Monthly Archives

February 2016

Short story - Horror

Locked in

I am trying to open my eyes.  My eyeballs roll up to my hairline under the lids with the effort of it.  Nothing.  OK, stop that for now.  Try something else.  My finger.  Let’s move that – just a little bit.  I feel a bead of sweat form on my forehead as I concentrate my whole being on the index finger of my left hand.  It remains motionless, resting on the rough cotton of the sheet.  The cotton – I can feel that – so coolly lifeless.

I can hear a door opening and the rustle of clothing.  Almost silent feet pad in my direction.   I can feel a scream forming in my throat – but the silence is tangible.  The footsteps stop and my brain flashes as a voice fills the room.

“Can you hear me, Elizabeth?”

“Yes, I can hear you,” my brain replies.  “I can hear you, I CAN HEAR YOU…HELP ME!”

With a supreme effort, born of desperation, I feel my eyelids twitch.  I try again and they twitch once more.  My right eye opens just a slit and the light is blinding.  It is enough.

“Oh, there you are.  I’m Susan, the duty staff nurse.  I’m just waiting for my colleague and we’re going to turn you.”

Turn me?  What are you talking about?  Duty nurse?  I must be in hospital…and this is real.  I feel a tsunami of panic begin to swell in my head.  I try again to move my tongue and hear a high pitched squeal – like a dying animal.  It comes again and I realise the sound is my own voice.  The tsunami breaks.

“Hello, Elizabeth.”  This is a new voice – male, resonant, too cheerful.  “OK Susan, before we turn her, did you explain?”

“No – do you think I should?”

“Of course.  It’s early days, but she’s locked in – for now anyway.  She probably has no memory of what happened on Thursday.”

Thursday?  So what day is it now, then?  Locked in?  LOCKED IN?  The tsunami has formed a whirlpool, the words swirling down in a spiral of fear.

Susan’s voice assumes a measured calm.

“Elizabeth, you’ve had a stroke.  You’re in hospital now and you’ve been here for a couple of days.  Your son will be back very soon – he’s barely left you…”

The male voice interrupted, “The doctor thinks you may be locked in, which means you are unable to move or communicate at the moment…”

“Too much information!” hisses Susan in an aggressive whisper.

“She deserves to know the whole position.”  The man is obviously affronted at the criticism.

“She’s not deaf!  And it’s too soon.”  The forced calmness returns to her voice.  “Locked in syndrome is often temporary, Elizabeth.  We’ll do everything we can to stimulate movement.”

I’m falling into the whirlpool.  I am swirling round and round and the eyelid closes as another silent scream rises to my throat.  The sound of roaring water fills my ears and etched against my eyeballs, I see a pageant of pictures – the field at the back of our house, the long grass rippling as I watch my son running towards me; laughing faces round the barbecue in the garden; Christmas paper strewn all over the carpet as the cat tries to climb the Christmas tree and the baubles fall to the floor; my husband, young again, and well.  Then nothing.  I recognise that I have seen my past, and the future I had imagined has vanished without trace – snatched by my body’s own treachery.  I am left only with this fading consciousness…sliding…dissolving…gone.

Short story - Music

A major problem

However hard I tried I could not get it to add up. My outgoings were more than my income. All because four piano pupils had given up at the end of the autumn term without giving me any notice. Even if I took them to the small claims court for breach of contract it would take months to get the money they owed me and in the meantime I would be £500 short over the next three months. I would advertise for more pupils but it was the beginning of January and it might be several weeks before anyone responded. Everyone would be paying off their Christmas bills and have no money for extras. I would be alright by the end of March. I was sure to have found more pupils by then and, in any case, I had extra work in the diary for that month. The trio I was in was booked for two weddings and I was the official accompanist for the local music festival.

In the meantime I would have to cut back. There would be no going to the pub, theatre, cinema, concerts or the opera. (How would I manage without the opera?) I could eat less. Musicians are not thin because they are so wrapped up in their art they forget to eat, it is because they cannot afford to. I needed a stiff drink but it was only ten o’clock in the morning and anyway I now could not afford alcohol. I would have to make do with a strong coffee.

I went to the kitchen and put the kettle on. I gazed out of the window at the bare plane tree swaying in the breeze. I was dreaming of winning the lottery when my phone rang. “Is that Valerie Jenkins?” I thought I recognised the man’s voice but I could not place it.

“Yes.”

“I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Paul Anson. You played for my choir a while ago.”

It was five years ago and I did remember. I had never forgotten it. My friend Marianne who usually accompanied his choir had broken her wrist in a car accident so she asked me to deputize for her. At the time I was glad to. I had left music college two months previously and was trying to establish myself as a freelance pianist in London so I needed all the work I could get. The choir was rehearsing the Messiah for a concert at Christmas in the Albert Hall. I knew the Messiah well so I had not hesitated to accept.

Paul continued, “I need a rehearsal pianist for the next two months. My regular man has broken his leg.” What was it with this man? Did all his pianists end up in plaster? “We’re performing the Matthew Passion on Good Friday. I need someone as good as you are.” If I was so good how come he had not offered me any work in the last five years? No, this was code for I’m desperate. No-one I’ve asked so far wants the job. “The rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:30,” he told me. “In the same church hall you came to before.” I was free on Wednesday evenings.

I had turned up at that church hall five years ago full of enthusiasm, keen to impress and confident I could do a good job. The choir was large, nearly one hundred singers, mostly students, professors and people connected with the local university. When I arrived I found Paul sitting on a high stool at the conductor’s rostrum going over the score. He looked up when I introduced myself, nodded, said ‘I hope you can play the Messiah,’ and returned to the music before I could answer. Not the most friendly of receptions but I assumed his mind was on the rehearsal and as long as someone was at the piano it did not matter to him who it was.

He began with the Hallelujah Chorus. Within a few bars he began to shout. “Watch the beat, watch the beat.” The choir and I found this difficult as there was no discernible down beat. His right arm waved in a circle like a wind turbine. Behind the music stand he became a monster. His face went red and he mopped his forehead with a handkerchief, dark patches of sweat appeared under the arms of his shirt as he stamped his foot to give the beat.

“Why aren’t you playing staccato?” He glowered at me over the piano lid. Because it’s not marked staccato in my score, I thought to myself but did not say anything, just played it staccato. My mind was racing trying to keep up with his instructions; my hands shook so much I fluffed all the semiquavers and I was shouted at again.

Fortunately after that I was left in peace while he turned his attention to the tenors. “You bloody tenors,” he yelled when they missed an entry. I heard a sharp collective intake of breath from the choir; everyone stiffened. I managed to make it through to the break without either collapsing or running out into the High Street. I needed the money. I had to put up with it unless he sacked me. In the break I took my cup of tea and hid behind the upright piano where I could not be seen. In my hideaway I overheard some of the choir chatting.

“He’s so rude.”

“What right has he to swear at us like that? We’re supposed to be here to enjoy ourselves.”

“He thinks he’s another Solti but he’s not, he’s only an amateur. I think his day job is in the Physics department.”

“He’s not even a professor, only a technician.”

I returned to the present when Paul said the magic words. “The pay is £25 an hour. There are ten weeks of rehearsals.” That would be £50 a week extra making £500 in all. It solved my immediate problems; my income would match my outgoings. All I had to do was put up with being shouted at and humiliated in front of a hundred people for two hours once a week for ten weeks.

I had more experience now than five years ago. I was tougher and harder so was it likely that I would I have the same sleepless night before the rehearsal as I had before, waking up gasping for breath and shaking with fear? I had lost half a stone in weight then as I had been unable to eat on the day of the rehearsal. But he had not sacked me; I had stuck it out and earned my money. The choir made me feel I was appreciated when they gave me a standing ovation and a large bouquet at the end of the final rehearsal. If I had been that bad would he be ringing now and asking me to play? “I do hope you can do it,” he said.

I remembered the relief five years ago when his baton came down for the last time. I had felt the same sense of freedom at the end of term when I was driven away from boarding school by my parents. Paul was waiting for my answer.

“Thank you for asking me,” I said. “I’m very sorry but I can’t make Wednesday evenings. I am very booked up at the moment. I do hope you find someone,” and cut off the call before I changed my mind. In the past I had always managed to find work when I needed it. There was no need to think this time would be any different. I made my coffee and went back to my calculations. I knew it was not worth putting my nerves through the mincer again for £500. I would rather starve.

Short story - Family saga, Short story - Humour

The day I learnt…

The day I learnt my Mother didn’t care, my Father couldn’t count, but my baby brother could say my name.

It was a hot, lazy summer, full of blue skies, buzzing insects and inertia. That incessant heat, and our listless boredom, meant we spent a lot of time squabbling. And since there were eight children in the family, that was a lot of bored, squabbling kids for my mother to deal with.

So my parents decided we needed a change of scene to break the mood. They agreed to make a weekend of it, which to us was a full summer holiday, and so we were all thrown into the Datsun Sunny estate and headed off to Dublin. The fact that there were ten of us in a car that was a five-seater mattered not a jot in those days. There was no such thing as health and safety, or seatbelts, or even rules about how many children you could put in a car boot for that matter. It was more a case of sit there and shut up. And we did, because my mother was extremely agile, she could deliver a sharp slap on a bare knee without even having to turn around from her luxurious position in the front passenger seat.

After a fun-filled weekend in Dublin, which we spent mainly in the hotel swimming pool, it was time to head home. My parents decided that, rather than drive straight back home on the Sunday, we should visit somewhere on the way. It sounded pretty boring to us but, as it meant delaying the sardine-like trip home in the car, we gave in and agreed to spend some time touring the gardens and stately home of Powerscourt, just outside Dublin.

We all piled out of the car and hurtled off in different directions, with threats of grievous consequences ringing in our ears from Mum and Dad whose constant fear was us breaking something they couldn’t afford to pay for.

But after a while of wandering, I grew bored looking at flowerbeds, so spent most of my time throwing gravel into expensive fountains and counting the willies on the bronze statues of naked Greek men. I got to ten willies before getting bored with that too.

It was a relief when my parents, with the skill of experienced shepherds, started to round us up, count us in and channel us towards the car park and my father’s pride and joy, the bright orange Datsun Sunny estate.

As I was the first one to arrive I stood by the car, hanging onto the car door handle in the gesture which clearly signalled first come, first served, first choice is a window seat. As boredom overcame sibling rivalry, I looked idly around and saw that there was a tiny gift shop nearby. That was when I remembered I still had a ten-pence piece in my pocket, saved and not yet spent.

‘Mummy, can I go to the sweet shop please while we’re waiting?’ I begged. She was distracted, scanning the horizon for the rest of the tribe, while muttering under her breath. She always said they weren’t bad words, they were prayers. From what I could tell, her favourites – Jesus, Mary and St Joseph – always got a mention. So I promised to be quick, and scattered gravel under my feet as I sped off.

I blinked in the gloomy darkness of the shop which was in stark contrast to the bright summer’s day outside and, as my eyes adjusted, I saw some bags of sweets in amongst a dusty display of leather bookmarks, wind-up Virgin Marys and alcoholic-looking leprechauns.

So I grabbed my favourite Tiger Tots sweets, which I knew cost ten pence, and stuffed them into my jeans’ pocket while planning how I could secretly eat them in the car going home without anyone finding out and forcing me to share.

I came out into the bright sunshine and had to blink and cover my eyes from the cloud of gravel dust coming up from some car wheels that sped past. ‘They’re in a hurry,’ I thought. A few seconds later I opened my eyes again and blinked away the dust, just in time to see a bright orange Datsun exiting the main gates at the other side of the park.

‘Well,’ I thought. ‘Dad was right and Mum was wrong. Bright orange must be the new colour for cars, seems there’s a few of them about.”

It was only when I turned back into the now-empty car park that I realised it was our car and my family that I had seen drive out of the gates like a bat out of hell.

A quick stab of panic was quickly replaced by the quiet confidence that, any minute now, they would realise their mistake and come tearing back, full of anxiety and remorse, resulting in a tearful reunion and possibly me even getting to sit up front with Mum. So I sat on a fence where I could see the gates. Ah how my family’s faces would be filled with smiles of relief and hot tears of love on seeing me sitting there and knowing I was safe.

In fact it took them over two hours and a sharp U-turn in Dundalk on their part, with ten sets of the rosary and red eyes cried out of tears on my part, before they did eventually screech back in a spray of gravel.

They didn’t even get out of the car. Just the back door swung open and my Mum shouted to me to get in the car and that I’d already made them late. That’s when I realised I did have a few more tears left.

In between gasping sobs, I managed to stutter out what I thought were the key questions: “W-w-why did it take so l-l-long for you to realise I was l-l-lost? W-w-weren’t you worried? Did nobody notice I wasn’t there?’ I stammered, while smearing hot tears and snot around my face.

‘We didn’t realise you were lost. It was Baby David who noticed, asking where you were. We kept telling him to be quiet and go to sleep,’ came the tart reply from my mother. This resentment was echoed by the rest of the family, who muttered and grumbled darkly about the journey now taking twice as long as it should have.

‘W-w-w-what? You didn’t even notice I was missing? There’s nine of you in the car and only Baby David noticed?’ My relief at being found turned to shocked indignance that only Baby David had missed me.

My heart was broken by their cruel dismissal as I looked around at the disinterested faces turned away from me. Until I looked at Baby David, who smiled his little dimpled smile at me and reached out a chubby hand for his reward – a Tiger Tot sweet. He has always been my favourite ever since.

Short story - Horror

An eye for an eye

SDWC Short Story Competition 2015 – Runner-up.

This particular piece was inspired by a creative writing exercise that was set during an evening course I attend once a week in order to develop my writing skills. The exercise asked us to take one piece of paper from the ‘colour’ bowl, another from the ’emotions’ bowl and a mystery object from the black bag. I ended up with the colour brown, the emotion anger and a glass eye. From this I was inspired to write a short story set at Halloween for the 2015 Swansea & District Writers’ Circle Short Story Competition.

The long brown robe weighed heavily on my shoulders and the coarse material dragged along the floor as I walked slowly and fluidly forward, giving the impression that I was gliding. One great advantage of this costume was its cavernous hood which overshadowed my face. To add to the darkness, I was also wearing a black Lycra face mask, giving the effect that the hooded monk was faceless. I was comforted by the knowledge that no-one could see me, that I was anonymous. My hands, covered in brown leather gloves, were hidden because my arms were folded inside the wide flared sleeves of the robe.

I approached the entrance to the party, a black hole surrounded by pinpricks of orange fairy lights. The two black-robed figures flanking it bade me welcome in deep, menacing voices.

Stopping inside the doorway for a moment, I realised that the corridor leading to the main room was set up like a House of Horrors or a Ghost Train. I was disoriented by the total blackness, but it was also comforting. I was beginning to enjoy this feeling of invisibility.

The long robe hiding my feet, I pushed forward. As I glided along I was temporarily blinded by a flash of light as a mannequin, dressed as the corpse of a bride, was illuminated n the wall to my right. Her faded grey dress hung like cobwebs from her body and was coated in what looked like dried blood. My next step found me sinking into a jelly-like substance that felt cold and clammy, but I continued to move.

I reached the end of the corridor and was showered with something wet and sticky. I had just worked out that the liquid was meant to represent blood when a flash of light lit up another mannequin: this corpse had its throat slashed like a second mouth below the chin.

I was rewarded for my silent journey by the dimly lit entrance to the main hall housing the throng of party goers. I paused inside the door, adjusting to the brighter light and the firmer footing of more solid ground. I was greeted by a waitress dressed as a skeleton, her face shiny with heavy black and white make-up.

‘Welcome. Would you like an eyeball cocktail?’ she asked, brightly.

I looked down at the proffered tray: it held a collection of champagne flutes half-filled with sparkling white wine and raspberry juice. A lychee, representing an eyeball, floated greasily in the depths of each glass.

Once again I resisted the urge to speak and slowly shook my head before stepping into the crowd. I moved through the throng of party goers, unnoticed and unseen, and stood against the far wall. I had a clear view of the dance floor and entrance so I settled down to wait for my quarry to appear.

No-one approached me and it was a further fifteen minutes before I saw him enter the party. “Captain Kirk” was accompanied by a pretty brunette “Lieutenant Uhura”. Anger rose in my belly and I felt bile in my throat as I realised that they had planned to come to the party together; why else would they be wearing complimentary costumes? They were holding hands and giggling as they came through the corridor, clearly experiencing a frisson after navigating the nightmare experience together. My man, with another girl, at the party he was “too busy” to attend with me.

I willed myself to stay calm and continued to watch as he handed her an eyeball cocktail. He laughed as she took a first delicate sip with her pretty mouth and found the “eyeball” hitting her teeth. Hilarious! Maybe she will choke on it, I thought viciously.

Still, this wasn’t her fault as far as I knew. He was the deceitful liar, he was the cheat who had made a fool of me and he must be punished.

I stayed in position, watching the couple carefully as they chatted and laughed. Two drinks later they were gyrating on the dance floor, their hips moving in time with each other and the pounding music until he took her in his strong arms for a slow dance. His eyes never left her face and, slowly, he bent his head, joining his lips to hers in a kiss that seemed to go on forever.

The kiss ended and they stood frozen, barely moving to the music that surrounded them, gazing into each other’s eyes.

I felt physically sick as I watched her staring up into his handsome face, the face with the shining blue eyes and the strong jaw. His aquiline nose was not quite perfectly straight and it gave him an imperfection that somehow seemed to enhance his beauty rather than diminish it, the beauty of which he was so proud.

He leant forward and bent his head to whisper in her ear.

Was this it? Had my moment arrived at last?

I knew it wouldn’t be long before he needed to excuse himself to top up his confidence, to snort the white dust that, lately, he seemed to need more and more often.

My anger settled into an icy-cold fist in my stomach and I became very calm. I watched him give her another kiss and release her from his arms before he turned and appeared to move straight towards me. But he was heading for the toilets and didn’t even see me as he passed. I stepped out of the shadows on the wall and followed him, two paces behind.

I paused inside the doorway, momentarily blinded by the bright light bouncing off the tiled walls and shiny porcelain of the wash basin and the urinals. I retrieved the out-of-order sign I had hidden behind the door earlier and wedged the door shut with a chair. No-one could now enter without my knowledge. I heard him finish at the urinal and move over to the wash basin.

He bent over the washbasin, steam rising from the hot water and fogging the mirror, washing his hands as thoroughly as if he was about to perform surgery. After drying his hands on a pristine handkerchief, he took out his wallet and selected a credit card before pulling a packet of white powder and a small mirror from his pocket.

He still hadn’t noticed me, and I realised this was my opportunity. Moving silently and surely, I walked towards my prey until I was standing right behind him. As he straightened up it was the work of seconds to reach around his throat with my forearm and hold him tight against me, pushing hard on his windpipe. He struggled but was trapped between my body and the hard, unyielding porcelain of the washbasin.

Panic filled his eyes and heard his gurgles of protest as he saw the blade glinting in my gloved right hand. I raised the knife and drew it slowly down his forehead and across his now-closed eye until I felt the blade hit his cheekbone.

Blood spattered onto my gloved hand, hot and sweet, making the handle of my knife slippery and hard to hold but I kept my grip, savouring his shudders of fear.

I hadn’t pushed hard enough to sink the blade into his eyeball, but he would be scarred. Thinking of my vindication, how every day he would look in the mirror and be reminded of his deceit, warmed my blood.

He sank to his knees, clutching his face and groaning in pain and fear, as I released my hold on his throat.

Seizing the chance, I reached up to the mirror to leave him a message: daubing the letters with my finger, wet with his now-sticky, clotting blood. Leviticus 24:20.

Realising he wouldn’t stay quiet for long, I moved quickly out of the door and back towards the party. I made my way along the wall and through the door marked “exit” into the cold, dark night.

Once outside I hid behind the large industrial bins beside the kitchen door. Removing my robe, gloves and face mask revealed my skeleton costume and stark black and white make-up. I changed my shoes, rolled up my discarded garments and pushed them into a rubbish bag to retrieve later for burning.

Making my way into the kitchen I placed my beloved knife in the industrial dishwasher, added a generous dose of bleach, shut the door and switched it on. There was a short pause before I heard the machine start to fill with water. The heavy blades that began to rotate would create a whirlpool and wash away any evidence of the lesson I had taught him.

I picked up a tray and, smiling brightly, made my way in to the party to serve eyeball cocktails.

Short story - Romance

Gravity

I listened to the dial tone until it flat-lined into a single note. Please hang up and try again. The receiver was heavy in my hand. Please hang up and try again. I pressed the red button to reset the phone, vaguely remembering the days when hanging up was more literal. The world was more physical then. We were more physical then.

Perhaps I should have seen it at the time but I always thought I was content in the moment. Now I think I was slow. What was it you used to say? The appearance of things depends on how quickly you’re moving: that was it. That was typical of you. Making a joke about relativity when I was telling you how much I loved you. Still love you. You were always moving faster than me. I guess love must have looked different to you.

I knew what had prompted it. The reason I was holding the phone. The urge to make contact. On the radio this morning they’d babbled excitedly about gravitational waves, about detecting the ripples from broken stars across the furthest reaches of space. We can even hear it. God’s pulse. The universe’s heartbeat. But I needed to hear you, laughing at my ignorant wonder and explaining it all; rational, precise, sure. God’s pulse? I could almost see you shaking your head, that mocking half smile. Signals converted to sound waves and frequencies pitched for human ears. You might as well let a child press random notes on a synthesiser. People will still claim they hear God. That’s what you would say, that or something like it. You were never cold though. Just different. I knew you’d hear the beauty in the sound of dying, ancient black holes, even if it was us that had given them artificial voice. You marvelled at the ineffable but saw no guiding hand, no designer. Love had been the great unknown for you once. Something you felt but could not explain. The only thing I could ever express better than you.

There was something else I’d heard listening to that gravitational surge, something magical amid the traffic news and weather and stories of strikes and crime and footballers and missiles and award shows. I also heard hope. Or more accurately I remembered hope. I remembered us. To me it was like a distress beacon from the past; my distant collapsing heart, folding in on itself all that time ago, still yearning, still beating, only for its absent twin.

I dialled the number again, each digit echoing down the line and back across the years. You pick up.

Short story - Humour

I hear music

St Francis Hospice Short Story Competition 2013.

This story was placed third, which was thrilling as it was the first contest I had entered after joining Sally’s writing class a few months earlier! And, having now learned the song, I know that I made a mistake – it’s actually called I hear singing!

Dear Mr Adams,

Thank you for interviewing me today for the job of chambermaid: I am delighted to accept your offer and, as agreed, will start work next Monday.

I’m happy to explain the problem I told you about. You may have heard of synaesthesia in which people associate certain words or objects with colours or textures (to put it simply): I have a rare variation of this in which I hear music (or single notes) when I look at people, to paraphrase the beautiful song by Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II.

This has no practical implications for my job, except that I sometimes burst into song when I meet someone. My singing teacher (who makes me want to sing All the things you are) says that my voice is pleasant so you needn’t worry about me introducing an unwelcome tuneless noise into your peaceful hotel.

The work of a chambermaid suits me because I seldom come into contact with guests. Imagine if I worked on the reception desk: it would be like a one-person Karaoke bar! I think I startled your receptionist when I sang Isn’t this a lovely day to be caught in the rain to her, but she quickly recovered her composure and carried on dealing with the guest who was booking-in. His song, Purcell’s Mad Bess, was in my head while I sang aloud: I can do that quite easily – sing one song aloud while another plays in my head – but I try to avoid crowds as multiple songs can be difficult to manage. School was a nightmare, a cacophony!

My previous job as chambermaid lasted four years and was enjoyable for all concerned. I only left because my husband’s company relocated to Berkhamsted. (His song is I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts and his Cheshire boss’s was Yellow submarine.) You might like to know that yours is the very lovely lute song When first I saw your face and that your PA’s is Waltzing Matilda. Is he Australian? I didn’t detect an accent.

I cannot promise to keep my singing to the unoccupied bedrooms in which I work: indeed, working alone, that is unlikely. If I meet someone in the corridor I may sing to them but the housekeeper you introduced me to (whose association was with a single tone of B flat, played on a flute) seemed unfazed when I hummed one note for the first few seconds she was talking to me.

My own song? I seldom hear it these days, only when I look in a mirror so I avoid doing that. It is the end of the Beatles’ classic A day in the life – the bit where the orchestra is playing apparently at random and the sounds build to a crescendo before stopping suddenly – my sound is what follows, a ringing silence that leaves me shocked, stunned, almost deafened.

I look forward to seeing (and hearing) you on Monday,

Jessica Hornblower (Mrs)

Writing news

How to buy one of our books…

 

Since we started writing collaboratively in 2013, Just Write has published three books of short stories.

Our first, Spilling the Beans, won Writing Magazine‘s Anthology competition for books published in 2014.

Our second, Delayed Reaction, was a runner-up in the same competition for books published in 2015!

Our third book, Shakespeare Street, will be published in mid-November 2017.

To buy any of these books, go to their websites using the links above. If you want to buy more than one copy, please email lesley@justwrite.ink for a combined shipping price (and a big thank you!)