Today is the penultimate day of my blog tour, and I'm thrilled to be passing time with Polar Night author Julie Flanders. Do you want to see where I write? Visit Julie to take a peek at my writing space.
Today's teaser comes from the seventh story in Passing Time, Eating Mr. Bone.
When I entered the room, a female colleague let out a gasp and hurried away.
Something was wrong, and that something made itself clear the moment I gazed upon my reflection in the mirror. Gone was my silver-white hair. Instead a dull, lifeless mat of grey had replaced it. My eyes were cloudy and lacked their usual vibrancy, and like Hilary, small mottled patches had appeared on my neck and face. I turned my attention to my hands, and they too had taken on this new hideous complexion. It seemed I had aged twenty years in just one morning.
And there was the same smell of rotting food.
I turned away from the mirror and thought of one person–Mr. Bone. Was this his final gift to me–a perverse present for my retirement? I decided he would not be allowed to get away with it. He’d taken enough from me over the last fifty years. I’d done as he’d instructed, working under his rules and those of his father before him since leaving school. No longer.
It was early afternoon and Mr. Bone was a creature of habit. He would be cleaning the show coffins for the afternoon’s appointments.
I entered the show room with its dozen display models. Mr. Bone was hunched over his favourite, the deluxe mahogany coffin, thumping his fist to his abdomen in repeated movements. I walked up to him, prepared to spew a torrent of pent-up emotion in his direction, but as he turned towards me he pointed to his throat. His face was scarlet and his lips blue, and I realised from the rasping sounds he emitted, he was choking. He reached out his arms towards me, begging me to save him.
I admit I was tempted to leave him to suffocate, but the desire was beaten by an overwhelming urge to use the Heimlich Manoeuvre–I did not need a first-aid course to teach me such a simple first-aid technique.
Stepping behind him, I placed both arms around his torso and clasped them together before pulling inward and upward with as much force as I could maintain. His breath crackled as the object obstructing his airway moved and then flew out of his mouth. He began gasping mouthfuls of air, but I continued the Heimlich Manoeuvre. I could not stop.
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Win one of two $25.00 (£15) Amazon gift cards and a character named after you in my upcoming science fiction collection, Taking Time.
Here are a couple of tweet suggestions:
Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre
Like horror stories? Try Passing Time
I will be back tomorrow, when I'll be sharing a teaser from Land of the Free and answering the question 'Where's the science fiction?' over at E.J. Wesley's super-cool blog. Happy Writing.