All right, this blog is going out one day early – because tomorrow is Christmas Day. So to those who celebrate it – Happy Christmas!
On Christmas Day itself? I’ll drag myself from my writer’s world into the real world. Although with all that blinding Christmas reading..?
When I was a kid? Books were my favourite gift. I’d escape into their pages for the rest of the holidays. As an adult? Yeah, still books.
As it’s Christmas I reckoned I’d give you a glimpse into Blood Lifer celebration.
MAY 1964 BRIGHTON, ENGLAND
‘By heaven, look at these ruffianly roaring boys. This is it – your tonic – to get back into the fray. The blood and heat of it.’
I’d nicked a bright red Jaguar E-Type (beautiful little number), and we’d tonned it up to the coast. Yet now we’d found ourselves caught in a war between two gangs.
A Mod in smart Italian suit and fish-tailed Parka sped past us on his Lambretta Li150, only to be blocked by a wall of hard men Rockers, in dirty motorcycle jackets, who were swinging heavy bike chains. The poor git was dragged away by his lapels, like a fancy sacrificial offering to the gods of leather.
‘What do they want?’
Ruby shrugged. ‘What do First Lifers ever want? Question is, what do we want?’
I hesitated, before grinning. ‘The Bedlam. To revel in the madness, like we used to. I want–’
That’s when Ruby kissed me. She hauled me close, as her tongue thrust deep, like she’d only just discovered me again after a long absence: I realised she only just had. When she drew back, we were both smiling. ‘To live in the world again?’
Screams? The shattering of glass? Curling smoke on the night air?
I wasbloody alive once more.
Ruby and I swaggered through the shadowed streets, towards the promenade and Palace Pier – her in crimson silk, me in military Great Coat – two creatures from another world and time, unnoticed by these petty First Lifers because we weren’t painted in the colours of their tribe. We twirled each other round, dancing in the carnage and the flames.