Trickster by Sam Michaels
Publication Date: 16th April 2019
To be ruthless is to be powerful, at least it is on the Battersea streets…
Georgina Garrett was born to be ruthless and she’s about to earn her reputation.
As World War One is announced a baby girl is born. Little do people know that she’s going to grow up to rule the streets of Battersea. From a family steeped in poverty the only way to survive is with street smarts.
With a father who steals for a living, a grandmother who’s a woman of the night and a mother long dead, Georgina was never in for an easy life. But after a tragic event left her father shaken he makes a decision that will change the course of all their lives – to raise Georgina as George, ensuring her safety but marking the start of her life of crime…
This is the first book in the thrilling new Georgina Garrett series.
About The Author
Sam Michaels lives in Spain with her family and plethora of animals. Having been writing for years Trickster is her debut novel.
‘Miss Capstone, can I help you?’ Mrs Blundell asked, sounding annoyed at the uninvited visitor.
‘I doubt it, but I thought I may be able to help you. It sounds like the woman is struggling.’
‘No, she’s fine. Everything’s going as it should,’ Mrs Blundell answered curtly.
Sissy wanted to pull the covers over her bare legs, embarrassed to be showing so much of herself to her neighbour, but she didn’t have the strength.
‘Well, yes, it’s God’s will. A woman’s pain in childbirth is part of the suffering brought into the world through sin. He said, “I will make child bearing painful”. I’ve no doubt He has made your pains twice as bad, as you are spawning a child of… well, that good-for-nothing thieving husband of yours!’
Sissy was shocked at Miss Capstone’s words, and her haughty attitude riled her, but she was quickly distracted by an overwhelming urge to push.
As Sissy’s body felt as though it was splitting in two, she saw Mrs Blundell march to the door and throw it open. ‘Miss Capstone, take yourself and your self-righteous judgemental views out of this room,’ the woman shouted.
‘How dare you speak to me like that.’
‘Oh, I dare. Now get out!’
Miss Capstone took in the thunderous look on Mrs Blundell’s face, and obviously deciding that it might be better to retreat, left the room. The door was slammed behind her. Taking a deep breath, Mrs Blundell returned to Sissy’s side. Her tone instantly changed. ‘I’m going to take a look, dear. I think we’re getting close now.’
Sissy closed her eyes as Mrs Blundell peered between her legs.
‘Yes, as I thought, you’re crowning. The baby is on its way. Now, try not to push until I tell you to.’
Sissy held her breath. She wanted to bear down but she’d been instructed not to. ‘I must… I have to, I can’t help it,’ she cried.
‘Quick breaths, Sissy, pant, dear… The baby is coming out a bit slowly. If he’s got ears like his father, he’s probably got stuck in there,’ Mrs Blundell said with a chortle.
If Sissy hadn’t been in so much pain, she might have laughed too. Jack did have enormous ears that stuck out, but it endeared her to him even more. She’d often joked with him, asking if his head spun round and round if he got caught in a strong wind.
‘Right, push again, but gently,’ Mrs Blundell instructed, and shortly after she smiled. ‘Ah yes, well done.’
Suddenly, the pain subsided, and Sissy felt numb as her child slithered into Mrs Blundell’s waiting hands. She’d done it. Her baby was born.
‘Here she is… you have a perfect baby girl,’ the woman said as she cut the cord then warmly handed Sissy her bloodied child.
Sissy felt exhausted but overwhelmed with motherly love for the tiny baby in her arms. She held her immediately to her breast and the baby instantly began to suckle. ‘Can you tell Jack to come in please?’
‘Not just yet,’ Mrs Blundell replied as she busied herself between Sissy’s legs. I need to clean you up a bit first. Oh no!’
‘What’s wrong?’ she asked anxiously.
‘Er, nothing, dear… just relax. You… um… have a little bit of tearing, that’s all. I just need to fix you up a bit.’
Sissy felt reassured and held her daughter close, admiring her thick mop of black hair, just like her own. Her ears were squashed so it was difficult to tell, but she didn’t think the child had inherited her father’s ears, or his wonky nose. Mind you, Jack’s nose was only wonky because it had been punched so many times.
‘Oh, my darling, you’re so beautiful,’ Sissy whispered and gently kissed the top of her baby’s head. As she gazed at her daughter in amazement, the sheets underneath her began to feel wet and warm. ‘What’s going on, Mrs Blundell? I feel a bit strange.’
‘Nothing… nothing at all… you’re bleeding. It happens sometimes. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.’
Mrs Blundell’s tone was higher-pitched than normal, and the urgency in her voice caused Sissy to panic. She’d heard of women haemorrhaging and bleeding to death after childbirth. She wasn’t a believer like her neighbour Miss Capstone, but suddenly she found herself praying to God to spare her for the sake of her newborn baby.
Mrs Blundell suddenly pulled a blanket over Sissy and rushed out of the room mumbling something that Sissy didn’t quite catch. Through her confusion, she instinctively knew her life was in danger and wondered if Mrs Blundell had fled in fear. Had she been abandoned to die alone? ‘Mrs Blundell, come back,’ Sissy shouted feebly, her strength sapping as blood spewed from her womb.