Posted by: Debrah Martin | August 29, 2015

Lily’s mum

Lily’s mum was the one who kicked it all off in Webs by internet dating to get back at Lily’s straying father in Webs. Theirs is a long-running on-off relationship, not unfamiliar to many teenagers, no doubt in the nuclear age where WEBS-3Dfamilies split as often as the atom. She’s a strange mix of savvy and naive, and with a determined take on healthy eating – to Lily’s disgust. She’s also as inclined to plotting as Lily …

“She was hunkered down over a big mug of tea when I got in – and her laptop. She jumped and rapidly minimised all the open tabs when she saw me. Suspicious, or what?

‘Hello, you,’ she trilled, happy-faced. She was definitely up to something. OMG, not internet dating again, PLEASE!

‘Hello, you look pleased with yourself. What are you up to?’

‘Isn’t that what mothers are meant to ask their daughters?’ she chirruped.

Mum is a Robin, by name, and at times by nature too; the type that sits on the handle of the spade after you’ve been digging the garden over and pecks the best bit out of your sandwich behind your back when you were trying to find it some worms. Cute but irritating, fluffy but clever, sweet but a force for evil (in a nice way).

‘Not in our case, Mum. I think it should be me putting parental controls on the internet to stop you getting up to mischief.’ Under the belt, but hey – I’m entitled; just about. She pretended to wince. She knows she’s forgiven really.

‘Ouch, but I’m being good. I’m researching something for Daisy, since I might have my hands full soon. What about this?’

I peered over her shoulder and burst out laughing.

‘Do you really think she’d get it?’

‘She’s smart – isn’t she? You always say she is.’

‘There’s savvy-smart, like where food is concerned, and brain-smart. I’m not sure Daisy qualifies for the latter. Try the towel test and you’ll see.’

‘The towel test? What’s that?’

‘Put a towel over her head and see how long she takes to get it off again. If it takes more than two minutes, we’ll forget MENSA. You can do it on humans too,’ I added mischievously.

‘I hope you’re not thinking of trying that on me!’

‘I already have.’ Mum gasped in horror. ‘Oh, Mum – I’m joking!’

‘Oh, I’m so glad. I’m sure I’d take more than two minutes. Anyway, I think it might be good for her.’ She went back to the laptop screen and pored over it again.


‘So she can let herself out and back in again whilst we’re out. For a you-know-what,’ she added politely.

‘But isn’t it a bit of a joke?’

‘I don’t see why.’

‘Well, I mean – a dog flap. Cat flap, maybe.’

‘I think it’s a brilliant idea.’

I looked over her shoulder again and clicked up one of the other tabs before she could stop me. It wasn’t the only thing she’d been poring over. She hastily closed down the other, but not before I saw a flash of what looked like…course. Course? About what? Or of what? Was she OK? I glanced at Mum and then back at the dog flap, and she looked surreptitiously at me whilst I was looking away. We both wanted to ask – me what it was, and her if I’d seen.

‘Why are you going to have your hands full, BTW?’

She looked shifty. I knew it! She was up to something. I’m not sure which one of us would have broken first if it hadn’t been for the phone ringing. Mum bustled off to answer it. Only two people rang the home phone: Granny and Dad. Everyone else rang Mum’s mobile. Granny refused because she worried that radioactive waves from the mobile phone would be reflected off Mum’s ear and bounced back down the line at her. Dad because he claimed he didn’t want to intrude on her personal life and using her mobile number might do that since he would get her wherever she was, whatever she was doing, and whoever she was doing it with. Actually that was reverse psychology. He was telling Mum in a roundabout way that he didn’t want her ringing his mobile and getting hold of him wherever he was, whatever he was doing, and whoever he was doing it with. And let’s face it, Dad did get up to quite a lot of doing on the quiet, whatever Mum said in his defence!

Mum made faces at me. It was Granny. She would be hours – even Granny’s ‘quickies’ were day-long affairs. Long enough for me to try and pull up her browsing history anyway…”

… and of course, so are Lily’s friends – notably Melezz, the BFF everyone could do without, and Jas: Lily’s rival for Matt’s affections, and harbouring more secrets than Pandora’s box …

“‘So, if we’re friends, what’s really up with Jas? You don’t have a headache continuously for three days.’

‘I dunno,’ she shrugged. ‘Maybe she’s busy.’

‘Busy or you don’t want to talk about it? Why not?’

‘It’s confidential.’

‘Like what I think about Matt is confidential?’

‘No, that’s just obvious. But at least it might get him on his toes now, thinking you fancy Si.’

‘He’s barely even spoken to me since we came back. Why will that make any difference?’

‘He’s playing it cool. Men are like that. He just needs to be reminded what he’s missing. Come on, let’s go and find out who my idiot boyfriend is signing up to The Band now I’ve put the block on Jacob.’

I followed her out of the loos, completely forgetting I actually needed a wee until we were outside and heading for the sixth form common room. Oh, well, I’d been in the loo without any paper anyway. That mushy wet feeling that lingers after a pee without paper would probably have been worse than coping with the fidgets until lunchtime.

‘Back to Jas.’

‘Back to boys,’ she retorted. ‘Do you fancy Si?’

‘Of course not. I’ve hardly even spoken to him, and like you said, he’s Jacob’s crony now.’

Jacob – for all his weird-different skills – was super cool, like Hitler’s Aryan race had been super cool, since his legendary ‘no legs’ theories. An ‘in’ to Jacob’s crowd was now like winning the lottery and doing a moony at the Queen all rolled into one. What the hell had I been thinking off when he, Si and I had been abandoned in the corridor last week? Si might have the qualifications to apply for a place on Jacob’s team, but the episodic girl with the bad haircut and scarred face didn’t.

‘If you fancy him, try and sit next to him in detention tomorrow.’

‘And what? Make faces at him? Mr T’s going to be well and truly on our case. After all, in case you hadn’t worked it out, Ding-dong effectively gave him detention with us.’

‘I know, but that also means he’ll have Jacob right under his nose since he knows he started it, and Si will be in a completely different part of the room in case he carries it on. Divide and rule.’

She looked smug. Yeah, how’d I forgotten that after all the divide and rule plans I’d created over the summer to play Mum’s admirers off against each other so Dad could slip in the back door? Except he hadn’t. Men! Then I realised what I’d implied by not challenging it.

‘But I don’t fancy him, it’s Matt I…’

‘You don’t have to fancy him. I’ve planted the seed. Let it grow, darling…’

MAGPIES-3DThe intrigues and plots, secrets and lies her friends are involved in run secondary to the main issue – the drug pushers (the Magpies gang) that are trying to infiltrate Lily’s school, having already lined up the boy most likely to … Or is that one of the lies her friends are telling? One of the shiny little treasures labelled ‘JOY’ that could kill them?  That would be telling, but you can find out by reading the book because Magpies is free on Amazon today, 29th August if you’re curious.


And if you do – please leave a review. Reviews are an author’s life blood (- after ideas).



Do try the first book in the series too: Webs – and find out Lily’s back story. Webs is also FREE today.

You can find me on: 

Or follow me on Twitter @Storytellerdeb

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