Okay. I just want to warn you all that my latest story idea has lead to my google search history looking stranger than it has ever been and, naturally, I am going to talk about it here.
As I posted a short while ago, I am being published in an anthology this year. It’s called Monsters and the front cover is going to look like this:
I signed the contract today; it’s all 100% completely official and feeling scarily real. I’m being published! Arrggghh!!!
The anthology is scheduled for release on October 25th, right in time for Halloween. Put reminders in your calendars, people!
So this happened a week or so ago now, and I have been meaning to come on here and let you all know, but I needed to make sure I completed my uni year first.
A few months ago I got wind of a call for submissions to an anthology on monsters. I had a half finished short story that I thought would fit the theme so I finished it, tidied it up and submitted. After a few small changes, my story has been accepted and will be published this year.
I’m so ridiculously excited. I will no longer be a writer, I will be an author.
I’m going to have to update my blog…
I’m just about to flip the indicator to turn into my office car park when something sharp digs into my side and a deep voice murmers in my ear.
“Keep drivin’ bitch or I’ll open you up right ‘ere, right now.”
I wince and shy away from the knife pressed to my side, clenching the steering wheel tightly.
“Take the M1 towards Northampton and keep your damned mouth shut. That clear?”
I nod jerkily as I make my way towards the motorway. My mind is spinning with a million questions. What does he want? Where are we going? Am I going to survive this? His breath is hot against my cheek but I just put all my effort into driving.
Once we get out onto the M1 he relaxes slightly. He orders me off the M1 and on towards Northampton, but then at the last second forces me out into the surrounding countryside. I look helplessly at the emptiness as he directs me up a small overgrown mud track. My chances of getting out of here are rapidly shrinking and my control on my fear and panic begins to slip. I scowl angrily at myself as a tear slides out of the corner of my eye.
I pull up next to this group of buildings and people stream out of various doors, surround the car. My shoulders slump as they greet my captor with claps on the back and hugs. My jaw drops when I realise they aren’t all men. A handful of them kiss him passionately, not seeming to mind when he fondles each one in turn. I sit silently in the car, hoping they forget about me so I can leave. My hopes are dashed when he opens my car door and hauls me out, shouting to be heard over the clamour.
“I will take this woman as my thirteenth wife. Make preparations!”
He drags me towards the largest building, the other women in tow, as all the men disperse, chattering and talking. We pass a huge room covered in mattresses on the floor and I’m shoved into a tiny room next door with big bolts on the outside. My captor looks me over with two women draped over him, making my flesh crawl.
“Once I have had my fill of my other wives it will be your turn. Get ready.” As he turns to leave, one of the women slips a knife from a sheath strapped to her thigh and drops it, carefully, behind the door.
Days later the grunts and moans slow next door and he swaggers into my tiny cell. I don’t hesitate and plunge the knife as deep as I can, dodging around him out to freedom….
…and straight into the crowds of people there to ‘witness the marriage.’ The stunned silence deafens me as I stand before them, their master’s blood on my hands. My eyes widen as one by one they drop to their knees, prostrating before me, each one mumbling.
It’s the first of August and the first day of ‘Post-CampNaNoWriMo’.
This was my first venture into the world of National Novel Writing Month and I have to say, it was quite an adventure! The late nights, the disobedient characters, the sections of storyline that I definitely had NOT planned… It all mixed together to make this last month a fantastic experience.
I don’t think I am ready for the full NaNoWriMo in November, I only had a target of 25k this time and completed at 23:32 on the very last day of writing, but in a year or two I expect to be tearing my hair out and making my friends think I am terrible boring whilst writing full 50k first drafts of my novels.
I’m delighted to have finished the draft of my novella and I can’t wait to go back and read it all. The editing fun starts now!
Wanted: ‘Escort’. Guaranteed to die happy.
This was written in response to Thain in Vain’s Week 29 Prompt to write a 6 word story, inspired by Hemmingway.
If you are stood reading this letter, then I am sorry.
Make yourself comfortable.
The note fluttered slowly to the floor as Jack raced for the front door. His heart was hammering in his chest as his hands roamed the door, looking for a handle. There was none. The inside of the door was perfectly flat under his frantically scrabbling fingers. His searching eventually gave way to crashing blows from his fists until his hands and knuckles were bruised and bloody.
“LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT YOU BASTARD.”
Jack slumped to the floor, his head tilted back, eyes closed. He breathed slowly, deliberately, fighting to control the trembling in his hands. He leant forward, pushing his head between his knees as his head swam and panic threatened to overwhelm him.
After a few minutes he stiffened, and then scrambled in his pockets for his phone to try and dial 999. Nothing happened. He tried again; still nothing. Cursing loudly, the rammed his phone back into his pocket and hauled himself to his feet. His hands were sore, the fingers swelling up and turning delightful shades of purple and black. He winced when his jeans rubbed against his knuckles.
Jack walked down the hall, picking up the pizza he’d delivered and taking out a slice. He munched on it defiantly. If he was going to be stuck here he sure as hell wasn’t going to go hungry. His only thought was:
“If only I had a beer to wash it down with.”
He poked his head around every door he found that wasn’t locked. He was surprised with what he found. The lounge had a brown leather reclining sofa that faced an enormous TV screen. The gym had every cardio and weight machine known to man and the bedroom had a stylish four poster bed that sat right in the middle of the room. Finally, Jack found the kitchen and, ignoring all else, headed straight for the fridge. He was chanting under his breath.
“Please have beer. Please have beer. Please have beer.”
The fridge was crammed full. To Jack’s satisfaction, there was beer in the door. He cracked the bottle open and the lid fell to the floor with a light jingle as it bounced away. He stooped to pick it up and noticed tiny writing scratched into the painted surface of a cupboard door.
To eat is to be eaten.
Jack pondered the significance of the message while munching on another slice of pizza. His chewing slowed as the turned to look back at the cupboard. His eyes widened as he glanced down at the pizza in his hand. Understanding dawned on him like an energy saver light bulb; slowly growing brighter. His captor was a cannibal and all the food was to fatten him up for slaughter. He considered the choices before him. Eat and survive long enough to be eaten, or starve.
Jack retched and ran for the bathroom.