‘A Sinister Six’ will be available to pre-order in the next few days, so what better place for today’s Fragment Friday excerpt to come from, than one of the stories in the collection.
Today, I would like to share a part of one of my favourite stories, the one that has received the highest praise from my Beta-readers. It is called ‘A Snap of he Fingers.’ The protagonist is a young boy by the name of SETH, who is offered a choice which will decide the fate of his dying mother, but it will also change Seth’s life forever.
Here’s the excerpt:
“Did the doctor tell you how long your mum had left?”
“No.” He looked down at his lap. “It’s not long though. Did you see her? She looks bad.” He began to cry again.
Red shuffled closer to Seth until their shoulders were touching. He smelled faintly of antiseptic, like Seth had smelled in his mum’s room. It reminded him of the toilets at school after they had been cleaned. Red looked around before he spoke. He leaned over and put his lips close to Seth’s ear.
“Can I tell you a secret?” He spoke in a whisper. Seth felt the breath on his cheeks and could smell his breath. Whatever he had eaten for dinner couldn’t have been very nice. A mint wouldn’t go amiss thought Seth.
“Your mum has two days at most. Maybe three.”
“You don’t know that!” Seth slid along the wall away from Red. “You’re not a doctor.”
“No, I’m not. You got that right, partner.”
Seth got to his feet. His parents had told him not to talk to strangers. This was a hospital, and this man had a uniform on, but he was definitely strange. He decided it was time to find his dad, and he moved towards the door.
“I can help your mum, Seth.” Red remained seated. Seth stopped and turned around. “If you want that, that is.”
“What can you do? You said you weren’t a doctor.”
“Nope. Not a doctor.” He paused briefly before standing up. “But I can help your mum.”
Red held out both hands and smiled. “Cure her. Simple as that.” He placed both hands behind his back.
“Well, why can’t the others do it? Can’t you tell them what to do?” Seth was only ten, but he was a bright ten. This didn’t ring true. He began to back away towards the door.
“I can do things they can’t. That’s it.” He flashed his smile again.
“Ok. Do it, then. Cure my mum.”
“Well, about that,” He took a step towards Seth and bent forward until their eyes were level. “I need you to do something for me in return.”
“I want you to listen to what I’m asking Seth. I want you to be clear on what you need to do for me. This isn’t something I ask of everyone, and it isn’t something that you have to do.”
“What if I don’t want to do it?”
“A good question.” Red straightened up and took a step back from Seth and spread his arms again, smiling. “Nothing. That’s what happens. Nothing at all. You continue living your life, your mum continues living hers.” The smile vanished as quickly as it had come. “Well, the two days she has left, anyway.”
I think that’s enough from young Seth. If I’m not careful, I’ll spoil the whole thing for you!
If you like what you have heard from ‘A Snap of the Fingers,’ please go ahead and share, share, share!
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What is your opinion of the cover?