Did you enjoy Thursday’s witty extract from Andrew Mackay’s new novel Vicky and Lizzie’s First Period?
Mackay, who says his influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe and Michael Frayn, describes himself as a satirist who likes to expose the dark underbelly of modern life.
He likes to be a bit shocking sometimes – but promises he’ll also make readers laugh.
Here to whet your appetite for what promises to be a wickedly funny novel is a second extract from chapter one:
Vicky and Lizzie pushed through double doors and entered the sports hall concourse. They were a few minutes late. A congregation of one hundred anxious students lined the wall. They looked nervous as they waited to enter the sports hall to sit their exam.
‘You’re late!’ Jody said. She clutched her English text book under her arm. ‘Bowery’s gonna be well pissed when she gets back.’
‘Oh, who cares?’ Vicky said, reaching into her rucksack and taking out her textbook. ‘She thinks she’s a good teacher. All she ever does is flirt with the boys and take out their rejections on us.’
‘Where is she?’ Lizzie asked, looking over the line of heads and shoulders leading to the door.
‘Ah, you’ve decided to join us.’ A female voice came from behind the line. ‘Vicky. Lizzie.’
They turned around to see the not-unattractive English teacher, Mrs Bowery, staring at them. She’d heard everything that had been said but decided not to challenge it. ‘Where have you two been?’
‘Sorry, miss,’ Lizzie said, looking the woman up and down. Today, she had elected to wear a tight thigh-high skirt, revealing a lot of leg.
‘We had to get our bags from Mr Parker’s class.’
‘They’re lying, miss!’ came a squeaky voice from the front of the line. It belonged to Nancy, the girl who’d collected up the phones in tutor.
‘What’s that, Nancy?’ Mrs Bowery asked.
‘We took our bags to assembly, miss,’ Nancy explained. ‘They were just taking their time.’
‘Is that true?’ Mrs Bowery asked the pair.
They didn’t answer. Instead, they looked down at their shoes.
‘I thought so. Thank you for informing me, Ms Brittle.’
Mrs Bowery walked toward the door to the sports hall. ‘Okay, everyone, before we go in, I want absolute silence. Do you understand what I’ve just said?’
‘Yes, miss,’ came a chorus of twelve-year-old voices.
The doors to the building pushed in. This time, it was Jonnie and Sam. ‘Sorry we’re late, miss!’
‘Jonnie Barron! Samuel Bright. Where have you two been?’
‘Needed to take a piss before the exam, miss,’ Jonnie shouted down the corridor.
‘Language, Jonnie!’ she said, before realising he had a sarcastic response. ‘And don’t you dare say—’
‘Right, that’s it. See me during break time.’
Jonnie caught a glimpse of her generous posterior and licked his lips with delight. ‘Can’t wait, miss.’
Mrs Bowery pushed the door open. ‘Okay, in you go.’
The students filed in one-by-one. Nancy stopped by the door and looked up at Mrs Bowery.
‘What is it, Nancy?’
‘You know Jonnie does it on purpose, don’t you?’
‘Does what on purpose, sweetie?’
Nancy took a deep breath and sighed as Jonnie walked into the sports hall with Sam. ‘Little bitch.’
‘Shut up!’ she said.
‘You shut up!’ Jonnie’s voice echoed around the sports hall.
‘What do you mean? Jonnie does what on purpose?’
‘He does bad things so you’ll give him detention. I heard him say he fancies you and likes looking at your legs and boobs, miss.’
Mrs Bowery swallowed hard and looked up at Jonnie, who took his seat at the back of the sports hall. ‘Really?’
‘Yes, miss. He said he wants to put his willy between your—’
‘—Okay, that’s enough. Thank you, Nancy.’ Shocked, she didn’t quite know how to respond. Nancy, the do-gooder canary, needed removing from any further embarrassment.
Nancy trundled into the sports hall along with the horde of students. A grid of one hundred single chairs and an accompanying desk filled up the space.
Vicky and Lizzie weren’t sat together. Vicky Hopper sat in the middle of the sports hall. Lizzie’s surname – White – meant, as usual, she was last in the food chain. She took her seat at the front of the sports hall, near the tutor desk.
Jonnie Barron and Sam Bright – lucky buggers – were sat next to each other right at the back of the hall.
Each student looked for their name written on a small bit of paper on each desk and finally took their seats.
‘Okay, pencil cases and equipment out, please!’ Mrs Bowery said as she walked to the front desk. ‘You have five minutes until the exam starts. It will last one hour exactly.’
She pointed to the giant wall clock hanging on the front wall by the basketball stand. ‘Absolute silence, please. No peeking at the papers until I tell you!’
Jonnie looked over at Sam at the adjacent seat. ‘Psst!’
Sam didn’t hear him. He took a pencil out from his bag.
Still no response.
Jonnie sighed and kicked his table. ‘I said Psst, gay boy!’
‘Huh?’ Sam turned to Jonnie, confused. ‘What? What do you want?’
‘You got a spare pencil?’
‘Haven’t you got one?’
‘Yeah, but it’s my bag.’ Jonnie kicked his rucksack under the table. ‘I can’t be arsed to get it out.’
‘Ugh…’ Sam reached into his case and took out a second pencil. He flung it at his friend. ‘There.’
Jonnie caught it. ‘Cheers.’
Lizzie lined up three pencils, two erasers and a sharpener on her desktop. She looked over her shoulder and saw Vicky. She tapped the end of her pencil on the desk in tune to her toe kicking the squeaky sports floor.
Vicky gave Lizzie a wink. She raised her eyebrows and nodded at the door to the sports hall.
Lizzie blew Vicky a kiss and winked at her. She turned to the door.
Mr Bloom, the technology teacher, hurried into the hall. ‘Sorry I’m late, Mrs Bowery.’
‘That’s okay, Mr Bloom,’ she smiled and turned to the children. ‘Okay, when I say, you may turn over your papers and begin.’
Mr Bloom took a seat behind the desk and kept a close eye on the students. Mrs Bowery folded her arms and took a deep breath.
‘Three… two… one…’
She looked at the wall clock. Exactly 9:00 am.
‘Make sure your full name is at the top in block capitals, please.’
The children turned over their papers and began to read the questions.
‘You may begin.’’
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