Finger Food

Finger Food by Helen Lederer Read Free Book Online

Book: Finger Food by Helen Lederer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Helen Lederer
into the studio.
    â€˜So if we could all shut our eyes,’ said Bella, sliding into a calm version of her presenter’s voice. ‘That means you as well, Yvonne, thank you.’
    Bella glanced out into the audience. They were sitting obediently with their eyes closed.
    â€˜Imagine you are on a beach,’ she intoned. She noticed Fiona, her eyes wide open, staring at her phone and willing it to ring.
    â€˜Are you shutting your eyes, Fiona? Because this really only works if you shut your eyes, and it could very possibly change your life.’
    Fiona closed her eyes.
    â€˜Can I open them if I get a text?’
    â€˜No. It’ll be a lovely surprise afterwards … So imagine you are on a beach or alternatively you can pick a grassy knoll.’
    Fiona interrupted again. ‘Just to … er … clarify, what is a knoll?’
    â€˜A knoll is a small hillock,’ said Bella, keeping the same calm voice. ‘So choose now, or go back to the beach. The waves are lapping for the beach group, and there is a soft mossy carpet of green for the hillock group.’
    â€˜I’m on the hillock.’ Fiona’s face was screwed up in concentration.
    â€˜Good, that’s reassuring … now let’s send out loving rays. Are you receiving the rays?’
    The music cut out suddenly.
    â€˜Bella, we’ve got a hold-up in make-up,’ bellowed Yvonne’s crisp, mean voice. ‘They’re sending out for some more hair tongs. Go to the table display quickly, please.’
    â€˜Table display,’ repeated Bella. ‘Table display, Fiona?’
    She looked across at Fiona who had sunk down in a chair and was deep in a trance, as were most of the audience. The St John Ambulance lady’s knitting had unravelled and her knees had flopped over into the lap of the man with the bow tie.
    Bella shook Fiona gently awake, feeling surprisingly maternal. Fiona sprang back into reality and looked around at the studio in confusion.
    â€˜Table display?’ said Bella. Fiona blinked for a long moment, mouthing the words, and then jumped up and ran off.
    Bella went round and clapped the audience awake. They all stretched, had a good yawn and seemed to be in much better spirits than before. The bow-tie man helped the St John lady rewind her wool. Bella thought they made a nice pair and found herself hoping Zee Zee would come through for Fiona. Such a sweet girl.
    â€˜Bella!’ shouted Yvonne. ‘We’re running the hairy fruit feature. You should know this one at least.’ Then thinking herself off-mike she added to Tony. ‘This is some strange little idea Bella came up with after I’d put together the pitch for Finger Food , and I thought it was only fair to let her try it out.’
    Bella was outraged. She remembered Yvonne suggesting she should add a strange section on making a table display by gluing fruits together. She’d privately thought it would never work but hadn’t dared question Yvonne at the time. Now she’d been left to exhibit Yvonne’s bad idea and get the blame when it went wrong.
    Bella sat herself at the table display area and checked the props list as subtly as she could manage.
    Yvonne called,‘Action!’
    Imagine yourself to be Nigella Lawson, only with a tube of glue,she told herself.
    â€˜So!’ She spoke confidently into the camera. ‘Let’s make a table display with some glue and some fruits. I’m using these pawpaws!’ she looked around for the fruit. Fiona rushed on with some coconuts.
    Bella said, ‘Those aren’t pawpaws.’
    â€˜I think they’re called coconuts, Bella.’
    â€˜It says here pawpaws.’
    â€˜Which I Googled and it said “hairy fruit” in brackets,’ replied Fiona. ‘I think. Anyway, I brought some waxing strips as well,’ she added helpfully.
    Bella decided to change tack.
    â€˜Right, ladies and gentlemen. I’m

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