Mum is bent over the kitchen worktop sifting through a pile of soggy junk mail, peeling something of the back of a takeaway pizza menu. I hope both my parents haven’t gone mad, who’ll raise me? I still need much parenting.
“Are you making that noise?” I ask.
“Yes!” she cries, without looking up. “Quick, get some black clothes on.”
“Black clothes?” says Lav, who’s inserted herself into her skinny jeans and is now behind me. “Are we doing a burglary?”
“Emergency mime?” I suggest. (Pretty pleased with that.)
“No!” Mum wails. “Your uncle…” She peers closely at the peeled off piece of wet post.
“… Hamish, no Harold, died last week. I didn’t realize the funeral was today. Get dressed!”
I open my eyes and I am tangled in the sheets, books upside down on the floor. I know without looking at the time that I’m late. I leap out of bed, one foot still wrapped in the sheet, and land flat on my face. I lie there a minute. Close my eyes. Wonder if I can pretend I’ve fainted and convince Mom to let me blow off today and stay home.
It’s peaceful on the floor.
But it also smells a bit. I open an eye and there’s something ground into the rug. One of Dandelion’s cat treats, maybe. I turn my head to the other side and it’s better over here, but hen from outside I hear a horn blast, and this is my dad.