Once safely at the local mental institution and a diagnosis of Bronte-itis reached, Mary's slow recovery began. Treatment involved extreme exposure to anti-literature, so a course of daytime TV and gossip magazines was administered. Sadly, this was the pre Big Brother and X-Factor era, treatments with their inclusion are now found to provoke a much faster recuperation. Achieving sustained good health involved indefinite avoidance of all book shops, period dramas and vintage clothes shops.
Today had been a busy one in the cafe. Orders for impudent sassages were flying in, and hundreds of roats pots being prepared. As the aroma of the foods drifted up the staircase, around the corners and under the door of Bertha's cell, something within her stirred. The kitchen is situated on the second floor of the cafe, Bertha's room the fifth. A strict rule insisting that the kitchen door be kept closed, the extractor fan switched on to top speed usually stopped that happening, but alas, today a new member of staff had begun, and forgotten these directives.
The scent awoke something instinctive within Bertha, something neglected on lunches of literature and Tesco Value bread, filling her with a superhuman strength. She prised open her room door, tore down the flights of stairs, charged through the cafe sending customers, mobility scooters, tables, small dogs and plates crashing in all directions as she burst out of the entrance way. Upon seeing the blackboard menu adorned with forbidden delicacies she let out a rumbling roar and wiped them off vigorously, grabbing a stick of chalk and scrawling over the remaining smudges. Her cries of outrage could be heard as far as the outdoor market and Wilkinson's - naturally drawing a crowd of toothless women carrying striped bags of fruit and vegetables. It took Ronald, plus four of his meatiest male customers and one questionable female to lift a screaming, struggling Bertha back into the cafe, and then only because she was promised a stack of impudent sassages as reward. It took thirty seven additional roats pots before she was relaxed enough to be escorted back to her room, and upon arrival, this time shackled.
* There are multiple Book Men in the South Wales Valleys, but only ever referred to as a single person. The role of a Book Man is a full time one, which involves bringing a selection of books directly to the people of the valleys in exchange for cash, as a replacement for them visiting an actual shop. If you receive a book from a valleys gran or aunty for Christmas, it has probably been purchased from The Book Man. The chance of that is tripled if said book is authored by Dan Brown or Jackie Collins.