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.
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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
The house has a little secret. What is Roddy not telling his wife?
“… MR MCDIARMID was just polishing off the last spoonful of cream from his plate when the light and soft quiet emanating from the window was interrupted by a dark shadow and a loud flutter … By the time Morag returned from the kitchen with a neat tray of teacups and a freshly made pot of tea, Mister McDiarmid was out of his seat, Iain’s arms locked around his waist …”
extract from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes, available via Amazon 13 April 2015 More details here.
IN THE wake of the Great War, a young Skye man experiences an inexplicable occurrence that leaves everyone with their heads scratching and his mother climbing the walls. It is an event that that will change the course of his life forever.
“… NOT EVEN the sight of Beinn na Cailleach and the Coolin mountains in a cloudless sky could soothe [the young man’s] anxiety over what the future might hold. During his eleven-mile journey from his mother Marsali’s house in Heaste, he had already narrowly avoided being clipped by a motor car in Broadford … Now approaching the abandoned churchyard, he was greeted by the sight of Blaven towering over the softer rolling Kilbride terrain. Knowing full well how distracted he was, Roderick pedalled his bicycle slowly to avoid any further mishaps …”
extract from Close Call: Short and Bittersweet by M K MacInnes, available via Amazon 13 April 2015