Concrete Frog

£5.00

By Norah Blasť

ISBN: 978-1-84747-551-0
Published: 2008
Pages: 71
Key Themes: fiction, murder mystery, black comedy, depression, recovery


ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK

Description

This is the story of how the depressed writer came to kill a man she once knew, and due to the preceding events was unable to go to the police thus forcing her to dispose of the body herself. It is a black comedy, written in the first person, urging the reader to understand the twisted reasoning behind the decisions the author took. It follows the adage of not judging a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Here the reader is invited to walk that mile and to wear those shoes. The story takes the reader through the traumas and trials of a childhood in rural Scotland in the late 70ís which is fraught with dangers that moulded the personality of the cowardly writer. It leads into an adult life full of promise yet dripping with disappointment until the moment of life changing clarity arises and a man loses his life. The disposal of the body and the decisions made, serve to empower the writer and lead her forward into a more fulfilling life and the things which had previously made her weak now give her strength.

About the Author

Norah Blasť was born in Scotland in March 1968, at 7.20 am, the second of five children. Her favourite colour is red and has been since 1989. She can read a good book in an afternoon and once did the rubix cube in 64 seconds. Previous jobs include Insurance clerk, waitress, market stall holder, caterer, barmaid, shopkeeper and (very briefly) a Kiss-o-gram. She loves liquorish, hates reality television, and has horrible feet. She has one daughter and now lives with her partner and his son in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Book Extract

Some mornings, when I wake up, or perhaps just beforehand, I feel myself choking back desperate heart-wrenching sobs. I feel as though, somewhere in the darkness of my mind, and my heart, just out of conscious reach, I am being crushed of all happiness and any sense of well being. I donít know why this happens, my guess is that I must have been dreaming about something awful, but the pain in my throat of trying not to cry and the heaviness and utter desolation in my heart are very real. Sometimes I am jolted awake, other times, it takes a few moments before the familiar feel of the sheets on my body, the warmth surrounding me and my own sleepy smell penetrates my consciousness and convinces me that everything is all right after all. Often I wonder if other people experience this, and based on the fact that we human beings have an awful lot in common, I am pretty sure that they do. Still, a vague unease accompanies me in the shower and I may choose my clothes more carefully presumably in a subconscious effort to exude more confidence for that day. I might even find myself applying make-up and maybe a little eye shadow, as well as the usual mascara and lipstick.
Even so, the half remembered terror and anguish of something horrifying lingers with me for a good part of the day. I canít actually find anything awful enough happening in my life to make me feel like this. Of course I hope it never will, but if I donít have to be anywhere, and I find myself home alone, my mind drifts into a spiral of misery and sometimes I find myself sobbing at the top of the stairs for no good reason.
Funnily enough, it always, but not only, happens on the morning of my birthday and as I am not particularly bothered about growing older and donít subscribe to the ďbeauty of youthĒ myth of the modern world, it seems doubly strange. I mean, ďPro-retinol AĒ, how stupid do they really think we are? Have you seen these ďage defyingĒ adverts on Penta Peptidesí? There is no such word. Are they allowed to just make this stuff up? In the unlikely event that I ever get to be Prime Minister or head of television advertising standards I will demand a better class of advert, like the Guinness one.
On the last occasion, when I turned thirty-seven, I really couldnít have been happier. I had spent yet another magnificent evening with the wonderful man I am dating right now and we had planned a day out in Leicester to celebrate. We found this great little Tapas bar around Christmas time last year, so after some shopping we went there to eat fabulous food and drank Sangria. It always reminds me of our holiday in Cyprus. Even in the pouring rain, as it did this day. Going to Cyprus with Dougie was quite honestly the second best week of my life; the first was going to London with him. We only intended to go for the day, but we had the best time and if you are not too cynical about these things, we fell in love. (Please donít be dismayed, this is NOT a love story), and stayed for a wonderful, uplifting, week.

My brother died two days before my birthday, seventeen years ago, and although it would be noble of me to imagine that this is what makes the ache in my heart, I canít lie to myself because I know that that is not it. I am not sure how I know, narcissism, selfishness, call it what you like. I think the worst thing about someone you love dying are the times that the knowledge of their death slips briefly from your consciousness, itís not specific, but you feel them alive, here, then suddenly the awareness that they are not jolts back causing fresh pain and loss. It happens out of the blue for years after they have gone. If you have lost someone you will know exactly what I mean. David is loved and lost but my memories of him are fond and distant now.
It is actually a lie to say that he died, he took his own life and truly there are times when I can see why a person might give it some serious consideration. The difficulty I have found is not in the why, there are a million reasons why. It is the how. How could it be done with the minimum pain or fuss and inconvenience to others? I was only twenty when it happened, and I am sorry to say that it is as yet another of the many unspoken and tiptoed around cracks in the pavement of superstition that is my family.
My mum might read that itís good to eat fish and call to tell me that I especially (I donít know why me in particular) should eat more fish, but when I explain that I eat fish every other day she feels the need to warn me of the dangers of eating too much fish. In the world my mum inhabits, itís bad luck to cut anything on a Sunday, if you put something on inside out, itís bad luck to change it, if you drop a knife it means a man is coming (to your door). Never walk in one shoe or put shoes on a table, say white rabbit three times for luck on the first of every month and all the usual ones, with ladders and salt and mirrors. Oh and cats.
My granny, on my mothers, side was in hospital last year with a terrible case of diarrhoea, as an elderly woman who was bedridden, it was necessary to have her hospitalised. A poor unsuspecting Asian doctor was conducting her medical examination despite her terrible and detrimental diatribe and at the end of this, whilst my mother and aunt stood behind the curtain, he asked her if she had recently been abroad. After she scoffed and indicated her bedridden condition, he said
ďQuite, then perhaps Mrs Duncan, some of your visitors have had diarrhoea?Ē
And to my mumís complete embarrassment and, I admit, my eternal amusement she answered, ďI donít know what kind of visitors you get pal, but I donít ask mine if theyíve got fuckiní diarrhoea!Ē Imagine this in a broad Glasgow accent in a hospital in rural Northamptonshire and you get the idea.


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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 06 February, 2008.