Excerpt of Incendiary by Chris Cleave
(Page 4 of 4)
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When he finally came in it was such a relief. He never said much because
he was so tired. I would ask him how did it go? And he would look at me
and say I'm still here ain't I? My husband was what the Sun would call a
QUIET HERO it's funny how none of them are NOISY I suppose that wouldn't
be very British. Anyway my husband would drink a Famous Grouse and go to
bed without taking his clothes off or brushing his teeth because as well
as being QUIET he sometimes COULDN'T BE ARSED and who could blame him?
When he was safe asleep I would go to look in on our boy.
Our boy had his own room it was cracking we were proud of it. My husband
built his bed in the shape of Bob the Builder's dump truck and I sewed
the curtains and we did the painting together. In the night my boy's
room smelled of boy. Boy is a good smell it is a cross between angels
and tigers. My boy slept on his side sucking Mr. Rabbit's paws. I sewed
Mr. Rabbit myself he was purple with green ears. He went everywhere my
boy went. Or else there was trouble. My boy was so peaceful it was
lovely to watch him sleep so still with his lovely ginger hair glowing
from the sunrise outside his curtains. The curtains made the light all
pink. They slept very quiet in the pink light the 2 of them him and Mr.
Rabbit. Sometimes my boy was so still I had to check he was breathing. I
would put my face close to his face and blow a little bit on his cheek.
He would snuffle and frown and fidget for a while then go all soft and
still again. I would smile and tiptoe backwards out of his room and
close his door very quiet.
Mr. Rabbit survived. I still have him. His green ears are black with
blood and one of his paws is missing.
Excerpted from Incendiary by Chris Cleave Copyright © 2005 by Chris
Cleave. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House,
Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or
reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.