“Bjorn & Bread” review by E.L. Ervin

Available to buy at Barnes & Noble and Amazon stores everywhere.

“Unexpectedly Entertaining!
First off, I didn’t know what to expect from this novel because I did do the unthinkable and judged the cover! I know, I know…but, I am here to say that I am glad I got the chance to read this amazing novel. This is nothing like I’ve ever read before “In a good way”. This tale weaves a great storyline that takes its reader on the journey with the characters. And each character had a well developed personality that is entertaining all all ways. I recommend this adventurous, enthralling novel to everyone! It is a magnificent read and you won’t be disappointed. This book is thoroughly entertaining. Great job Scott McGowan! I don’t know why you don’t have more reviews, but I will share the news about this novel. Loved it!”

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Follow E.L. Ervin on Twitter: @elervin1087

Reviewed on Goodreads

“A Thief in the Night”

Published in my collection, “Short Stories & Allegories” in 2014.

It was a little after dusk as Micky crept up the pebbled path, to Isfield Place, East Sussex. He was wearing a black, turtleneck jumper; black denim trousers; black trainers; and carried in his hand a stocking leg, which he had cut off a pair of tights.

You could say that his plans for the evening were to be furtively clandestine. It was said that this house was full of expensive gear. Not only that, but he had heard it told, that the owners were away at this time of year and that meant that he could have the place to himself. No worrying about waking anyone up or getting caught in the act or anything like that.

He crept up closer. Just because you were sure everyone was out, it was always prudent to keep an eye out and not take anything for granted.

He moved round to the back of the property and found a small window, which he could slip through and gain access to the building. He jimmied it open and threw the bag, which he had also brought with him, into the awaiting room. Slipping through the gap, himself, he slid down and landed smartly on the floor. From there he pulled a torch, from out of his bag, and switched it on, giving him enough light to work his way through the house.
As he passed from room to room, he saw many wonderful things. Bodiless Beasts cluttered the walls; vases and statues littered the tables; busks and tapestries; rugs and suits of armour; everything that a stately home should have, was here and Micky didn’t have a bag big enough.

He threw some small things into his bag, as he passed, but the spoil he was looking for, would be upstairs in the bedrooms or in the study.

He went, firstly to the study and searched the desk drawers and cabinets. He then checked behind each painting in turn, as he looked for any hidden safe that might be there.
After uncovering very little, the hapless thief decided to head to the sleeping quarters. He climbed the steps, very carefully and cautiously, in case there was anyone around, who shouldn’t be. Reaching the top of the stairs, Micky turned left and headed down the corridor, to the main bedroom. He had managed, after a painstaking search, to find the plans for the building, during one of his many online attempts and it was just as well, because the place was a maze of corridors.

There were over twenty bedrooms, as well as all the bathrooms and the two kitchens; also the dining room and the boardroom; and let’s not forget the sitting rooms and the reception hall. To put it short, the place was frigging big.

As he entered the main bedroom, Micky scoured the room, before dashing over to the sideboard and start rummaging through the drawers, for any piece of jewellery or the like, which he could hock afterwards.

He was more successful here, than he was, when he searched the study. He found three men’s Rolex watches, which were most definitely gold; seven ladies watches of different styles and forms; a pearl necklace; and thirteen hundred in cash. Things were looking like they were going to plan.

He had been warned off, from ripping off this house, by a number of people. Don’t do it! They would say, Those people are mental! He didn’t believe a word of it, though. As far as he could see, there was nothing out of the ordinary about these folks at all. They were just a couple of Old Money, Well-to-Do’s with a crap security system.
That was strange, he thought. You would have thought a place like this would have a decent alarm installed, but it just occurred to him, that there was none present. Weird!

His train of thought was punctuated, when he heard a slight click, while looking behind some books, on the bookshelf. He froze, instinctively. Right before his eyes, the bookcase unhinged itself from the wall, on one side and creaked open.

From the other side of the newly found door, there was the obligatory secret passage. Wow, Micky thought. He had always wanted, in all his time of burgling, to find a secret passage to some lost treasure. Tonight could be his night. Hopes and dreams flooded his mind, as he stepped through the gap and into the passage ahead.
He followed the passage for a goodthree minutes, as he worked his way through the veins of the house and up towards the upper rooms and quarters.

When he reached the end of the passage, with no other ways to go, Micky was presented with another door. He put his ear up against the door and listened for anything that might be heard. As he did, he heard something, which he didn’t expect.
Surely not! His ears must be deceiving him. He listened again and again, the sound he thought he heard the first time, came back to him once more. It was the sound of a young girl crying.
He quickly looked through a hole, which he found in the wall, to see if he could see what was going on, on the other side of the door. What he saw scarred him to his soul. Never before had he seen such as he did now and he wished with all his heart that the nightmare had never darkened his eyes.

On the other side knelt a dirty and beaten young girl. She was bent forwards and had her arms stretched out to either side of her, with her wrists strapped in manacles, which, in turn, were attached to chains, pinned to either wall. Her clothes, or rather what was left of her clothes, after they had been torn to what was almost sheds, were covered in dirt and blood. Her hair was black and oily and extremely unkempt. Her face however was covered, by her erratic hair and so Micky could not see what she looked like.

As soon as the shock of what he had seen relented, his sense of ethics and morals both came back to him, in a flood and he immediately stepped back a bit, from the door and gave it a good hard kick.

The door burst open and Micky dashed through. The girl was so scared, that she tried to climb the wall and only calmed down when Micky managed to convince her that he was alone and did not wish to harm her, in any way.

“I want to help you get out of those chains,” he had said. “Will you allow me to try?”

The tormented girl waited a few seconds, pondering things, as she jerked her head this way and that, as if trying to physically shake out a calculation, before nodding in agreement.

Micky crept closer, keeping his hands in her view, showing her that what he was doing was a good thing. She watched him keenly, as he managed to unclasp her left wrist, from its manacle. He gave it a light rub, to get the circulation going properly again, before moving over to her other wrist.

On unlocking the second manacle, and easing the circulation, as he had done before, he sat back on the floor, in front of her.

“Now,” he said softly, “my name is Micky. What should I call you?”

The girl continued to sit there, rubbing her wrists, her hair still covering her face. She paused, for just a second and said, “You should call me Doom,” as she lifted her head, to reveal a face that haunted nightmares and screamed a bloodcurdling scream, at him.

Micky, having received the fright of his life, tried to throw himself backwards as the girl dived on top of him screaming and salivating all over him. Her fingers wrapped around his throat, as he fought for breath
Before long his wriggling and writhing slowed down to a few random jerks, before dribbling down to complete stillness, bereft of life.

The girl wrapped his body in a sheet, pushed him down a hatch, which was secretly hidden on the opposite wall, and went back to her cot, reattaching her chains.

Back in the same position that she was, when Micky had found her, she slipped off to sleep, awaiting the next unsuspecting intruder.

“A Night to Remember”

“A Night to Remember”
by Scott McGowan (1997)

This is the first piece of fiction I ever wrote, back in the day when studying english at Buckie Community High, under the tuition of the incomparable Mrs Boyle.

It’s a cold, dark night, the wind is blowing through the keyhole and the trees are banging on the small windows of the farmhouse you have rented for the weekend. Shivering, you step out into the rain, watching the trees bend and tip over from the force of the storm. You look about at all the damage and chaos the storm is causing. Barns are falling apart, trees bending like they were straw.
The weekend had not gone as well as you had hoped it would. You had rented the farmhouse in order to get a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You wish now that there was more than yourself and Lyne in the draughty old place.
You had brought Lyne with you in order to ask her to marry you. You had asked her at the table of the sitting room, in front of the blazing fire. A suitable place you thought. She had agreed joyfully and taken the ring you had brought with you. Everything, except the weather, was perfect.
You step back into the warmth of the farmhouse and wander through to the sitting room. You note the detail on the walls. Remembering back to the childhood stories told by your grandfather you look closely at the figures depicted on the surround. All the shapes of the figures are sharp and clear and you find yourself staring at the small, shapeless face of a wolf and shift your gaze immediately.
Ever since your childhood you have had the greatest fear of animals, especially dogs. The picture of the wolf brings back the fear you had been trying to shut out and live your life without fear of any kind. Not knowing how you came to be scared of animals you put it all down to your grandfather’s stories and never thought much of it.
There are other figures on the wall besides the, you know what. There are Unicorns, Fauns, Griffins and Minators.
The wolf is the only thing, that you can see, that actually exists. You look a bit closer. You see, as you stare at the beast, that it isn’t a wolf after all. It is in fact a more fearsome beast that has been told of for many years, long before you, or even your grandfather for that matter, were born. It was the face and body of the doggish animal, but it walked like a man. The beast is a Werewolf and no mistake.
You step back and walk shakily through to the sitting room and pick up one of the books that the owner had left on the table. You skim through the pages and stop at a presumed random page. You start reading.
The story is of a boy whose life was haunted by a truth. Not the truth, which sprung from a lie, but the truth about what he was, and what was going to haunt his life for the rest of his days. As you read the story you find yourself tiring and you fall into a deep dark sleep.
Your dream is that of a fearsome nature. You are on all fours running through the forest. There’s something in your mouth, hanging out. It’s sort of soft and flesh-like. You find yourself slowing down and stopping. You tear the flesh-like trapping with your teeth, which seem to be longer and sharper than in real life. You feel the thick blood streaming down your face. You long for more, but there is no more to be found.
You awake, finding yourself lying in a field on the farm. The storm is over. You look around. You see, horrifyingly, lying at your bare feet, an arm, it has a ring on the middle finger, which you recognize. Scared, you scream running wild into the forest remembering why you are scared and why you tried so hard to forget.

Winter Days (A Poem)

The white flutters of winter days
And cold winds a blowing,
Bring shivers down the aching spine,
The bitter pain glowing.

I stand against a wall of stone,
The world around me airborne
And puff away at Gods sweet smoke,
My bitter heart forlorn.

“The Jazz Cellist”

I normally write stories of 70,000-90,000 words each but after reading a number of ‘bite size’ fiction I thought I would have a go.

Here is my ‘bite size’ story, “The Jazz Cellist”. Enjoy.

“The glint in her eye and the silk on her thigh was more alluring than anything I had seen before. In that diamond red dress she played like she was pouring her very soul into the world. From that point I would never love another.”