I have started writing a novel and I will post the chapters of my first draft as I write them. They will not be perfect, but they will not be horribly sloppy either. If you have any comments or advice, PLEASE comment in the box below.

Chapter 2

You will see that I insert xx in the text when I need to say something but I don’t have the information for it yet. In this case I have omitted a phone number because I haven’t yet Googled generic phone numbers for London. Like how all American phone numbers in the movies or on TV start with 555…

Sophie Black dipped the third digestive into her morning coffee and leaned back in the chair to enjoy the taste. She loved digestives, especially for breakfast. They made the perfect meal.

The sound of the vacuum cleaner disturbed her reverie. She sighed and looked to where Mark, her younger brother, was hoovering up dust and other imaginary offenders like every other morning of the week. She wouldn’t have minded it so much if he could just turn the machine on and be done with it, but the constant onning and offing while he attended to randomly selected parts of the lounge irritated the crap out of her. She regretted buying him that damned cordless vacuum.

The noise stopped and Mark walked over to her. ‘Can you do some dusting later on when you’re done there? I’ve done the vacuuming and the laundry is in the machine, but if you could just run a cloth along the furniture, it would be good. If you look now, you can see the dust clearly in the sunlight coming in the window.’

The iPad on her lap was open on The Guardian’s website and she had been reading the news for the past half hour. Without looking up at him she replied, ‘Sure, I’m just finishing my coffee and then I’ll do it.’

‘Ok. It’s just that if you do it now, then you can see the dust clearly with the sun on it.’

‘Is it showing dust on the furniture?’ she asked absentmindedly while she scrolled further down the news website.

‘Yes, and over here on the bookshelf as well.’

‘All right the, when I’m done here, I’ll dust all the furniture and the bookshelf.’

‘It’s just that if you did it now then it’s done and you can relax for the rest of the morning.’

‘Mark, it’s dust, I’ll sort it out when I’m ready, ok?’ Sophie tried not to show her irritation.

Her brother gave her a long look before walking to the kitchen to empty the vacuum.

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Sophie put down her coffee and biscuits and looked out of the window at the morning sun sprinkling light on the wet trees in the garden. Her brother had a beautiful home and she was grateful that he took her in when it all went to the dogs for her, but he can be hard work sometimes. His restlessness and constant fiddling and cleaning made it so she was never entirely relaxed. It’s difficult to be comfortably idle on a Sunday morning when your house mate is scrubbing the kitchen floor and sending out cleaning vibes. Today she chose to ignore it and dipped another digestive.

Sophie always started her morning reading the broadsheets and after she was done with the ‘proper’ news she headed over to The Sun and The Mirror to read about ‘MOTHER HAS SEX WITH SON’S DALMATION!’. She called it research, but secretly she knew the truth – she loved a bit of scandal and gossip first thing in the morning. Who doesn’t, right?

She scrolled absentmindedly down the page while biting into the rest of the biscuit and a headline caught her attention: ‘Teenage boy missing in Croydon’.

Seventeen-year old Jamie Wilcox disappeared near his home in Croydon. He was last seen by friends in the early hours of Saturday morning after they left the Red Light nightclub. According to friends and family it’s not unusual for Jamie to stay out all weekend without notifying anybody of his whereabouts, but after he failed to show up at an important family gathering yesterday, his parents became worried and notified the police. They say Jamie has been in good spirits recently and there was no reason for them to suspect that he may run away from home.

Jamie is white with brown hair and eyes and was last seen wearing black jeans, a white t-shirt and red Converse trainers. Anybody with information on his whereabouts are urged to contact Croydon police on xxx

Sophie read the article again, her hand suspended between cup and mouth and didn’t notice when the soggy biscuit end broke off and splashed messily back into the mug.

‘Shit,’ she said after a few minutes.