Wednesday, 14 September 2011

extract from The Thicket Dwellers...

"The bricks of the wall were rough and jagged and Mary slammed Rose’s skull against it with such force that she felt sure something had cracked, and her body stiffened beneath Mary’s grip. She gasped for air that didn’t come. Her eyes were wide but everything was going blurry. She could feel blood trickling down her head, dripping down her neck like egg yolk. Mary leaned over bringing her face close to Rose’s.
     ‘Don’t you ever, ever go near my boyfriend again, do you hear?’ she said, low and steady, her eyes crazy-like. Behind her they kept chanting.
     ‘Tatty Rose Tatty Rose Tatty Rose!’
     Mary took a step back and spoke louder. ‘He won’t want you anyway. He doesn’t like ugly girls who piss in their knickers.’
     Everyone laughed harder, sneering at her with looks of amusement and disgust. They couldn’t see the blood. They couldn’t feel the tightness of her throat. Their faces were merging into one twisted blur, reforming again, dancing around her vision. The chanting became a slow deep drawl as if one unnatural voice rose from all of them, then it would go back to the many regular voices. Mary’s mouth was so wide when she laughed, so full of poison and spite and teeth that, when Rose saw her for a moment before other hideous faces moved in her view, she thought maybe Mary wasn’t laughing at all. Maybe she was opening her jaw so wide it would dislocate like a snake and she would swallow Rose whole, leaving her in her belly of bile to burn.
     Where was Skye? And where was Daniel? Among all the monsters there were no friendly faces; and as she searched the crowd, still desperate for air, her vision went black, and her body limp." 

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