It is National Short Story Week on Amazon Kindle. So, to celebrate this wonderful event, I have reduced my anthology of short stories to $0.99 and £0.77 (or the equivalent in other Amazon territories)
Glimmer and other stories is a collection of seven compelling and darkly humorous stories that deal with obsession, loss, redemption and hope.
In these tales of mysterious liaisons, supernatural intrigue, deathly hauntings and disturbing fixations, characters reveal hidden secrets, forbidden urges, untold yearnings and skills in necromancy.
Also, I thought you might like to read the beginning of one of my unpublished stories that will be included in a second anthology – all based on paintings from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch.
The Shivering Oak was inspired by Chagall’s painting called Autumn in the Village
To hide up a tree like a rat.
I am not concealed.
I am here for all to see. Lounging larger than the roof I recline upon. Or so it seems to me from my high vantage point.
You are not invisible. I know where you are, and I can wait.
I shall not grow tired or hungry. I am nourished by the warm May winds that tickle my flesh and brush against my lips, which are red. I painted them the colour of blood. But, now that I glance at my reflection in the darkened window of the house opposite, I think they resemble the hue of the roses on my dress. Or perhaps they are nearer the shade of the berries on the holly bush that grows below your dangling feet.
Perhaps I should let Genghis off his leash?
No, I will wait and watch you struggle to maintain your position whilst gripping onto your fiddle. The same violin you used to seduce me at last years Christmas concert, even before we officially met.
The village hall was crammed. I was forced to stand at the back and peer over the shoulders of the tall men. I didn’t mind though. It was good to be in the hub of things after so many years cooped up with Dad. The lights came up and I saw you standing stage right next to the accordion player. You were staring at the ceiling, instrument tucked under your arm. When it was your turn to play, you seemed to be switched on by an invisible flick. How you came to life. I may have drooled when your fingers slid right to the top of the neck of the violin. The shrill, and lilting notes you played made my backbone dance involuntarily and I almost fell.
I wonder when you will fall. Because, fall you will.
The tree is shaking. You are loosing your footing. I hear the crack of branches snapping. This young oak cannot hold your weight. Not that you are heavy. You are not. I should know, I picked you up as though you where a cloud that time Genghis ran into your backside. The crunch your bone nose made when it met the pavement outside the village bakery resounded all the way to the church. Father Laurence made a rare visit to the outside world to see what the commotion was all about. Laura, your sister, Howard, the police constable, and several other members of the village parish council, made a ring around your fallen self and all, except for me, tutted and shook their heads. Father Laurence mumbled, “Ah, Peter, Peter, drunk again and so early in the morning?”
You gargled a bit then tried to stand, but fell again emitting another squelching sound, this time of gristle. I, all heroine-like, fluttered down to your level and offered my clean handkerchief. You took it in your left hand and held out your right for me to take. I did and felt the softness of your palm, a stark contrast to the thick-skinned roughness of your fingertips. I pulled you up as though you had no weight. You blinked and stared into my eyes and gave a little smile. I flushed at such an intense stare, then you snotted out some blood and my mood changed somewhat.
“Yeah, thanks. I don’t know what happened. I felt a thud and there I was flat out sniffing up dirt,” you said and tried to push the soiled kerchief back into my hand.
“No, no, you keep it.”
“Well, thanks again.”
“Come on Peter, you are making a fool of yourself,” Laura said.
“How? I fell over, so what?” you said, your voice becoming shrill.
The gathered people began to murmur and look at each other as if to say, “He is always getting into trouble. Typical musician, they’re all bad.” I gave them a nasty look, and when Genghis tugged on his lead they shuffled away; remembering the devastation he caused the last time he broke free.
To get your copy of Glimmer and other stories, please go to these Links: