled. ‘Think Baby!’ She pulled the soft blue curtain round the padded bench where Mrs F lay, and left her lyin there.
Pat hung some towels over the radiator. She took some jars out of a steriliser. The doorbell rang. Another delivery. She brought it in, looked at the small creamy offering at the bottom of the jam-jar and sighed, like disappointed, cos it were such a pathetic offering. She does make me laugh. She selected a small syringe, siphoned it up, and put it ready on a plate.
Tass washed her hands, dried them and came to pick up the syringe. ‘Who’s next?’
‘Mrs P…..she’s in the other room, cubicle 3.’ Pat whispered: ‘For god’s sake don’t mix her up with the one in cubicle 4 cos she has specifically requested dark hair.’
‘Pat?’ asked Mrs F. ‘Do the sperm donors know who gets their sperm?’
‘Mmm, sometimes…it depends,’ replied Pat, a little bit shifty I thought, and busied herself with the plug to the steriliser and washing out jars. Truth was, she were probably thinking to herself, most of the donors don’t even know they are donors! Tee hee, their wives and girlfriends just give em blow-jobs, spit into jars and sell that pricey juice without the bloke havin to know a thing.
‘So let me get this straight,’ said Mrs F. ‘You’re saying some of the donors could be dads several times over, and not even know it?’
‘You don’t even know the half of it,’ I thought to meself. ‘Some of them blokes probably have three hundred children they don’t know about.’ I giggled into me coffee at the thought. So funny, it does make me laugh.