Dexter: Arch, Mum’s excited and she’s asking people on Facebook what she should wear. What’s happening?
Archie: It’s the RNA Awards today, Pipsqueak. Mum’s been shortlisted for the Liberta Book Shorter Romantic Fiction Award. It’s quite a big deal – it’s for her 90th book for Mills & Boon, and they first published her 20 years ago, when Chloe was the same age as you’ll be at the end of the month.
Dexter: So what’s that weird noise?
Archie: The hairdryer. She only uses it when she has to make her hair look really nice. Not like normal, when she just washes it and lets it dry while we’re out for a walk.
Dexter: And what’s that red stuff?
Archie: Lipstick. Oh, yeah, she hasn’t worn make-up since you were born and it’s all dried up so she had to go out and get more. That’s why we had scampi for lunch.
Dexter: Is lipstick as nice as biscuits?
Archie, laughing: Well, you can try licking it off her face. But not until after the awards do.
Dexter: It’s weird, seeing Mum dressed up. She’s normally as scruffy as you are.
Dexter: Why do we have to sit quietly on the sofa with Dad?
Archie: Because it’s a Lockdown Awards Do – that means it’s on zoom, instead of her abandoning us to go to London.
Dexter: So we could go and leap on her and say hello to loads of people all over the world. After all, we are her Edit-paw-ial Assistants. She can’t write books without us at her feet.
Archie: No. Apparently there are technical problems. Let’s have a nap.
Dexter: Mum’s crying! Noooo! We need to be there and make her better!
Archie: She’s not crying because she’s upset. She’s happy! She won!
Dexter: And you were lying about lipstick tasting nice… Pah!
Dexter: It’s all very nice, this rose Prosecco and that, but where are the biscuits?
Archie: All the excitement’s tired me out. Let’s go to sleep and dream of the biscuits I just know she’ll buy us tomorrow…