There was a noise upstairs…

Here is an extract from my novel ‘The Double Act’…

Genet is alone at home in the hotel she and her husband Lance own; the guests, a group of architects on a conference are all out for the night and she sits alone, pondering on the strange turn her life has taken. Unbeknownst to Lance, she is pregnant…

The storm didn’t break; there was the occasional flash of lightning and a groan of thunder but apart from the occasional flurry of large rain drops, nothing happened. Genet thought irresistibly of the evening of her parents-in-law’s party. They were still away, if only they would return maybe some balance could be restored with Lance, maybe she could at least talk to him.

She sat for a while in the sun room then restlessly she went back to the sitting room and lay on the settee to watch television. It was mind-numbing and she closed her eyes. She woke to silence, the TV and reading lamp were off, there was another power cut. The police had said there hadn’t been a power failure last time but she knew she was right, the flashing digital display had proved it.

There was a noise upstairs, maybe one of the architects had returned and was blundering about in the dark. The noise came again, as if someone was lifting something and dropping it and Genet went into the hall.

“Hello? Lance? Hello?”

In case there was a confused architect trying to find his way Genet hurried upstairs even though there was no sound of anything now. She called out again and knocked on the doors of the bedrooms. Nothing. She stood at the landing window, staring down into the dark garden. The lights were on in the bungalow. The night was strangely peaceful now, the wind had dropped, there was no sound of the sea or the trees rustling. Silence. Thinking of a cup of tea and a peanut butter and banana sandwich, she turned back to the staircase.

And then out of nowhere there was something behind her and she was shoved violently. She grabbed at the banister but missed as she tumbled headfirst, trying to save herself, arms and legs flailing wildly as she fell. She landed with a crash at the bottom and lay stunned on her back, one leg still upon the stairs.

Something blacker than the dark was descending swiftly towards her and she tried to cry out but was too winded and then whatever it was leapt and almost flew over her and was gone.

She tried to move her arms.  My baby, my baby... She could make no noise, no sound, she couldn’t move. Oh my baby, oh, oh… She moved one arm and wrapped it across her belly. Everything was muzzy, she was dizzy and faint, all she could think of was her tiny child.

She was blinded by light as the power came on and the television was blaring again through the open door. Her other arm came back to life and she was able to move it and as she did so her body was flooded with agony, pain from too many sources to identify what hurt most or where most damage was. She was drifting in and out of awareness, was there a voice, was someone speaking?

© Lois Elsden 2018

Easthope is a quiet, slightly old-fashioned seaside town; nothing ever seems to happen, and Genet McCauley and her friends lead lives almost unchanged since they left school. Genet, married to mercurial Lance and running their small hotel, sometimes feels trapped and often feels bored, but she loves Lance and in most ways is content. Their friends call them the great double act; Genet without Lance? Lance without Genet? Impossible!
But then the McCauleys take on new tenants in a bungalow they own; is it a coincidence that as the enigmatic Dr Herrick and his disabled wife arrive in the small town, a series of acts of vandalism and arson is committed? At first they are, small, petty events, which seem to centre on the group of friends; however, before long they escalate to violence and attempted murder.
When the Herricks come to Easthope, Genet’s life and that of those closest to her, changes for ever. Don’t think ‘The Double Act’ is a romance, this may be a love story… but the other side of love is dark love.

Here is a link to The Double Act:

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