Reminder: Free short story – see below “A Pearl for Your Enjoyment”
With Covid a lessor force now we have our vaccinations, preparations are underway to begin a book tour to some of those libraries I had hoped to visit pre-Covid. As the inspiration for the novels, “Shadow of the Northern Orchid” and its sequel “Shadows on the Goldfield Track” arose following two trips to Cooktown some years ago, Cooktown is a must-do-again.
Covid also interrupted author talks at the Burdekin Library. My novel, Burdekin Heartbeats, has not had an airing in the area it reflected. Hoping to add that to the list also.
Recently I had the opportunity to talk about my writing journey at the Gympie Library which is always a pleasure.
Current Weather and Tides
As the first draft of my fifth novel races towards its ending, the story remains nameless.
Dates to remember:
Author Talk at Cooktown Library on Wednesday 3rd August 2022 at 10 am
Meet the Author Cooktown Nature’s Powerhouse on 5th August 2022 at lunchtime.
Author Talk at Burdekin Library on Wednesday 10th August 2022 at 10 am
Keep safe, Keep smiling, Keep reading, Keep writing.
A Pearl for your Enjoyment
This story evolved when asked to write a scene where an odour or song evoked memories.
His voice soared through the dark shadows of the forest track. The notes stretched up to where the late afternoon sun glistened in the leafy canopy of the Black Bean and Kauri trees. The song of small forest birds provided an accompaniment. Their coloured wings flashed when they danced from branch to branch.
As if a switch had been flicked, the music ceased. The soloist’s feet stilled. He sniffed the air. His soul cringed. A dead body oozing its contents onto the forest floor lay somewhere close by. The offensive smell and taste filled his nostrils and his mouth. He jumped at the off-note caw, caw, of the newly arrived curious crows seeking a feast. A shiver ran through his body when the crunch of a larger predator feasting on the flesh and bones reverberated inside his ears. A dingo perhaps?
Evoked memories of the slaughterhouse of his childhood drifted in on the light breeze as it tickled the leaves of the lower bushes – still moist from an earlier shower of rain. A horror house where he earned pocket money scrubbing blood, excrement and other bodily fluids from the huge wooden butcher blocks. The sting of his father’s belt on the flesh of his back, burnt at the recollection.
Terror released its hold on his muscles. Gradually at first, like a wind-up doll, his jerky footsteps moved him forwards. Fear fuelled the speed until his feet pounded along the uneven path. He burst out into the clearing of the forest at the rear of the log cabin – his home – his retreat – with the comforting aroma of burning pinewood. A thin stream of smoke trickled up through the chimney drifting off to the west – a sign of peace. He stopped. Smooth fingers of a pianist rested on the rough patches at the knees of his trousers. He sucked the air to fill the deficit in his lungs.
With his equilibrium restored he strode to the door. His hand rested on the knob for a moment taking the time to appreciate this safe haven from the world outside. Once inside he took up the violin and bow lying on the piano lid and savoured the feel of it resting under his chin. Music filtered through the loose casements and cracks between the logged wall, rising once more into the forest canopy.