Welcome to Wonderland excerpt: April Showers

Avril in NYC_fl

Meet Avril a colleague at the NYC based publisher Olivia is transferred to. This extract begins with Olivia’s morning start then Avril’s…

Mornings in Queens: purchase pastry en route to subway. Gloves always on, germs everywhere. Blended faces, swivelling bodies a whirlwind of humanity dashing in all directions with the same ambitious palpable energy.

Same white mocha, an almond croissant. Why not get donuts for the department?

donuts coffee

Timex watch looked at in 15 minute intervals awaiting the subway ride. A clamouring of bodies. Finally, on board. Trainers still on, black French Soles inside the black leather backpack. Once on Manhattan streets slip into chic footwear.

Wipe off crumbs on scarf. Mad dash to the offices, another stop over at a coffee house to grab another morning drink this time a hazelnut latte and one for Avril too.

Already on the island is Avril. Her morning is less rushed as at age 26 she still lives with her parents in their Manhattan townhouse. You’d never think that someone wearing a yellow Alessi watch takes a town car takes but Avril is our resident contradiction in terms. Typically, Avril doesn’t wake up until 8:30am as work starts at 11am. Obviously she’s only part time she doesn’t actually need to work. It’s just a ginger peach tea and a gluten-free lemon and ginger slice for breakfast.

Mom still lectures at NYU, Daddy is still at Liberty street. Edmund her eldest brother is at Goldmans Sachs and baby brother Tim is studying a useless subject at NYU.

This morning Avril decided to paint her nails after she got dressed and continued to daintily nibble breakfast and gather her belongings for work without leaving a dent on her newly polished nails. She checks Tinder and OKCupid as she’s due a couple dates tonight hence varnish application. It’s just her usual base coat applied twice then three coatings of Essie “Mademoiselle” polish. Once read in a magazine that Melania Trump uses the same shade. Avril’s dream in life is to marry a Hedge Fund Manager and have his babies. Though tonight she’ll be hooking up with Sid a Grafitti artist in Brooklyn at night; by day a freelance video editor at Vayner Media.

The other date is Mason an entrepreneur.

She’s met Sid before but this’ll be a first with Mason.

Both girls arrived at their desk, Avril skimming though her personal messages to check that neither date cancelled, Olivia opening up her file to work.

First on Avril’s after works activities is seeing Sid over in Brooklyn at Toby’s Estate (a Coffee Roaster in Williamsburg.) She succumbed to her third coffee of the day and Sid went on about work.

cafe lights

Enter Sid.
“Are you on snapchat,” he asked.
“I’m not actually.”
“I manged to get quick vid with the CEO today – check it out.” Enter a 10 second video of Sid and Gary doing V’s with bold text across it saying WORRRRK!!!!
“That’s so funny, whoa you got to meet the CEO?”
“Yeah most of the staff get to he’s not typical at all. I literally show up to work like this.” Sid wears a Basic white tee-shirt, navy hoodie, cargo pants and Vans.
“Where I work the women are pretty much expected to always be in skirts or work dresses, trousers are frowned upon.”
“Sounds like Mad men.”
“Yup.”

Next up burger and fries with Mr Unemployed…

burger lights

Mason had incredible energy and the kind of guy us Brits would call a Cheeky Chappie. His dimples blinded Avril to the fact that he was only 19, he’d recently dropped out of NYU and already knew her little brother. The two had met skateboarding. Mason wore A.P.C jeans with a navy crewneck sweater. You’re standard Wunderkind. A Collarless Hustler.

Unbeknownst to Avril he had already been featured in Inc’s 20 under 20 Brainchild’s Transforming Tech as he and a friend developed an on-demand app to locate nearby professional organizers in Manhattan. The app is called “@YourService” the co-founders are looking to branch out into a wider pool of consultants and advisers in business efficacy to housekeeping.

Mason’s knee started to jerk up and down, he keeps breaking eye contact and looks around the room. “I don’t actually have a job as such.”
“I figured.”
“I’m a free agent, I’m back and forth to San Fran quite a bit as that’s where my investors are based.”
“What do you like to do there, outside of work I mean.”
“Umm… Skate, surf, just cruise really.”
“So where are you from originally?”
“NJ.”
“Are you still there or?”
“Yup, with my parents.”
“Me too, no wait not in Jersey. Manhattan.”
“Did you go to Dalton?”
“Yeah me and my brothers did, Timothy and Edmund.”
“Fancy names,” he turned his head once more then eyes diverted up to the ceiling.
“So, are you all in with your business?”
“Pretty much.”
“Don’t you wanna go back to school?”
“Nope.”


CatherineVaughan.com
Welcome to Wonderland will be my first novel. Publication date will be announced on my Mailing List. Join here.

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