Week 2’s snippet comes from a rather trying section of the novel. We’re back in 1982 and Neely and her ex-lover have been kidnapped by an IRA terrorist group. They’re being held in a home at an unknown location.
Neely’s been pressed into service during her captivity as a domestic. While cleaning out eight months’ worth of rotten food from the refrigerator, she decided to save a little something to spice up the evening meal.
It’s first draft, so drop your red pens and cut me a little slack. Disclaimer: No English were harmed in the making of this scene nor was any offense intended.
Neely didn’t remember when he stretched out behind her on his side and pulled her against his chest. When she woke, the windows had darkened and she heard Rowan’s voice beyond the walls. He and Sean were arguing again. Her watch said six o’clock. They’d be coming for her soon unless Rowan picked up takeaway.
She turned onto to her opposite shoulder and her movements woke Tom. “Don’t eat the bacon,” she whispered in his ear.
She’d just slithered off the bed when she heard someone unlock the door. Whomever fetched her had begun carrying a pistol since the afternoon following Tom’s beating. She assumed they thought Tom might have recovered enough to be dangerous to any one of them acting alone. Or maybe they thought she might be the one to try something. Didn’t matter. Ian opened the door and without a word, motioned to Neely with the pistol. Dinner time. Culinary camouflage 101.
“You’ll need to put everything away too.” Ian wasn’t a man of many words. He tended to mostly listen, but when he added his two cents, everyone paid attention. Rarely did he waste words on compliments or insults.
Grocery bags littered the counter and floor. From the looks of it, they planned to stay a while. The plastic bags all bore the name of a grocery chain, popular throughout England. The receipt, on the other hand, bore the store number and name: #107 Gloucester. Bingo. Neely wondered whether she should hide the receipt, throw it away or leave it in the bag. She left it in one of the bags that she put in the garbage can then covered with cigarette butts and ashes.
Rowan had purchased a fresh package of bacon, as she’d requested on her grocery list. The brand was the same as the long-expired one she’d hidden in the refrigerator. Making a substitution would be simple. She could crumble them in with potatoes cooked in their drippings. If she added sharp cheddar cheese, she’d be able to hide any foul residual flavor. She’d planned to make a Texas classic, chicken fried steak, not terribly well known to the British, but since it had a fried crust on it, they’d probably enjoy it. They’d eat anything with a crust on it. A huge batch of cream gravy to smother the steak and its tainted side of potatoes, with a generous helping of mushy English peas for color, and they’d think they’d died and gone to heaven. And the day after, they’d wish they had.