Extricating herself from the maternal web last night had meant that Liz hadn't got on to the motorway until 10 p.m., and hadn't reached the Kentish Town flat until midnight. When she let herself in she found that the washing that she 'd put on on Saturday morning was lying in six inches of cloudy water in the machine, which had stopped mid-cycle. It was now far too late to start it again without annoying the neighbours, so she rooted through the dry-cleaning pile for her least crumpled work outfit, hung it over the bath, and took a shower in the hope that the steam would restore a little of its élan. When she finally made it to bed it was almost 1 a.m. She had managed about five and a half hours' sleep and felt puffy-eyed, adrift on a tide of fatigue.
With a gasp and a long, flatulent shudder, the tube train restarted. She was definitely going to be late.
Excerpted from At Risk by Stella Rimington Copyright © 2004 by Stella Rimington. 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.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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