Car 7

Mrs Nancy Kress

Outward appearance

Checked jacket, white shirt, long red dress. Reads The Telegraph , with beady focus. Her blue shoes are patchy with stains.

Inside information

Customer liaison at IBM, mother of three, proud cook, Nancy's life is a whirlwind.

What she is doing or thinking

Maybe she's doing too much.

The kids had their breakfast, Bill had taken them to school, she had her car keys in her hand about to go, when she saw that a jar from last night's marmalade session was still unlidded. She screwed on the lid, and held the jar up to the light.

Baking the jar sterile must have cracked the glass. The bottom fell out. Marmalade poured over her keys, her suit, her shoes, the floor.

To sweep it up would ruin her broom. She tried pushing the dust pan into it, which was only partially successful. She went to get newspapers and heard the kiss of sticky shoes on carpet.

She took off her shoes and cut her foot on broken glass. Scraped up jam as best she could, flooded the floor with water, and covered it with newspaper to soak it up. Went off to change clothes and stanch bleeding.

Came back to find that the mixture of marmalade and water had flyposted the newspapers to the pine floor. Used the egglifter to scrape them up.

Ran to car, and jammed keys into the ignition along with a chunk of orange peel. Abandoned car.

She has just remembered that she didn't have time to wash the jars. The marmalade will taste of homemade pickled onions.

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