Oh Gran! will be hitting Kindle soon. Here’s a taster and a peep at the great cover artwork by Roger Fereday.
Chapter 1 News Time
“Has anyone else got any news?” asked Mrs Crowley.
It was Friday afternoon, which was end-of-the-week news time at school. Teresa Barry had just told everyone how she’d passed her first Tae Kwondo exam the night before. She now had a yellow-tip belt. (Frank Feeney, sitting in the back row, decided he had better stop teasing her in the yard.)
“Surely someone has more news?” persisted Mrs Crowley.
No one put a hand up.
Mrs Crowley’s eye fell on Emily.
“Emily, have you got some news?”
Emily had, but she didn’t feel much like sharing it.
“Not really, Mrs Crowley,” muttered Emily, wishing her teacher had picked on someone else.
Mrs Crowley refused to be put off.
“There must be something you can tell us about, Emily. Now, come up here and share your news.”
Emily knew when she was beaten. She shuffled to the front of the classroom and turned to face the others.
“My news is that Gran is coming to look after me this weekend because Mum and Dad won a holiday in a competition so they’re going away.”
Emily shot back to her seat, her cheeks burning.
“Why, thank you, Emily,” smiled Mrs Crowley. ‘That’s nice news. I’m sure you’ll have a great time with your granny!”
Emily and her friends weren’t so sure. They talked about grannies at break time.
“Gosh, poor you,” said Mary Roberts. “Whenever my granny comes she makes us turn the telly down so low that we can’t hear it!”
“Yes, and my granny’s always telling me to wash my hands and brush my hair and stuff,” groaned Dermot Halloran.
“Has your granny stayed before?” asked Niamh Desmond.
“Not for ages and ages,” Emily answered. “You see, after Grandad died a few years ago, Gran went to live with my Auntie Hilary in Australia. Then just after Christmas she decided to come back to Ireland. We were going to go up to Galway to see her, but I got chickenpox so we I couldn’t. But now she’s coming down to look after me. She said she would pick me up from school today.!
Her friends pulled sympathetic faces. Grannies weren’t considered cool.
Chapter 2 Gran Arrives
Emily was quite nervous when the bell rang at the end of school. To be honest, she couldn’t exactly remember what Gran looked like! It must be more than three years since she’d seen her. Mum kept sending photos of Emily to Gran, but Gran never sent back any of herself.
“So how am I supposed to recognise her, then?” grumbled Emily.
She had a vague image in her head of someone small, smiley and rather wrinkly. But that was all.
She dawdled out of school, wanting to be one of the last out so that her friends wouldn’t see her with her granny. Plus it would be easier to work out who Gran was if the other parents and relatives had already gone home with their children. But Emily’s friends were curious about her granny. They dawdled out too so they could see what she looked like.
Glaring at them for being so nosy, Emily led a gaggle of her friends to the school gate. She looked across the road to where the remaining mums and dads were a waiting. She recognised all of them except for a motorcyclist wearing a black leather jacket. So where on earth was Gran? Emily was dismayed. Mum and Dad would be at the airport by now. Gran was meant to be here to pick her up.
Emily looked at all the faces again. Had she missed Gran somewhere? Unless, no, surely not! Emily watched in amazement as the motorcyclist pulled off a tiger-striped helmet and revealed the smiling face of an elderly lady. It was Gran!
Emily’s mouth dropped open in astonishment.
“Where’s your gran then?” hissed Niamh.
“l can’t see a walking stick anywhere!” joked Dermot, not very nicely.
“Yes, where is she?” asked Mary.
“There! She’s there!” croaked Emily, pointing to her leather-clad Gran.
Her friends fell silent in horror.
Oh Gran! thought Emily. I will never live this down.