So, I’m currently in the middle of editing a 400-paged book (THE DIAMOND HOTEL) and I’ve just finished the draft for a new book for young adults, but– even more excitedly– my book THEIR TIME TO GO releases in 16 days! Or, to be more precise, 1,311,352 seconds. (I…I have a counter on my mobile.) Also, I’ll be revealing the cover this weekend and I have seen it and it is pretty and looks delicate and I just want to hold a final copy in my hand NOW. But anyway…
From today onwards, all the way up until THEIR TIME TO GO releases on January 25th, 2014 (eek! It’s so close!) I’ll be sharing these little teasers. The book, which is the first in a new series, follows the main character of Tiffany Winters as she discovers a secret warehouse hidden away –through a mysterious door in a care home for the elderly (and, in book two, there might just be more of these doors cropping up)– that is packed with rows upon rows of suitcases… but it’s what is within these suitcases in the horrifying mystery. Every so often, the book flicks to another character– a mysterious boy.
For today’s teaser, the extract below is from Chapter 3 which revolves around this boy. So, I hope you’re sitting comfortably, and I hope you enjoy the teaser.
He took his mind back to the circus that he had visited when he had been little, or littler, when he had squeezed the foam, red nose that his parents had bought him in his free hand, swinging it by his side as he grasped his mothers soft hand in his other palm. Their knuckles were interlocked, and it was busy. She squeezed his knuckles, making him wince, but he squeezed back. He liked it when his mother did this. It made her feel close, and made him feel safe, almost as though it was a thing that just the two of them shared that nobody else could see, that nobody else could feel. He remembered walking up to the circus tent, and staring up to the top of it in awe.
Bright, vibrant colours glowing up under the night sky, blowing gently in the summer breeze, carrying the sweet smell of candy floss upon it. The grass tickled his ankles, and he stared at the people hooking ducks and eating hot dogs, laughing.
That’s all that he could hear around him- laughing. The atmosphere happy, all the worries in the world taken away by the wind, carried to a far away place that none of them had to return to for a night, a place that was far out of their reach.
He looked up to his mother, and then his father. They both took their turns in smiling down at him, and then he felt his mother squeeze his hand again. He grinned to himself, before being distracted by a clown that had white face paint on, and a blue blazer that had the head of a yellow sunflower attached to it, with blue pinstriped trousers to match. He wandered through the stands and weaved his way through the crowd, before disappearing through the flaps of the tent.
The small boy tried to remember the inside of the tent, the place that was bursting to its seams of contentment and joy, but he was struggling. He felt the image fading, and the memory started to dissolve.
He tried to reach out for it as it fell, trying to grab hold of it, attempting to keep it with him for just a few more moments. It started to shrink, and it got smaller and smaller and it got further and further away from him. The sound of laughter grew more distant, and it began to be replaced by the sound of the storm, the wind rattling at the window frames and whistling its way underneath the door, shaking it and make the hinges tremble in fear.
Then, the storm won, and the house lost. The small boy lost.
The roof blew away, taking the tiles away with it as though they had been pieces on a game-board, blown away by a child who was cross that he wasn’t winning. The walls ripped apart, the wood splitting and shredding, leaving the skeleton of the house standing, bare, exposed.
In just a few moments, they were nothing left…apart from the table and the boy in the middle of a large field.
Lightening lit up the sky, casting shadows under the table. The small boy quivered, and shivered, as coldness and ice consumed him.
The wind blew harder, the rain fell sharper, the lighting struck with more anger and the thunder boomed with ferocity…and then, slowly, the small boy turned to smoke, wispy and thin, before turning into a blur of black smoke, nothing but a smudge in the air, before streaking across the sky and being blown away by the storm. He had become part of it, and he was taken away.
Then, and only then, did he become angry with the world.