Excerpt from Cold Comfort

13 July 2010

Freedom tasted good. To Long Ómar Magnússon freedom tasted of hot dogs with ketchup and onions and washed down with a cold can of malt. He thrust out long legs beneath the café’s plastic table and belched luxuriously. A woman with a brood of children at the next table turned her head and frowned, but he met the woman’s stare and she thought better of saying anything.

‘Where are we going now, Ommi?’ The tubby girl at his side asked.

‘Town. Your place.’

‘We can’t go there,’ Selma wailed. ‘Mum’ll go mad if she sees you. She knows you’re not out for another year.’

‘Good behaviour,’ he grinned. ‘Tell her I’ve been a good boy and now I need some fun.’

He drained the can of malt and stood up, shaking his legs.

‘Come on. There’s stuff to do.’

Selma hauled herself to her feet and trotted towards the door with Ómar towering beside her. As she squealed in surprise, the woman with the brood of children again turned her head in irritation in time to see a broad hand stretched down to cup a buttock, half under Selma’s short skirt. The woman opened her mouth to speak, but before she had decided what to say, the pair had gone with Selma’s squeaks receding into the distance.