Due to all the nasty bugs about, I would like to share this particular chapter taken from my first book Sweet Jasmine, Cakes and Magic. Enjoy!
“Hello!!!” sang my mother, as she answered the phone. It was 6am and as always, she was full to the brim with buckets of energy.
“Mum?” I pathetically croaked.
“Darling, is that you, “what’s the matter? You sound dreadful, is everything okay?”
“No, I’ve got the flu, please come over.”
“Don’t be ridiculous darling! Of course you haven’t got the flu, if you had the flu you wouldn’t be able to lift your head off the pillow. No, no, it’s probably just a heavy head cold.”
“I don’t believe this,” I groaned. “Mum, “I can’t” lift my eye lids, let alone my head!” Plus, my throat feels like its gone six rounds with a cheese grater and I have a temperature.”
“Really pie crust? Okay, well mummy to the rescue, I’ll be over in a jiffy.”
Thirty minutes later, my mother was buzzing over my bed like a bee and feeling my forehead.
“Goddess darling, you’re burning up. I think you’ve got the flu!” If I had the energy, I would have yelled at her. “Oh well, not to worry mummy’s here!”
Moments later, as I squirmed about in my bed fighting the agonising aches and pains, I could hear my mother bustlingly about in the kitchen. Shortly after, she entered the bedroom carrying a small cup of steaming liquid.
“Here we are darling, try to sit up with mummy so you can drink this down.” I moaned into my pillow, oh I felt dreadful.
“Now come on Wonder Woman, I know your head feels like a lead balloon, but you need to sit up, or I can’t give you your medicine.” She popped the cup onto the bedside table and put her hands under my arms to help me up. I yelped in pain as my pounding head responded without mercy to the unwanted movement.
Nonetheless, my mother managed to prop me up and coax a hot, silvery coloured liquid into my mouth.
“There we go darling, try to drink, I promise it’ll make you feel better.”
I moved my head towards the cup. The moment the drink touched my lips, I began to feel as if I were enveloped in comfort and safety. The drink itself didn’t taste particularly of anything, but it smelled of childhood: cakes baking in an oven, the freshness of the sea and places I had visited on holidays. It took me back to being a little girl on Christmas morning, excited at 5am to be greeted by a magical tree and a sack brimming with toys.
Then the muscles of my face began to soften and my jaw relaxed. My frown line ironed itself out, and soon…I let go.
“Drink some more strawberry cup cake,” she coaxed, “you’ll be up and about in no time.” I silently sipped more of the silvery liquid, enjoying the relief it brought to my flu-stricken body and after about ten minutes, I began to drift into sleep.
As tiredness washed over me, I could feel my mother lovingly stroke my hair, as she chanted a short spell from the back of what appeared to be a tea packet.
Allow your body time to heal,
Drift away, clear your mind.
No more pain for you to feel,
Just health and happiness you shall find.
Four hours later I woke up refreshed and feeling stronger, I even sat up! My mother was rocking back and forth on the wooden rocking chair, reading a copy of Cosmos, with Jupiter 10 snuggled onto her lap.
“Hello darling, how are you feeling?”
“I feel like I’ve just had a bad dose of flu,” I said as I stretched my arms overhead, “because my legs feel like they’ve been pounding the treadmill for eight hours. However, no more headache and my fever has broken, so I guess I’m on the mend?”
“Bravissima apple pip, well done. Although I must admit you were in awful shape when I saw you this morning. For starters, you were the colour of a vanilla yoghurt and your hair looked like strands of deep fried noodles.” “Bloody cheek!” “Well you did darling,” she said with a slight chuckle, “still, you’re all pretty again, and you’ve actually got a bit of colour to your cheeks. Honestly, you looked like you should’ve taken up a job haunting houses!” “Thanks.” My mother just giggled again. “Sorry Jupiter 10, off nanny, she’s got to go and run a nice hot Citrus Bang-Bang Boom bath for your mistress, so we can blitz that flu completely out of her system.” She then patronisingly told me that I looked about twelve in my PJs and made her way into the bathroom.
A few seconds later, the flat was filled with the scents of lemon, lime, oranges and tangerine, just the sheer smell of that stuff is stirring.
“Right Robin Red Breast,” said my mother clapping her hands sharply, “whilst your soaking, I’ll change your sheets, they smell like a stagnant pond, due to you sweating so much.”
“Well, I did have a fever mother!”
“Yes I know that darling,” she said breezily, “that’s why I came over and spoon fed you Dr Goombah’s, Boo Hoo I’ve Got the Flu tea!”
Adrianna Jasmine pondered for a moment. “Ah that’s it, that’s what you gave me! gosh, I haven’t had Boo Hoo I’ve Got the Flu since I was fifteen or something.”
“Hmmm I know darling, honestly you were quite poorly when I found you, you were moaning and talking gibberish, I think you were trying to recite a spell. Anyway, up you get, relax in that lovely bath tub and wash your hair cocoa bean, it looks like it’s gone for a cut and blow dry in a lard factory.” I didn’t say a word.
Still feeling fragile, I walked gingerly into the bathroom, slipped out of my sweat-soaked nightwear and edged myself gently into the hot, buzzing water. I lowered the back of my head so I could wet my hair, and allowed the Citrus Bang-Bang Boom to work its magic into my scalp. I could feel the wonderful product zapping away any lingering dregs of the dreaded flu.
Later, I sat up and began to apply shampoo, before massaging Tangle Tamer into my hair. Thirty minutes later I was sitting in fresh pyjamas with my mother lovingly combing and drying my hair.
“Now darling,” said my mother, “you’re not doing any work tonight are you? Because personally blueberry meringue, I think you should rest.” I told her that I had no intention of working, and that I’d relax and order a film.
“Good idea,” my mother stated, “why don’t you order a film off that clever telly of yours?”
“Yes, mum,” I chuckled, “I’ll order off pay per view!”
“Good sausage roll, you’ve been very busy lately, what with all your TV work, cooking for that coffee shop, trying to save every human on the planet, the job at the magazine. Not to mention zooming back and forth in that van of yours! Then there’s the yoga, Salsa night and of course, getting yourself all in tizzy over your wedding! You’re only a witch darling, not a Goddess!”
“Yes mother,” I sighed, “you’re absolutely right.”
-Catherine Sabatina, Sweet Jasmine, Cakes and Magic, edition 1, 2012, UK, Catherine Sabatina