I’m in the final stages of writing my Radwinter novel, and I guess it might be the same for all creative activities, that you become so mentally engaged in them that at night they invade your dreams.
Thomas saves his life with the help of a plastic reindeer… here’s a sneak preview to the scene, just remember that this is a first draft so I apologise for any errors:
The woman who had been arguing with Kylie was still by the Christmas tree but now she was with a tall white man with a shaven head and what I thought was a scar or birth-mark but was actually a tattoo under his left eye. The man had hold of the woman’s arm and was shouting into her face. There was no doubt that she was terrified by his aggression, and the shoppers and passers-by were scurrying round them, staring, fascinated. The man was taller than her and leaning down intimidatingly. He shook her and then to my horror he slapped her.
No-one did anything, I looked round for a security guard or someone to ask to help, but everyone was ignoring them, despite surreptitiously staring as they rushed by.
“Excuse me,” I called hurrying over. “Excuse me!”
The man glanced up. “Fuck off!”
“Excuse me, I wonder if you could direct me to the promenade?”
He looked baffled and told me to fuck off again.
“You see, I want to go to the promenade and I wonder if you tell me which exit I should leave by? There is one over there to the bus station, would that be best do you think?”
“What you chattin’, man?” he was genuinely baffled. He had stopped leaning over the woman and I was mentally imploring her to just go.
“There’s another exit over there,” I waved my hand at random. “And then I could go out through Tesco’s but I might be in the wrong place… what do you suggest?”
He was beginning to get angry with me, which was better than him getting angry at the woman or hitting her again. “You fuckin off your head mate!”
The woman wrenched her arm free from him and tried to get away; he lurched at her but I pushed her away.
“The promenade? Where’s the promenade?” I asked desperately, not looking at the woman.
His eyes were bulging with rage, he had a long lean face and shaved eyebrows and the weird tattoo under his eye.
“You taking the piss? You fuckin’ takin’ the piss?” he shouted. I was terrified.
He tried to grab at the woman again, who to my annoyance and concern was still there. I stepped between them and he punched me in the face.
I reeled backwards and tripped and sat down with a thump, knocking over a large model reindeer. I glanced around, the woman thank God had disappeared. The man was yelling at me now, waving his arms… he was either on something or mad, there were veins throbbing on his temples, froth at the corners of his mouth and if his eyes bulged any more they would start completely from his head.
He looked as if he could kill me and I scrambled to my feet with the aid of the reindeer. The next thing is like a dream… I can’t really believe it was happening because he pulled out a gun… this does not happen in real life, but a maniac, almost drooling with fury was pointing a gun at me.
I threw the reindeer at him and somehow the antlers caught his legs and the prancing back legs hit his face and he went over backwards into the Christmas tree and I got up and just ran…
Last night I dreamt the plastic reindeer was in our back garden and had brought some donkeys with him…