So far, Ruby II has not had a good start. I survived a full week of getting up early before succumbing to a Rage marathon, and then I remembered that you can't watch Rage marathons sober (especially not ones offering a Nick Cave retrospective), and the next thing I knew it was 3 p.m. the next day and I was using two empty shiraz bottles for a pillow. (Note to self: don't do that again. For a while, anyway.) Through the haze, there were four unread texts bleeping on my phone - two from Anise, one from Mum, one from Dad, all from BASTARD PEOPLE, AS IT TURNS OUT. Apparently I failed Stage One of The Improvening. And now I had to suffer the consequences.
Suffer the what? What consequences? Why didn't anyone tell me about these?
"We thought it best you didn't know," said Mum.
"Am I in a reality TV show? Do you take my blood at night time?" I said.
"We were hoping we wouldn't need to do this, sweetheart, but you only lasted a week on Stage One," said Mum. "We needed a back-up plan."
"Why are you doing this to me?"
Dad rubbed his face and said, "We'd like to help you become employable again, Rabbit."
Great. I'm some kind of lab rat for my parents' freakish control issues.
So what are the consequences? Oh, you guys will love this. I've got Challenges.
"How many of these things are there?"
"We think it's best you don't know," said Mum. Again.
"What, like, five? Or twelve, like Hercules?"
She wouldn't look at me.
"More? More than twelve? How many?"
"Is that the time? Charles, we've got to scoot or your physio will never talk to you again."
"HOW MANY CHALLENGES??"
I still don't know. But I do know the first one: Cook An Edible Dinner From Scratch. Conditions: no packets, no sauces, no take-away, no help. And no hope, let's not forget that one.
I have, however, found a small outlet for revenge: Anise may be making me cook but I'm going to make her watch me do it.