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JULY WINNER: Escape Velocity by James Mason

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

"Dad, is Gran going to be famous?" Brad asks, peeping out at the journalists trampling our azaleas.

In the back garden my mother is inspecting the canon.

Later, she will hold a press conference from our porch to announce that she will not be using a safety net. She has knitted a cape for the occasion and has tucked her blue-rinsed hair, curlers and all, into a glitter-coated helmet.

Millions will tune in to watch her launched skyward: an octogenarian comet.

At the moment she is Deirdre Stokes: widow, mother. By teatime she plans to be the first pensioner in orbit.



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