E is for Execution

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Do you like creepy stories? This one’s for you. I promised no spoilers so I can’t tell you the end, but you’ll love it! That’s if you love that sort of ending, of course. I’ll just let on that it gave me the shivers good and proper. Prepare yourself for a shock!

Naturally, I was reminded of Sir T. Not everyone believes me when I say that in a former life I was Thomas More – in fact Curtis himself was highly sceptical. ‘But how do you know, Smith?’ he asked. ‘Does he text you, or what?’ He’s a sarky blighter at times. I didn’t deign to reply.

Well, obviously it’s not written on my birth certificate, which I don’t have anyway, not being a pedigree – none of those airs and graces for me. But how else could I have risen to be Lord High Clawncellor of Taunton? Besides, my mother once told me that whenever she got tired of playing tag with me, I used to shout ‘More! More!’ This was in the garden of the local dentist. Whose name, by a strange coincidence, was Mr. Thomas. So there, Curtis Curmudgeon.

Of course, there’s one important difference between Sir Thomas and me. He was a Catholic whereas I am pure Cat – nothing holic about me at all. And I wouldn’t have gone and got myself executed just because I didn’t agree with the King.

But I digress. Here’s a taste of Dicky, Nicola Hamilton’s story in Cat Tales, the anthology drawn from last year’s Book a Break short story competition.

That was it! The killer was in his garden, he knew it. He leapt up, checked the door was locked and drew the curtains behind him, panting for breath. He felt his heart flutter again and a sense of doom washed over him. He couldn’t breathe. He was thinking about breathing—now a conscious effort. In. Out. In. He pumped his lungs full of air, worried that any minute he’d forget to take a breath and on Sunday he’d be found blue on the floor, lifeless. Dead. As dead as Diane.

The smell of meat and pastry wafting from the kitchen caught him just in time, which both roused and calmed him. Dinner was nearly ready. He turned his back on what was outside, walked into the kitchen and set his knife and fork neatly on a tray.  He picked up the phone and in a quiet, watery voice, said, ‘Hello?’

There’s spookiness for you. And the ending, as I said, was enough to make my fur stand on end. From what Curtis tells me, Nicola’s a bubbly, fun-loving woman who lives in a tranquil village in Warwickshire. But I think she has the true writer’s gift of seeing beyond appearances and into the secret darkness that lies beneath. Where does the execution come into it? Aha! That would be telling! (See? I’m sticking to my word about the spoilers.)

The proceeds from Cat Tales go to two charities, Cats Protection and the Against Malaria Foundation. So please don’t hesitate to spread the word and help us raise all we can. And of course, if you click on the button, you can read Nicola’s story and find out about that chilling execution yourself.

In a special promotion deal, the price of Cat Tales is just $1.99 for the whole month of April. Available as a PDF (or epub / mobi) complete with colour illustrations directly from this site* by clicking the button below. Also available in print (black & white, $9.50).

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*Buying from this site results in $1.61 after the PayPal commission, as opposed to just $0.70 when buying from Amazon. An insecticide treated mosquito net, which protects on average 2 people for 3 to 4 years, costs $2.50. PLUS, if you buy from this site, you’ll get a personal message of thanks from Curtis along with a short story of his own (in which Nibbles the cat, I’m sorry to say, comes to a rather unfortunate end).

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