Sunday, June 5, 2016
NEW NOVEL EXTRACT "FAMILY SKELETON" DUE SEPTEMBER 2016 UWAP After the last game everybody gathered under the oak for lemonade and cakes. Somehow, it seemed to Sissy, everybody dissolved and she was suddenly alone again with Edmund. She had longed for this, and dreaded it too. The tingling feeling of the pleasure of Edmund’s touch filled her body and seemed to spin into her brain. She had to be back in the boarding house and ready for tea by six-thirty. There was a flutter of panic in her heart. But Edmund had this time-table well figured in his brain. We are after all dealing with Edmund here. Sissy would be back in time. But first they must explore the paths that went round to the outside door, the door to the wine cellar. Edmund produced a key, and in they went. The door was dark green. It was worn and dusty. Yes, it squeaked as it opened. The interior was dark as dark can be. They briefly roamed the gloomy passageways between the rows of bottles. He showed her wines from Bordeaux that were put down when he was born, that would be opened when he turned twenty-one. He grasped a dusty old bottle of brandy and swung it by the neck. She loved the sight of him doing that. And he showed her the door of the bomb-shelter. The bomb-shelter. Who had not heard of the legendary bomb-shelter in the O’Day house? Thirty-nine steps down, down down below the cellar. ‘Do you want to see? My family had it built at the beginning of the war. Excavated underneath the cellar. It’s like a really deep grave.’ He laughed. ‘Or an Egyptian tomb. Do you – want to see?’ His voice was careless, but with more than a hint of expectation and sexual excitement. Sissy lifted her face towards him, opened her eyes wide, slightly pursed her lips while smiling shyly, and nodded. Edmund kissed Sissy ever so lightly on the cheek. He was an artist in these matters. There was a steel bar on the outside of the door, placed there because the door had a habit of swinging open at inopportune times and hitting anyone who happened to be there for one reason or another. In truth, few people ever ventured into this remote part of the wine cellar. Edmund lifted the heavy bar and swung back the door, flicked on a light, and stood aside to let Sissy go in first. There were cobwebs, and dusty concrete steps leading down to the underground shelter. Then he followed, closing the door behind them. They were beautifully sealed off from the outside world of reality. Never mind the dangers inside the cellar. It was completely freezing down there, and Edmund plugged in an old electric radiator that had a centre like a beehive. It was in fact quite effective. This was Edmund’s special place, furnished with broken chairs and a sofa, glasses and ashtrays, everything faintly grimy and covered in a veil of dust. Three gas masks, like the heads of three terrible insects, hung from a hook high up on the wall. Sissy had heard of the cellar before, but nobody had ever described it to her. The walls were covered with maps of the world, resembling in their pastel colours, maps from the Bible. Empty shelves on one wall, a few comic books lying in a heap on the floor. An old stained sink with a tap. The air was stale, there being one tiny clogged-up ventilator high up near the ceiling. ‘A drink?’ he poured them generous glasses of brandy. Sissy was unused to drinking, and so Edmund watered it down for her. She gagged a little, then got used to it. They sat on a sofa and Edmund lit them each a cigarette. Sissy was quite accustomed to smoking, as it happened. They removed their shoes, and Sissy tucked her feet, still in her socks, up under the pleats of her tennis frock. Before long, naturally, they were lying on the sofa in an embrace. The perfect buttons in their perfect buttonholes placed by the deft needle of Daphne Feeney give way to the deft fingers of Edmund O’Day. And Sissy, her head beginning to spin with the brandy, became a lovely young creature in white socks, chaste white knickers, thick white bra, gold cross on slender chain around her throat. She still dimly remembered she was supposed to be a temple of the Holy Ghost, but her will was in fact, at this stage, growing very weak indeed. The bra and knickers were gone. She had never really been a particularly devout or religious girl, and right now her body was feeling simply glorious. She wanted more and more of the feeling Edmund aroused in her. More and more. She hardly even knew that Edmund was naked, then in a flash Edmund’s fingers were inside her, and the feeling was one of almost unbearable pleasure. He was above her. He took her hand and placed it on himself and she began to stroke him, quite softly, and he obviously liked that a lot. She was by now drifting in a little ecstasy of astonishment. He grinned and then he said quietly in her ear, ‘Turn over,’ and he gently rolled her onto her front. Her backside, remember, was one of her greatest attractions. ‘Kneel up,’ he whispered and then he pushed himself into her from behind, and in a few miraculous seconds of wonderfully sharp pain and a blissful flood of unknown warmth it was all over – with Sissy flat on her face on the sofa and Edmund lolling back, stretching out full length, obedient to cliché, lighting two cigarettes. If he, in those few minutes, hurt her, the pain was the pain of high pleasure. He took a long draw and exhaled, throwing back his head as he did so. Then he turned Sissy’s face towards him, kissed her lightly on both cheeks, and put the second cigarette between her lips. ‘There,’ he said. Then, ‘Oh-oh, there’s a bit of the old blood.’ He handed her a grubby towel. Cecilia stared in a kind of dumb horror at the sight of her own blood on the towel. She stared and stared. She was in fact beginning to feel ill. ‘It’s OK, it’s normal you know,’ Edmund said. Is it? Is this normal? Nothing was normal. Everything was shifting and spinning slowly. Sissy knew very little about the facts of life. ‘Here, have some water,’ and he handed her a glass of water that was still tainted with the brandy. There she was, a convent girl naked except for her socks and her gold cross, bleeding a little, sitting on an old leather sofa deep underground in a bomb-shelter, gulping down water from a dirty glass. Where to from here, Cecelia?