Perking the Pansies
Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Judgement Day

This is a preview to the chapter Judgement Day from the book Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott.
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I swung open the patio doors and dropped the duty free bags to the floor.
“Home sweet home, Liam.”
“I’ve missed that typically Turkish aroma.”
“Jasmine and rancid drains. I’ll get the bleach.”
Without warning, Tariq hurdled onto the terrace and delivered a rib-crushing bear hug. “Jaaaack!” Before I knew it, and with obscene ease, our Herculean caretaker picked me up and spun me around the terrace like a rag doll. After an eight- hour journey I didn’t have the strength to resist and relaxed into the dizzying encounter, safe in the grip of a playful whirling Dervish. He returned me to the ground like an antique dealer carefully returning a treasured Royal Doulton figurine to the mantelpiece. Liam gave Tariq a round of applause and a pack of cigarettes for his commanding performance.
“I think he’s pleased to see you.”
“No kidding? I’ll check for bruises later. Oh my God, Tariq, you’ve got new teeth!” I pointed at Tariq’s new pearly whites and he obliged with a broad smile.
“Beyaz. White.”
“Yeah, white. That’s a dashing set of gnashers you’ve got there.”
I had no idea how he could afford the magnificent mouth makeover but it suited him and I told him so. “Çok Güzel, Tariq, very nice.”
He thanked me by tweaking my nipples. Hard. I protested, but Tariq was having fun. Encouraged by Liam, he pointed at my nether regions and snapped his fingers in a suggestive scissor action.
“Hilarious, Jack. He wants you to have the snip.”
“Or rid me of my family jewels altogether?”
“Bless, he wants his own personal eunuch. How very Ottoman.”

A large pink floppy hat protected Adalet from the late spring sun. She had reached crawling stage and was exploring the covered terrace while her parents lounged by the pool. They could relax: Liam was chasing Adalet on all fours, refusing to let her out of his sight. I left him to it and took a dip. Eighty-three degrees in old money and we couldn’t get near our communal pool for holidaying brats in caps. I was indebted to Charlotte and Alan for the tranquillity and slowly sank into their pretty plunge pool. Our hosts had built a luxuriant but unpretentious home, a comfortable stately pile, clad in Bodrum stone and accessorised with rustic window shutters. The balcony afforded a tantalising panoramic view of Yalıkavak and its handsome rugged bay, a hazy vista disguising the hotbed of gossip, binge drinking and VOMITing that lay below. This was their Arcadian dream and Adalet was the perfect, final piece in their perfect, family jigsaw. Liam and I were the proud adoptive uncles, losing ourselves in a world of baby-speak, spoiling her at every opportunity and buying wholly unsuitable gifts (“Okay, the six-foot stuffed giraffe was probably a mistake”). Charlotte wasn’t kidding when she said that motherhood was in her soul. She was natural and instinctive; her daughter’s happiness was a testament to that. The local paediatrician was so amazed by Adalet’s progress that he asked Charlotte for the recipe.

Alan moved to the side of the pool, dangled his legs into the water and passed me a glass of wine. “Take your medicine, there’s a good boy.”
Adalet decided to torment Rogers, the dippy ginger cat that Charlotte had adopted from the streets. Liam joined in and tugged Rogers’ tail. Liam was besotted with his new best friend and would do anything to keep her happy.
“Look at him, Alan. What have I married?”
“A big kid. A good kid.”
“Any news on the adoption?”
“Yeah. A social worker turned up.”
“And?”
“Just a ton of questions.”
“About?”
“About us, Adalet, how we found her…”
“Checking you out?”
“And asking for bank statements.”
“Checking you’re solvent?”
“I suppose. He snooped round the house making notes. Spent ages in Adalet’s room.”
“You’ve tarted it up brilliantly. Every little girl’s dream.”
“I know, I know.”
“What were they looking for?”
“Not a clue. He seemed happy enough.”

Liam and Adalet, bored with cat torture, moved on to torment the resident tortoise. Liam sang an anthology of half- remembered nursery rhymes while Adalet provided percussion on tortoise shell.
Alan poured more wine. “One small problem. There’s been a complaint.”
“Oh? Who from?” “Someone close.”
“You’re kidding?”
“Nope. They’re taking it seriously.”
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