Book extract

And here is the book extract from All for Socks, available in just over a month from Amazon, Waterstones and other book places!   I have chosen only a few pages to wet the appetite mainly because a blog running on and on can really be a put off. I hope you enjoy!


Chapter One

To Fix It


“YES, STAY.” The words spread through the mist of the dream, slicing it in two.


Thomas opened his eyes. The room was dark except for a strip of light cast from the slightly open door. He could hear his mother arguing on the phone, no doubt with Dad. They always argued, even now, so far away from home.

He pictured an army marching across the ceiling, descending the shelving, scaling books and videos, carrying the flag to claim this land.

They had moved here a few weeks before, once his mother had found a job away from Dad. She said it would be more fun here, a better life, but it wasn’t. No one spoke to him at the new school and his only enjoyment was watching the trains pass by during class. He ate his school lunch by himself, attended the classes, and then went home for tea. Mum would ask how the day went and he would lie, telling her that he had met a new friend that day; that they had played football and everything was fine. Then he would climb the stairs of doom, slowly ascending using a piece of string tied to a hanger as a grapple, until he gained access to his impenetrable fortress at the top. Leaving the door slightly ajar just in case-you never knew what evil might be lurking in the darkened corners-he picked up his toy sheriff and imagined the desert spread across his bed. And every night, at seven, the phone would ring, Mother would answer and the arguing would begin.

A new home, a new life, in a new town.

The army climbed down to the third shelf, the flag shuffled from soldier to soldier to the head of the column as they all …

He closed his eyes again and rolled to face the window. The arguing was growing louder. No doubt the phone would soon be thumped down and Mum would storm upstairs and slam her door.

He waited. He had not told her about the teddy his father had given him before they left. He dared not speak to her of something that might remind her of Dad. He had carried the teddy everywhere with him over the past few weeks, apart from when he was at school. His sidekick in his elevation to the impenetrable fortress and adventurer across the bleak desert of the bed.

He had searched everywhere, but it was lost.

He especially did not want to tell her about the socks.

He did not know where they were going. He had searched everywhere, yet they were nowhere to be found. There were but a few odd socks and one full pair left now, and he had positioned them carefully in the centre of the floor in a small heap so that he could keep an eye on them from his bed. He fixed his gaze on them now. A solitary pair of socks left alone and watched in the middle of his room.

He heard the ticks of the clock and his breathing as he watched, his eyes peeking through a small gap in his quilt, keeping himself wrapped up more for protection than warmth.

The noise from below grew increasingly louder as the shouting became more intense.

The clock’s tick seemed to grow louder with the noise from below.

The clock’s hand struck one. Then … Nothing.

Thomas waited.

Still nothing.

There was no noise from downstairs, no noise from anywhere. As if time had just given up and all that could be heard was Thomas’s breath and his heart, pounding.

Thump, thump.

Suddenly a sound erupted around the room, like a thousand crickets chirping from under the bed. Darkness spread from the veil, a blanket covering everything from the bed outward and, as it did, the sound of the crickets grew and grew. Thomas crawled to the edge of the mattress, eyes wide with fright, his heart thumping louder and louder, almost, but not quite muffling the sound.

Thump, thump.

Moving even closer to the side of the mattress, he slowly turned to see what was causing the strange noise. Why wasn’t his mother running up the stairs? Why couldn’t he hear her voice, the clock’s ticks, anything other than his loud heartbeat and the crickets?

The hanging sheet of the bed moved, a breeze drifting over it, as the darkness spread across the floorboards. He moved carefully, so as not to make any noise, creeping towards the edge. Every second his heart beat was another inch. Slowly he crept onward to gain a peek at that ghostly presence across his floor. As he finally reached the border of the mattress the darkness had spread to the centre of the room and a hand of pure black formed at its peak, opened its grasp to touch the sock mound, grabbed the last full pair of socks and pulled them back under the bed.

Thomas was transfixed with terror as the darkness withdrew towards the gap between the blanket and the floor. Suddenly the clock ticked again and his mother’s voice, louder than the crickets, louder than his own racing heart, could be heard shouting into the phone downstairs.

A new home, a new life, in a new town.

He would fix it. All of it.


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