Indie Author Ring

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Eventide excerpt

   Humanity liked to imagine they’d known evil during their brief time on the Earth. They’d written about it, made movies about it, glorified it and, for many, endeavoured to become it.  They thought they’d seen iniquity in the eyes of murderers, cultists, witches and foolish youths labouring to be something they knew nothing about.  The world of vampires and werewolves had become pop culture, little more than adolescents with hairless chests hissing, growling and flaring their nostrils.  Folklore had been driven into despondency, etching what was once dark possibility into now clear and discernible signposts, which pointed towards shadows that held the hands of those who mocked what once remained unseen and unknowable.  The world had grown weak and its residents weaker still.  Maturity had bred fools and followers rather than those who might lead, and those who pretended to lead merely made fools of their followers.  The world and its denizens had little left to do now but wait for something they still knew nothing about.  Pompous, conceited and as hollow as the caves from which they’d crawled, Jabez had once wept at the very thought of spending another unwanted moment breathless with despair amongst them.  They thought they held the universe in their palms; in truth they still owned the hands of children...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Eventide excerpt

   She entered a cold, dark but generously furnished room.  Edna spared no expense for her guests since her husband had left her very much provided for.  A double bed for each of her three bedrooms, thick shag pile carpeting, Gabbeh rugs, acanthus lincrusta wallpaper and pitch pine double wardrobes. 
   The window was half open as always and the light had been turned off.  Mr Dresner, it seemed, had an aversion to any form of light and quite possibly owned a severe case of hyperthermia.  He stood motionless before the window, as was his wont.  This was a custom he had upheld since his arrival at the guest house.  Quiet but courteous was his way, but this was not even half way towards meeting Edna's needs.  She was a people person, and Mr Dresner was currently the closest thing she had to instant human interaction.  Edna needed to talk.
   He stood with his right palm resting upon the top of his left hand.  This was another custom of his.  Edna had spent the better part of three weeks learning his habits simply because she needed a project, something to take her mind away from the lacerations that had been left in the world.  She had subtly interrogated and remained observant and, in doing so, had ascertained the following:
   -  He was a retired accountant and also a widower. 
   - He had a daughter with whom he had not spoken for nearly twenty years.  He was in the process of finding her.
   - He would come down to breakfast at 9am and dinner at 6pm whereupon he would mostly eat silently, speaking only when spoken to.  His answers were succinct and were delivered calmly and congenially.
   -  He had a poor appetite, leaving at least a quarter of what was given to him each time.
   - He seemed persistently distracted and his brow was consistently beaded with sweat.  He checked his watch regularly and his eyes were forever flitting from left to right.  As a result he seldom smiled, but when he did she felt it was genuine.
   -  He left the house each night at 10pm to "take the air".
   -  He was left handed, owned three suits, disliked dogs and parsnips and was completely bald by the time he had reached the age of thirty.
   Aside from these facts and minor deductions Edna knew little more about her inhibited but nevertheless oddly pleasant guest.
   The first thing she wanted to do after setting the tea tray down upon the bedside table was to close the window.  She wrapped her arms tightly around her waist, inhaled a winter's breath and thawed it in her lungs before releasing a vaporous stream back into the air.  Mr Dresner appeared, as always, fixed to the vista beyond, watching, listening or whatever it was he did.  Only once had he turned his head slightly to hear her enter the room before returning his attentions to the surrounding forest and the distant but discernible glow, the corona of which roofed the woods and spat shards of light from within.  The unsettling and unending synthetic sun still managed to cast its apocalyptic saffron blaze over the horizon, smearing the line and raping nature until everything that once was beautiful seemed now so false and trifling; they were mere aimless wanderers amidst darker climes.  London had been razed to the ground...