The first page…

I set a challenge on my Facebook page that if we could get 100 likes, I would post a paragraph of my next book Crimson Dawn.

Well, talk about being overwhelmed with ‘likes’!

At last count, we were nearly at 160! So, to make it worth your while, I’ve decided to post the whole first page.

This is for Crimson Dawn, the book which is due out next year, not Silver Clouds, which is due in APRIL of this year. As we get closer to to the Silver Clouds release, I’ll post the whole first chapter. Please note this is copywrite.

But for now, here’s Crimson Dawn:

(c) Fleur McDonald – Voice of the Outback

Chapter One

Nambina, 1937

Thomas breathed heavily against the cold air, which snuck into the enclosed verandah, between the glass louvers. He gently rubbed the spot on his cheek where, only hours before, his father had smashed his fist.

Now, the man who was supposed love, guide and support his children, lay across the sun lounge, his mouth wide open and large belly shuddering with each alcohol-infused breath. A pig-like snort came from his nose.

He glanced around the room again, one old and nearly dead pot plant sat underneath the window and the screen door, which did nothing to guard against the freezing air and sleet, was slightly ajar. Thomas loved that plant. It was the only things his father hadn’t destroyed when his mother left, and Thomas had done his best to keep them lush and green. He hadn’t done a very good job.

As Thomas checked his rucksack again, Ernest rolled over, falling off the couch and onto the floor. The snoring stopped for a moment and so did Thomas, terrified.

Then it started again. Even louder than before.

Thomas closed his eyes briefly and did a hurried inventory of what he had grabbed from the room he shared with his brother. He was taking very little, but not because he was travelling light. It was because there really wasn’t much to take. Just a few clothes, some food from the pantry and the chain his mother had given him. It was wrapped up tightly, right at the bottom of the bag.

Thomas glanced again at the lump of a man he called ‘Dad’ and knew he wouldn’t move any time soon. This scene had played out many times before. Watching his father, Thomas felt sick with hatred; it made him tremble, made his stomach roil, made him want to put a pillow over that ugly, bearded face and put a stop to everything. He shook himself. There was no place for those sorts of thoughts.

Placing the bag on the floor, behind a pot plant where in wouldn’t be seen, if Ernest did wake, he knew this was it. There was no time left. He went into the bedroom, where Howie was asleep on a thin mattress. Leaving his younger brother was the only regret; with just a year between them, Thomas knew it might simply be a matter of time before Howie made the same decision as he had made tonight. (c) Fleur McDonald – Voice of the Outback 2013

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