NOVELS/Novella

1. ALL EXPENSES PAID. ( Fact meets Fiction)

Available on Amazon and Smashwords. Kindle and paperback.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0053D5KNQ

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/146371419X

Thanks to simon-birch.co.ukNew cover thanks to Simon Birch. http://www.simon-birch.co.uk

2. SHELF LIFE. EveryBody has one.

But would you want to know yours??

EveryBody has one.

Want to know yours?

Available on amazon. Kindle only for the moment: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006XAAPKQ

Bigger, bolder, better?

3. MATURE, EDUCATED, HEALING HANDS, CAN TRAVEL.

 

4. WAIT FOR ME.

1. All Expenses Paid (Fact meets Fiction) Helen Ducal.

Betty made me take it...

40 year old Laura decides to ditch the 9-5 and go ‘granny sitting’ in the South of France for six months with hilarious results.

THE JOB: Six months granny sitting in the South of France
Separate en-suite accommodation.
Ideally 40+ and non smoker.

ME: Laura Bennett. Been divorced longer than married = single.
No dependents. Lease just ran out on cottage.
Sales job going nowhere.

So, I decided to go for it. I mean what could be simpler than looking after an 82 year old English lady? I had visions of gentle strolls to the boulangerie, compulsorily siestas. But this was before I met Betty. She looked like everybody’s favourite grandmother until Jean Louis arrived to pick her up on his Kawasaki 1200!

 

 

 

2. Mature, educated, healing hands, can travel.

The two most important things in life
are sex and food.

After that comes love and money.

Andre Leon Tulley
Creative Director of American Vogue.

***

I believe that sex is the most beautiful, natural and wholesome thing that money can buy.

Attributed to Steve Martin.

PROLOGUE.
I could say ‘It just happened’ but then I’m not a man and of course it didn’t.
It all started with the less than desirable Christmas and birthday presents.
After a little persuasion people started giving me gift tokens, then record and at last book tokens but this was soon followed mercifully, by ‘Here you might as well have the money and buy what you really want’…Result!

Many years later I considered mentioning this concept to my newly acquired ardent admirer who insisted on whisking me off to Fortnum and Masons, to perch precariously on a mahogany stool in the Oyster Bar for a dozen of the same, which I can live without, quaffed down with some vintage champagne, which I don’t really like, only then for him to pay for a hotel room, knowing full well that we will be out of there in a couple of hours. And all so he can get laid.

3. Wait For Me.

Two souls.

Through time.

Six lives.

Nature and circumstance seemed to have made this woman for this man and to have thrust them in each others way.

( Zola, E. Therese Raquin  p.73)

A novel in four parts. From the end of the twentieth century in England, through 1860’s India, 1920’s Austria , the same two souls meet in six very different lives. Can the twenty first century give them hope and set them free at last?

  One Last Kiss.

You came into my life

And changed it forever.

A meeting of hearts and minds.

Never paralleled before.

How can I survive

Without the nourishment

Your love brings.

Must I let you go

Will you walk away

Can we parted?

Without one last kiss.

WAIT FOR ME.

Prologue. 31.12.1999.

In my old faded jeans, black polo neck jumper and grey woollen socks, on top of my bed; I lie very still and wait. Comforting myself, corpse like, arms across my chest, fingers tucked into my armpits with just my thumbs showing, wishing his hands could replace mine. Nuzzling the edge of my jumper I realise that fabric softener is outdoing my perfume. I make a mental note to use less.

I glance at the phone on the bedside table. It is still there. I placed a metal tray underneath it, so if I was in the bathroom. Foolish. The ring reverberates around the whole cottage without any assistance.

It’s early yet. The sky is bearing down, closing in, full and grey. It has been all day, except for a brief appearance of a watery sun around noon. Rickety sash windows allow heat to escape. You’d be a lot cosier in the flat up by the shop, on the main road. My new landlord had tried to convince me. I explained that the open fire in the living room would more than compensate. Three bedrooms and just you? I paid two months, cash, and so he sighed and handed me the key.

The three upright panels in the left hand side of my bedroom window are much older than the right. May even be original, my landlord thinks. When the sun hits those panes the reflected pattern on the ceiling is mottled, dappled with the faint colours of the rainbow. The other side has new glass and is smooth, without character.

I stare at the left hand panes wondering what they have witnessed, finding it impossible to transpose seventeenth century memories into a bedroom awash with fading Laura Ashley walls, at the end of the twentieth. I close my eyes and find the centre panel has filled with a bright green light. Slowly I open my eyes, scanning the room to locate the source. Sometimes the smallest object is chosen and thrown back into the mind’s eye but I can see nothing green. I shut my eyes again and there it is, the centre panel filled with an effervescent green glow. This time I raise my head, propping myself up on my elbows but there is no strength to the daylight, so I am puzzled .

The phone waits attentively. There are a dozen chores I could be doing, none of which would prevent a call getting through but I don’t move. The lead is still attached to the wall. There have been no gales in the last hour capable of blowing down the telegraph pole. Foolish. I allow myself a wry smile at my stupidity. It’s early yet. He always phones, when he can. He should be finishing his shift soon. Busy day, even busier night. People making preparations. People rushing. He may have to work longer. But he’ll find time. From the beginning he said. I’ll always find a minute, before midnight.

I listen. Outside everything is still. No excited voices, no footsteps crunching on the packed snow, no squealing tyres. Three thirty. Last minute shopping, no-one moves about at this end of the village. Two doors up, the landlord’s children were building a snowman in the field opposite, at ten o clock this morning. The horse didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps they thought he’d like company. It had been a good choice; my cottage, detached, next to a pair of semis, then open farm land. Not to mention an abundance of summer fruit and autumn vegetables from the garden.

The memory fights to warm the chill niggling inside me. Help yourself. The landlord said.

The ground is frozen solid now. An unyielding mass of sleep and decay.

I lie back down and close my eyes. The green light has gone. The middle panel is filled with a deep, deep red. The same intensity as before but bright and red. I lie very still. I know there is nothing red in my bedroom. A small red pottery vase had been relocated to the dining room only last week. There are only soft. sleep inducing colours in this, my summer bedroom. I’m not sleeping in here at the moment but there is a phone socket by this bed.  And then the, tick, tick, at the far side of the room reminds me. A carriage clock. Red and gold. Five to four. The light is fading fast.

I close my eyes. If I keep my lids shut for five more minutes, I can avoid the transition. The moment when dusk becomes the cloak of night. No point grasping those last rays. For dusk is like dying, neither alive nor dead just the slow process in between.

I shake my head hoping that the colours can be dislodged. As if my head is nothing more than a kaleidoscope.

No green, no red now, just white light encompassing all three panes. They merge and become one with no horizontal support. And now I know as surely as any knock at the door. As certain as the details written clearly on a small piece of yellow paper.

RTA. Date. Time. Name.

I lie very still. My breath is short and shallow. No more waiting, just knowing.

At last his final journey has begun. I won’t be far behind.

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Comments
One Response to “NOVELS/Novella”
  1. helenducal says:

    WAIT FOR ME.
    N.B. RTA = Road traffic accident.

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