Today we’re spotlighting The Consequences Collection by Melanie Robertson-King. Read on for an excerpt!
Drawn by some inexplicable force, Sylvia went back to the foyer and collected the letter and the mangled envelope. She returned to the kitchen, flipped on the radio and sat down at her small table. Why had she opened it in the first place? She should have just binned it. That’s what she usually did with unsolicited mail. But there was something strangely familiar about it. The addressee information was on a computer printed label so there was no clue there. The sororities from University had crests or emblems to differentiate one from another. She wracked her brain trying to remember what they looked like. It had been over thirty years since she’d attended. Sylvia never belonged to a sorority because she thought the girls who did were snooty and stuck-up.
She’d call her friend, Laurie and tell her about the letter. They’d been friends since childhood, attended the same elementary and secondary schools and even the same University. She could tell her anything, couldn’t she? Sylvia picked up the cordless handset and dialed. “Hi Laurie, how are things?”
“Not bad. Just getting a load of laundry ready to go on the line. You?”
This was her chance to bring up the letter the mailman had shoved through her door. “Fine. I’ll let you go since you’re busy. Call me back, okay?” Sylvia hung up. There was something strange about Laurie’s tone, she thought. Like someone was there or something was wrong. She’d find out later. She knew Laurie would return her call. Rather than put her lifetime friend into a panic, she decided not to mention what she’d got in the mail earlier that morning.
Instead, Sylvia picked the letter up and read it out loud. “I know about that night. I know about your illegal abortion. You might think you were alone that night at the backstreet clinic but you weren’t. I saw you.”
Bloody hell, Sylvia thought. Who could have been there that night? She knew who took her there – it was Marianne’s boyfriend, John. He was the one who got her pregnant in the first place. They’d been at a party. He had fought with his girlfriend, Marianne, and she’d left in tears.
Sylvia recalled the crush she had on John. She stayed with him rather than go after her friend and comfort her, thinking they’d broken up. He didn’t need consoling she remembered. He took her off to the backseat of his car and they had sex. It had been her first time and she hadn’t known what to expect but being fumbled and fondled in the back of a ’57 Chevy wasn’t it.
Melanie’s Café Order
“I don’t go to cafes very often, but there is one close to me (within walking distance) where they make cheesecake that is to die for. You need someone with you to help eat it because it’s so rich! So, it’s a good thing I have willpower and don’t stop every time I walk by.”
“I wouldn’t say that music inspired my writing, but since my novels (so far only one published) are set in Scotland, the influence would come from Scottish Folk music – bands like The Corries, Old Blind Dogs, Runrig etc. I used to write to music, usually sitting in the kitchen where our satellite radio is listening to BBC Radio 1. Unfortunately, BBC Radio 1 is no longer available in that format. Since then, whether I’m reading or writing, I prefer to have things totally quiet.”
Let’s listen to one of the groups Melanie mentioned, Old Blind Dogs.