Today I’d like to give you an excerpt from my novel, Meridian, which will be out on Amazon books and Amazon Kindle in a couple of weeks, but first a description:
Mairin, a former WWI nurse married to a wealthy and dangerous man, embarks on a reckless love affair with a social outcast. During the course of their affair, she tells the following story: A father on a spiritual quest of his own abandons his daughter to the negligent care of wealthy relatives. Returning to England he tries to orchestrate a comfortable marriage for her despite her intention to become a painter. In an act of rebellion she joins the war effort.
Deeply traumatized by her experiences as a nurse in France and the deaths of her family in the influenza epidemic of 1919, she finds herself penniless and friendless in the libertine post-war era. Attempting to quiet her demons she falls into frenzied sexual promiscuity until she meets an unforgiving and powerful man. However she finds that her past will continue to haunt her until she can finally put it to rest.
A story of sexual obsession, religious mania, power and betrayal, Meridian follows one woman as she overcomes her blighted family history to experience enlightenment and ultimate forgiveness.
Mairin is lying near a pool of water. She doesn’t know how she
has gotten there. A cherub spits a trail of water at her. She
looks up at a Baroque painted ceiling and recognizes the image
of Chronos swallowing his young. She laughs. A hand holds out a
glass of champagne, and she gulps it down.
‘Quite a party.’
The voice hurts her head. It seems to be coming from the direction
of a silvery man. She struggles to sit up. Her dress has bunched
up around her waist.
‘Darling,’ it is not addressed at her, ‘what’s this, a straggler?’
‘Shhhh.’ The silvery man turns up his face, and a thin young
man with pomaded hair kisses him.
‘Shall I have it thrown out?’
‘No,’ the silvery man says. He arranges her dress and picks her
‘She looks heavy,’ the young man sniffs.
She’s carried upstairs and deposited on large bed with a red
silk cover. The silvery man wipes away her rouge with his finger
and traces the outline of her eye.
‘Quite sweet, aren’t you?’
‘Sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds. Lilies that fester
smell far worse than weeds,’ she mumbles.
‘And literate,’ he laughs. He strokes her belly and briefly touches
her between her legs, and then he is gone. Mairin wraps herself
in the silken spread.
She’s dancing to the strain of a Negro band. ‘It’s jazz,’ the
pomaded young man shouts in her ear. She nods her head,
and then she is off. All eyes are on her as she takes the floor. She
feels herself being lifted on to a table. She dances and dances,
like she has never danced before. As she pirouettes, droplets of
sweat spray off her body like tiny diamonds. She turns and turns
to see them fall.
And then she falls into space, through dark water until she is
resting on a seaweed bed, and cherubs look down at her in
The silvery man is back and undoes his robe. His naked body is
white as glass. He rubs against her, and when that fails he puts his
mouth between her legs.
Mairin hears the shrill echo of a whistle. She cups her hands over
her ears, until she realizes the sound is inside of her. ‘Make it go
away,’ she says.
‘What’s that?’ someone asks. It’s the silvery man. She remembers
now. She is sticky and hot.
‘I’m bleeding,’ she says.
‘It’s nothing.’ The silvery man wipes it away with his hand.
She wonders if she should be embarrassed or if it is the result of
something that was done to her.
His robe undone, he slips one white arm out of the sleeve and
shoots a needle into his vein. Mairin has seen it all before. He
offers her the needle, and she shakes her head no. She has a horror
of needles, of hatpins, of knives.
She knows he will be out of his head soon enough, and she lies
quietly next to him until she can make her escape. When she
is certain he will not budge, she enters the adjoining bath. The
marble is cold against her bare feet, and she wonders where she
has left her shoes. She rinses her face and blots a towel between
Back in the room, the silvery man snores. She looks out the window.
She is in London, after all.
She finds her shoes next to an armchair and, slipping them on,
runs down the stairs and out the front door. It is dark, and no one
sees her leave.