Riot Headline We’re Closed for Memorial Day

The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer [Excerpt]

Book Riot is partnering with Wattpad to introduce you to new writers and stories.

_________________________

fabulous dreams of maggie de beer

This is an excerpt from The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer by Andrew Crofts. Keeping reading at Wattpad.

*******

On that forty-five minute train journey to London I transformed from fifteen-year old Maggie Mitchell into eighteen year-old Maggie de Beer like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. I would be eighteen for about six years after that.

It hardly seems worth lying about where or when I was born any longer, not in these times of Heat Magazine and the bloody Internet, when everyone can find out everything about you at the touch of a button. . No chance of retaining an air of international mystery and glamour these days, which is what I was trying to do when I used to tell people I was a child of the Empire, conceived in Monte Carlo after a successful night for my parents in the casino, born in India and brought up in Kuala Lumpur. I used to talk about how my father was in the diplomatic service; ‘all terribly hush-hush,’ I would say, ‘not even Mummy was allowed to know what he did’.

Category ID: 13193
Category ID: 473

In fact my father worked for the council in Haywards Heath, inspecting things, and the closest we ever got to lives of international mystery was a couple of package tours to Majorca in the 1960’s, the stress of which seemed to almost blow my mother’s entire nervous system. But I could hardly build a career as a global superstar and icon from those beginnings, could I? So, I changed everything about my past the day I sneaked out of the house with the best family suitcase while my mother was having her after-lunch rest with the bedroom door closed, and dragged it to Haywards Heath station. As I stood on that dreary, draughty platform for the last time it seemed like my portal to another world…..

 

*******

‘Let me buy you something to eat,’ he gestured back towards Picasso’s. ‘Pasta or something.’

I hesitated for a few seconds. I could envisage all the warnings my parents would dole out about accepting a meal from a complete stranger and I immediately wanted to do it just to prove to them that the world was not nearly such a threatening and evil place as they imagined; that I could handle it even if they couldn’t.

‘Okay, why not?’ I shrugged, as if I did such things all the time. He put his arm round my waist with a comforting gentleness and steered me back, not offering to relieve me of the weight of the suitcase….

 

*********

Neil was already dressed and blow drying his hair on the other side of the room as I surfaced, staring at himself in the mirror with a look of intense concentration. I just lay watching him for a while, wishing I could remember more of the night. I had never seen a grown man blow drying before, Dad was more one for a quick lick of Brylcreem and a comb through each morning. He would no more have picked up a hairdryer than he would have pulled on a pair of women’s shoes.

As Neil left for the King’s Road with a box full of jeans he gave no indication as to whether he expected me to still be there when he got home. It was almost as if he’d forgotten I was there at all. Once I heard the front door of the flat slamming behind him I slid out of bed, wrapped myself in his sweet smelling towelling robe and went to the bathroom. The door was standing open so I walked boldly in and screamed like the stupid schoolgirl I was trying so hard not to be.

‘Hi, I’m Q,’ the boy in the bath said.

He was just the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. If you can imagine David Cassidy’s daintier younger brother you would pretty much get the picture. I knew I had to stop staring at his face, but I didn’t dare move my eyes too far down in the bath so I found myself focussing on the loosely packed joint he had between his fingers.

‘Help yourself,’ he said, passing it across…..

 

*******

I knew for a fact that Marilyn had done nude calendar pictures when she was starting out as plain old Norma Jean; all the big stars had, I was sure of that, so this could be my first step into the big time. I also needed the money.

Want more? Visit Wattpad to keep reading.

We're giving away a $50 gift card to your favorite indie bookstore! Enter here: