Welcoming LADY BAG
November 24, 2013Here’s another small taster from LADY BAG. Our heroine and her rescue greyhound, Electra, have just seen her ex-lover with another woman outside the National Portrait Gallery.
I Follow The Devil And His Doxy
I saw him but he didn’t see me. He was with a woman, of course. She was a few years older, of course. Not beautiful but well constructed and carefully dressed. Of course. And of course he was charming and attentive. Of course, of course, of course.
I could smell his soap, his shampoo and moisturiser, his laundered shirt. So clean, so fresh and so inhuman. However close I came to him I could never smell his body. The Devil leaves no scent. Maybe that should’ve tipped me off.
I stood for a second, stunned, and wondering if Electra could catch a whiff of Gram Attwood. Maybe that is a dog’s superpower – distinguishing between the merely evil and the Devil by smell alone. But she stood patiently, waiting for me to move on. Dogs are sweet creatures who know nothing about evil so maybe they won’t recognise the Devil when they see him.
Gram Attwood walked across Trafalgar Square towards Haymarket without a flicker of recognition. His right hand lightly grasped his companion’s elbow. His touch was intimate, the touch of ownership. Maybe he paid for something. He’d certainly gone up in the world since I knew him. When I knew him I paid for everything – including the price of his freedom.
‘Come on,’ I said to Electra, and we followed the Devil.
The woman parted from him outside a theatre. She kissed him on the mouth, laughing and lingering a little. His smile was a work of art. I’m so interested, his smile said. Fascinated. Treat me right and I might just love you.
I was in the dock the last time I saw that smile and I did treat him right. I did exactly what he asked of me. Or rather it was what I didn’t do that was important. And you could write a hundred books about what I didn’t say. When I finally realised that he was never going to visit me, that he’d left me inside to rot, I understood what hatred actually is. Hatred is love with maggots gnawing at its living flesh. It’s love turned inside out, its guts and soft places exposed to the maggots and the acid rain.
That’s what I learned in prison. Pretty, eh?
I notice that Amazon is already offering the paperback for sale – even though I have not yet seen a proof copy. Don't ask, I know nothing and understand less.
The photo should have been of me raising a glass to toast the future of the new novel. But a glass is inappropriate for Lady Bag – It had to be the whole bottle or nothing. So I sacrificed myself to the need for plausibility. I'll write again when the headache goes away.
Winter’s greetings. Liza