Welcome to our spot on the A Bowl Of Cherries blog tour! Please scroll down for an excerpt.
There’s nothing cosy about this crime. Succulent and rich stories of the dark and unknown that might terrify, horrify, or deliciously delight. Thirty-two previously published and prize winning tales that contain themes of death, destruction, abuse and emotion, each one a veritable stride into a unique and different world. From the psychologically disturbed, the raging mad, the vulnerability of victims, and desperately needy, there’s not much that isn’t covered in the dark genre for those that like their stories to be troubling, distressing and quirky. NOT for the faint of heart, this comes with a triple X warning!
- Paperback : 238 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8670567589
- Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.52 x 20.32 cm
- Publisher : Independently published (29 July 2020)
- Language: : English
In 1974 I was twelve, a big boy for my age, and I was shipped off to Aunty Jenny for the summer. I learnt an awful lot that year. Actually, it wasn’t all that awful.
Creatures like Aunt Jenny didn’t exist in our quiet corner of Northumberland. She was colourful and brash, and my father always said the further away she was from him the better he felt. Some bitter family history was all I knew. I guess he just didn’t like her. The only thing he did like about her was that she was living so far away. However, he wasn’t averse to sending me to her and I never understood that.
The large beautiful house in Hampshire, bequeathed to her when Uncle Jimmy died, was as vibrant and bounteous in its furnishings as she was. Abundant and fertile foliage sheltered hidden secrets within the widespread boundaries of the house. Magnificent mysteries were mine to uncover, the magnitude of which I misinterpreted with the ignorance of boyish eagerness.
And then I had the first exploration, the first discovery, the realisation; that first footstep into an awakening, sexual world.
WE WERE TRYING to hide from the hot pelting rain when she took me by the hand and led me to her den, the place she called her play-palace. It was hidden in the depths of her lush orchard, with rich, ripe cherries dangling down, ready and ripe for picking. Inside the play-palace the fragrance was as arresting as she was, aromas of soft fruit and fanciful perfumes. It seemed a miraculous discovery and I loved it. I let my fingers trail patterns in the silks and stockings that were hanging on the low clothing rail beneath the rammed bookshelf. I blushed rich red as I saw naked ladies and proud men in the magazines she had on display.
Jenny lit a joss stick and pushed it into the core of a shiny green apple perched next to the overflowing ashtray on her dressing table. Ladies’ things covered every surface and I took in the rich cacophony of colour; purple, pink, and red lipsticks, peachy powders, rainbow shades of nail varnish and thick black pencils for eyes. I loved the fat, soft-bristled brushes that invited me to run a finger through them. I smoothed my hand over the top of the largest, imagining a purring kitten responding to my touch. I watched it sprung forward and back again in slow motion and I was enrapt with a fleeing image of a bird taking flight, up and away. I did it again and her low guttural laugh sent a shiver down my back as she came and stood behind me.
‘Come … sit with me.’ Her light smoky breath brushed the top of my ear.
Tingling spread down my spine and to my groin as I experienced hitherto unknown feelings.
Effie Merryl is an ex-cop who spends her time between the North East of England and Central Scotland. She won the first Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect in 2012 with the manuscript that will hopefully become her debut crime novel. She is the pseudonymous author of a ‘faction’ book of memoirs published by Harper Collins in 2013. She has had over 150 short stories published online and in print, many of which have been placed in competitions (2004 – present). Her short story collection, Bowl of Cherries, contains some of her best prize winners, and is released on Amazon Kindle under the name F.E. Birch.
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