Posted by: Debrah Martin | August 28, 2015

The original confectionery rent boy

More Magpies: meet Jacob, the ‘original confectionery rent-boy’ – as Lily describes him… Jacob plays a small but necessary part in the Magpies; he’s the rebel without a cause who causes Lily to see that you can be different and still accepted, outspoken and still respected, a nerd but still one of the gang – and gangs are very much part of Magpies, from the drug pushers Lily runs up against to the ‘gangs’ she and her peers themselves create to feel as if they fit in.

Here’s Jacob, and his own stylish wit:

“Jacob was on a roll, and hardly stoppable in current format of scholar.

‘Here’s one (limerick) I found. May I read it out to the class?’

‘Uh, all right.’

We settled for the entertainment.

‘Miss Austen sat down at her journal, to try yet again for life’s kernel. But though sometimes satirical, she often waxed lyrical, and concluded that love reigns eternal.’ (7)

‘Oh, very good, Jacob.’ Mr T’s face was a picture. So probably were ours – but for different reasons.

‘Thank you sir, but I don’t really deserve praise for that. Like I said, that was one I found, but it spurred me on to have a go at writing one myself. May I read that out too?’

‘All right, just this once.’ Mr T was jovial. We were worried. Had Jacob turned literary lover – or worse still, academic?

‘Thank you, sir, I so appreciate this.’ Jacob stood up and faced the class. Mr T perched in a relaxed way on the edge of the teacher’s desk. You could almost see the thought bubble above his head; at last, AS level English are settling down to serious work. ‘As a mistress of fine alliteration, Miss Austen set to writing Persuasion. But when with men in the shrubbery, our heroine’s legs went all rubbery, and persuasion gave way to elation!’

Behind Jacob, I could just see Mr T’s face gradually imploding in on itself.

‘You’ve got quite a thing about foliage, Jacob,’ he remarked witheringly.

‘Only Miss Austen’s bush,’ Jacob replied innocently, at which, of course, the class went wild. ‘Snip, snip,’ he added, almost lost in the din …”


…and the way he finds himself part of the in-crowd, but is totally ‘out’ himself…

“‘Jacob’s in The Band?’ Melezz, Jas and I all chorused it at once. Si watched our dismay with interest.

‘Oh yeah, didn’t I say?’ Sam looked childishly pleased. ‘He’s gonna be on Jew’s harp and nose flute. It’ll be so cool.’

‘Figures,’ I said under my breath. I couldn’t help it. Jew’s harp and nose flute? Jacob always had more than one bit of mischief up his sleeve.

‘The tassels come for free,’ Jacob added cockily, and grinned. He flipped his hair, winked at Jas, and looked for all the world the smouldering porn star, BDSM and all, with his grazed cheek and moody eyes.

‘You can’t be serious!’ gasped Melezz. ‘How will The Band maintain credibility if you turn it into some kind of nose blowing, lip twanging folk oddity?’

‘We won’t. We’ll be different – unique – you’ll see.’ Sam looked earnest. Melezz didn’t look convinced.

‘Yeah. Just listen,’ and Jacob whipped out two small plastics discs, and waved them at us. So we all listened, sceptical, as he slipped one into the other, spread them across his nose and blew.

‘It sounds like Green Day,’ Ade marvelled. He would – such a dork! Though once he’d said it I could hear it too; ‘Let Yourself Go’, but a bit wavery. Then Jacob folded the contraption away and sang.

‘English lit is really all shit, ’cos the authors pretend to be prim. Give Austen’s bushes a bloody good trim and even she really wouldn’t complain. Hitch a ride, read it how you like. School minds tend to think alike…’

‘Shut your mouth ’cause you’re talking too much,’ interrupted Luke, still on beat.

Jacob did a mock bow towards Si and prompted, ‘Chorus?’

‘And I don’t give a Phuket anyway,’ obliged Si. We all swivelled and stared with one accord; even singing only just one line, he still had an incredible voice.

‘Oh wow, cool,’ enthused Sam, grin so big he looked like the smiley pumpkin Melezz’s little brother carved last year – until it collapsed in the middle. ‘You’ve got an amazing voice. Can you swear in tune too?’

‘I d-don’t swear when I sing, actually. Shit! It’s the only time I can c-completely control it.’

Sam looked disappointed.

‘Small mercies,’ Melezz commented…”

Magpies is free on Amazon today, 28th August and tomorrow, the 29th August if you’re curious.  Next up – Lily’s Mum and a little bit of plotting …

Do try the first book in the series too: Webs – and find out Lily’s back story. Webs is also FREE on 28th and 29th August.WEBS-3D

Until the next excerpt, you can find me on: 

Or follow me on Twitter @Storytellerdeb

Or find me on Facebook: Author



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