The mince pies are ready as I step off the train. A dozen dusted with sugar. I turn them down as I’m full of diesel fuel. The next day they’re reheated. I turn them down again but the neighbour takes one. I don’t tell her that the cling film is second hand and stored in a shoe box, or that the fridge is turned off at night because it gets cold. I found cockroaches had set up a TV and sofa behind the butter. Over the next four days the pies are absorbed by unsuspecting visitors like a bacterium shot, always warmed and offered with a jug of cream. On the last day, as I’m getting ready to leave, the remaining pie is set on the table like a challenge. Four in the morning and the coffee is a cheap trick. I peel back the film and bite through the pastry.
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