Chapter 3, Serious talkingMature

We had spaghetti carbonara for dinner, with spinach; which Ben was against entirely, we made him eat it.

After tea Jessie and I started on the castle, using a cereal box and cigarette boxes to make up the keep and surrounding wall. We pasted paper onto the outsides and painted them a dull gray. Then it was bed. I promised her when she woke up it'd be ready to take in to school.

"So what happened at the meeting?" Val stubbed her cigarette out and passed me another tube of paint, green. I squished out a little on my makeshift palette.

"Everyone's panicking, saying that solar and wind energy can't support us, nuclear energy needs to be used more. Et cetera et cetera." I started on making vined and other greenery on the castle walls. taking care not to drip into the blue tissue paper moat.

"Well I see their point."

"So do I, but how can we make more nuclear power stations, and where are we going to store the waste? We can't just blast it off into space."

"I didn't mean about the nuclear, I mean about the sun and wind. But anyway - why not? The moon base is used frequently enough to have a regular drop off afterward."

"The payload could return to earth and go off like a bomb, and we couldn't predict when or where."

"So why not just have a repository on the moon?"

"The use of that much energy up there isn't feasible - it was one of the first ideas."

"I would have thought so."

"Yeah - Can you pass me the ash tray without the butts in?" Val picked out the butts and handed over our ash tray.

"It's looking good, what's the ash for?"

"I'm making the stones look old, so you like it?"

"Well it's better than I could make."

"Thanks hon, pass us a fag and match, I'm dying over here." Val got two out and lit the both of us a cigarette.

"Thanks." I continued on the castle, making shrubs and trees from strips of stiff cardboard and tissue paper I was going to smother in green paint. "Do you think a dragon would be over the top."

"Yes, even for a thirty-two year old man, let alone a twelve year old. Want a coffee? I'll even use the good granulated stuff."

"Yes please, but I'm laying off the sugar."

"Ooh, I always knew you were sweet enough." Val got up and gave me a smoky kiss, going into the kitchen.

I wasn't happy with the vines on the back wall. But then again what year seven teacher expects perfection in a makeshift castle? I scrunched up a  piece of tissue paper and taped it to the cardboard tree base. I blobbed on some green paint."I think it's finished." I called to Val over the boiling of the kettle.

"Jess is sure be to pleased. I'll check Ben's math homework in a sec." she called back from the kitchen. There was the familiar clink of the teaspoon in the mug and the clang of it hitting the sink. I stubbed out the cigarette and took the coffee from her.

"Hmm, hot,wet and decaffeinated, just how I like it - how did you know?"


Ten minutes after the last dregs of coffee was gone the light flipped off.

"Come on hon, bed." Val helped me up the stairs and took my leg off for me in the dark.

I pulled off my trousers and shirt and got into bed, watching her dark figure get undressed and slip in next to me. She moved in close and held onto my torso and drifted off quickly. I couldn't sleep.

Second day of the meeting tomorrow, more debates, more stupid ideas. The thoughts persisted as I fell into a troubled dream.

The End

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