Welcome message

Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Hungry-Man: exclusive preview

Harvey loves his Mummy; he’d do anything for her. They have a blissful life together, filled with cuddles, walkies and camping trips. Then, one terrible day, everything changes and their perfect life becomes a nightmare. The Hungry-Man wants his Mummy, and only Harvey can save her from a horrifying fate.

Can Harvey do what it will take to protect his Mummy? And will it be enough?

A terrifying and gripping tale of a dog’s devotion and determination to protect those he loves. The next time your dog tries to warn you about something you can’t sense, pay attention…
Now that I'm back from my bummel, it's time to get stuck in to some writing again. I'm thrilled to bits to share with you a draft of the prologue and first chapter of "The Hungry-Man", my current WIP. Please feel free to give feedback in the comments, or by contacting me directly. I'm also looking for betareaders to cast their eye over my drafts so, if you're interested, again please leave a comment or contact me.


The howl pushed up from my belly and  rushed out of my throat, pouring into the air and echoing dully around the painted walls.


From beyond the glass, I heard another, then more- a collective scream for love, and loss, and despair and rage and pain, building to a crescendo that throbbed inside my skull and made my hair stand on end. The sound was white-hot and raw, burning my lungs and leaving me gasping. It was all I could do now. It was her only chance.


Sucking in a deep breath through a grimace, I lifted my head and began again…

Chapter One

They first came to my attention when we were at the park near to Home. It was a weekend, so Mummy wasn’t at Work. I like it when Mummy is not at Work: it means we can spend time together. It was a lovely day: bright sunshine, yellow and warm like buttered toast. A cool breeze carried the scent of seaweed and salty pebbles, tickling through the trees that made a gentle shushing sound, like the waves that I’d fallen asleep to when I was a pup. It was one of those days that tell you summer is on its way. Mummy was throwing a Ball for me to chase, using one of those plastic stick-things, and I was having a great time, like I always do with Mummy.

I didn’t notice anything unusual at first; I was too excited about our game and, to be honest, I’d never heard of Dead-People before, so I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than Mummy, in her shorts and vest top, and the bright coloured Ball on the end of the stick-thing.

Mummy’s rubbish at throwing- honestly, to say she throws like a girl is an insult to girls- but she can send it soaring when she uses the stick-thing. She’d lobbed the Ball a good distance into some long grass and I chased it in, tail wagging as I raced across the green turf. A gorgeous day, it was, and the park was full of other dogs playing, small-people riding bikes and families enjoying Picnics. I remember I was anxious to get to the Ball before some rude whipper-snapper got there first. (These young pups have no manners, and like nothing better than taunting an oldie by running off with his Toy).

Anyway, it took me a while to Find It, that long grass being full of such distracting smells (fox, cat, dog- it’s all distracting when they’re on your patch) that I almost forgot for a moment what I’d gone in there for. It happens sometimes- maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s because of all the delicious scents that beg to be investigated- but Mummy started calling me and I shook myself to remember what I went in there for. After a few minutes of snuffling around, I spotted the Ball, grabbed it in my mouth, and hot-pawed it back to where Mummy was waiting.

She was standing with a lady wearing a long coat, but she wasn’t talking to her. I guessed that Mummy had told her about me, though, because the Not-My-Mummy lady was looking down at me and smiling. I thought she might want to play- smiling people often do- so I dropped the Ball at her feet and barked encouragingly. I even did a little play-bow- bottom high, tail wagging- to show her what a Good and Clever Boy I was, but she didn’t pick the Ball up. I nudged it closer and barked again, but she only smiled and didn’t move.

Thinking back, I should have noticed it then, because there was something strange about her smile. It had too much teeth and didn’t look friendly; not like when Mummy shows her teeth and then cuddles me or gives me a Treat. That’s called a smile, and when people, especially Mummies, do it, it means I have been a Good Boy. This smile was more like the ones dogs do, which mean Go Away, or sometimes, Mine.

Her face didn’t look friendly either; her eyes were harder than stone floors and black like the TV screen when Mummy switches it off because it’s Time For Bed. Her fists were clenched but I didn’t think she was hiding any Treats in there. She stood so rigid and still that I would have thought she were a statue, except for the empty eyes that followed me as I danced before her feet.

I barked again, a bit wary this time, and Mummy bent down to pick up the Ball. As she did, she moved the air and I got a waft of the Not-My-Mummy lady’s scent. It was such a shock to my nose that instinct took over: my hackles rose and my body tensed ready to pounce. A low, menacing growl came out of nowhere; I realised it was me making that noise only because Mummy froze mid-bend and looked at me in horror.

I stopped growling but stayed in my attack position. Not-My-Mummy stood motionless, still showing her teeth but making no other threat towards me. Her coat was buttoned all the way up to the top. Mummy never wears her coat like that unless it is cold, and it wasn’t cold today. Mummy never smelt like that either. It was confusing, and scary.

“Harvey, what’s the matter with you?” said Mummy. She sounded surprised and a bit hurt; like that time when I was a puppy and I chewed one of Auntie Emma’s new shoes.

I couldn’t explain to her the violent reaction that awful stench had triggered in me: it sent alarm signals all through my body, every sense on high-alert. The Not-My-Mummy lady’s bared teeth screamed a silent warning. I didn’t like her. She smelt wrong, dangerous in a way that I didn’t understand.

I skipped sideways, never taking my eyes from Not-My-Mummy and her insane teeth. I wagged my tail, to let Mummy know I wasn’t cross with her, and she picked up the Ball with the stick-thing.

“No need to be like that,” she scolded. “If you brought the damn thing closer, I’d throw it quicker.”

She launched the Ball again. It soared over my head and my body jerked as I struggled against the urge to chase after it. I didn’t know who this other lady with the teeth was, but she smelt bad: like the things that Mummy tells me to “Leave” when we Go Walkies on the Wash. I didn’t know what this Teeth-Lady wanted either, so there was no way I was leaving Mummy here with her alone, unprotected.

“Go Fetch It, Harvey! Go on- go Find It!” Mummy encouraged. I stayed put, eyes fixed on Teeth-Lady. Mummy looked puzzled.

“Go on, Harvey- Fetch It!” She stepped forward and mimed throwing the Ball again; probably hoping that it would prompt me to start running in the right direction. As she swung the stick-thing, it passed straight through the Teeth-Lady and out the other side. I yelped in shock. The Teeth-Lady didn’t seem to notice. She kept that same strange smile fixed on her face. Confused, I growled quietly at her.

My Mummy, exasperated, gave up.

“OK, puppy, you’ve had enough for today I see.” She still called me puppy, even though I was nearly ten, which should have been embarrassing, but wasn’t. I kind of liked it, actually.

“Come on then. Time to Go Home.” She clipped on my lead and steered me in the direction the Ball had bounced. I looked over my shoulder to make sure the Teeth-Lady didn’t follow us. She didn’t, but I kept checking.

I was much happier when we had put some distance between Mummy and the horrible-smelling Teeth-Lady and, of course, I found the Ball now I could concentrate properly. Each time I looked back, she was still there, still watching, still smiling in that dangerous way, but she didn’t move any closer. I noticed she didn’t have a shadow. That was odd. My fur prickled and I shook myself to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling. I was pleased when we lost sight of her as we walked away...

Remember, you can leave a comment below. I'm always interested in what readers have to say!

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is the part where you get to join in! What did you think of today's post? Leave me a message and let me know what you think. I love reading your comments!