Ruby and the Stone Age Diet

Ruby and the Stone Age Diet by Martin Millar Read Free Book Online

Book: Ruby and the Stone Age Diet by Martin Millar Read Free Book Online
Authors: Martin Millar
Izzy but I say no.
    I go to buy some apples.
    Cis is serving behind the counter.
    I am stunned by her beauty and memories of good times.
    ‘Hello, Cis. Four apples please.’
    I point to the kind of apples I want.
    Cis puts four of them in a scale and weighs them, then puts them in a brown paper bag.
    ‘How long have you been working here, Cis?’ I ask, heart pounding.
    ‘What are you talking about?’ says the assistant who, on close observation, looks nothing at all like Cis.
    ‘Nothing,’ I mutter.
    The assistant classifies me as a harmless crazy person and gives me a fairly sympathetic smile. I hurry away.
    This cactus is sacred to Aphrodite because on one occasion she was pursued through the southern desert by Ares, God of War and unwanted suitor.
    Unsuited to such a rigorous chase and unable to fight him off (Aphrodite is no coward, but Zeus refused to give her proper fighting skills, leading to her being pursued from the field of combat at Troy) Aphrodite falls to the ground.
    A brave shepherdess, seeing her plight, rushes up, rips a nearby cactus out of the ground and rams it between Ares’s legs. He is forced to retire from the scene, badly hurt.
    ‘Thank you,’ says Aphrodite. ‘Why are you crying?’
    ‘My lover left me by this cactus,’ wails the shepherdess. ‘It reminded me of him. I used to sit and watch it grow. Now it is dead.’
    Aphrodite, graciously sympathetic, replants the cactus and it comes back to life.
    ‘When it flowers your lover will return,’ she says. ‘And now and forever, in memory of my rescue, this cactus will be sacred to me, and will bring good fortune to all lovers who are gentle and kind.’
    ‘We will make money from writing,’ announces Ruby.
    ‘What writing? Is your book ready?’
    ‘No. Magazine writing.’
    I wait for her to explain. Ruby is very smart and I know that her idea will be good.
    ‘I have been down to the library and stolen all their magazines. And I have stolen some more from the news-agents. I got sex magazines, karate magazines, football magazines and romance magazines. And photo-love stories.’
    ‘So? Are we going to sell them? It won’t get us much money. Couldn’t you steal something more valuable?’
    ‘No. What I mean is, we will write stories for them and they’ll pay us.’
    I am dubious. But Ruby insists it will be easy, in fact what she has in mind is copying stories practically word for word and just changing a few names here and there and then sending them off.
    ‘The stories are all crap,’ she tells me, ‘so there is no reason for them to reject ours.’
    Cynthia falls ill, seeks help, and learns she is still pursued
    Cynthia werewolf has only one friend in the world of werewolves, her kindly Uncle Bartholomew
.
    An eccentric professor, Uncle Bartholomew lives alone with his experiments. He never got over his wife leaving him for a movie star
.
    ‘
Let me in, Uncle Bartholomew, I’m sick
.’
    ‘
Cynthia, what are you doing here? It’s not safe. Only the other day the detectives were here looking for you. Lupus the Werewolf King wants you dead
.’
    ‘
I’ll be dead soon enough, Uncle. I can’t eat
.’
    Uncle Bartholomew makes her some tea and wraps her up in a warm blanket. He can see she is not well. This makes him sad. He always liked Cynthia and her rebellious ways
.
    ‘
Tell me your problems
.’
    ‘
I can’t eat. I vowed only to eat bad people but they make me vomit. For some reason the only people that taste nice are my friends. Now I don’t have any friends left. I’m so lonely I could die. And I’m in love, but I can’t go and see him because I know I’ll eat him. Help me before I eat all the nice people in London, and die of loneliness
.’
    Uncle Bartholomew offers her some vegetables but Cynthia has never been keen on vegetables. Anything green makes her want to scream
.

     
     
     
    My foot still hurts from kicking the door, in fact it hurts worse than before. My knee seems to be better. Ruby’s

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