I had trouble selecting a snippet of what I’ve been writing this week. I’m about halfway through my comedy science fiction novel, Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer Book 5 (still no title!), and I don’t want to give any spoilers. Unfortunately, I think I did that in a recent interview, according to a reader. I don’t want to make the same mistake.
I’ve chosen a section of the book when Carrie is trying to find her long-suffering sidekick, Dave. His neighbour invites Carrie into her home while she finds his phone number.
When it has a title, this book should appear in December with a new, free Carrie Hatchett story called A Very Carrie Christmas as a special bonus.
Carrie went inside Dave’s neighbour’s home with her pets and sat in a straight-backed armchair while the woman made some tea. After bringing Carrie a cup, she disappeared to try to find Dave’s phone number. Carrie spent her time keeping Rogue still and trying to calm Toodles by stroking her through the bars of her carrier. The cat’s miaows became more and more plaintive.
“Here it is,” said the woman, returning to the room. She handed Carrie a white business card with Dave’s contact details. The man was unbelievably organised.
“The phone’s over here,” the woman said. “I only have the old-fashioned type I’m afraid.”
She wasn’t joking. Her phone was the first working home telephone with a dial that Carrie had seen for a long while. She dialled Dave’s number. When he answered, Carrie’s heart was warmed by the relief in his voice when he heard her.
“I was on my way back,” he said. “I’ll see you in a minute.”
Carrie said goodbye and replaced the receiver in its cradle. No, he wouldn’t mind her staying with him at all.
“Is he coming home?” the old woman asked. “Such a lovely young man. He always helps me with my shopping and checks on me every day, just to make sure I’m all right.”
“That’s nice,” said Carrie. “Dave’s great. I really like him.”
“Yes, such a shame he’s single.” The old woman sighed. “He’d make someone a lovely husband. He deserves to find a nice girl and settle down.”
“Oh,” Carrie said, surprised. “Oh, I, er…I don’t think he’s going to do that.” Didn’t the woman know Dave was gay? It wasn’t like him to make a secret of the fact. Maybe his neighbour knew but didn’t approve.
“Well why not?” the woman asked. “We only get one life. What’s the point in spending it alone? You seem like a nice girl. And he’s a very handsome young man. Haven’t you considered making a play for him? He might be interested, you know. Some men are shy about these things.”
“I…er…no. I really don’t think…” Carrie didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t up to her to put Dave’s neighbour straight about his orientation.
The old woman’s lips were trembling and her eyes danced. She burst into loud guffaws. Carrie was puzzled for a moment, but then the penny dropped. Dave’s neighbour had been teasing her. She knew all about him and she’d been deliberately putting Carrie on the spot.
Carrie began to laugh too. She’d fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.
Read the previous Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer snippet here.