a mug of cocoa
A right twerp I must look, sat in this old wheelbarrow. Granddad’s trousers indeed and his grandmother’s cardigan. Pink! Who wears pink at this time of year? And to cap (don’t go there) it all, this scarf’s too tight. Even the paper he’s stuffed inside me is local. A page or two from The Times or Telegraph wouldn’t have come amiss.
I suppose I should be grateful he didn’t process along the High Street, I couldn’t stand viewing my reflection in shop windows. Having to put up with the comments of his mates was bad enough.
‘Is that the best you could manage?’
‘Hardly twenty first century, is he?’
‘Are you sure he’ll burn? Looks a bit wet to me.
‘He’ll not earn you much.’
It was the final comment that did it, gave me the idea. When he was stuffing paper down my trousers, I snaffled a piece of string and hid it in an inside pocket. Afterwards I threaded it in such a way that when passers-by toss in coins, they slip into the pocket and I can pull the string and close the space. He’ll not know where the loose change has gone.
When I’m tossed onto the fire, his wealth will go up in flames with me. Mind you, I gather the weather forecast’s not good. Heavy rain promised, so I may get a reprieve. I would then have enough money to make my escape, buy new clothes, take on a new personality, live in peace somewhere. No-one need ever know about my previous identity.