Below you, my beloved reader, can find samples of my writing portfolio. Constructive criticism much appreciated!
I can’t remember much about it, but one day dad was gone and the house went silent. Mum was out on the porch, her back facing the doorway. Her plump frame felt so dark and fragile against the bright and cold winter sun. We were not allowed to come outside, so we kept on staring at mum’s back through the nursery window, expecting to see dad appear on our driveway any moment. But he didn’t. Mum’s figure remained steady outside the window while we started to slowly float towards our toys. We didn’t want to make much noise.
A couple of days later, just before bedtime, I asked mum when dad would be back, and the only answer I could get was a firm ‘you and your sisters will go and visit him soon, now focus on your toothbrushing or you will stain your nightie’. She said it with such forced calmness and carelessness I didn’t have the courage to ask more questions, in case whatever she was hiding inside would burst out. The next morning, shortly after we’d been sent to play after our breakfast, I stumbled upon mum, shut in the spare loo. Her eyes were swollen and she was choking in her sobs.
‘Mummy what’s wrong why are you crying?’
‘Mummy’s feeling a little unwell, sweetie, just give mummy a moment and she’ll be fine, won’t you, dear? You’re mummy’s big girl.’
There was a slight alarming tone to her voice, like she didn’t want me to see her in such a state. I was baffled – had I done something wrong? Why was daddy not home? Mum never cried when he was in.
‘Be a good girl now, Lisa, for mummy’s sake.’
The door was closed in front of me before I could do or say anything else, and I stood outside in the empty hallway, listening to my mother’s unruly crying. My lip trembled a little. I’d never heard mum cry like this. I’d never seen her eyes so deep and full of sadness. And somehow it felt like it was my fault. Maybe dad was away because I’d been a naughty girl, been too cheeky during dinner or pinched my sisters one too many times. Hot, guilty tears rolled onto my cheeks, but I couldn’t start wailing like a baby. I was mummy’s big girl, and I had to be good now. Maybe dad would come back if I was good, and mummy would stop crying and everything would be fine. I could climb to their bed when the monsters got me in my nightmares, and dad could lift me up and I would squeal when he’d start tickling me. I thought it’d never end.
It was only years later, when I was 18, when mum told me how she’d decided to never cry in front of us. The moment dad had walked out, she’d decided to learn to use the drill herself and take care of the four of us alone. And we turned out just fine.
Everyday heroine (sample extract)
The business hadn’t been the best that day. Not that they ever sold all of their stock, but the manager had thought that with the tourists in town, and only a couple of daily trains passing, some extra cash could’ve been made. Sophia didn’t usually mind working overtime. She indeed took pride in her work as a waitress. Her mother had always told her that the highlight of her life would be working as a street-corner puta.
Sophia was clever. She could speak some Portuguese and a little English, hence why the manager had thought she would be a perfect addition to his team. That and one of the girls quitting the day before she came asking for a job – in such a place as the Taberna, you needed chicas quapas to distract the men from the final bill. So Sophia was hired.
Por favor, no?