BITCH LIT – ED by Maya Chowdhry & Mary Sharratt
Bitch Lit features women who take the law into their own hands, who defy society’s expectations, put their own needs first and don’t feel guilty. Characters that give Lady Macbeth, Imelda Marcos and Narnia’s Snow Queen a run for their money. All these stories, in one way or another, are tales of women and power. They goad us and dare us to strip off our niceness, leave our safe haven, and go out into the dark woods knowing that the most dangerously sublime thing to be encountered in that forest is ourselves unleashed.
Contributors include Rosie Garland, Sophie Hannah, Elizabeth Baines, Cath Staincliffe, Sherry Ashworth.
“Wickedly entertaining!” – Margaret Murphy
My Dear - Bitch Lit, (ed Maya Chowdhry & Mary Sharratt, Crocus Books 2006)
Migraines are the best condition I've ever had the good sense to acquire. I only need to wince, palm on side of head, roll my eyes like there's something superglued to my cornea and she leans over and bleats, oh darling, are you all right?
'It's okay my dear,' I gasp bravely. 'I think I've got a migraine coming on. Oh fuck.'
Donna gazes at me out of her shining eyes, so full and wet you could scuba dive. Oh those eyes. In her lovely blonde head, on her long cappuccino neck, on her luscious body, a body to die for. To lose myself in.
‘It's okay, m'dear. I just need to lie down. Just need my beauty sleep.’
I manage a courageous smile, raise my hand and sweep it gently across my brow, as though the effort at brightness has cost me more than I should have spent.
'You go ahead,' I whisper. 'Philippa and Meg haven't seen you for ages. You'll have a great night.' And they bore me shitless, I think.
'I'll miss you, darling. It's not the same without you.'
'I know, m’dear. I'll ring you in the morning.'
It's my first rule. Never move in, and never let them move in with you. Donna's always respected that. No sighing, dropped hints, innocent conversations about how much cheaper it would be if we split the rent on my fancy warehouse conversion. If she did, I'd be off like a shot. I'm glad she's never tried it on; she's so gorgeous it'd be a shame to have to dump her.
Sandra from IT was gasping after me from the moment she started back in June. Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen, say I. Acted like I hadn't noticed for the first month, although I could smell the pheromones pouring off her. She slid off her seat every time I passed by her office. That June, the number of times I found I couldn't access my email you wouldn't believe. Could she help me out? Yes she could.
So, I started dropping in the compliments: you've got lightning fingers: look how fast you've sorted that out; and then it was coffee and me doing a lot of laughing at her jokes; then it was a quick drink after work; then it was a slow drink; then it was you understand me in a way that Donna doesn't; then it was fucking each others' brains out. I'm never in a hurry. Where's the rush? It's all foreplay, from the first sniff of the quarry.