Mug had just finished tidying and hoovering the whole house (which was almost as rare as unicorn poop) when it suddenly occurred to her ‘it’s almost 3pm – I must collect my precious, adorable Pickle from school’. She jumped into the car still wearing her Granddad styled shit brown coloured slippers thinking ‘I’ll be fine, no one will see them’ and dashed along the road to the collection spot. ‘Hey Mug, how was your day?’ the delightful Pickle didn’t say as she got in car while shoving her heavily laden school bag in Mug’s face in an attempt to chuck it on the back seat.
‘I’ve had a super wonderful day cleaning and tidying our wonderful home; you’ll see it in a minute, I’m really so happy it’s clean.’
‘Mug this sounds exceedingly awesome; I really must text my friend to tell her.’ Pickle didn’t say.
All this excitement was just too much for mother and daughter, so Pickle asked ‘Mug, how about we spend some mother and daughter time together over a Starbucks?’ Mug was so overcome with emotion – her marvelous parenting was presenting itself now; her life really hadn’t been wasted in vain; EVERYTHING was paying off. Mug pushed that nagging feeling that Pickle was just fleecing her for a Mocha Frap to the back of her mind and dutifully drove to Starbucks with a smiling daughter who chatted merrily about her day.
Once inside Starbucks, the Pickle predictably ordered a Frap, but Mug shrugged it off and still smiled. Mug looked around the busy coffee shop and noticed that like the old adage says you really can catch a smile, for their jollity had spread. The man standing next to Mug had advanced his smile to a snigger and almost a laugh and Mug wasn’t sure if a few camera flashes were going off in an attempt to capture what was epitome of perfect parenting, until Pickle nudged Mug ‘Mug, OMG what are you wearing?!’ She looked at her t shirt and thought it didn’t look too bad, but then she looked down, down at the shit brown, hard bottomed slippers that her mother had bought her one Christmas from Shoe Zone. Mug adored her slippers not only because her mother had bought them but because they were also comfortable and highly practical for completing housework and taking the bin out without having to put an actual pair of shoes on. ‘You are so embarrassing!’ muttered Pickle while standing as far away at the end of the counter while she hurriedly burned holes in the head of the young barrister girl with her eyes, in an attempt to get her drink made sooner. Mug changed the order from ‘drink in’ to ‘take away’ and tried to style it out as much as she could and pretended to check her Facebook on her phone, much like her friend did long ago, after she ‘tried’ to sneak a fart out in a crowed Specsavers waiting room.
Back in the car Mug tried to revisit the cheer that had occurred less than half an hour ago… ‘please shut up Mug’ snapped the adorable Pickle. ‘I just need you to tidy away the bits on your bed and we can all sit down for some quality family time when the others get home’ ‘uh hmmm’ said the Pickle nonchalantly.
Pickle secretly surveyed the living room and found a good clear sofa to dump her coat, school bag and PE kit on – now didn’t seem like the right time to pick her up on trashing a nicely plumped up and hoovered sofa, so Mug took to the kitchen to prepare dinner. As the afternoon slowly morphed into early evening, Roo, Dude and Leroy returned home from their long days at school, college and work and asked what was for dinner; Roo reliably informed Mug that she didn’t like Tikka Masala – ‘but don’t worry I’ll make myself something later’ she didn’t say.
After dinner, Pickle came down with a carrier bag filled with bits of paper: ‘these are the pages I don’t want in my notebooks; I’ve been sorting through my stuff.’ She then proceeded to stand on the paper in the bag to flatten it and took it all back upstairs. Mug suspected foul play. Paper. Notebooks. Sorting out. It all means just one thing. She went upstairs and began to notice tiny rice sized pieces of paper sporadically scattered on the top stairs. Larger pieces of torn paper lead to what looked like the burgled bedroom she had tidied this morning. ‘How can this be? How can I have missed a room?’ muttered Mug out loud: ‘don’t worry I’ll tidy it back up’ Pickle didn’t say with a reassuring smile.
Mug crossed the shit heap of a bedroom and gazed out of the window at the mocking sunset which had hued the sky red, as if it was satisfied from a day’s work of supping bloodied souls from Mugs everywhere.