An excerpt: 

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To tell you about what happened I’d have to take you back to the beginning. Not the very start, my birth, course, as that’d take too long and we all have other things to be doing in life than hearing all about how my mother, Miss Lynetta Shines, pushed and yelped and bit her way through the 29 hours it took for me to come into the world. The biting part is definitely true. My aunt did tell me that Lynetta was so overcome with the pain of pushing a watermelon through a lemon-sized doorway that when the doctor came near her she did grab his hand hard and bite down with the full force of her 30 teeth. She’s minus two due to a fight that once happened, not her fault but the other's, where a fisherman's wife did slap her hard round the face with a wine glass, knocking the two fronters out. There was no wine in the glass at the time though there might very well have been wine in Miss Lynetta and the fisher's wife. Anyway, that’s all you’ll get on the story of my birth.

We don’t even celebrate the day round here. Lynetta says it was the worst pain of her whole long life so eating cake to remember it will only make her want to throw up or bite someone again. And truth be told she’s not much of a cook and her cakes usually end up blackened and in the bin so I’m okay with no cake. I did once throw a surprise party for myself, aged 13, just me and Jackson invited and the surprise was more in principle then in reality as we shared a slice of cake I'd stolen from the school teachers staff room the day before. It had hardened and gone stale around the edges, the icing turning a darker shade of brown than once intended, but it was sweet goodness all the same. 

I miss Jackson, truth be said. 

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