Extract from Portraits in Flesh

Below is an extract from my first novel – Portraits in Flesh – a paranormal thriller.

*****

Annabelle opened her eyes just as the severed hand landed on her windscreen: a gold band around the ring finger, a cheap watch around the wrist, no arm. For a moment, she thought the hand was made of rubber, a Halloween joke. How had it got there?

Pain exploded in her head and tore all the way down her side.

In agony, she remembered swerving to avoid the lorry. A huge jolt had slammed her body against the car door, followed by a thunderous sound as sheets of metal had rained down on her car. The hand was real; a small trail of blood dribbled down the cracked glass.

An eerie silence descended on the scene– except for the pain. The pain shrieked in her head and screamed in her shoulder. She wanted to tear at her skin, pound her forehead with his fists and stab her legs with the shard of glass that straddled the steering wheel and dashboard. She wanted to do something, anything to stop the pain. She wanted to die. Annabelle wanted to die.

Please let it be over, she begged.

Her mind fought back, and an image of her daughter popped into her head. If she gave up on life now, she would never see Sarah’s face again. She would never see her on her first day at work or see her walk down the aisle on her wedding day. It was as if a fist punched a hole in her stomach, grabbed her guts and squeezed until loops of intestine ballooned out between the fingers. Annabelle had to fight the pain.

A terrible acrid smell wafted into her nose. Something was burning. Was she going to be roasted alive, staring at the gruesome hand waving a final farewell to her?

The watch slipped from the bloody wrist and slid down the windscreen.

It was 2:15.

Annabelle screamed.

***

 

 

My Rotten Ex

My Rotten Ex

She took the familiar path to the far corner of the overgrown field. Her first visit had been to quell her irrational fear that he was alive. Now it had become a monthly ritual.

Like an addict, she fumbled with the old planks covering the well. How would he look this time? The full moon reflected in the sludge at the bottom and lit up his rotting remains. She was ashamed at her fascination with his decay but this time she was also confused. His decomposing arms were no longer tied behind his back. They reached up the crumbling wall.

 

 

*****

The Monthly Checker

The Monthly Checker

The bell jingled. I didn’t need to look up; it was the first Friday of the month and the number twelve bus had rattled past only moments ago. I looked up anyway.

“Good morning, just browsing?”

The familiar man nodded shyly and turned away to begin his monthly task of scanning the bookshelves.

I watched him for a while. “Maybe today you will find what you are looking for.”

I returned to my work until a polite cough disturbed me.

He slid a book across the counter – PLEASE COME TO DINNER by LIU QING YAN

He smiled at me. “Well?”

 

*****