My second guest today is Linda Fawke, author of A Taste of His Own Medicine. As part of the birthday blitz for this book, I have the honour of sharing a short story that Linda has written. Thank you so much Linda for sharing this with me! Thanks also to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the celebrations.
How long can the desire for revenge last?
Kate Shaw, a successful pharmacist, goes to a thirty-year reunion at her old university and uses the weekend to settle some old scores. Her main target is her ex-lover, Jonathan. She decides to scar him for life as he scarred her. Her bizarre plan works but he shocks her with his strange, unwanted reaction.
What is the unexpected link between Jonathan and Kate’s husband?
What is the significance of the ‘Love Bite’ photograph?
What hold does Jonathan have over Kate?
Revenge is never simple.
A darkly humorous story of love, lust, loss and vengeance.
The Unexpected Disappearance of Arnold Harris
‘…so Dinky Dinosaur nursed his foot and decided he would never run away again.’
Arnold looked up at the faces around him and closed the book. The children clapped. Story-time at the library was fun. Or was it? He was tired of being the entertainer. Was he even that? Routine readings of his own books, written years ago. Once, he thought they were original, had a spark about them. His publisher said he had a good descriptive talent but either over-familiarity or simple truth made him doubt it now. An ageing children’s writer, no JK Rowling. His writing income was insufficient to live on so he did part-time jobs as a handy-man.
On the bus going home, he spotted a magazine that had slipped down beside the seat. A man’s magazine. Top shelf stuff he never bought. He slid it into his briefcase for later.
He wasn’t shocked. No, he thought, neither shocked nor embarrassed. Just amazed at what you could print these days. He remembered when stickers were put over nipples on magazine covers. Seems anything goes now. There were a couple of stories, too. Erotica, he supposed they were called, more respectable than porn. They outraged him. Not because of their content but because of their bad punctuation, poor style and clumsy descriptions.
‘I could do better than that!’
He spoke out loud to the empty room. Fired with a desire to write he hadn’t felt for years, he tapped away on his computer. Where his life was lacking in experience, his imagination stepped in. There’d been a few interesting events in his handy-man jobs. The audible goings-on in the adjacent room while he was putting up some shelves; the open bedroom door he walked past; the amorous effect a few glasses of wine can have even at three o’clock in the afternoon. Nothing was wasted.
He looked up a few suitable publications and sent off his story. To his surprise, one magazine accepted it. Paid well, too. And asked what else he had written.
He could hardly admit to Dinky Dinosaur.
But there was a problem. Arnold Harris did not sound like the author of erotica. He needed a nom de plume, an alter ego.
He became Frankie Dunmore. He held his head higher, walked with a brisker step, smiled more, had a glint in his eye. Wrote in every spare moment. He felt like Frankie, liked his new persona. All the copies of his children’s books went to a charity shop and he abandoned the library. His new income helped him move to a smarter flat where he took an interest in the widow next door. Some letters from the library for Mr Harris were forwarded to his new address. He wrote Not Known on the envelopes and returned them. The librarian would be puzzled.
There was one more thing to do. He discovered it was cheap and easy to change your name by deed poll. Arnold Harris had disappeared.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Linda Fawke is an arts person who studied science but always wanted to write. Now retired, she indulges this passion, writing fiction and non-fiction, even occasional poetry, preferably late at night. She has now written two novels, ‘A Taste of his own Medicine’ and its sequel, ‘A Prescription for Madness’ using her background in pharmacy as the setting of both. These are easy books to read, suitable for Book Club discussions. ‘ A Prescription for Madness’ is more serious than the first book, dealing with such issues as pregnancy in later life and Down’s Syndrome.
She has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel-writing competition and has published in various magazines including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Litro’ online, ‘Scribble’, ‘The Oldie’, ‘Berkshire Life’ and ‘Living France’. She was a finalist in the ‘Hysteria’ short story competition.
Linda blogs at http://www.linimeant.wordpress.com where her ‘Random Writings’ include a range of topics from travel to ‘Things that pop into my head’.