The Iron in Blood (Chapter 6, page 1 of 25)

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Chapter 6


I woke earlier than usual that day, and I felt a kind of whimsical satisfaction when I put the alarm off before it could start screeching at me. Mum was already up, of course, and I went downstairs to have breakfast with her. We sat at the table in companionable silence until it was time for her to go. She hugged me as she left, wishing me good luck for the encounter with Mr Parker. I thanked her and kissed her cheek, and then she was gone.

I had a leisurely shower, and stood ironing my school uniform in my terrycloth bathrobe, listening to Radio 1and humming a kind of off-tune accompaniment to a few songs. Mark eventually stuck his head around the corner and grimaced at me, so I shut up. No point torturing people at this time of morning. Not even brothers.

I dressed, tied up my hair and brushed my teeth, and stood waiting for Mark to get ready. I had to confess - I was nervous. School was going to be so much more of an ordeal than usual today, and I needed his comforting presence. Plus he could stop me if I decided to bite somebody's neck. Ha ha.

We walked the mile or so to school with Harry, who had arrived a bit earlier than usual too, and had grunted a kind of greeting. Harry was a strange one sometimes. It was almost like he was evolving backwards. Speech, now grunting. I imagined him knuckling about and hooting, and I chuckled.

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