Posts Tagged ‘serialisation’

I felt like I might tomber on the florcuvva. ?Urfup. I had nevah slozerixed I could urfup tellment trestot. That meant the wholeship, seriom. But, Miley, I wasn’t pretta. ?Leave my trav, just like that. ?Bandon all my cuzmos. Still, there is nevah any choice, I savved that. At that litters flickofamint, I also realised everything was bout to change for me.

I was sturbed, partlon cause I savved that reallon it was Greenvressis him…herself who had sisted on mostof the changes that led to our termin design. Sure, I had sillitated, but the more I thort ont the more I realised that he, she had led that creative surge. I had just allowed his, her genius to exostep.

Wever, by that usk, I had been maticallon urfupped. My darsk throbled with newinf. ?Unbelievable, intit. I had gone from normynorm vailer having to trav all the hours Miley made, to a vlady of vlesher, as urfupped people onlon dip and flip ficiallon four hours a day.  I would be much plusher…. way more bits and likes to festidrong exo for voddies and vlatticubes. My vail would now notclude any plaiting, nor dying, reaming, vurling or vloming. All I would do now was design, problon on my ownioni, in some indicube in some massive Siety.

Darskinf montred me where I had to troe. Address onlon, no Sietyinf. The job was at Shwervemanshon, so not too reachy: a tenninit boo-ride. Shwervemanshon is a massive bloklok taining all the biggest trilly fashwerve houses.  I had to prettapare. I set my darsklarm for newusk, as I needed to just my moufleur to be as bangup as posslob. Lucklon I had practised loads. I set my slozerlok to strongtretch and uppiprugs on lo-dose (obvion you canti have hi-dose at home), as toolmond needs anintzibitov help on their first day at a nouvotrav.

I got out of my slozerlok quitehigh as I donti often do uppies. I had had multiple slozerixes during the night. Now it felt like I could overstand everything more clearlon.

I had a fokka peer in the mirruv, darskstraining with stration. ?What did I wanti look like. I decided not to self-refer too blatelon, like not all green, just two straglog thin referencing stripes mongst a mass of greyish-vlu vurls. I put in a largish propper, ooh, paynfullon shizzos that, just nough to create a mild Outpout, and vlossed my vlips a pale pink. I vurled my vressis all in the same rection, and gelled them there firm. As a termin touch, I put one silvastic clit-hancer through my clitpiercing. I sav clit-hancers are slightlon exoshwerve, but people sociate them with the totlon thirties when bissliss was so up and the trilly fashwerve dustry leaptexo as most portant of all. I wantied to look bislisslike and how I was prettado anything the nouvo vail could throwat me.

I left the partmo, exostept my bloklok and got strate on the boo. I doded ixes all the way but was too petriffob to zorb anything. I reached Shwervemanshon by eight. I had been told to straightdrong to the fifty-first vel. The sensor took me up. It was mirruved and I was lone so I got a chance to mire my moufleur. The Outpout and pinkened vlips exostood nicelon gainst the foncy-grey hardened vurls of flair.

The sensor rived at vel fifty-one. I steptexinto a pale urple riddor. Ixes rected me to a cubby to the right. I was mitted and taken to an urfupdarskfitting. Sitting there in the dark with a soothing zicstream, I thort bout things. ‘Urfupping your filters, colours, sound,’ they dixed.

I exostept, mazed at the trilly quality of my nouvo pikups.

A scurity tadarsed at the door. He had green vressis, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the vringe, vadderangle, vurls, all of it. He used his mote to tripflip his vadder as I troed throughinto a huge cavernub area full of state-of-thart indi-cubes.  High vaults bove us were hung with plushyplush velvy curving curtains. Moving lights played mongst the curtainfolds.

Bout ten dells were strutting on a fakie-red-carpet in frontov rows of seated media people. The dells all had the new green look. I darskooed for a mint, miring my creation. All gether in a glinting, groomed row like that, I could blep it reallon was a fokkadokka design. I felt proud.

A man troed ward to meet me. ‘Nerd to make your quaintessence,’ he said.

‘Nerd,’ I plied.

One man was tadarsing hind a tablon, pulling ixes ontosplay. He turned round to bleppat me. His vaddervanilli waved from side to side. He had not gone for the green, but had a spensive–blepping dark red sunray hanced by a flittaking bright pulse and long dishioned blond and orange vressis, sewn with silver threads, sweeping the floor. Hmm, his flairdresser was doing grooty trav.

‘So, Kedda,’ he murtered. He dronged wardme and allowed his vaddervanilli to brush gainst my moufurls politelon. ‘Gratulation on your urfupping. I am Iffer, Genital of Topinf.’

!Miley. I had heard of Topinf, a nucleus specialising in the mozzlon boundary-pushing shwervixes. ?Who hanti. !Topinf vailed for Miley herself.  !I would nevah in my follest slozerixes have spected I would be vailing for Topinf, !let alone Topinf’s Genital.


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I took the boo home. Fore I could even tube a cutty, Broze splaypeared. Asked if I’d had any tresting trav. Too right, I said. I told him bout Greenvressis, bout our developing design. ‘!Olk,’ he dixed. ‘Sounds wellfokka. Keep it up. Our doptive always said, with your skills, you would be in the elite one day, Ked.’

‘But, Broze,’ I said, ‘this chap is welleird…?I donti even tink he is a chap.’ I whispered: ‘He had a fakie.’

‘Yea well, Ked, takes all sorts. Life would be dullard if people were all the same. This Greenvressis chap, fakie or no fakie, is a fokka ting if he’s helping you do grooti designs.’

‘You’re right,’ I said.  Greenvressis and his siccideas were deflon fokka.

‘You mark my words, Ked,’ said my broze, ‘you’ll be vailing for Miley herself one of these days.’

It was wellierd he said that, because you would not believe how velochy things can change. The next day, three blokes were standing waiting at the salon door when I got to trav.  They all wantied xactly the same as Greenvressis, who I scuvered was called Pliny. They were after the same vressis, vadderay, zlicked vringe, mote and all.

‘We troobi dat Pliny,’ one said.

‘Yeah, we troobit,’ said another.  ‘Need it for this aftube’s topslot catwalk.’

‘The Pliny is the big shebang,’ dixed the third.

I siddered them. ‘!Oh my Cyrus, we gone and set off a nouvo fashwerve all by ourselves,’ I vlatted.

I travved all foretube. I vailed on one, telling the other two to drong off and get a cutty on the corner, but they dinti troe. Just sat there waiting their turn. The middle one had quiteamintive vaddervanilli. I told him if he zired to look the same as Greenvressis he would have to have some vuction and put on a lengthening cone at nights. He said he dinti mind, he just had to have the nouvo fashwerve.

Through sheer hard grind, I got through all three of them by bloffeetime.  They sferred me some likes and troed off. During my tenninit break, I lined Dunqui. ‘?You tubing,’ she asked.

‘Yes, velochy, hanti got a mint, got queues dronging on,’ I vlatted. ‘You wonti believe it, Dunq, I got a new thing troeing on with the trilly fashwerve.’

‘?What is it.’

‘Scalled a Pliny, it’s only, wait for it… H13 green vressis, split into stinct vlocks, with a suttle vringe xinches bove the gnangle.’

‘!Cloof’ she slaimed. ‘?Vadderangle.’

‘Obvion, since like three daysago, ninety.’


I could hear Dunq pulling ixes exmogga and sembling them.

‘Lotsa, paler H13 green vurls peeking through a metallic vadderay, thin rays.’

‘Uuuw,’ she darsksighed. ‘Vice. You got your dij on that vulse, vlady!’

‘Tanky,’ I said. ‘I have been getting quiteafew plimentos raysamont.’

I sferred her an ix of the green vressis. Dunq bobbed and morflitted through her oftinf and vamped it all up a bit, hoiked the imix. She sent it out on vlogix within tenninits. By the aftube I had a new line of blokes waiting. ‘Oh Miley,’ I sclaimed, darskooing at them all. ‘Have to call inforsemints.’

I darskalled FaddyFalon Timps. Ordered four vailers just for the aftube, maybe for the next day too. I just had time to chuck a whole load of stentions into the last of my dye before the timps turned up. I straited the new neeks and, since the queue was throbling, we just troed at it: dying, vlombing, plaiting, cutting the vringes and then zlicking and snippisnipping into them to give them that natural look. Luckily FF Timps are always well-trained. They have nifty blingers and get what I’m montring them first time. We had to call Bowares to get a nother vat of that horbil H13green stuff in. I litters dinti even get time to tube a cutty, all aftube. Five of us were vailing flat out.  For blokes with short flair, it took even longer as we had to put in the prettadyed stentions first.

I flitted some likes to FaddyFalon, and sferred a centidge to MileyMuns too. Best to keep up with your Emmemms daily therwise they’ll be after you.

At home, I stepped into my blopak for a freshnub dryclenz. The kems and the wind did their vail. I felt better, but my blingers were still aching. I put on Killapayn prugbluvs to numb them up.

I had to troe exo. Needed some prugs. If you’ve litters vailed your blingers off all day, you need a good vlatt. Liza met up with me and we troed down Festivoy. Tubed three tripvoddies, ordered a retroverdose, which obv is only safeprugs as they would never let you realinfoverdose, got straight in a vlatticube and vlatted our vlips off for bout four hours. We were hauled out just after midnight and chucked exofest.

My darsk throbling with staddered newinf, I sloggered home at one in the morning. Someone splaypeared as I drapped in the door.

‘?Where you been, vlady,’ the person sclaimed.

?Was it Dunqui. It sounded like her, and she was surrounded by all her stuff, but it dinti look like her.  To be fair though I could hardlon bleppa her I was so stroyed.

‘?Dunqui…is that you,’ I slurred.

I tried to set my darsk to better saturation and contrast.  Difficult, as my blingers were still numdup from the prugbluvs. I fiddled drunklon with tilt and shift. That was better. !Oh. !Dunqui’s vapearlies had gone. !Her what-had-been-bangup-but-maybe-were-not-bangup-no-more silky stentions sewn with vlu lace had gone. !She had H13 green vressis. !Miley. I had nevah evah bleppaed Dunqui strutting one of my designs fore.

‘!You not just got your moufleur on the pulse, vlady,’ she sclaimed. ‘!You litters the big shebang.’

Yop! I couldn’t believe this. Maybe the prugs had put me in some sort of tastical slozerix. Had I reallon managed to chieve a bendgend fashwerve? I coudnti dix a thing, I was that moved, and still that stroyed from the vlatticube.

‘!Olk,’ said Dunq, pouring me ixes of bothsex slebs with the nouvo look, ‘you litters have done it, vlady. The bendgend. All the girls here are wantiing one. ?You know what this means, donti you.’

‘No…?I litters donti have a cluebo in hellion,’ I slurred.

‘It means….you going to urfup, vlady.’

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I climbed into my slozerloc and had wellierd slozerixes about red, open darskiddenflappas and bright vlu darskiddenbleppas looming at me exomist.  I woke up midnight darsgasping in panink. Thank Miley we’ve covered all that shizzos up and moved on. I donti tink private parts should be bleppaed or parled on. They are private. Like zactly. Private. And anyway, how on Mileyship would anyone get by without their darskinf?

This all vert-hurt my thortpac so lucklon next day it was the Kend. Thank Miley for the Kend. Two days of chilled times. I laxed, ported lotsix into my darsk and zorbed. I tubed healthy joococtions. I tretched in my tretching chamber, pulling zistant bands to the latest wobberrap my broze sent me. After thirty mints I frizzed my vressis, put in a quick double-colour streak with a simple orange and black stention and went out for a cutty with my friend from beauty school, Niella. She hearts to updress, and was looking fokkadokka with glittery diamond fakies bringing out her propped mouf. We tubed cakeycake, moving on to kol at about xoclock. We met up with Liza, who had tarted up her mouf with some rather exoshwerve plakkiplaits at least, thank Miley. We tubed trip voddies and became stantly runk. Obvion after that we flipped our liddergauze, tubehaled a quikpliffa each, had a good vlatt, and passed exo in a vlatticube gether. Fokka night.

Greenvressis turned up again trestot Monday. The colour was growing on me. The dye was spensive, and I realised that in the light it had a grooty urple gleam. As I was upvlombing his furls, he said, ‘It zires one last thing.’


‘A mote.’

Onestlon, cuzmos get the zarrest ideas in their murky thortpacs sometimes. I don’t let on that they’re totallon bonksfest.  ‘A mote, !Sure.  !Siccathort. Might just set it all off…’

We fitted one just low the vadderbase. I put the controls in his bluv. He tried it out. !Olk, it was ackshallon fokkadokka. The mote made the vaddervanilli jump just slightlon, causing the vressis to flash their grooty gleam.

As I was waiting for Greenvressis’ likes to darskload, Talika said she was troeing exo to the corner jop. Greenvressis waited til she sappeared, then, exo nowhere, slipped a bluvved didge under his flairline and gave a sharp tug. I darsgasped as the whole flairy green area came away from his groyn. !Behind it were vlips. !Big vlips with brown flair and china flowery beads. I couldn’t believe it. I had not spected fakies. I certainly had not spected such a sophistokid fakie. ‘Shh,’ he…she whispered, ‘our time is coming. !Be pretta.’

‘!Pretta?’ I darskchoked. ‘Prettawhat?’

‘Prettarun.’ He…she put a didge to his vlips. ‘We’ll get you exo, Ked,’ he..she whispered, ‘don’t wuzzo.’

I wantied to dix that I dinti zire to be ‘got exo’, as I was fectly sicca where I was, and that I hadn’t been at all wuzzoed until he..she exoblew my napses…but I was too shonked to parle.

His likes had sferred to my darsk so he, she stuck his…her fakie back down and stood up, clipped it back to its bangup ninety-degree angle and troed off. I was so shonked I dinti even realise I problion should have pressed my fliplarm. Was he…she from the zistance?

It was hard to tell. I was afeared. Would his darsk not pick up even his whispers? Did he have a way of unabling darskinf? I had seen reports on my splay that some people had gone off-grid, with riculoso zults. Who would rush to help you, if you were ill, fureggs? Darsks send constant healthinf to dotters so they can monitor you. Now that’s sensible, and that’s normynorms.

Dammidams.  I had troobied vailing with Greenvressis. I dinti zire him…her to be zistance. I dinti zire the spambort van to come and take him…her screaming wayway.

I told myself I was wuzzoing for nothing and it was problion allsicca.  Fakies aren’t against the law. He…she had problion gone temps a bit loopiloop, right?



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‘?Who’s on spambort,’ shouted Talika.

‘Dalla,’ I dixed velochy.

‘She’s with a cuzmo.’

I darsksighed. This is why my trav is not fokka. I’m too sicca for sitting on spam for two hours. It’s payning. Infhackers get in all over. Every splay, every inf-lux point, wever lux it is, they know how to crack it.

Then, as happens every day, a zistance chap burst through our barriers. It’s become so normynorm it doesn’t even petriffy me any more, as they’re not violent, just trilly daygolass. This one had sal robes and a ragged darsk. He had no vadderdec at all, and no vadderangle what could be serned. ‘Be afeared!’ he screamed. ‘The nosing stards…feeding you falsinf. Don’t believe any mouthing spit they dix…’ I slipped to the back of the jop to squeeze my fliplarm. You’re nevah meant to touch zistance, it’s insanitary, because they live exo-exo and it’s not sprayed properion there. He threw himself into the street just before the spambort van came. They got him though, one with a Yolt and one with a bortgun. I held cushols over my darskiddensideflappas area, as bortgunscreams are quitenoying. We straightway put our florcuvva in the sinnerater and set the moppa to deepclense to kill the obvion crobes.

The whole flor would be awash with kems so I had a five mint break on the bench, enough time to spray sofner on my spikes. I vlombed them out and rearranged them around my whorl. I have really nice vressis as I always use trilly quality dishner. I watched people drong by. I troobi the rioty of styles.

A couple of men troed in, one wanting to try the new mote-trolled bouncing varectors and the other wantiing colour. I vised the first chap of the new ninety-degree vadderangle, and montred the other one the colour charts on the splay.

‘That one’s sampa,’ he said, bluvponting a dirty green on the H row.

I tried not to say anything. We are told not to question the cuzmo, but sometimes, honestlon, you have to clamp your moufleur. ‘?Have you seen this rather fokka vlu though.’

‘I troobi this H13 better. !Look. It’s got flash.’

‘Hmm, that’s why it’s more spensive,’ I said. Flash is overrated I think, but it is like you’re getting two or three colours in one.

I started mixing the H13green for him. Shame he dinti troobi the vlu, as it would have looked sicca as a frame for his handsome vaddervanilli. I put the long stentions into a tray of H13. I then painted extra green onto his vressis ligently, wrapping each flairlock in voil and tying up the odd thin strand, which we did in silver. He waited, fabling to his friend, who was trying vadderangles with different mote-trolled varectors. They troobied the new angle. ‘It was tellment exo, and now it’s tellment in,’ vlatted the friend, having a little strut and looking into the mirruv at his vanilli ponting straight out.

‘That’s the fashwerve for you,’ said Greenvressis.

‘You’re litters bangup to the mint,’ I said to his friend. ‘In a couple of weeks you wonti see anyone with an upright, they’re like tellment over.’

I started tatching all Greenvressis’ stentions. It took yons as it’s fiddly vail. I siddered the vanilli. ‘You know, these green vressis might go siccon with one of our new vadderays.’

Greenvressis gave a little thrust. ‘Worth a try,’ he dixed.

I vlatted. These two were quite grooty. I troobied their willingness to speriment.

We tried out vadderays. The seventh or eighth reallon hanced his vanilli, splaying exo siccon from its vadderbase, in dark metallic grey. The metal weirdlon flected the shunting colours in the flash of the green. ‘Stylish,’ I cluded.

‘Bang-up,’ agreed Greenvressis. ‘I’ll take it.’

‘Very now,’ dixed his friend. ‘Oh Miley, I’m gonna have to have one of them little mouthers.’

I vlatted, to be polite, even though I didn’t troobi him swearing. ‘Everyone’s gonna want one by the end of the week.’

I stood back and siddered Greenvressis. ‘They might even zire them green vressis too. That whole onsomb might litters be the big shebang.’

Lollos. Thinking back, I realise I had nidea. I was one naïve little scrap. ?Didn’t have a cluebo in hellion, did I. !Nugh. !Easynough to dix that now.

Anyway, Greenvressis’ friend chose a silver vadderay with yellow pulse to montrup gainst his normous dark vaddervanilli.

Talika came over for a darskpeer. She winked her mouflaps. I was pleased, because she doesn’t give much praise.

‘?You want bits, or likes,’ Greenvressis asked.

Bits is obvion more practical but I troobi likes better cos they come back at you more velochy. So Greenvressis and his mate, totally troobiflipped with their purchases, sferred me a dred-and-fifty likes but of course half of that straightdrongs to the salon and half of what’s left pays MileyMuns. So I was left with thirty seven likes. Not kak. Would pay the week’s rent on my partmo.

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Pearly cover

Chapter 2.

I let go of the sun’s rays and the light went out of me.  If only that lovely girl could have chosen me.  I just knew she was right for me.  All of the next day, I was in the window again, but nobody asked to try me.  I felt dull, grey. The sun must have been behind clouds as there didn’t seem to be any light to play with.  I dozed fitfully.  Lucy’s voice woke me from a troubled dream. ‘Mum?  See!  She’s still there!’

The shop owner, Pudgy-Fingers, picked me up again.  New as I was to the world, it was disorienting to be swung around, flipped suddenly horizontally instead of vertically. Pudgy-Fingers placed me down on a velvet cloth with some other flutes.

‘You can try all of these,’ he said.

‘I don’t need to…thank you. I already know which one I’d like,’ said Lucy.

She looked again at my engraving. Her face was so close I could feel her breath clouding my surface. ‘Pearly,’ she whispered. Gentle hands picked me up and cradled me. I could tell she did not know how to play. But she tried. I tried my hardest to make a sound for her, but without the breath going in the right direction it was nigh on impossible.

‘Don’t worry,’ said her mother’s voice. ‘You need a teacher, that’s all.’

‘Can I start today, Mum?’ she pleaded.

‘It’s already late. Maybe tomorrow.’

I was pulled apart and put into my case.  I was carried, swung slightly. I felt rumbling beneath me, crude vibrations. I was scared, but felt reassured that Lucy was near. I could pick up, muffled through my case, her eager chatter.

I loved being at Lucy’s house. It was calm. Lucy took me out, slotted me wonkily together and left me out, balanced on my case, all night. The next morning, very early, so it was still almost dark, I awoke to high and joyful chirpy noises outside. A  fascinating crescendo of sound bathed my whole being. I listened and learned in wonder, as strengthening light and fragrant air poured in upon me through tall windows.

That day, I was taken out in what I knew by then was a car, for us to have our first lesson with Lucy’s new teacher, Silvia. The first thing Silvia said to Lucy was ‘Oh, what a lovely flute! Gorgeous, isn’t she?’

I always liked Silvia after that. Also, she helped Lucy to progress quickly, and that was good, as I wanted to play interesting things.  She showed Lucy how to slot me together correctly and adjust me.  She had Lucy stand up tall and straight and taught her how to hold me so that my head-joint was locked securely against her chin, with the little finger of her right hand pushing forwards like a lever, and the side of her left index pushing back. Silvia demonstrated on her own flute how to play a long B. As the note sounded, I heard, ‘Bonjour, my friend! Enchantée! Je m’appelle Madame Douce.’

Silvia’s flute was quite old and from a place called France, the other side of the big water, she told me. Her tone was very sweet and gentle. She was my guide, as we played a lot of things together to help Lucy.

Lucy learnt the notes B, A and G first. She had to play lots of long notes to increase her lung capacity. At first she would let air escape too fast so she could only manage one second, but she quickly learnt to play more quietly and control the air-flow.  She could do three, then four seconds, but within a few weeks Silvia was timing her for eight seconds, then ten, then twelve. At first our sound quavered and was uneven, but quickly it became steadier. After about four lessons, we could already play ‘Hot Cross Buns,’ ‘Au Clair de la Lune,’ which Madame loved as it is French, and ‘Merrily’. This was all good…. except we played them all about fifty times.  ‘Merrily’ goes, BAGABBB rest AAA rest BBB rest BAGABBB rest AABAG. I can do that off-by-heart for you any time! Seriously, my girl was hooked on that tune. I didn’t mind because by then I would have done anything for Lucy and I took comfort from the fact that every time she played it, she was improving.

Luckily Madame and Silvia taught us C and F so there were a few more tunes we could play. Lucy got hooked for a few weeks on ‘When All the Saints’.  It’s a tricky one as, being in the key of F, there must be some B flats. If your player forgets to put his or her right index down to make the Bs flat, it sounds very odd. Whenever Lucy forgot the B flat, I would sort of shrink from the B natural to make it sound even odder than it was, to give her a clue. Eventually she got it.

About five or six weeks in, we hit a stumbling block: middle D.  I so wanted Lucy to learn D, because I knew that as soon as she did, she would be off, as D leads into the easier middle octave where the fingerings are all the same as for the bottom octave.  However, D is hard for a child to learn as it uses a lot of fingers. Beginners have quite weak fingers and can’t press our keys down hard enough. With the best will in the world, a flute can’t put its own keys down. To play D, every finger which is up for C goes down, including the left thumb. Every finger which is down for C goes up. This means going from C to D is a big change. D is the only note that you raise your little finger for. But after playing D, you have to put that little finger straight down again.

Lucy found it very hard. Her little finger did not have much strength in it as she was so little. She forgot to lever her hands properly to lock me against her chin, so every time she went from D back to C, I would slip as she took her thumb off the key. This made me nervous I was going to be dropped, which made my sound buzzy.  Lucy cried often and couldn’t bring herself to play. She started inventing excuses to miss her lessons.  I lay in my case feeling like I had failed, and panicking in case Lucy decided to give up. I sent out thought waves to her ‘Please, Lucy, don’t give up…give me another chance…pleasepick me up…play something.’

But there I lay, for days and days, ignored. ‘Lucy,’ called her mother, ‘you must practise your flute!’

‘My fingers hurt,’ she wailed… ‘I can’t do D.  I hate D.  It’s….it’s just….TOO DIFFICULT.’

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Chapter 11.

I had jus had a realisashun.

I had jus had a realisashun.

I looked down at the baby. Suddernly her eyes snapped opern. Thay were very black and very wise. Thay stared in to my soul and tolled me what to do. There was anuther showt from the maniger lady and Nerse Janit. Thay were runing to wards us. The maniger lady was yelling in to her mobile. Nerse Janit was clowser. She streched owt her arms as if to take the baby of me. I gripped on to LittelBaby tight, and just as Nerse Janit made a suddern lunge for her, I wisked her awey and startid to sprint to wards the exit. I swiveled rownd to bump the swing dors opern with my back, brushed parst anuther nerse who was jus coming in, ran down the coridor and pushed my hip on the bar to opern the fire iscape. Oh shit, it was an alarmed one, but at least it opernd. I ran down, clang clang clang on the metel as the sirens went Wooop Woooop. Dont drop the baby, I said to my self. I cluched her with one arm, so I coud hold the rale with the uther. I reched the grownd and startid haring up the parth to the rode.

I was looking bihind me to see if eny one was following, so I dident see the lady coming up the parth. I bumped into her with my showlder and nocked in to her quite strongley. I stumbeled and tripped, but did not let go of LittelBaby. The lady staggered in her high heles and exclamed. It was NarstyLady. Shit, she was come to get LittelBaby, for shure. I tore thrugh the garden, owt parst the hedge and on to the silent rode. I ran left, looking both weys. Where was Duncan? He was not there! May be heyud thort better of it. There were only the oringe strete lamps, and a fox crossing the rode. I herd lowd runing steps bihind me. My breth was coming in big raggid garsps but I did not stop runing. I looked back. Jesus Crist, it was Jimmy thundering arfter me. I peltid all the way up the strete. There was a veyicle bihind me. I did not look back again. I kept runing. My hart was pownding pane fully in my chest. Thay woud get me. It was certun. I woud have to give up my baby for the secund time. I coudent bare it. I howled with frigt. Brakes squeled. I gave up. ‘Sorry, LittelBaby,’ I sobbed and I kissed her cheke, ‘Iyum so sorry, I wish you coud of been mine.’ I stopped, garsping and snotting all over the strete. Duncan lened over to wind down the windo. ‘Stop runing, you numpty,’ he called, ‘and get in!’

I handid LittelBaby in to him and Duncan yanked me up in to the cab, just as Jimmy grabbed me by the hips, so the van shot off with him still hanging on to my tracki botterms. Gripping on to Duncans arm, I twistid my body rownd so I could nee Jimmy in the bolluks and kick him in the shins. The track soot botterms then fell down as far as my feet,  so Jimmy was being dragged along for abowt a hole minit with his chin bumping along the tar mack and me screming my hed of, bifore I maniged to rigel my feet owt of my traners. Jimmy was left in a battered state, clutching my empty clothes in the middel of the rode.

I pulled my feet in dubbel quick, and slamed the door, sobbing with relief. ‘Fiew!’ I said. ‘You shoud of done that Jimmy in a bit more!’

‘I did nock him owt,’ Duncan said. ‘But it obviusly dident larst.’ He took a windy root owt of town.

I kissed my baby on her fore hed, still sobbing, and held her tight. I never wantid to let her go awey from me ever again. ‘NarstyLady was there,’ I tolled Duncan. ‘She was coming in, she was on the parth.’

‘Yeah, she was coming to get Sprinkels,’ he said. ‘Tolled you, we dident have eny time to loose.’

Hummbold I was, looking at my baby.  She was so perfict, so niew that she seemed to be from anuther univers where there are only angles.  I knew with owt a shadow of a dowt what love was. And I under stood that this love is crushal to being a human being. It is the secret of why pepol have servived for millyuns of yeres. Its why we have not dide owt, because you litrally know that you woud lay down your life for your baby. I think dinasors loved there babies too, I think thay were sweet to them and licked them lovingley, but they only dide owt because the wether changed and it got to cowld for them. I think all crechurs love there babies, mowses and rabits, even snales and slugs. Even a wood lowse loves its baby, and an ear wig. Probly evern maggots love there baby maggots. Its because in loving your baby, you are loving the fiucher and the pull of the fiucher is very strong. Fiucher babies who nede to live and injoy the planit are calling to us from far awey over the yeres what seperate us, arsking us to have babies. Its abowt servival. And I think that may be if you are a bit daft, like me, you can love your babies even more than brillyunt pepol whose clever ness gets in the way of there loving there babies. Thayr to rapped up in thinking abowt ejucating there baby, and numbers and long werds and all those idears thay have, to jus let them selvs rilax, like I coud do with my baby. We were like weldid to gether. The edjis of who we were were blerd and fuzy, and I felt my self reche owt and be the baby, and I knew she was recheing owt and being me. She was bicoming me and I was bicoming her. And that felt jus wunder full. I carnt discribe it for you in long werds like a powit woud or like a persen who rites songs woud when thay talk abowt love, but I can tell you, there was nuthing like that fiyuling in the hole werld.

Duncan drove with his hand on my nee. We drove and drove. Parst Norrich, parst Swofferm and Kings Lin then up parst Peterburer and then North.

We got owt to get a cup of tea, some food, napies and fule in a small petrel stashun of the A1. We looked arownd for CCTV.

‘We need to get up to Scot Land, in to the mowntins where there are no camras,’ Duncan said.

‘Yeh, cos Iyuv all weys wantid to show the baby how to throw stownes in to the lakes and here them go plop,’ I said.

Duncan jus looked at me and shook his hed.

‘What?’ I arsked.

‘Jus…you,’ he said. ‘You really arnt on this planit, are you?’

‘Ha ha,’ I said. ‘I am on this planit, silly, at least as much as you are, eny way.’

‘Only trubel is,’ said Duncan, ‘I have to give the van back to Steve, soon. The donuts is his live lihood.’

We got back in the van. The baby sucked my nipperls. It wasent hard, as she was really good at it and knew what to do. Then I held her on my lap and we looked at eche uther. She looked so beautifle. Like she had been sunning her self on a beach. Gowldern smooth skin. Tuftey pale hare. A frowny littel fore hed. Very red lips. We unrapped her and changed her nappy and dressed her in a new baby gro. We rapped her up again. She made no noisis, jus tiny snuffels. We lined the shoe box with anuther blankit and Duncans fleese. Then we lade her in it. It was a perfict size for her.

‘What are we going to call her?’ he said.

‘I dont know,’ I said. ‘Let me lisen a wiol and see if she can tell me.’

I sat still and shut my eyes, but herd nuthing and a terribel tiyerd ness over took me and I slumped down in the corner of the van. Duncan put a blankit under my hed and cuvered me with his big cote. ‘I think shes jus called LittelBaby,’ I wispered and fell aslepe for a fiew awers.

In Yorksher the van terned on to bumpy tracks across mors so I woke up. As the dawn spred like bony fingers of pinkish light across the sky we terned the enjin of in the midderl of a beautifle rolling vally of perple hether. I changed the babys nappy and she sucked my milk again. It hert but it was also wunder full. I felt prowd that I coud do it with no one showing me how. Duncan put slepeing bags on the flor of the van so he coud slepe too and we slept for awers with LittelBaby bitween us.

We stayed there for two days so we coud slepe and slepe. Juring that time we lernt to look arfter LittelBaby. It was easy because she knew what she needid. We used the van for making benes on towst and coffee. When the food startid running owt we dicidid to move on, go ferther north. We had to werk owt how to give the van back to Steve so we stopped at a motel nere Scots Corner and Duncan called him.

I loved the motel. I had never stayed in one bifore. It was a low, long, woodern bilding. All the rooms were on the grownd flor. They all had a littel balcany thing owt the back with two deck chares on it. You coud sit there looking owt over popler trees and silver berchis all with gowld and yello leves and a rocky river rushing parst. There was a small, up terned bowt on the bank.

‘Look, Duncan, theres a littel bowt!’ I said. ‘We coud go rowing.’

‘We arent on holiday, Sally-Anne,’ he said. I thort that was a bit rong, cos really we sort of were on holiday. I mene, what is a holiday if it isent when you go awey some where? And we defiantly had gone awey some where quite far, ferther than I had ever gone bifore at least.

Duncan was smoking anuther fag nervusly. There was hardly eny one else in the uther rooms as it was erly novemba. It was disertid and a bit chilly. You coud see your breth on the air. Duncan went owt to buy some beers. Then we put the telly on. There was nuthing on telly thogh. There never is. We lay on a proper bed. Mmm it was luvley. ‘This is proper lukshury,’ I said. LittelBaby dident like being in side as much as she liked being owt side or in the van thogh. She liked lisening to the leves rusling in the trees and fiyuling the brease on her fase.

‘I tolled Steve Iyud meet him five miols awey from here,’ said Duncan. ‘Heyull get there tomorro at abowt two. Hes coming up on the trane.’

‘What if he tells pepol where we are?’

‘He jus woud never do that,’ said Duncan. ‘But I wont tell him where you are, eny way.’

The next day, he drove the van of to give it back. He walked back the five miols. When he got back I was lying on the bed trying to get on my fase book on my phone. Duncan saw me keying in things and lept to wards me. ‘What are you doing?’ he cried owt. ‘Sally-Anne, dont be daft! Your locashun can be tracked.’ He grabbed it of me and took owt the battry. ‘Best not use it at all,’ he grumbold.

We liked it so much at the motel that we dicidid to stay anuther night. I think that was are miss take. We shoud of got crackin in sted. Duncan had gone owt to get more beers and I had jus finished changing LittelBabys nappy on the flor and there was a nock at the dor. I thort it was Duncan. I picked up LittelBaby and operned the dor.

It was NarstyLady.

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Chapter 10.

He was crowched biside my bed. His eyes glemed black and yello from lights riflectid in them. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he wispered. ‘What thay done to you is rong….Iyum sorry…’

I felt sad ness more than eny thing. ‘Did you…did you…bitray me?’ I arsked him.

The look on his fase was my anser. I coud hardly bileve it.

‘Were you…going to let them take LittelBaby…all along?’

There was a silence. His warm hand squezed mine. ‘Shh, yes, Sally-Anne,’ he wispered. ‘Iyum sorry. I dident realise what it ment. It was like easy muny. I agreed to it bifore I even met you.’

 I pulled my hand out of his and terned my fase to the wall.

‘I really am a hundred persent sorry, I will make it up to you.’ He ducked down suddernly, as a nerse with a clip bord came throgh the swing dors to the ward and clicked parst my cubical.

I said nuthing. Losing him was all most as much a blow as losing LittelBaby.

‘Lisen, Sally-Anne, I’m here to help you get LittelBaby back.’

Oh god, what a stupid idiut. Thay woud never risk letting her owt of there sight. Teres were poring down my fase. Why do I never find rele friends? Only idiuts. Probly because I am a gullibel, naïv idiut my self. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid Sally-Anne. Why had I ever thort that I coud find a boy friend as good and as nice as the Duncan I thort I knew? Of cors it had all been fake. I had jus been imminensly stupid to think I, Silly-Sally, coud of struk gowld.

‘We carnt get her back, Duncan. Thay will be garding her. And we dont even know where she is, like where did thay take her?’

He stared at me. ‘Sheyull be here, wont she? In the center? At least for a fiew awers.’

Well yes. Where else coud thay of taken her? I realised she was most likely very clowse. And its not like NarstyLady woud of arrived all redy to get her in the middel of the night, shurly, as sheyud had no warning that I woud give berth a weke erly. I lened up on my elbow and looked abowt me. No one was arownd. The nerse who had jus helped me had gone of up the coridor and was tapping on a compiuter at the far end. But a terribel weke ness was in my legs and in my hart. ‘Duncan,’ I said, sinking back down on the pillos, ‘I jus…I jus dont think I can.’

‘Sally-Anne,’ he wispered, ‘its now or never. If you want your baby, youv got to get her now, wiol thay wont be ixpecting you to have the strenth.’

I was crying again. ‘But…I dont have the strenth.’

He rolled under my bed, as the same nerse squeked back again to the dor with her clip bord. He rolled owt again.

‘Yes you do,’ he wispered. ‘You can do it. Iyum going to help you. Sally-Anne, I promis I will never bitray you again. I love you.’

I said nuthing. I jus gulped down more snot.

‘Plese, Sally-Anne. Your the best thing that ever happerned to me. Iyuv never had so much fun as when Iyum with you.’

No…how coud I trust him now? I was thinking again of how we darnsed on the beach. Had he only darnsed just because he was pade to keep an eye on me and he was jus extra good at his job? I thort how are friend ship had sunk.

‘Did you only darnse with me….because it was your job?’ I arsked.

‘No, no, Sally-Anne, how can you think that? That was me, that wasent the job! Sally-Anne, we havent got time…Neo natel is jus along the coridor, and up on level 2, I parsed a sign as I was coming in,’ he said erjently.

‘Yeh, I know where it is,’ I said. ‘Its jus, Iyum not brave like you.’

‘Sally-Anne,’ Duncan hissed, ‘What have you got to loose?

I thort abowt it. What did I have to loose? If thay cort me, I woud only be in the same situashun as I was in now. I coud try then….was I brave enugh?

‘Iyum getting the van,’ he wispered. ‘Iyull be owt side the frunt in fifteen minits.’

I jus stared at him in terrer. My boddy was shaking, like in volanterily.

‘Come on Sally-Anne, LittelBaby Sprinkels nedes us.’

‘Duncan,’ I wispered, clutching his hand tight, ‘thay have a night…sicurity gard, Jimmy, owt side….the dor of neo natel.’ My voice was coming in strange, raggid garsps.

He frowned. ‘Iyull go there ferst. Iyull dele with Jimmy. By the time you get there, heyull be gone, dont wurry,’ he said.

Dispite my terrer, I maniged to give a tiny nod. He looked arownd to check no boddy was there, and shot of owt the dor.

Fere corsed thrugh me. I tried to cuntrol the littel garsps and sobs that were coming owt of me. I was still shivring as I pulled my self owt of the bed, kepeing lo, squished my pillos into a boddy shape under the cuvers and scrumpeled a black cardigun where my hed shoud be. With my tethe chattering, I pulled the hoodie thay had broght me back over my hed and pulled on jogging botterms and my traners.

I knew where neo natel was, because it was on the same flor as where I had my helth checks. With my hed swivling franticly apon my showlders, I did what Duncan had done, and zoomed as farst as I coud, but on tip toes to slip owt of the swing dors. I had no time to look back and see if I was being followed. I heved my self up a fligt of stares, quiertly, quiertly, and crossing my fingers in my hed, pushed opern the dor at the top a crack and peked rownd. The coridor was empty. I shuffeled up it, peped rownd the corner and again ran along until I reched an alcove. Right next to the alcove was a fire iscape with a spyrolled metel stare case on the owt side of the bilding. Coud I get owt there with LittelBaby? Was it the tipe of dor wich woud set of an alarm? The neo natel ward was jus biyond it at the end of the coridor. There were two glars windos in the dors. It looked darkish in side. As I peeked owt of my alcove the dors banged opern. I pulled my hed back sharply.

‘Oh! Wheres Jimmy gone?’ said a nerse.

‘Gone for a fag, mos probly,’ said anuther.

‘Hes left his coffee bihind, silly man! Itul go cold.’

Thay squeked parst chatting in low voicis. I squeezed my self back against the wall. I thort I might screme or may be wet my self with fright.

I tip toed very quiertly to wards the dors. Shure enugh, no sign of Jimmy. Jus an empty chare, a niews paper and the coffee cup on the flor, steming jently. Well done, Duncan. I looked thrugh the glars windo. All looked still with in. I took my curidge in my hands. ‘What have you got to loose, Sally-Anne?‘ I arsked my self again and I ansered my self too, with fresh teres corsing down my chekes: ‘Nuthing, abselutely nuthing, Sally-Anne.’

I pushed opern the dors and walked in. No boddy sterred. No boddy was in the resepshun airea. At the far end a woman who looked like she was the maniger was bent over files with a littel reading lamp iloominating the paper. She looked up but she was quite far awey. I walked normally. The ferst two littel see thrugh cots were empty. I walked on, like in a dreme, to the therd cot. It was a fat boy baby with a very red fase. Not mine. I carried on walking. ‘You jus have to be very very quick, Sally-Anne, and very very shure of your self,’ I said to my self. ‘Confidance is evry thing.’ The next cot was surrowndid by blue curtens. I slipped rownd the curten. There was the cot. There was my baby. She was dressed in a pink baby gro. Her hed was tiny. Her hare was wite. Her hands were the tiniest things you ever saw. Rownd her rist I saw the tag with ‘Collins’ on it. No time to loose, I picked her up. Her hed fell for werd on to my coller bown. She was floppy. She gurgeled. I grabbed the blankits from the cot, clarsped them arownd her, and shuffeled off, but farst, ‘no noise, Sally-Anne, make no noise,’ I said to my self.

I herd a showt. I terned rownd but carried on shufferling back werds as farst as I coud. The maniger lady with the files was harf way to wards me, a questshuning look on her fase. ‘Excuse me?’ she called. A nerse looked owt of a room and startid walking to wards me. It was Nerse Janit. ‘Sally-Anne!’ she exclamed. Suddernly thay were panicking, and showting for Jimmy. My legs stopped walking. I was like frozen and coudent move. I knew they were going to get her of me. My legs woud not obay my mind.

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