Novel #30

Back to the novels!

As you may or not be aware, I am currently studying professional writing at TAFE (sort of Australia’s version of vocational college). When I finish the course, I’ll write about it, but let’s just say it’s going to add another piece of paper to my resume.

Anywho, I have one subject left, and it is what is called a ‘negotiated project’, where I get to pick what I want to do.

I decided to write a novel.

Three weeks later, it was done.

It’s a return to the horror-thriller genre I keep on going back to, and it is not the most brilliant piece of work.

Corporal Works Without Mercy is a 60,000 word novel that flowed out once it started. Basically, the story involves a group of teenagers who try a Satanic ritual as something to do, it seems to go wrong, and they go home. Seven years later, it comes back to  haunt them (quite literally). Using the seven Corporal Works of Mercy of Catholic belief, a demon is killing or destroying the lives of these people. Some nice gore, a couple of decent characters, and a surprisingly upbeat ending. But it is not a wonderful piece.

I have submitted it, and will look at the feedback carefully. If it looks like it could find a home after the mentors/lecturers have their say, then I may well make all the changes and give it a try. The worst that can happen is the list of rejections grows yet again.

Okay, so here’s the excerpt. And it was hard to find a decent bit. Not for the first time…



Laura sat on one of the hard plastic seats in the hospital cafeteria, drinking a foam cup of horrid, lukewarm coffee, trying very hard not to think about the reason she was in this place tonight.

She looked up as the chair on the opposite of the small table was scraped across the hard floor. Mrs Greene, Joel’s mother, sat down with her own cup, but said nothing.

“How is he?” Laura asked quietly.

“Not too good,” she said, barely controlling her emotions. “He’s conscious now, but…” She was struggling. “One of his hands is pretty badly burnt, and he’s got broken ribs. They think he might have damage to his lungs as well. He’s got a few stitches in his head, bruises everywhere. He looks…” She started to cry.

“No,” Laura said again, “how is he?”

She shook her head. “He won’t talk. When he found out that Justine didn’t… didn’t… make it… didn’t… he, well, he…” The tears really flowed down her cheeks now. “He doesn’t want any visitors. Not me, not his dad, no-one. It’s like this has killed him inside.”

Laura did not know what to say. Just one more thing to add to everything else.

She looked up, past the crying woman sitting in front of her at the glass wall of the cafeteria and the people wandering past. No-one smiled. It was just a conveyor belt of depression. A place of pain and anger and sadness.

Her eyes widened. The figure that strode past was one she knew – the long sheet of black hair, lithe figure, black clothing. Eve was here as well?

Her chest felt like a hand grasped her heart and squeezed it tight.

She had to do something. But what?

No new rejections.

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