Thursday, April 19, 2007

An extract from


‘You’re my fucking twin!’
My first thought, just a split second. She wouldn’t notice, snotty cow. And I know she won’t remember me. Then I size her up; her style, her clothes, make up, smile, I know she ain’t nothing like me, not at all. I’m an outsider, properly. You could even say professionally. I know this stuck up tart has never been on the outside of anything in her life. So I watch her. How can you look like me and be so, so different? She has a really friendly, cute face, blue smiley eyes, like Bambi’s. Shiny, shoulder length hair, the colour of honey. Expensive suit, well-cut, like her hair, but you could tell this is her work front, that she kicks off her heels when she gets home. She’s a sweet, baby voice; spoilt, middle-class. She expects to be listened to, the centre of attention, you can tell, in her eyes, the smile, she has guts. Gets what she wants. I know she is a lucky person; privilege, money. Some people nice things just happen to, just like that.
‘Off you go,’ I think, as she walks across the station concourse, and she just disappears into crowds of commuters.
I don’t normally wait, watch someone like that. You got to be quick; the faster you move, the more valuable the goods. Too slow the risks shoot sky high and the value is gone. You got to disappear, to ‘liquidise’ your assets, before they realise; call the police, cancelling cards, changing locks.
I got breathing space. In the artificial light of the Station she looks like all the other little puppets marching to a collective beat. Pitter-patter like rain, a thousand footsteps tappety tapping through London’s rush hour. She has her ticket in her hand as she leaves, her train is being announced through the echoey acoustic of the station, so she’s no time to make a call, buy snacks; not likely to reach in her bag. She won’t see what’s happened till the train’s left. Even if she borrows someone’s phone I know the signal’s bad coming out of Waterloo from Platform 9.
I feel inside my pocket. Mobile,...............................................

Kathryn Ford

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