Angels with Dirty Faces by Casey Watson

Angels with Dirty Faces by Casey Watson

Author:Casey Watson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: 2017-11-01T04:00:00+00:00

Because that’s just the way life works out sometimes, now that the army pants had been forgotten along came the call from Phil to let me know he’d managed to procure them. Well, the promise of them anyway. It seemed he’d arranged to visit the family again and this time he’d told them he wouldn’t leave without some more of Paulie’s clothing. ‘Though her term was “rest of”, I’m afraid,’ he added.

I explained what I thought Paulie must mean – ‘You know, camouflage trousers, probably’ – and, true to his word, Phil had called again just as we were sitting down to lunch to let me know that he had another bag of stuff and that, assuming it worked for me, he could drop them round in 20 minutes.

‘Not that man!’ Paulie said, looking up at me fearfully as I ended the call and put the phone back on the counter.

I turned around, surprised. I hadn’t even thought he’d been taking any notice. I’d popped the television on and as far as I’d known he’d been eating his spaghetti hoops while engrossed in the antics of four teenage turtles.

‘That man?’ I asked.

‘That man. That man on the telephone. He’s a bad man an’ he’ll tell you about the rabbit.’

‘About the rabbit?’ I asked, sliding into the chair across the table from him and trying to keep my expression neutral.

Paulie put down his spoon and pushed his bowl away, tears running down his cheeks now. ‘Don’t let him come! Not that fucking Phil man!’

I spent half a second wondering if I should point out the ‘F’ word, but decided to let it pass. He seemed genuinely upset. And, naturally, I was keen to hear what else he might have to say. I pulled my chair round so I was closer to him, and stroked his head.

‘Sweetheart, Phil’s one of the good guys,’ I told him. ‘He wants to help you. He’s the one who’s got your clothes for you, isn’t he? And you know what else he just told me? He’s bringing your Power Rangers too. So you see,’ I finished, ‘he is a nice man.’

Paulie shook his head violently. ‘No, he’s not! Don’t let him in! Just get my stuff and bang the door shut! He made me tell him lots of stuff and I don’t like him!’

He pushed his chair back from the table and, once he had sufficient room, wriggled down from it. Then he ran off into the hall and up the stairs.

I followed. ‘Paulie, sweetheart, don’t get upset,’ I soothed as I went. ‘He wants to help you. There’s nothing to be frightened of, I promise you … He’s going to bring your favourite clothes, so you can start wearing them – your army pants, remember? I bet you can’t wait to put them on again, can you?’

By the time I’d reached his room – only a scant few moments behind him – he’d already dived for his bed and burrowed right under the duvet. All that was visible was a hump in the bed.


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