Wednesday, January 4, 2017

To Bait a Mouse

Happy New Year's! For my fellow Sherlockians, anyone else's reaction to the new series best summed up as 'fucking hell'? Anyone else freakishly excited for the next episode? Oh, brief, yet so bright, a comet of television...right up to the cliffhangers. Ouch.
As promised, a teaser. This is what started the whole book-I don't remember where the hell it came from (and it used to be in first person), but no matter. Here you go.
It’s threatening rain. The air is sticky, the clouds low. In the distance, she can see dull flashes.

The storm will be bad.

She is sitting outside the church. Her parents made her stay here-they were acting odd. She doesn’t know why. They promised they wouldn’t be long, but…


Six-year-old Cristyn Darke flinches and draws back against the building, eyes fixed on the horizon. Why won’t they hurry?

There’s another flash and a bone-shaking BOOM. No. She can’t stay out here. She’ll just slip inside and wait by the door.

The church door creaks but nobody looks at her. They’re too busy murmuring amongst themselves, their voices a low drone in the echoing building. Normally the cool air is comforting after the humidity, but today it feels different. Like the chills she gets when Mama tells her a ghost story.


The inside is different, too. At the front, where the minister usually stands, is a rope. It’s been thrown over one of the rafters and one end is knotted into a loop that swings lazily from side to side.

Next to the rope are three people. The butcher, the baker, and Christopher-everyone calls him Kit-Bishop. The butcher and the baker are standing on either side of Kit, whose hands are bound behind his back. He looks sick, scared.

What are they doing?

The minister nods and Kit suddenly speaks, his voice high and panicked.

“No, please, I’m innocent! Please!”

Innocent of what?

The rope is placed around his neck and the butcher takes the other end. With one quick jerk, Kit is pulled off his feet, choking and coughing.

He gets his hands free and clutches at the rope above his head, struggling to pull himself up. Somebody-Cristyn can’t see who-picks up a gun and levels it. Kit has time to shout, “Please!”

There is a gunshot and he silences. For a minute there’s coughing, choking, but she can’t see anything because of the smoke.

When the smoke clears, Kit’s body is swinging limply at the end of the rope.