Here is an extract from the beginning of my book ‘The Double Act’. it might seem from this that the story is about love and romance… well there is love but no romance, and what the unexpected event which happened just before this opening scene led to was an unimaginable nightmare.
“What happened?” he asked quietly. The flush on his tanned skin was dying but his body gleamed with sweat. The only clothed part of him was his arm, still in the sleeve of his shirt, lying across his eyes.
Genet stared aghast at the man lying on the kitchen floor and because he seemed to want an answer, she tried to find one.
“We made love.” Her voice emerged as a whisper.
“No,” he sounded angry. “We committed adultery.”
“I never have before,” she was defensive.
He moved his arm and looked at her, his eyes so dark they looked black.
“What, never made love?” he sat up, frowning and began to pull on his shirt.
“Committed adultery, I mean,” and her face burned, as she became self-conscious, naked before this stranger.
“Nor have I,” he spoke softly but seemed to blame her.
She dragged her t-shirt over her head but the rest of her clothes were beneath him. He stood and stepped past her to retrieve his shorts and trousers and she scuttled for her shirt and jeans; her underwear had disappeared so she dressed without it.
He murmured something; he was looking down at the front of his shirt where there were hardly any buttons left attached.
“I’ll sew them on. My sewing things are in the sitting room.”
She crawled around the floor looking for them. They were grey and small but she found them and her underwear beneath the table and stuffed it into her pocket. He silently handed her his shirt.
She hadn’t intended her offer as an invitation, but he followed her to the small room at the front of the hotel. As she sat and swiftly sewed on the five buttons, he wandered around looking at things, pulling books from the shelf, CDs from the rack, picking up photos. She concentrated on what she was doing, trying to finish as quickly as possible, but she was aware of everything he did.
Then he was still; he was staring at the large photo above the fireplace, a picture she didn’t care for of her and Lance on their wedding day.
She murmured something and he turned to her. “Your back…” She glowed with shame. “I – well, I’m sorry, but I scratched you.”
There was suddenly a dark blotch on the grey fabric the shirt in her hands where a tear had fallen.
“Never mind.” But he couldn’t see the great raking marks, beaded with blood, down his shoulder. What on earth would his wife say?
Giving him the shirt, she fled to the cloakroom. She washed her face and hands then crept to the kitchen and began to weigh the flour to make the bread rolls for tonight. The door closed softly and without looking up, she knew he was putting on his charcoal grey jacket and tying his green and yellow tie. He stood by the table, watching her, as if waiting for her to say something. But what could she say?
He turned away but paused at the back door.
“What happened?” she asked now; she couldn’t believe it, she couldn’t have…
The door opened and he was gone.
© Lois Elsden 2018
Here is a link to The Double Act:
Don’t think ‘The Double Act’ is a romance, this may be a love story… but the other side of love is dark love.