Reminder: Free short story – see below ‘A Pearl for Your Enjoyment.’
To write THE END when a new story is down on the page is always a thrill that never dulls with time. Despite knowing there is still a long way to go before the book will be ready for publication (think, rewrites, grammar, punctuation, spelling, surgery (major or minor) on plot structure and analysing the psyche of each character) my spirit soars like an eagle and my feet skim above the ground. Thank goodness I do not have close neighbours who would have every reason to complain about the rumpus (which I think is wonderful singing) rattling the window casements.
Current Weather and Tides
My talk with the V.I.E.W. group in July proved to be a wonderful experience. This group of enthusiastic people does wonderful work in hand with the Smith Family charity.
In September, I plan to travel to Bundaberg to speak at the library there. I visited this library after my first book publication. The warm welcome, the well-lit space and the friendly people remain in my memory like a beacon light. I look forward to this visit with great excitement.
Keep safe, Keep smiling, Keep reading, Keep writing.
A Pearl for Your Enjoyment
The class was asked to write something using this prompt. “He ran his hand over the wall trying to find the light switch.
As the door slammed against the wall, Mervin’s hand slipped over the timber slabs hoping to find a light switch. There did not appear to be a light switch. When he felt the woods ripple like a living jelly beneath his fingers, Mervin snatched his hand back to nestle within the protection of his chest.
Holy cow, that did not happen; timber logs don’t ripple. I need to sleep. The thought barely took hold, when a streak of lightning flashed – not too far away. Its brief light struggled to enter through the dust and grime covering the two windows on each of the three sides of the room. A large branch crashed to the ground outside. In the space of a few seconds after the lightning, a clap of thunder cracked above the cabin.
Mervin hitched his knapsack higher onto his shoulder. He turned to peer out through the open doorway at the sheets of rain pelting down upon his motorbike.
“Damn.” A shiver ran down his body as he stepped further inside the room. Without any effort on his part, the door slammed shut behind him; he jumped. The sound blended with several consecutive claps of thunder.
What made the door shut? Mervin swung his head around. There’s no breeze here; the storm’s all coming from the back of the hut.
Light from further shafts of lightning seeped into the space through the smudged windows and the cracks in the wall. His gaze stuttered about the room with each intermittent lightning flash to reveal a small single-roomed cabin with an unlit fireplace at the far side and a pile of small logs on the floor beside it. A bench ran down the wall on his left and two bunks lined the wall on his right. When the darkness crashed in upon him again, he had the impression of a table and stools in the centre of the room. He did not want to think about what he thought he saw at the table.
It had to be an illusion. Mervin waited for what felt like an eternity until the next short-lived streak of light. When the lightning flash struck and the accompanying thunder sounded outside, he wished he had not seen what he had seen. The vision remained ingrained in his head even after the darkness returned. The shapes of three ghostly figures sat around a rough-hewed table playing cards – miners from a previous era by their appearance – sagging felt hats and vests over long-sleeved shirts. Each held a corn cob pipe in his mouth. Their trousers and footwear remained hidden under the table. All this presented as an ethereal glow.
Okay, this is not happening. It’s days since I had a drink – or one of Doug’s potent cigarettes. Where the hell is Doug, by the way?
Everything returned to inky thick blackness. The door slammed open against the wall behind Mervin. He jumped again.
“Hi, Merv, I see you made it alright then.” The new arrival turned to close the door pushing his heavy frame against the timber to secure the latch. “A hell of a night, I must say.”
Mervin swung about to stare at his friend. His voice refused to operate. His mouth opened and closed, without a sound produced.
“Geez, Merv, what’s the matter with you? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” He threw his knapsack on the floor towards the closest bunk. His eyes sparkled in the next flashing light. “Oh, dear, you have seen a ghost; three, I’ll be guessing.”
“You could have warned me. What the hell is this place?” Mervin struggled to come to terms with the fact he had not even heard Doug arrive on the noisiest motorbike in the country.
“This was my great-grandpa’s hut. It’s now mine – in its entirety – including Grandpa’s ghost and those of his two mates.” Doug turned to face the table. “Oops I’d introduce you, but they seemed to have disappeared.” His laugh sounded hollow within the darkened walls. “Never mind I’ll find the lantern.