When life imitates fiction II

screws

There’s nothing holding the plane together and Leslie Nielsen is in the next seat. What now?

“ … WHILE the stewardesses were dishing out the meals, I had seized the opportunity to get a sneaky peek at Mister Nielsen. However, the waft of musk emanating from the scarved bosom of the overgrown Girl Guide leaning into him must have been having an effect, for his head was mesmerised into a permanent tilt and I was unable to get as much as a profile …”

Extract from ‘The Nielsen Effect’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. More info here.

When life imitates fiction I

The evening started so well. Like a fairytale it was …

“… I LEGGED it at the next stop … Giving nothing away until the last possible moment, I attached myself to a small group of people in order to make my escape. Even as I dashed along the platform, I took a backward glance, only to see my watchers lumbering in my wake. Off came the shoes …”

Extract from ‘The Prince and the Sgitheanach’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. More info here.

How to confound a serial killer …

A zipped up the back young woman arrives in Paris late at night only to be confronted with her worst nightmare …

“… I LAID it on thick with as much Teuchter bullshit as I could possibly muster. The Loch Ness Monster, wild haggis as an endangered species, haunted castles, anything I could think of to tie up his thought processes … If I could keep going, he might get bored and leave. I knew that he knew that I was talking out of my backside but I was having a great time, drunk on the idea that I was turning the tables on a would-be serial killer …”

Extract from ‘Tailed’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. More info here.

The Performance

A heady cocktail of past lives and a vivid imagination …

“… I AM hearing a voice from above me. I turn my attention towards it and see a host of other people, not doctors, not nurses, begging me to come with them … The walls and ceiling dissolve into the sky and everywhere is infused with light. The light is getting brighter and brighter until finally I can see nothing but pure white. Then nothing. All is dark now …”

Extract from ‘The Performance’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. More info here.

Close Call: Short and Bittersweet (my first literary review!)

“Close Call: Short and Bittersweet is a great title for a memorable book. It is an autobiography in the form of short stories … the first three are based on her family’s south Skye stories from the first half of the 20th century and actually pre-date [her] own life … taken together this string of pearls offers fragments of a Skye woman’s background and then her journey through the second half of that century.

One of the beauties of M K MacInnes’ Close Call is its fusion between fact and fantasy and the manner in which that fusion alters over the decades …

Her later experiences in France and elsewhere are told by M K MacInnes deftly and with a sophisticated sense of plot which, as she acknowledges, she owes to her Skye family background. The two most striking stories in the collection, ‘Port Wine’ and ‘Recto Verso’ are shifted between time and place with the confidence of an experienced narrator.”

Full feature here.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the West Highland Free Press. Many thanks to Roger Hutchinson, award-winning author of Calum’s Road and The Silent Weaver.  

Weejie

Five curious students that should have known better perform a séance. It seemed like a good idea at the time …

“… I LOOKED for the tell-tale signs of white on the end of someone’s fingernails but there were none … [The glass] darted from letter to letter, spelling out words that did not make sense. [It] moved with such ferocity, that I could feel the centrifugal force of it being pulled from under my fingers. With each successive direction it took, it followed lines that were so straight, and ninety-degree turns so sharp, that none of us could have been the cause … When the speed reached a level at which none of us were able to keep up, we all broke contact at the same moment and screamed …”

Extract from ‘Weejie’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. Available now as ebook and paperback on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

The Undertaking

The aftermath of a funeral is the setting for an encounter with the supernatural. Appearances can be deceiving …

“I had already returned to my home town by bus by the time the fancy Hearse arrived from Glasgow … In the first few moments of being introduced to the young undertaker and melting at the mild trace of a Slavic accent, I had decided I was head over heels. Smitten. Gaga. Arse over tit …”

Extract from ‘The Undertaking’ from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes. Available now as ebook and paperback on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Port Wine

Granny’s acting awfy suspicious-like. Why on earth would she want to harm her newborn grandchild?

“… [THE woman] quietly turned the handle and crept towards the little cot that had been placed beside [the] bed. There she found the infant loosely wrapped in layers of swaddling blankets, a tiny set of fingers poking out the top … A nurse entered the room only to find an old woman dangling the newborn like a plucked chicken. When she cried out “Unhand that child immediately!”, the speechless old lady handed the infant to the nurse, then escaped through the door and down the corridor before anybody had a chance to stop her. The child’s mother had just woken up and asked what the hell was going on …”

extract from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes, available via Amazon 13 April 2015 More details here.

Terminus

THE Abortion Act has not long been passed. An unmarried pregnant woman is railroaded into terminating her pregnancy due to mental illness. If her doctor has his way, she will be among the first in the Highlands …

“ … THERE was no sense of dread, only a knowledge that she didn’t want to be here. Somewhere in the back of [the woman’s] mind flickered a notion that she was supposed to feel something, but she felt nothing. Instead, the last moments of her journey to oblivion were occupied by an image of bright white walls and lace curtains – and the clock that her GP had forgotten to put forward …”

extract from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes, available via Amazon 13 April 2015 More details here.

As the Crow Flies

What has Iain been up to? The Old Man has his ways of getting to the truth of the sins of the son …

“… THE MAN slammed his brakes, veering to the other side of the road to avoid lurching forward and flying through the windscreen … When the car finally screeched to a halt, he sat for what seemed to him an eternity, his fingers and forehead glued to the upper rim of the steering wheel. It was only when he lifted his head that he realised he had no idea which direction he was facing. Whatever that thing was, it had pulled up and over the vehicle just in time …”

extract from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes, available via Amazon 13 April 2015 More info here.