Deirdre was ploughing through a bowl of oat flakes and milk. It did not look too interesting. Did she want me to add some chopped banana, yes, she wanted.
It was a sunny Saturday morning and Hollytree was bouncing up and down. I asked her why she was so active and she replied that she had had a wonderful fried breakfast.
Bacon, sausages, black pudding, halved tomatoes, mushrooms, chopped pre-cooked potatoes, fried bread, eggs, a dollop of baked beans and splodge of ketchup; all fried apart from the baked beans and the ketchup.
I was still eating mine, I had two types of sausage with mustard on the bigger one; and there was this strange knock on the door.
There stood two women. “Can we come in, we are social workers.” They groaned when Hollytree cried out “The socwoks are here.”
“We have received reports that under-age girls are being mistreated and...”
“Oh, you mean my harem? No, there are no under-age persons in this house. There are six adult women who I treat as my daughters; they come from a home that I'm sure you know more about than I do.”
They wanted to interview each of the girls one-at-a-time, I pointed them to the living room and ate the rest of my breakfast.
What I did not know, was that I had reached peak girl. Six was the maximum of girls that I would have in Copper House.
The first was Deirdre, that didn't take long. The twins insisted on being together. Maggie took half an hour and so did Eloise.
It was my turn. “About me, you want to know about me. I've lived here in Copper House for about five years. I'm single, I've got a girlfriend and I'm the Mayor of Brasslans.”
“Yes, I know that they all have the same birthday and family name, the home did that. They are all adults and can do what they like. Yes, really.”
“They are all at college learning something, apart from Hollytree. She's the success story, she did Business Studies at college, she has a good job in Bigtown and she's got a boyfriend. Deirdre is the one I'm worried about, she's been over three years at college and she still hasn't got her School Leaving Certificate. She is slowly going back into herself.”
“Hollytree, she keeps disappearing and reappearing. Don't I know it. No, I don't know how she does it. Why don't you go back to your office, write a long report, file it in the write-only filing cabinet and forget the whole thing.”
They said that they would probably return later to ask some more questions and they left.
“Come on girls, we're off for our long walk over the commons.”
When we got back, the two social workers were waiting for us. I told them to come back some other day or year.