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Extract From Chapter Two of ‘The Lady Winters’

Gregory Yikes was dead.

Becket grinned as he watched the mummer run through the House of Lords, the Speaker scowling as the gossip jumped from one person to the next in the furious chatter of panicked, desperate men who saw their worlds titling dangerously towards something very dark.

“I see your father’s unimpressed with you again.” Henry Junt dropped down into the bench seat next to Becket and kicked his feet up onto the balcony railing. He’d changed little since Becket had last seen him, hair kept short in tight dark curls and bright green eyes that darted across faces too quickly.

“You stink of opium.” said Becket, pushing his hand into his trouser pocket to see if he still had his cigarettes.

“And you reek of gin.” Henry grinned, snapping up a cigarette when Becket held the tin out. “Did you spend the entire night in the South Banks?”

“Most of it.” Becket admitted. “It seems I made somewhat of a racket finding my way back into the house this morning.”

“Servants quarters?”

“Burst through the front door singing oh Nelly, Nelly or something like that. Like you said, father was not impressed.”

“I don’t suppose he ever is, do you have a match?”

Becket patted his pockets.

“No.” he said. “How about you?”

“Why would I ask for a match if I already had one?” Henry shook his head. “I suppose you can have this back.” He held the cigarette out for Becket to take.

Becket took it, pinning his own between his teeth as he stood up.

“Wait there would you?” Grabbing hold of the back of the bench Becket pulled himself onto the cushions and claimed across three rows to the back where the oil lamps were fixed onto the wall.

“There you go.” He landed heavily back in his seat, passing the now lit cigarette across as his father glared up from the floor below. “Who needs matches with modern technology.”

Henry chuckled.

“You’re father might just kill you for that.”

“I’ve done worse and I’m still here.” Becket shrugged. “Anyway, he’s more concerned with Gregory Yikes at the moment.”

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Carol Forrester is a writer trying to be a better one. She’s currently working on a poetry collection 'It's All In The Blood'. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon. More recently her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.

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