Inspired by my previous post, I set about writing the beginnings of the sequel to the novel I am working on: ‘A Tale of One London Eye’. It was half ten at night, I was supposed to be going to bed, or at least writing for something in which I had a deadline, but I have found that I am most inspired- and do some of my best work- at night. The more tired I get, so long as I am not being distracted, the more creative my prose becomes.
So…what can you tell from this first extract of a story I shouldn’t yet be writing?
It was one of my last days, and after hours when the cleaners began their work. I could smell the disinfectant before I could see the glimmers on the floor. If the smell had not hit my nostrils, I would not have begun to pace myself as I walked, tottering on my too-high heels; the most likely alternate scenario was the one that ended with me on my back, sprawled on the floor, having rushed and, of course, slipped.
Thank goodness it would not be long before I was out of this Sixth Form, and such incidences, if they ever dared to emerge, would soon be forgotten.
The only tie I had- had ever had- was Josh Craig, and he was long gone. I couldn’t believe myself when I had checked the date on the morning newspaper a couple of weeks ago, and felt a pang of guilt in spotting that it had been exactly four years since his murder. They would never let his best friend- and, as it had turned out, killer- out of jail, but I least I still had contact with my late teacher’s niece, Alicia Craig, and her non-biological aunt, the woman who had once been my best friend and confidant, before time and work had pushed us apart. That marvellous woman had once been deceptive, but now she was not the ‘scarlet woman’ in the case, simply transforming herself into motherly Caroline Peterson.
If I remembered rightly, the last time I saw Caroline was when the sun had set over Oxford Castle in a wave of crimson, the first signs of spring now evident in the sprightly antics of all who enjoyed the brighter months. I had waved her ‘cheerio’, still thinking of them both- Josh and Carrie- as teenagers when their springs had been like mine were, joyful, but on the cusp of exams.
The following week I had gone on study leave, and my life had been thrown into the turmoil of exams. For once, I had managed to push mystery out of my mind, in favour of Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology.
Thinking of all these, I continued to stroll along the corridor, the gleam of my cracked nail-polish catching my eyes, the dark gold of my clipped fringe swinging in and out of my sight too. As I clung tightly to three revision books, I spotted the familiar faces of those girls and boys who made their own way down the corridor, the opposite side to me.
“Agnetha…” Some of them smiled, some nodded, some waved. It was hard work being Prefect over the Lower School now.
I might write more soon!