Forget Me Not – dark corners

Artwork: Alan McCluskey

Since the last update on Forget Me Not, my tenth novel, I have completed the first four chapters, that’s over 40’000 words or about 100 pages of the printed book. I am always astounded by the way the story takes on a life of its own and I am just a servant writing it.

Wondering what this photo has to do with the story. Well, read the short extract below from the beginning of Chapter 5 as young Maria slips away from her friends and ventures upstairs in the long-dead Explorer’s house. Remember this extract comes from a draft and may well change over time.

The left hand corridor was much darker and she wasn’t sure, from a distance, what lay down it. Steeling herself, she stepped into the shadows, feeling her way along the wall. When she came to a doorframe, she halted and cocked an ear. Nothing. She fumbled for the handle and eased  the door open. A strange smell greeted her, but she could see nothing in the pitch black. 

Unsettled by the dark and having nothing to create a light, she was tempted to retrace her steps and try another room, but the faint odour intrigued her. Like sweets or perfume or dried flowers, it smacked of humans and life.  Someone had been there. Recently. “Anyone here?” she whispered, her voice more breath than sound.

No answer came. She let out a sigh of relief. She had no idea what she would have done if anyone had replied. “Thank heavens for that,” she said, taking a couple of steps forward, her arms outstretched in front of her. She should have left the door open, light from the landing might have filtered through. Her knee brushed against an object. Terrified, she turned to leave when the sound of a match striking had her swivelling back to face whoever was there, her heart thundering in her chest. The match flared, revealing a candle on a desk behind which sat a person outlined in the dark.

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