picture from brighton pier

Revenge is Best Served Cold. Chapter 9.



Yellow Fields, Tori’s school was situated around ten minutes’ drive away from her big brother’s. On Fridays her father’s girlfriend, Jane, would pull up in her flashy car to collect her and a friend. Today would be no different. Friday’s was ‘fun night’, and she’d had a friend over every week ever since her mum left two years ago. The girls had been giggling and making plans all day, planning their play for after school.

Molly had been Tori’s friend, on and off, for a year. They’d fallen out just the one time the whole time they’d known each other, over the pronouncement of ‘spaghetti’. Not speaking for two days before making up. They lived in the same private road, just at different ends.

Molly’s hair was black, fine and shiny. Her Nigerian mum would tie it in a long plait which reached down her back. Tori, like her brother and father had blue eyes with short blond hair. It had been cut short a few months earlier, when, at Christmas she had got gum stuck in it and Dad had taken her to a hairdresser. Tori had seemed so upset, losing so much hair. The hairdresser, trying to help, told her she looked like a grown-up.

Tori could not really remember her mum’s face anymore. Dad called her a bitch, which she knew was a bad word. She felt unable ask for a photo, but remembered someone pretty and kind. She missed being the same as the other children. She missed having a mum to turn to and talk about.

Consequently, she often lied about her mother, just to fit in. More recently she had been telling people that Jane was her mum. Tori liked Jane, she had time to play and help her pick out clothes; Jane was like a mum, being gentle and kind. Jane invited over friends and organised activities. Jane cleaned, ordered food and did their laundry, taking care of all of them, including Dad. Jane did so much more now compared to when she had first babysat.

This week, Tori was excited for Friday fun night and it was at hers. Last week they had gone over to Molly’s house after school and had chips, burgers and doughnuts. Molly’s mum had eaten chips and had ice-cream. They’d been allowed fizzy pop and had become overly excited. When they’d got home her Dad said, ‘you are popping’ right at her. Tori wondered if Dad would talk to her and Molly today.

On the table Jane had laid out tea. There were mini chocolate rolls, tea cakes, peppa pig fairy cakes, ginger biscuits, and little squares of sandwiches. The grown-ups were talking together in the kitchen and Dad’s voice was getting very loud. Tori and Molly looked at each other, turning up the volume on the peppa pig episode they were watching on television.

“What do you mean he wasn’t there?” Dad shouted. Jane was heard searching though the paperwork in the kitchen’s little drawer.

“He wasn’t there, I waited almost ten minutes, so I thought maybe he was doing an after-school club or something, stop shouting at me Kev, have you tried calling him. There must be a letter or something somewhere”.

Jane’s tearful voice was soft, trying to keep her voice low so the little girls sat in the next room wouldn’t hear.

“I had to go and pick up Tori and Molly, I double backed and drove past the school again after picking the girls up, he wasn’t there hun.”

Kevin’s phone bleeped. Looking down he clicked the message icon, it was a text message from an unknown phone, it said,

“I’m helping someone out, back later”.

Kevin immediately hit the call return, but the phone was off. He turned angrily towards Jane, spitting out,
“That little shit. I hope he doesn’t think he can leave that school project to the last thing on Sunday. I told him I’d have time tonight, I don’t’ know what the fuck he’s playing at.”

Molly listened as he headed up to Simon’s bedroom to see if he could find anything from the school that would explain him not coming straight home. Minutes later, calmer but still visibly upset her father came down the stairs and slammed a letter down hard on the kitchen side.

Kevin looked at Jane, “It says here he was due for a vaccine at 4pm down in Harrow. Do you think he made his way to it on the train? The office says it’s open to 5pm. It’s gone that but I’ll give them a call.”

Putting down the phone five minutes later, he said,
“No one is answering, no machine either so I couldn’t leave a message.”


All characters and interactions are fictional. Copyright sam J harris 2022.

This is chapter nine of Revenge is Best Served Cold. Each chapter will be published every Monday.

Revenge is Best Served Cold is the first book of the Snap Triology introducing Sarah Cacroft and is set in United Kingdom.