GRACE MAKES HER MIND UP
Grace Windcheater stood underneath the main station clock at Waterloo and counted up her life savings. Her legitimate earnings of thirty-one pounds was almost doubled when she left the bureau de change after handing over the contents of Mr Trench’s wallet.
She made her way to the same table in the café where she sat three and a half years earlier, although this time it was mercifully free of Clarissa Coleridge-Phillpotts.
Grace made her way to the counter and purchased a mug of tea and a piece of extortionately priced battenberg cake.
The café was fairly busy, and Grace noticed quite a few of the people had economy sized union jacks in their possession. She also noticed numbers of individuals who wore t-shirts depicting The Queen, Buckingham Palace, and other royalty themed illustrations.
At the table next to her, Grace viewed a young boy of about ten sat with his mother, eyeing up a commemorative mug. Grace’s perfect vision allowed her to make out the dates 1952-1977 below a smiling portrait of the reigning monarch.
Grace suddenly had an idea, and her feeling of severe depression about her life circumstances was replaced by a new optimism.
She cheerily finished her tea and cake, then strode briskly across the busy concourse toward the entrance to the underground station. As with her previous visit, she made her way to the northbound platform of the Northern Line.
As Grace waited for the next train to come along, she noticed a teenage boy staring at the front cover of a seven inch record he’d presumably just bought. Grace could see the sleeve illustrating the face of the Queen; her eyes and mouth blanked out by blackmail style letters, and also adorned with a safety pin through her nose. Grace wondered what it was all about, found it rather amusing, and struggled to suppress a giggle.
The platform was fairly busy, and Grace pushed her way to the front of the crowd as cooling air whooshed from the tunnel.