The Kissingtrees Chapter 1 – The present day in the Gwindul world – First 1000 words
The car pulled up on the street outside a rather large white Georgian house. One of several in the pristine coastal village of Ramsnip, on the borders of Devon and Cornwall, England.
Surrounded by ice-cream parlours, bars, restaurants, surf shops and a heave of holiday makers dressed in flip flops and Bermuda shorts, Ramsnip was a quintessential English seaside village.
“Never mind this lot Alex, they will be gone by the end of the week” said Aunt Jen. She was a tall, thin dark haired pretty woman with a pale kind face.
Alex her teenage nephew, grabbed his suitcase out of the back of the car and stepped inside the house. He felt a cool relief from the melting summer sun that had been following him all day from his home in Birmingham. He squinted as his eyes adjusted to the change of light, and when they refocussed, he was taken aback by the enormity of the entrance hall. It was big enough to fit the whole of his house in with room to spare.
Alex had only ever been to visit his aunt and uncle once before. That was when he was four years old and he no longer had memory of them.
Aunt Jen seemed to remember him all right. On the car journey from the train station to Ramsnip village, she had kept smiling at him and talking enthusiastically at length about his last visit seven years earlier. Aunt Jen talked so much that Alex had developed a ringing in his ears. It felt to him that she had been battering him with words and he was quite unsure what to do about it. He was glad of the rest when his aunt got out of the car as they stopped for petrol. Alex was not used to having conversations. It was quite disorienting that somebody was being so nice. He was not used to that either. Alex began to think he might have to get used to a lot of things.
The last 24 hours had been a very sharp learning curve for Alex Kissingtree. He had done so many things for the first time. It was a case of having too if things were going to change. He would need to continue to be brave and bold.
In the house, Aunt Jen had already walked along the entrance hall, dropped her sleeping twin girls Lucy and Emily on to a large orange couch and was already returning to the car to retrieve her bags. Alex stood uncertainly whilst his Aunt seemed so busy.
She said “Tell you what Al, let me sort these two out and then we might manage a cup of tea and a bite to eat before they wake up”. With that, she disappeared with her girls up the grand sweeping staircase.
Alex had observed the gentle attentive nature his aunt had with her young twins. She was working so hard and so fast. She never seemed to stand still for even a moment. Alex had a definite feeling that she was different from any other adult he had known. Although he had not known many, just his own mother and father, and they by contrast were lazy, selfish and horrible.
This was going be OK, Alex told himself. It quite simply had to be better than what he had been through in all his eleven years. He looked at himself in the mirror with a slowly disappearing smile. A boy lacking in confidence, he had led a sheltered life. Alex had been removed from school at the age of seven, an age when he was deemed useful enough to enter in to the “family business”. He had no brothers or sister, had no friends and was not ever allowed to leave the house unless it was to accompany his parents on errands. They were bad people and got up to all sorts of shady, strange and what Alex now realised were often illegal activities. According to them “The details need never concern him”, and for this Alex was glad.
More often, however, they would leave him locked alone in the house so that they could go to the Kicking Horse, a pub frequented by equally shady and horrible characters. They would normally wake him up when they returned home drunk, usually in the early hours demanding to be fed and be entertained. His mother would ask Alex to sing. Always strange songs that she had made up herself. Songs about darkness, evil, hate and sadness. Alex thought his singing voice seemed to be the only thing she liked about him. Alex himself, was not keen on singing and certainly did not enjoy the spectacle of singing in front of others. Especially such a critical audience. His mother criticised every note. This would always culminate in her complaining that he was “getting it all wrong” or “you ruin everything”. Then she would most dramatically burst into tears and his father would always step in to discipline him. It was a game that they always played and one that Alex did not enjoy. No matter how hard he tried he was never able to affect the usual outcome.
His father did not look at him or speak directly to him unless of course he was in a fit of rage. Then he would scream like a wailing banshee. Alex feared them both terribly. They played tricks with his mind. Usually the pair of them against him. I think it would be fair to say that he was glad when the police came to take his parents away. Both were serving long sentences at Her Majesties pleasure and it was not presently known when they might become available as his parents again, if at all.
About this story
I hope you enjoy this snippit of the Kissingtrees story, which I hope to release in due course.
Alex, Jen and Arthur all have a back story. As do the further significant characters in the book, that is all seven of Jen and Arthurs children that, along with Alex, make up the Kissingtree family. It is important for the reader to realise that a more detailed understanding of each of the main characters, can be gained by reading the backstory for each character.
As this is only a 1000 word sample of the 70,000 word book, much of what you may like to know will be revealed in the book itself.
Please select follow if you wish to be informed when the book has been released.