The following is a short character sketch that I wrote for my FutureLearn course, Writing What You Know. Emmy is in her early 30s, works full-time as a receptionist in her father’s I.T. company, but doesn’t get the respect that she deserves from her colleagues, and is badly treated by them. Maisie is her pride and joy, and they share the ground-floor apartment Emmy has been living in for 11 years. Emmy feels trapped by circumstance, waiting for the day that she can eventually move out.
Emmy’s car had broken down on Sunday evening, the battery was completely flat and whilst her car was insured, she had let her Sheila’s Wheels breakdown cover lapse some time ago and hadn’t bothered renewing it. Monday was her day off work, and her Pekinese dog Maisie, had an 11 o’clock appointment at Soapy Paws Dog Groomers which couldn’t be missed. Emmy had lain awake the best part of Sunday night thinking about how she would get to the groomers on time. Did people still carry jump-leads in the boot of their cars? She would have to ask her next-door neighbour Joseph in the morning before he set off to work. If he didn’t have any, she would have to fork out what little cash she had left to catch the bus to the groomers and back home again. Maisie always left the groomers with a different coloured bow, sometimes it was on her head, other times on her collar. Her groomer Andy loved to use them as a way to thank his clients for their repeated custom, and often matched the colour of the bow to the colour of the collar.
‘Is that the time already? Oh no, Maisie, we’ve missed Joe!’, Emmy closed the blinds to her bedroom window. She grabbed her red sweater out of the pile of laundry at the end of her bed, threw on a pair of grey jeans and black ankle boots. Emmy scooped Maisie into her fake Michael Kors handbag; and closing the living room door behind her, left her apartment and power-walked in her heels to the bus-stop. All along, forgetting that the red bow was still sitting atop Maisie’s head.