Friday, 26 August 2016

The Power of Books…

I was a lonely child, and London was a lonely place to be when I was growing up there after the war. All around me, people were busily trying to put their lives and homes back into some kind of order.
I remember walking around the streets, confused by the chaos that still had to be dealt with, the piles of dusty bricks and rubble all that remained of so many people's lives.
This is probably what made me such a melancholic child, and the reason I retreated into the world of books.

My favourite book was a copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and I would love to have that particular copy back in my possession. I remember it as being illustrated, full of hauntingly beautiful but tortured imagery that managed to scare the living daylights out of me. (I was only eight years old)

I often wonder if my memory is at fault. Was this book really illustrated, or did the words simply conjure up what I thought I saw?
I do love a good book and I must have read thousands of them in my lifetime. This brings me rather neatly to my favourite author of all time, Stephen King. He wrote about everything from a crazy car to a tormented child and just about every scary subject in between. I have spent so much time in his company.

Which brings me to another of my favourite authors. Anita Dawes. You meet her here quite regularly, as she is the other half of this writing partnership.  She is not quite getting the recognition I think she deserves, but I can see a similarity with King in everything she writes. Horrible things happen to her characters too, but you cannot help but love them anyway.
What follows is an excerpt from Bad Moon, my all-time favourite...

"Watching the truck coming towards us seemed to take forever, like Pa was going deliberately slow. We waited for Pa to get out of the truck and I could see from his dirt-streaked face that it weren't good. Nathan's face looked worse.
Ma tried to stop me from running to the truck, but couldn't hold me. I climbed on the back and didn't see Nathan getting out. Suddenly he was there beside me. I remember kneeling and touching the blue check shirt that covered Josh's face. I remember the touch of Nathan's hand on mine and the gentle way he said, 'Don't look, Annie please. Just let Pa bury him.'
 But I had to see for myself, had to know if it was the tree falling on him that had killed him. My eyes were wet, but the tears wouldn't fall. I pulled the shirt back and a scream tore at my throat, trying to find a way out.
No sound came as I looked at what was left of his face, dark gaping holes looked back at me. Gone were his blue grey eyes, the very thing I had liked most about him had been gouged away.
His face was torn and bloody. Dried blood matted his hair and dead leaves were sticking to him.
Nathan tried to take me away, saying I had seen enough. I felt myself being lifted slowly from my knees and as Nathan carried me away, that's when my mind registered what it had seen.
The torn flesh on his face hadn't been caused by the fall. The skin standing away from the bone and all the dried blood made it hard to read, that was why my mind didn't see it right off.
They had cut Pa's name down one side of his face, as if taking his eyes weren't enough.
The scream that wouldn't come before, finally broke through and shut down my brain like an axe blow..."

See what I mean?

If you want to read more of this incredible book, it is free next week on a Kindle promotion! 

You can find it here on Amazon…

See you next week...

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The End of Things

The cat was asleep on the chair behind her.  She could hear him breathing. Like a baby, small sounds, soft and slightly pitiful in the silence of the room. He was growing old, his movements slower these days; she could see a degree of stiffness in the careful way he moved.

She caught him staring at her sometimes, as if she held the answers to all his questions. But she was near the end too and had no answers, no way to know who would go first or when.

Is this what happens to everything as they grow old? Do they see the end of things everywhere they look?
These days she looks at growing things, and where she once felt joy in their creation, now all she sees is the futility of it all. Just a series of small steps, leading ultimately to nothing.

She wishes he would wake up and stop making that plaintiff sound, but he seems to be getting louder, filling her heart with more sadness than it can possibly hold.

She wonders if he is ready to go, if he is finished with this world, pleased to be done with it. She used to think she was, but now, when it is inevitable, she is not sure any more…

© 2015 Jaye Marie

Monday, 22 August 2016

Puppy Sitting…

Not sure how I managed to do any work yesterday, as due to a family emergency, we volunteered to puppy sit.
Maggie is a miniature dachshund and three months old. Cute as a button, but with more energy than the two of us combined. Although she has visited before, her human ‘mum’ was always with her, so we wondered how she would cope without her.

We needn’t have worried, within minutes she was hell bent on having as much fun as possible, spreading her collection of toys all over the house. Much to the annoyance of our resident feline, Merlin. He took one look and vanished upstairs, probably hoping he would be safe up there.  Maggie isn’t allowed to climb the stairs, as her body is very long and not that strong yet, so stairs are out until she is a lot older.

We took it in turns to escort her into the yard for possible penny spending, but apparently she wasn’t in the mood. Leading to one accident on the hall carpet, but who was counting.

I tried to do some work on the PC in the office, but all I managed to do was signal that there was another room to have some fun in.

It was hard to concentrate with a small furry body stomping around on my feet, as she investigated all the interesting things under my desk. She dragged out an old pair of slippers I thought I had lost, a ball of parcel ribbon and some stretchy hair bands. I wondered where they went.
All of this was hilarious, but not much work was being done. Well, watching her was so much more fun. She would probably have a nap soon, I thought. She was a baby after all.

Someone must have forgotten to tell her that, for she wasn’t showing any sign of dropping. Much later, we discovered why. Little Maggie had already been a bit spoilt. She needed a suitable lap for snoozing, something that didn’t occur to us until later and nothing else would work the oracle.

Merlin came downstairs, obviously miffed to find the mini intruder still in residence. Maggie spotted him and thought he might play with her, if she pranced around close enough to him. No chance. He let out his best angry howl, his back arched, trying his best to look as menacing as possible. All this was lost on Maggie, either she wasn’t impressed or didn’t know what the hell was wrong with him.

When it was time for Maggie to go home, we knew we would miss her, but Merlin glared at us for at least an hour, until he was sure she wasn’t coming back…