Chapter 14.Mature

“Rose.” He nodded at his daughter before seeing Claudia.

“Father, this is Claudia Montgomery. I was having trouble finding you and she was assisting me.”

“Montgomery? Is your father...?”

“Henry Montgomery, Ministry of Agriculture, Manager, Department of Supply and Demand. My mother is Janet Montgomery. the Transport Minister.” Rose had become accustomed to this form of introduction. Name, Ministry, Title (if applicable) and then Department. It was the only form of introduction that seemed to interest any of her parents’ friends. It made it apparent immediately if you were someone worth talking to.

David unsurprisingly ignored any mention of Claudia’s mother. “Ah, yes. I believe I have come across his surveys. Very thorough man.” Claudia’s mouth twisted into a humourless smile.

“I will pass along your compliments, Mr. Morton. I am sure that my father will be honoured.” Rose was now glancing between her father and Claudia with suspicion in her eyes. Her father was too interested.

“Well, make sure you do. Do you have political aspirations?” This was a pointless question. If your parents were politicians there was little else available to you.

“I am not sure if I have to correct talents for government, Mr. Morton. However, I may join the Ministry of Culture when I come of age.”

This surprised both Rose and her father. Not only had Claudia expressed no enthusiasm towards government but the Ministry of Culture was a... bizarre choice. Rose didn’t think there was any department less safe from the Purges. David ignored what he did not understand and ploughed on with the conversation.

“Well, if you ever wish to join the government you are welcome in my Department.” David smiled which in itself was bizarre. Claudia’s smile became even more fixed.

“Thank you, I am greatly grateful for your offer.” There was a pause then David gave a curt nod of the head and turned back to his previous conversation. Claudia gave Rose’s hand a brief squeeze before melting into the crowd behind her.

The End

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