Yes! At 97.600 words, the first draft of 'Stitch Too, The Re-stitched', is complete. The sequel to STITCH promises to be to be a rollercoaster of a tale packed with magic, science and horror and I hope you will find it worth the wait.
So, when can we get it? I hear you ask. Well, the novel is now going in the editing stage, from there I will re-write where necessary and then, once proof read, it will be published.
In the meantime, to whet your appetites, below is an unedited excerpt from the book. As always, your thoughts would be much appreciated. Enjoy! #reievewapollostarksbooks
An oscillating, high density sound wave emitted from the device’s canon barrel and bombarded the invisible portal.
Th…wump, th…wump, th…wump… The acoustic beam struck its target making the doorway shimmer like a mirror in a desert.
In Granny’s kitchen the cupboard door began to rattle.
“Oh, no!” The old woman moaned.
Maisie stared at the door under the sink and tried to comprehend what was happening. “What’s causing that?”
Sooty swore. “It looks like Magnus may have found a way to break through the closed portal.”
Maisie turned white: “Can we stop it?”
“I don’t know. Possibly. Fetch the needles and be quick about it.”
In the field beyond Sanmonto’s headquarters, the engineer shouted over the thrum of the quantum disruptor. “The molecular density of the portal seems to be holding. I’m going to crank up the oscillation frequency to six hundred and fifty megahertz to destabilise it.”
His assistant raised an eyebrow. “That will exceed our normal safety margin. We’ve never pushed it that hard.”
The engineer punched the new figures into the disruptor’s numeric keypad. “I know, but we’ll still be within maximum operational specifications.”
Its response was instantaneous. The metronomic beat issuing from it became faster and harder, hammering the portal like a battering ram pounding a castle gate. Thwump, thwump, thwump….
Chinks in the portal’s fabric appeared through which the engineer glimpsed tiny portions of the kitchen behind it. He grinned in satisfaction. “See. It’s working.”
Tremors running through the cupboard door caused china in the kitchen sink to clatter violently as Maisie fetched the needles from the bedside table where she’d left them.
“Hurry Miss Maisie,” Sooty urged. “The weave is tearing apart. We must either unmake the portal or reknit its destination so that it no longer exists in its current location.”
“But if we unmake it Bernard won’t have a way of getting back to us, “Maisie stated.
“I’m well aware of that,” Sooty haughtily replied. “But if we don’t do something quickly, I fear Magnus or whoever it is on the other side of the door will be here at any moment.”
Touching the needles to the cupboard door to cast on to the ethereal matter, Maisie said, “Maybe there’s another way.”
As if sensing the urgency of the situation all three symbols on the needles immediately began to glow, there ethereal blue light spilling between her fingers.
Mai…see…. They whispered in her mind.
I need to strengthen the portal. Maisie told them.
Weft and warp, warp and weft, the needles replied.
Maisie’s hands twitched as the needles connected with the portal’s vibrating molecules.
“Weft and warp,” she muttered, concentrating on the horizontal and vertical lines of weave she knew the portal was constructed of.
Click clack, clickety-clack…. The needles guided her hands to reinforce the tears by reknitting the damaged threads together, but no sooner had she closed up a chink in the portal’s fabric than another appeared.
“For crying out loud!” The engineer said in annoyance. “In theory, the megasonic waves we’re producing should, on a subatomic level, shatter the invisible bonds of the door and break open the portal!”
“Something could be interfering with the harmonic resonation,” his assistant suggested.
“Like what?” the engineer snapped.
“I dunno. Whoever made the portal, perhaps?”
The engineer’s hand hovered over the digital keypad. “If someone is meddling, they’re about to get a nasty surprise. Eight hundred megahertz should do it.”
“Are you insane?” his assistant incredulously asked as intense reverberations emanating from the disruptor caused the ground underfoot to quake. “It’s not working. It wasn’t designed for this purpose. You need to shut it down.”
“It’s fine. Just give it a few seconds longer!”
Thwump thwump thwump thwump….
Sensing danger, the battle hardened mercenaries backed away as a rapid pulse of compressed megasonic waves rebounded off the portal and made the air about them buzz.
Maisie hands pounded and her fingers felt numb. “It’s no good,” She sobbed. “I can’t stop it.”
For each hole she managed to successfully seal, a new rift was created. Livid blue sparks spat from the needle tips as she frantically fought to stop the portal’s invisible barrier from dissolving.
“You need to reknit the portal’s destination, there’s no other way,” Sooty said his fur prickling with agitation.
“Please dearie! What other choice do we have?” Granny pleaded as the kitchen work surface shook as if in the clutches of a seismic event.
The quantum disruptor shuddered, its anchor spikes tenuous grip on the ground virtually non-existent.
“The current output level is unsustainable, the disruptor temperature is reaching critical!”
Using his whole body weight to hold down the weapon and ignoring the fact its outer casing was briskly heating up, the engineer shouted, “Not much further to go and we will have cracked it.”
His assistant snorted. “You’re crazy man!”
The superconductor cooling system warning light blinked repeatedly but the engineer switched it off, overriding its emergency shutdown failsafe.
“Come on baby, you can do it!” He bawled, watching the portal’s integrity collapse. “Here we go….!”
With an ear splitting boom, the quantum disruptor exploded, throwing the engineer into the air like a dog playing with a rag doll. His charred corpse landed with a sickening crunch, the sound of bones shattering on impact with the earth as the portal barrier disintegrated. Hot air blasted through the open cupboard, showering the kitchen with lumps of shredded turf and metallic debris.
Directly in the line of fire, Maisie screamed as a thin shard of the weapon’s casing struck her upper thigh and embedded itself in her flesh.
“Miss Maisie, we have to go!” Sooty yelled unaware of her injury.
“Ok, OK!” she snarled, the needles still glowing in her hands. “…But what about my mum and dad? I can’t just leave them!”
Sooty sighed: “You have to. We’ll come back for them when it’s safe.”
Tears welled in Maisie’s eyes at the thought of her parents in the cellar, frozen in time in the form of a stone obelisk.
We must knit a new portal. She told them, wiping her cheeks.
A new portal….
Yes. Maisie winced as she limped over to the kitchen door. Here. She touched a needle to either side of the doorframe and in as brave a voice as she could muster, asked aloud, “Where to?”
“Anywhere but here,” Sooty replied.
“This place,” Granny said pulling a faded old picture off the fridge that had been held in place with a small, u-shaped magnet. “The picture will help you focus.”
Maisie stared at the photograph the old woman held up. It had been used as a postcard. The faded picture was of a strange looking cottage and bore a postal date over forty-two years old. Gritting her teeth against the excruciating pain in her thigh, she pictured the cottage in her mind and the needles moved.