Contented sleep

A few minutes after I had left Gemmel’s, my brother Toshy had gone in. Gemmel told him what I had asked for and Toshy immediately ran home bursting with the news. He knew I’d be in for a good hiding. I could just imagine him telling everyone in the house: “The bitch has gone and done it, she’s gone and done it now. She’s told Gemmel we had visitors and he gave her a box of chocolate marshmallows.”

My mam was furious: “Go and get her,Toshy. Bring her back and I’ll give her a good belt.” By the time they’d caught me I had stuffed the last of the marshmallows down my throat. I’d scoffed every last one of them. Toshy and Eddy grabbed my skinny arms. “You’re for it now bitch,” Toshy said, “Me mam’s gonna batter you.” I was terrified.

However, for a reason I have never understood, there wasn’t the usual succession of smacks, but just one hard resounding crack across the ear. It stung and hurt like mad. “Get to bed and no supper” she roared. I scrambled up the stairs as fast as I could and into the bedroom. If that was all the punishment I was to have it was well worth it. I could still taste the chocolate in my mouth, and although the side of my face was stinging I tied an old scarf around my ears to keep the bugs out and fell asleep quite contented.

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