25 Jun 2016

My intended novel #3. Chapter 2: "Billy Gordon".

The following are two brief excerpts from chapter two of my intended novel.

Excerpt 1:

He had been awakened by the shrill vibrations of the water pipes in the cupboard just beyond his bedroom door, as they struggled to cope with the clattering demands of the kitchen sink below, demands made all the more formidable by the customary weekend visit of Grandpa Craig, instructing daughter-in-law Mavis as to exactly how he liked his porridge. “Soused overnight, and don’t spare the salt”. The sweet aroma of grandpa’s pipe tobacco was just now reaching Billy Gordon’s door. A veritable giant of a man, with an insatiable breakfast appetite, his Scottish grandpa proved a source of much fascination to the small boy, who was nevertheless most careful to make his observations from a discrete distance during those occasions when adults conversed and children only listened. Grandpa Craig always stood with a perfectly straight back, legs braced, swaying very slightly as might a soldier at ease. But unlike the soldiers that occasionally marched through the village from their nearby camp in the woods, the old man’s cheeks were a constant shade of bright red. All year round. And Billy Gordon hadn’t seen a soldier quite like that. Not even in his toy box. He’d checked.

Excerpt 2:

“Where’s the boy?”  Billy Gordon stepped carefully between a gap in the carnations and joined the already assembled group on the lawn. “Come on Gordon,” that name again, “You stand in front of me”. His grandfather placed a large Scottish hand on each of his young namesake’s shoulders, whilst Big Sister snapped to attention on his left, her gabardine creases glinting under the cloudless sky.

“Now everyone, say Cheeeeeeeeeeese!” And everyone dutifully smiled as his father peered through the little silver square viewfinder and pressed the little silver button on the front of the shiny black box. Small fragments of tobacco ash floated down onto Billy Gordon’s shoulders from his grandfather’s pipe above. Not that he noticed. His mind was elsewhere. He was thinking about the chrysalis.

Artwork & text copyright Ian G Craig.