My first published novel, now titled Taken In, will be available in November. I am currently checking proofs and making minor adjustments.
It is an adventure and crime story set on a large cruise ship traveling from Malaysia and Singapore towards Australia, and relates the trials of an accidental stowaway and the friends he makes among the staff and crew. I will post links to the book once it is available.
A shorter story set on a cruise ship:
The Flash Fiction piece below (300 words) did well in a competition. I hope you enjoy it.
Some Enchanted Evening
My left hand stretched to the closing lift doors, Nancy’s evening bag glittering in my right. Fat, bile green fingers shot out, gripped my cuff-linked wrist and pulled me in through converging panels. I gazed up at the rotund, tunic-clad ogre, unsure whether to thank him. Shrek’s trumpet ears brushed the recessed lights.
‘You’re welcome,’ he boomed, Scottish accent just as expected, and the irony.
‘Yeah, thanks,’ I muttered, ‘Had to go back for this.’ Instead of descending towards the cocktail lounge, where Nancy waited in diminutive plan view through the glass walls, we rose towards deck ten. I pulled out my phone to text her.
‘Wifi. Could I borrow that?’ I didn’t see how those fat fingers could work the keys, but he was pulling off his broad spongy headpiece with an exposed pale hand, copper hair plastered to a sweaty pink head. He pressed a combination of lift buttons and we stopped between decks. ‘My girlfriend’s pregnant, back in Glasgow, started to bleed yesterday. Can’t get on the staff internet tonight. Need to check if she’s okay.’
Scotland from the Caribbean. ‘Phone call?’
‘Nah. Facebook’d do.’ He was twitching inside the foam suit, eyes urgent, watery.
‘Of course.’ I passed him the phone, ‘Early hours, there.’
‘She’ll not be sleeping much. She’ll check.’
He worked at the phone, leant against the chromed rail. I couldn’t see Nancy’s head now, just other tuxedos, evening dresses. I recalled another February miscarriage. The message on a slip of paper, running for a payphone, the trembling fear. Grandchildren anchor our lives.
‘Hang on to it for the reply. We’re on table four – the waiter can bring it back.’
He nodded thanks, delivered me to deck five.
With the gateau Vladimir brought my phone. It radiated a screenful of beaming smileys.
Will Ingrams, 9th October 2017