Sharon Wright: Butterfly<br/>

Author: John Lynch
Publisher: Mandrill Press
Published: 2014-09-03
ISBN(s) 978-1-910194-08-9
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Crime Fiction, Contemporary, Action Read Excerpt >

‘As people remember it, the Beat movement was a male preserve. Kerouac, Ginsberg, the little catamite Neal Cassady. Women didn’t count, except to cook and sleep with. Joyce Johnson’s a woman, and if we think of her today at all, it’s as Kerouac’s lover. But Joyce Johnson could write the arse off the lot of them.’

The speaker, a young bearded man with better clothes than students usually wore, looked round the table. It had been a prepared utterance, all of them knew that, but worth a smile nonetheless. The bearded man drained his coffee and stood up. ‘Shall we go?’

Sharon Wright watched the little group gather their things together and leave. What must it be like to be able to say things like that? What must it be like even to be the sort of person people said things like that to?

Turning an unlit cigarette over and over in her hands, lost in a dream world of knowledge and café conversation, Sharon became aware that someone beyond the now empty table was smiling at her. With an effort she brought the face into focus. ‘Yoxer!’

‘’Lo, Sharon.’ He stood up and shambled over to her table, carrying his coffee. ‘Mind if I join you?’

It had often amused Sharon, back in the days when she and Yoxer were a secret, illicit item, to think how they might appear to other people. Anyone looking at the pair of them would have thought: father and daughter; uncle and niece; older and younger neighbours. She, short skirt, heels, dyed hair, knowing eyes. He, thirty years older, give or take a decade, the pasty complexion that came from a life lived indoors in smoky halls and bars, a touch of resignation. What would be would be. Anyone looking at the pair of them would have been wrong.

‘How’s it going, girl?’

‘Mustn’t grumble, Yoxer. How about you?’

He shrugged. ‘Same. Buggy keeping you happy?’

She smiled, but didn’t answer.

‘You deserve better, girl.’

‘I know, Yoxer. I know. Thought I had it, once.’ She turned her soft gaze on him. ‘When you were champion of the world. And I was your naughty little girl.’

‘I was always too old for you, Sharon.’

‘A naughty little girl needs an older man to keep her in order.’

‘You haven’t got Buggy playing, then?’

‘Buggy’s a meat and potatoes man when it comes to sex, Yoxer.’

‘Slam, Bam, thank you, ma’am? Roll over, fart and fall asleep?’

‘Something like that.’

‘We had some good times.’

‘We did, Yoxer. You opened a whole world for me.’ She put the cigarette back in the packet. ‘Wish I could light one of these. What’s a catamite?’

‘Dunno, girl. Bet it isn’t a nice thing to be, though.’

‘What happened to all the money, Yoxer?’

‘Beats me. I had it, I spent it. Pissed it up against the wall, I suppose. Pissed off the Inland Revenue, too.’

‘I’ll never forget that day. Pitching up and finding you gone.’

She’d been fifteen when it started. Spotted him, driving around in his Bentley. And he’d spotted her, coming out of a corner shop where she’d been buying cigarettes. All the kids knew Yoxer. Local boy made good. Face all over the telly. One or two of the older girls would smirk quietly when his name came up, but no-one ever said why. He’d never taken much notice of Sharon. Ignored her, in fact.

But not that day.

He’d stopped the car and stared, pretended not to notice the fuck-you look of disdain she gave anyone who wasn’t Buggy, or maybe Jackie Gough. He held up a twenty pound note. Seeing a slight reaction, but no movement, he added a second twenty to it. Sharon crossed the pavement and slipped into the passenger seat. Simple as that.

Looking back, she knew she must have been mad, but the kind fairies had been looking after her. Yoxer was a funny bugger, but he didn’t hurt people.

He had a big house out towards Ashford. She knew it would take a while to get home and she’d have some explaining to do, but she had the forty pounds in her hand and, frankly, she didn’t give a toss. It wasn’t as though she had parents like Veronica Payne’s. Parents who cared.

She was no stranger to sex. Her mother knew all about early sexual activity, having had Sharon when she herself was seventeen. She put Sharon on the pill when Sharon and Buggy became an item.

But Buggy had never put her over his knee and ripped off her knickers. Buggy had never spanked her till her bottom was as red as his bulging-eyeballed face.

What first stopped her from protesting, throwing Yoxer off and telling him to get lost, disgusting pervert that he was, was the thought of the money she was earning. What stopped her after that was more basic. She was enjoying herself as she had never enjoyed herself in her life before.

He picked her up every week after that. When her mother asked where she went every Saturday, Sharon told her she was earning ten pounds a week for tidying in the People’s Theatre. She handed over a fiver—half her earnings, as her mother proudly told everyone. What a good girl Sharon was, so generous to her mother. Not like some of these stuck-up little madams. That Payne girl, for example, nose always in a book, never think of a Saturday job, earn the money to buy her mother a packet of fags. Not that the stuck-up Mrs Payne smoked, of course. Her husband used a pipe, which was all right because Prince Philip had smoked one, too, when he was a naval officer. But smoking wasn’t something ladies did.

Any other venue—a fast food place, Woolworth’s, a supermarket—her mother might have dropped in to see her. But a theatre? Never.

Apart from which, Sharon had had a sneaking unadmitted interest in the theatre ever since they’d read What the Butler Saw in school, and then been to the People’s to see it performed. Sharon had walked home from there in a daze wishing Buggy would, just this once, stop feeling her up and let her think. Wishing there was someone she could discuss the play with without looking like a swot.

Jackie Gough would have been just the person, of course. But Buggy would have gone berserk if she’d talked to Jackie about a stupid play instead of letting him inflict horrible great love bites on her throat. And Jackie knew that, so he was never going to oblige.

Sharon Wright: Butterfly   by   John Lynch   |   See Bio >
Nobody gives Sharon a chance. Except Sharon

All Sharon wants is a better life—a husband who takes care of her, the kind of food they have in magazines and civilized conversation. Is it her fault that she is in the middle of a plot involving two hitmen? Well, yes, actually. It is. But Sharon has resources of her own. Men are drawn to her. And (as two of them find out) when Sharon woos, she woos the way a female mantis might -- knowing that, when he has served his purpose, the male may have to die.

BWB never takes commissions - Authors! Sign Up Now! Only $9.99
Retail: $6.50FAIR TRADE Price: $6.50

More books by

Bringing Indie Authors and Readers Together...
© Bookstore Without Borders | T 403.336.1313 | E | Powered by