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Jamie Ni

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Social Worker by profession, I live in Australia with my tiny human. All fun and games, until Covid happened and borders closed (just as said tiny human was coming into this world). Writing has become my guilty pleasure and an outlet for my homesickness. I like light hearted fiction so that’s what I have been writing.

Current project

Working on ”A Basic’s guide to becoming a girl boss”
It is estimated that three quarters of millennials will experience a quarter life crisis, Georgie is no different. Her life is a bit… meh. She is unfilled in her job, her long term relationship to Darren has gone to the dogs and she can’t stop comparing herself to others – particularly those with more Instagram followers.
Luckily, Georgie has come into some money- 250,00o Euro to be precise. Desperate to live her purpose and for ‘girl boss’ recognition, she opens ‘The Style Lounge,’ an extravagant blow dry only salon in Dublin’s City Center. But the Salon isn’t the instant success Georgie hoped for, and a chance encounter with Clyde, a bloke offering a business opportunity, leads her down a dangerous path. All Georgie needs to do is mind a few packages.
As a believer in the power of manifesting, Georgie rationalizes the proposition as a sign from the universe. There are other signs though, it just takes Georgie a long time to recognize them.

Writing sample

Git gives us a lift to town; we could have walked in less than 15 minutes but its Baltic out. So cold that I am wearing a jacket, well, an anorak- it’s not very warm and I feel like inspector gadget, but everyone is wearing them. The pub is packed, bingo draws a mixed crowd: aul ones, locals, students, and Moira, she’s already here waiting.
We order drinks: vodka/ red bull for me, pink gin for Molly, pint of Heineken for Moira – she must order pints to make her chubby fingers look smaller- and take our seats in the center of the room, where I belong. Moira is beat into the bingo; she’s got 3 books and is playing them all simultaneously. I have a book, but I am not really playing, too busy scooping out the room. I’ve already spotted some fine thing at the bar, and I am burning holes in the back of his head, willing for him to turn round and give me the eye.
‘Bingo!’ that’s Molly’s voice, she needs to speak up, Queenie – who looks nearly as good as me in a bandage dress – didn’t hear.
‘Get up!’ I say, giving Molly a nudge, she is looking flustered and not moving
’27.’ The next number is being called…
‘Bingo!’ Some four-foot-nothing aul one has leapt up out of her chair quicker then jack from his box.
‘Ah Here!’ If Molly won’t stand up for herself I will, ‘sit down it’s been won!’
‘Bingo!’ The aul one is pretending she can’t hear me, shaking her piece of paper in the air.
‘Sit down It’s already been won!’ I can practically feel the tonsils in the back of my throat.
‘You didn’t call Bingo,’ she’s clambering onto the stage to collect her prize, with her gaggle of mates cheering her on. Wait till I catch her.
I charge after her, grabbing the slip from Molly as I go, that giant foam willy is hers.
‘Oh, looks like we have competition on our hands.’ Theres no competition here Queenie.
On the stage, we both meet head-to-head, and grab hold of the willy. She’s not backing down.
‘This is my sister’s willy!’ I shout at the top of voice without losing eye contact- my death stare and growl are enough to intimidate a pack of wolves.
Her grip is loosening, ‘Have it Love, you obviously need it more than me,’ she says, with a twenty-a-day-smoker laugh.
She can have all the digs she wants because I won!
‘There you go,’ I feel like a gladiator rejoining the table, ‘you’ll sleep well with this tonight.’
‘Thanks.’ Molly looks scarlet, but I know she’s delighted to have me as a sister- to mind her.
Right, I am off to the bar, to slip in beside that ride.
‘You’re a bit of mad thing, aren’t you?’ he’s even more of a lash up close: tall, tattooed, blonde hair and a dressy tracksuit, a St Stephens day tracksuit.
‘Depends, who’s asking?’
‘Clyde,’ that’s some wade of cash he is pulling from his back pocket, ‘here let me buy them.’
‘Ah no its grand.’ He’s already handing over the mula and asking me where I am sitting.
Drinks in hand, we are on our way back to the table with his mate, did he tell me his name? I can’t remember.
Before I know it, the rotten neon lights come on, 11pm already, I don’t want to go home. The banter is in full swing, Clyde calling us ‘typical townies’, but giving the whole ‘wouldn’t you like to know’ when we ask where he is from. A man of mystery.
Town is dead on a Tuesday night and there’s no drink in my gaff… I could invite everyone back to the salon, it’s only a few minutes’ walk away.
Molly is reluctant, she wants to go home, she won’t let me fend for myself with only Moira in tow though.
‘Jaysus, you must be some dodgy townies to afford this place,’ Clyde says, as I give him the grand tour: the fancy sinks, the bar, even the tea-room. He is impressed, amazed that the tea-room has its own entrance into the laneway, he must not get out much.
‘I won money on the prize bonds!’ Why does no one ever believe me?
I dish out the drinks, turn on the tunes and before long we are up dancing… even Clyde and his mate are getting involved, it’s not often you see lads dancing.
In the middle of some never-ending dancing tune, Clyde and his mate huddle around a tiny bag, bringing keys of powder to their noses. They must be taking coke and that explains the dancing. I have never touched a drug in my life. Neither did Darren, He was mad into his Jujitsu.
‘Pure rat poison,’ my nanny used to say. Although, I don’t know why anyone would sell rat poison, surely that would be bad for business? You wouldn’t have any returning customers anyway.
‘Do you want some?’ Clyde is pointing his keys in my direction, ‘it’s good stuff, not that bollox you get for 50euro?’
50Euro for something that was shoved up someone’s arse? He must have come down in the last shower.
‘No thanks babes,’ act casual Georgie, ‘keep it for yourself, you deserve it.’ My nerves.
A few blurry tunes later, we are bored of dancing; Molly has retreated to the corner of the room with Clyde’s mate talking about plants or something. Moira has her paws on the music and is belting ‘On raglan road,’ with her eyes closed, swaying. She knows all the words to the Irish songs, Fair play to her. She probably even knows the national anthem.
I am sitting on the stools against the bar, leaning in nice and close to Clyde. He already knows about my terrible week and the lack of bookings.
‘Whose Ni, Ni?’ I ask, pointing to the tattoo on his forearm, he has removed his hoody due to his sweating.
‘Niamh… she’s my sister, she’s dead.’ Jaysus, we are really bonding here.
‘Never mind that,’ he grab’s my hand and pulls me into him, ‘you’re gorgeous, come to me.’
‘Never trust a man who makes your mini tingle.’ My nanny used to always say. Jesus Christ, Georgie this is the first kiss you have had since Darren, Stop thinking about your nanny!

  • The Dark Room: A thrilling new novel from the number one Irish Times bestselling author of Keep Your Eyes on Me
  • allianceindependentauthors.org

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