Fiction: Shelleys Kaff

- Matthew Roy Davey

Danny drew a heart in the fogged window.  Outside rain rattled the pane and a bus growled past.  Inside was sizzle and smoke, the scraping of cutlery on plates, voices high and low.
“For the third time, Kate, numbers 16’s ready,” Al yelled from the kitchen.  “Get your arse in gear”.
“Alright, keep your hair on.”
Laughter rang around the room.
“You tell him gal!”
Danny turned to watch her bend, the apron tight as she picked up the order.  He sighed and turned back to the brochure, blue skies and golden sands, distant lands.  He could almost feel the warmth on his skin.  Anywhere but Peckham.
His top button was tight but he was afraid to loosen it in case he messed up the knot his mum had tied.
He glanced at his watch.  Half an hour until his interview.  Would it be ready in time, the food he didn’t need and couldn’t afford?
She appeared before him, eyes radiant, blue as skies.
“You look smart.”  She flashed a smile, teeth white, gums pink.  He blushed and muttered.  She’d never spoken to him before.
She leaned over and placed his eggs in front of him.  He could smell her.  The eggs were overdone, as always.
“Wotcha looking at?”
He gulped then realised she was staring at the brochure.
“Looks lovely.  You going?”
He coughed.
“Yes.  Maybe.  I’m saving up.”
She rested a hand on his arm.  He gasped, blinked.
“Make sure you save enough to take me with you.”
On her way to the counter she glanced back and smiled.
“Good luck with your interview!”
Out on the pavement he had to run for the bus, feet barely touching the wet tarmac.  He clutched the brochure to his chest.  There was nowhere he’d rather be than Peckham.

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