This week my first ever YA mystery novel comes out and I am so excited. Following on from the short novella, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost,’ which tested out my writing skills, I am delighted to see this passion project finally come to fruition.
Since writing this book I have established my little blog and so am shamelessly promoting my story here. Why ever not? I hope that you will check out the sample and consider pre-ordering my novel. If it is not your cup of tea, then perhaps I could ask you to drop a cheeky blog comment instead.
Here goes: An Extract From ‘Being Watched’.
“We’re off to Uni mate,” he said, breaking the silent reflection.
“I know. I need to double check the results as I still can’t believe I got an A in English.”
“Wonder how everyone else did.” Max continued.
“We will have to keep our eye on their statuses. I do hope Siobhan got what she had to get in order to make it to UCL.”
“I’ve just seen Martha’s status and she didn’t quite get what she wanted but is happy with her second choice of Uni,” said Max as he scrolled through timelines and checked a multitude of social media sites.
“I have texted Siobhan but she hasn’t got round to replying yet. She might even still be in bed,” I said, knowing that we had both been up later last night and she was well known for liking a good lay in.
Max changed the subject. He had become quite fixated on one of the pictures on the wall. It hung just above the bar area and I had never noticed it before. Perhaps it just hadn’t caught my eye up until now. But it sure as hell had caught Max’s.
“That picture is creepy. I mean it just looks so dark. All the other ones are bright and colourful but that one is murky and weird. What do you think?”
I turned around and tried to focus on it, but it took a while as it seemed misty and sort of out of focus itself. I gasped as I realised that the dark building surrounded by fields and trees had that familiar shape. Those strange pointed bits on the roof meant that I immediately recognised it. I quickly found myself walking over to it for closer examination. It was odd that it seemed to bend and muddle as I approached it. It was definitely a large house in the country, but had I misread it? I took a much closer look at the driveway and was taken aback to see that two people were standing there, with their bikes strewn nearby.
“That picture is of me and Siobhan. It’s that same messed up house. It is an aerial photo of us when we went round to pick up Siob’s scarf. Come and have a look!”
Max sped over and confirmed that it did look like it could be us. We were small in the photo but the bikes looked like ours and I was clearly wearing my blue coat while Siobhan had her red jacket and she was definitely picking up the bright blue scarf at the exact moment that the photo was taken.
I saw the owner, Lilly, coming past and called out to her.
“Hey, how long have you had this picture?” I asked politely.
“Oh. This old thing. Someone donated it recently when they saw that we had a hook with no picture on. It filled a gap, that’s for sure,” she replied with her usual lovely manner.
“Do you know what it is a picture of?” Max asked.
“No idea. Just think it looks interesting and unique.”
“Kind of creepy though, don’t you reckon?” I continued.
“We like quirky. The girl who brought it in was lovely but a little peculiar. I just felt it added to the character of the place. Quite a few people have commented on how mysterious it is.”
I decided I might as well ask more about the girl.
“You didn’t know the girl? Did she have a tattoo on the back of her hand?”
“Not sure really. I just remember she had jet black hair flowing behind her back. I remember wishing my hair looked that good.”
“Thanks anyway,” Max said, tugging at me to stop interrogating the busy lady any longer.
“You’re welcome. And I trust your exams went well, given the feisty meal you just ate.”
“Yes! Brilliant!” I said as I returned to the table and finished off the potatoes, thinking carefully about the significance of what just happened. Max looked at me with frustration.
“What does all this mean? I mean this is getting out of control.”
For another short story, published in Second Glance: Short Stories, have a read of Feeling Judged which is about the perception of discrimination during a work interview.