Time's Fool

By Alys Earl

A novel for M R James fans who sometimes want something a little more modern and edgy from their weird fiction

Thursday, 1 March 2018

World Book Day short scene

Woooh! 90% funded. Time's Fool has a little over £400 left to raise (so, if there are any millionaires out there feeling generous...)

To celebrate World Book Day, I thought I'd share a microscene from the March before the novel starts. Now, back when these characters were at school, World Book Day amounted to being given £1 book token, and - if you were Steven - wandering around your classroom after registration hoovering up those left behind by his less bookish peers.

However, did you really think something so mundane as being born a decade too soon was going to stop Steven and Lucy from celebrating something that combined books and fancy dress? Oh no no no. So, here is a short scene from their soon to be notorious 2006 World Book Day party.

(A door bell rings)

Lucy: Sophia! You're... not in costume. I'm not sure I should let you in if you aren't in costume.

Sophia: I am so in costume. This is my costume.

Lucy: As what?

Sophia: Mathilda.

Lucy: That's... pathetic. You are just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Honestly, that is the worst cop out I've ever seen. Your boyfriend has made more of an effort than you have. You can come in, John. She stays on the doorstep. What happened to Dorothea?

Sophia: I couldn't get the dress.

Lucy: If I could get my dress, yours should have been no trouble.

Sophia: ... yeah. Yeah. That's quite the dress. What are you meant to be?

Lucy: (dramatic): Mrs Haversham!

Sophia: Oh. Wow. That must have taken... Are those...

Lucy: Real? No. There are some advantages to living with Steven. For some reason, having spray on cobwebs being one of them. He's still tarting himself up. Alright, I'll let you off this time, but next time, proper costume. Or else. Drink? John, drink?

Sophia: Glass of red wouldn't go amiss.

John: (embarrassed but determined) I'll have a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred

Lucy: (claps hands with delight) Okay, full marks for that, Mr Bond. I'm afraid we don't have any vermouth but...

John: Beer's fine, thanks.

Lucy: Excellent! (shouting) Steven! Steven, get out here before Sophia drinks all the wine.

Steven: (bursting from his room) I never drink.... VIIIIIINE.

Lucy: How did it take you so long to change in to that?

Steven: Thayth the... (takes the fangs out of his mouth) Says the girl who spent all afternoon doing her hair.

Lucy: I am offended. You are literally just wearing fangs and a cape.

Steven: And the ring and the...

Sophia: Which is exactly what you wore last Hallowe'en. It's not even a costume any more.

Steven: Mine isn't even a costume? What happened to 'Max from Where the Wild Things Are'?

Sophia: I'm Mathilda!


And so we leave John, nursing his beer, and maybe wishing he was somewhere else. Happy World Book Day.

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Matthew Tucker
 Matthew Tucker says:

Well done Alys. I'm not sure, but I think the character from 'Great Expectations' is a Miss, not a Mrs!

posted 2nd March 2018

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