Book giveaway! Win a signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories.

It’s autumn, I’m in the throes of writing a new short story book (set to be published March 2022) and I’m feeling super generous so I have decided to do a book giveaway! ‘Hoorah’ I hear you cry as you jump up and down with excitement.

I have five signed copies of The Isolation Sex Stories to give away. To win yours, this is what you need to do…

Subscribe to this website and also to MyriadLifebooks.com to be in with a chance of winning your very own copy of The Isolation Sex Stories. Please note that this giveaway will only apply to adults of 18+ and to UK residents. I will pick winners from my good vibes only rainbow mug on 1st November 2021 so you won’t have too long to wait. You will be notified by email if you are a winner.

Pleases note that The Isolation Sex Stories is an adult read so if you are easily offended it might not be for you. *Contains sexual references and strong language, so be warned!

It is however a funny read… read the Amazon reviews here.

MyriadLifeBooks.com is a sister site to this one where you will find beautiful notebooks to get creative with, it’s also a site I am growing to showcase other authors and offer tips on self publishing. You will even find a collection of secondhand books to buy, it’s a small list at the moment but I will be adding more soon. It is definitely worth subscribing as every so often I do a notebook giveaway too.

Good luck – just hit subscribe!

Author adventures in marketing…

The sun is out, the sky is blue, there are a few clouds but they aren’t spoiling the view. As tempting as it is to go out and enjoy the fresh air, here I am in front of my screen trying to get my head around book marketing.

I love writing my stories but it’s another thing altogether spreading the word about them. Writing is fun but hard work, marketing is even harder. I enjoy producing graphics, I know my way around social media (to a point) but when it comes to advertising, it’s a whole new ball game. Suddenly I need to know target audiences. I have to create a budget for spending. I have to measure results and assess what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve watched lots of instructive book marketing videos. I’ve read the experiences of other authors. I’ve listened to podcasts galore. Somehow I still feel a little adrift because everyone has a different experience, what you have to do is weigh up the common denominators that lead to success. Even then, luck comes into it. In truth, writing is like any other business and a book is a product. However, it’s more of a personal kind of product to the author who has to do the promotional work so sensitivities have to be quashed.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to market a product as I’ve always worked in business of some kind but a book, well that’s a bit different. I see a book as an emotional product, it’s much more personal. The stories I write will strike a chord with some and may leave others cold. I have to put this at the back of my mind and decide that everyone will love them. Positivity is the only way forward. Once upon a time I sold books by other authors, that was easy. When you come to sell your own, it’s a very different feeling.

The only way to deal with things you aren’t comfortable with is to make them fun. Quite by chance I came across a site called AllAuthor.com and they provide all kinds of useful tools for promotion. It’s a great site for readers too, well worth a look if you want to find indie authors and the genres you enjoy.

When I wrote The Eight of Swords, I didn’t do much promotion other than through social media. This time I want to stretch my readership far wider. I’m thinking of the future and the next books I will write as much as my existing ones.

My first proper ad via Facebook taught me that it’s not only your book you may get commentary on, it’s the way you plan to sell it. For The Isolation Sex Stories I decided to sell it exclusively via Amazon. This is partly because I wanted to test how that would go and it meant I got a free ISBN (a number which simply put, is a product identifier and almost every book has one). At the time of publication funds were tight and it seemed the best way to go. Also, let’s face it, Amazon is one of the largest book selling sites in the world and Kindle is massively popular. In business terms it was a no brainer to use them.

Amazon has come under fire for alleged tax avoidance in the UK. Tax avoidance isn’t illegal but of course it is emotive. When my ad for The Eight of Swords popped up on one Facebook user’s newsfeed, he decided to plant a gif in my post’s comments concerning Amazon not paying tax. Unfortunately I had to point out that Facebook had been accused of similar and that the person commenting on Amazon’s tax avoidance happened to be using Facebook to promote his work and comment on my post. We may not like what these big companies do but we shouldn’t be bringing one another down over it.

The other thing the commentator pointed out was that he didn’t like unsolicited advertisements popping up in his newsfeed. Well, this is easily fixed, all you have to do is adjust your settings to say that you don’t want to be shown personally targeted advertisements. In truth, I didn’t mind the commentator being grumpy about the advertisements, I get a bit fed up with them at times too. Sadly what he didn’t want to acknowledge was that we are both people trying to show others our work, and yes, obtain sales. If you don’t like what Amazon does business wise, if you find it doesn’t fit with your morals, fine, don’t use it. But if you moan about Amazon while using Facebook, I think that might make you a little hypocritical…

Next time I will publish on a wider variety of platforms. Experimentation is always fun and interesting. I will write more about my experiences as I progress.

If you are a writer or a reader and want to comment on this post, please feel free to do so. I love to hear what people think.

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The story so far…

It is almost two months since I published The Isolation Sex Stories and what an amazing time it has been. I’m feeling a little worn out if I’m honest. Putting a collection of stories out into the public eye is a pretty daunting exercise and I waited with bated breath to see what people would say.

I didn’t really worry too much about the title I’d chosen, until it came to the day of the book launch, then suddenly it hit me that all sorts of people would be watching my live reading. Suddenly I felt nervous! It’s one thing to joke about the saucy stories with your friends, quite another to launch them out onto the unsuspecting general public. Let’s face it, everyone has an opinion. What offends some folk will tickle others. Pop the word ‘sex’ into the title and who knows what might come back at you?

It has been very amusing and gratifying to get feedback. Most readers have a particular story that they enjoy the most, or strikes a chord. One said he felt like he was actually in the room with the characters of Don’t Touch Me and while he felt like he was a voyeur, he found it really funny. Another said that he could identify with a character from almost every story. This is brilliant for me, any writer wants their characters to come to life and be truly believable.

Here are some of the things my reviewers have said so far…

A great collection of short stories! Written with intelligence, warmth and wit. Some much-needed light relief after a difficult year.

Witty and amusing, a really good fun read. Petra Kidd puts warmth and understanding with humour into what has been a difficult time for all of us. This is an easy quirky read that will make you chuckle. I loved it. Makes a good present for friends who are struggling, it will give them a good laugh.

Petra captures the mood of our Lockdown Nation in a saucily humorous way, she nails it! Each short story is captivating, intriguing and very funny … I actually found myself laughing out loud so many times with tears rolling down my face.

It’s also entertaining to find out what shocks readers. With Fifty Shades of Grey being one of the most successful books of our time, I hardly thought my little collection would raise many eyebrows. The everyday antics of my locked down characters seem nowhere near as shocking to me as Christian Grey’s predilections. However, we are all different and apparently some people have even learnt new words thanks to my stories. I’m feeling proud, it may help them when next they play Scrabble!

I am wondering if I should create another cover/title for The Isolation Sex Stories for people who might feel embarrassed reading it in public places. My other idea is to run a competition called ‘I dare you,’ daring readers to take a selfie with the book while reading it in a public place. Let me know what you think… As the world begins to open up again, this could be the right moment, the prize will be sweet, I promise you.

While I am working hard on promoting The Isolation Sex Stories, I have started writing my next two books. They are two very different subject matters so I hope I can pull it off.

If you do go ahead and read The Isolation Sex Stories, please leave a review at Amazon. Every review is incredibly important and special to me. I worked hard to produce the book so it’s a very much appreciated reward to receive them. Please be honest, that’s even more important. I want to know what you didn’t like, as much as what you did.

Also, please use Smile.Amazon.co.uk or .com to buy my books because that way Amazon will make a donation to charity (at no extra charge to you.) I’d love it if you could choose the Samaritans but of course, whatever charity you choose is fine by me. I love to think that others will benefit while readers enjoy my books.

Being an indie author is a never ending learning curve. Follow my blog to join me on this adventure!

For now, stay safe and please connect with me via social media. Don’t be shy, come say hi!

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.

The Date

The Covid-19 pandemic sure threw a spanner in the works for all of those singletons out there who were going out on dates and looking for the next Mr/Miss Right. Overnight everyone had to isolate and give up any hope of amorous adventures for the foreseeable future.


Recently I found a big box of old letters from my younger days, some of which are from friends detailing their romantic lives at the time. We all took it for granted we could go out and meet whoever we wanted. Oh, how we complained and revelled in the ups and downs of our youthful adventures, no clue of what the future might hold. In one letter a friend says her boyfriend complained about having to wear a condom, if only he had known that by 2020 a condom would be the least of his concerns!


Fast forward quite a few years (no, I am not going to say how many) and suddenly single people found themselves having to not only date online but having to have virtual dates rather than real ones. Previously, those home alone were used to online dating sites like Tinder and Grinder, they knew that they could meet the dates in real time if they wanted to. Covid-19 changed all that. While they might find someone they liked online, now they could only see and talk to them online. No meeting up at a restaurant or bar. No first kiss. No one nightstands. No holding hands on romantic walks, no weekends away.


The whole conversation about ‘protection’ came with a new aspect to it. Not only are sexual diseases an issue; The Virus is a major problem too. We are all wearing masks and keeping our distance, all physical intimacy quashed. It’s all very bizarre and lonely for the singletons right now.


One of the stories in my new book The Isolation Sex Stories takes an older couple on a first date via Zoom, it is a fun story but I can imagine all the lonely people who have been in need of companionship. It’s an exciting date for the lady in the story but will she be thrilled to find a new companion? There’s only one way to find out…

The Date


All of the stories in my new book are quirky and different, let me know which one(s) you like best.


The Isolation Sex Stories


I wonder how many people ended up dating via Zoom. If you have a funny or unusual lockdown story check out this page and you could end up winning a free signed copy of The Isolation Sex Stories.

Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Book Launch!

My blog has been quiet for the past week as I have been making final preparations for the launch of my new short story book.

Writing a book is, in a way, the easy bit. I’ve been agonising over the cover design, proof checking (with the help of a great proofreader), creating illustrations for marketing, and recording audio and video clips.

It is fun and interesting but nerve wracking too!

This book is very different to The Eight of Swords and The Putsi. I wrote those stories nearly ten years ago. The new stories are born out of the times we are in. I’ve injected my usual humour and quirkiness so I hope you will enjoy them.

The launch will be on Sunday 14th February at 9pm when I will do a live reading of one of the stories via my Facebook page. So in addition to all of the above, I am now practising my ‘reading out loud’ skills.

It’s not enough to simply be a writer when you are an indie author. I’m having to learn a whole lot of new skills. Luckily I love social media so that’s not such a trial, but for many years I’ve been self-conscious about my voice. There was a period when I lost my voice and had to go for speech therapy, then to a voice lab in Nottingham where a group of specialists diagnosed me as having a condition known as Spasmodic Dysphonia. This condition causes the voice to break and have a strained or strangled sound. It can make me sound croaky or nervous, when I don’t feel nervous. They told me it would get worse, not improve. Apparently only botox injections into the throat, could improve it, yikes! I opted out.

The suggested condition has, over the years, been a blessing and a curse. I’ve struggled to make myself understood on the telephone many times. People want to know if I’m upset or if I have a cold. The plus side with this is that whenever I have needed a GP appointment, the receptionists have been very sympathetic!

Fortunately with patience and care my voice has improved. You probably won’t notice the occasional straining around vowels. I’ve learned to breathe better, take my time and not get too hung up on it. Public speaking may not ever be my thing but maybe one day I will be forced to face that too. For now I am practising with the videos and reading so I feel at last, anything is achievable.

It’s good to remember that however easy anything looks for anyone, you never know what they’ve had to go through to achieve it. The voice thing has been my bugbear for nearly twenty years. You never know how important something is to you, until you are under threat of losing it altogether. I imagined myself mute by now (which may have pleased a lot of people) but thank goodness with quite a bit of work, I’ve been lucky enough to improve.

Come join me on Sunday 14th February at 9pm. Whether you are loved up on St Valentine’s Day or on your own, please tune in and have a glass of something you enjoy while you listen.

Right, back to reading practise!

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Note: There are affliliate links wihtin this blog to Amazon products that I recommend. This means I receive a small percentage of sales with no extra cost to you. I only recommend books I personally have read and enjoyed or written.

Introducing Petra Kidd (Again)

Well hello, it’s been quite some time since I blogged, so thank you for visiting to see what I have to say.

Nearly ten years ago I published The Eight of Swords and The Putsi and posted on this site pretty regularly but life got in the way, I had a business that needed my full attention and my mother certainly needed it too.

Then I moved into a business which demanded less of me physically and thanks to Covid-19 (it has to be good for something) I got my writing bug back again and spent the first lockdown writing a new book of short stories.

I’ve always been fascinated by people and how they deal with certain situations, if you read The Eight of Swords you will meet Jayne Patchett who has a very tricky situation to deal with. When you read it, you are bound to ask yourself how you would react if you were her.

When Covid-19 turned up without much warning and presented us all with a whole new and unprecedented way of living this reminded me very much of The Eight of Swords, but in this case all our worlds were turned upside down, not just the life of one woman (although her drama proved comparatively brief).

I moved into a new riverside apartment just a couple of days before the first lockdown. Luckily I didn’t have much to move as I downsized. Suddenly life became much calmer, more peaceful and the simplicity of my modern apartment seeped into me. Instead of having to race around I could reflect, I had time to think and observe the city around me uncluttered with people. While I am a social person, I am also very happy alone and in my own space so this new way of living did not particularly frighten or concern me.

Having said that, I am not only responsible for myself, I have an elderly mother who has a multitude of health conditions to care for and during the first lockdown I suspended her care agency and looked after her full time myself for three months. Although I’d already spent a fair amount of time with her, caring for her all the time brought a routine that probably helped me cope with the weird way the outer world was transmogrifying.

I started to write a diary, the kind of diary where thoughts simply pour out of your head from your daily observations. It became a kind of therapy and I couldn’t go to sleep without having written down the days happenings. The realization that we are all living through a pandemic that will become a part of the history books made me think of future generations of my family and how they will want to know what it was like first hand from the people who actually lived through it. My Aunty Maureen wrote about her experiences in the war and I had only recently read her notes and this inspired me to write about lockdown and Covid-19 so that my great nephews and future great great nieces and nephews will have first hand experience of a family member going through it all.

The diary isn’t what I am going to publish (well not for now). The diary led me to muse upon what might be going on behind all the closed doors I passed on my lockdown exercise walks and cycle rides and my imagination went into overdrive and created twelve new short stories.

As it has been many years since I last self-published I am going to take you with me, you are very welcome to join me on this latest literary adventure. Whether you are an avid reader or a writer yourself it might interest you to know a little about the process as I go through it again.

My next blog post will be tomorrow at 7pm so please subscribe to make it easier for you to read my updates and to find out more about the new short story book launch.

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Please feel free to comment, ask questions and tell me what you are up to, wherever you are in the world, it’s a great time to connect.

’Til tomorrow…

The Eight of Swords

My short stories The Eight of Swords and The Putsi have been reduced on Amazon to the new low price of £1.02 until the end of September.  It is a rare thing for me to reduce my prices or do free giveaways so go get ’em!

Both stories will get you gripped and are perfect for commuters or those on the go who want a compelling read that will last long enough to enjoy but doesn’t go on too long.

You can read an excerpt here: The Eight of Swords 

If you do read them, please leave a review – your thoughts are always of interest to me!

Please follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/petrakiddwrites and on Twitter @PetraKidd and if you like what you read, please like and share so other folk can enjoy my stories too. Thank you!

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The Eight of Swords

A difficult day turns into a nightmare when Jayne Patchett returns home to find her house occupied by Romanian gypsies.

The irony of the situation isn’t lost on Jayne, who works in immigration. She is used to dealing with illegal immigrants at work but when she finds them sitting at her dining room table, drinking her wine, eating her food and wearing her clothes, her reaction surprises even herself.

(53 pages)

 

The Putsi

The Putsi

If you have something special belonging to someone else, what happens when they want it back?

Eighteen years have passed since a family of Romanian gypsies invaded Jayne Patchett’s house. In that time her life has changed remarkably, she is a successful artist, happily in love, living in an idyllic country cottage. But all those years ago, one of the gypsies gave her a lucky pouch, the putsi. Now, one of them wants it back. Drama returns to Jayne’s life as secrets are unveiled and she begins to wonder who she can trust.

(42 pages)

You Are Not Alone

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You are not alone

 The old lady lay crumpled in her hospital bed.  Her neck bent forward, the tip of her nose almost resting on the swing-across table.  All she’d had was a bite of her sandwich before nodding off.

Someone came and took the sandwich away.  The old lady didn’t notice, she continued to sleep.

Visitors came, gathered around beds, laughed and joked, ate chocolates, fetched and carried for their loved ones.

The old lady roused herself, fluffy white hair dishevelled on her shrunken skull, her eyes made a weary survey of the ward, barely able to keep them open her head slumped forward again.

A son reached forward to kiss his mother’s cheek, a niece held a cup to her aunt’s lips, a daughter tucked a fresh nightie into her mother’s bedside cupboard, a grandchild pushed a lovingly scrawled picture beneath his grandma’s nose.

A plump woman in a grey uniform called out to the old lady.  “Cup of tea?”

Her red eyes opened, she nodded and smiled.

“Sugar?”

The old lady smiled the same smile.

Visitors noted the time on the large clock on the wall at the end of the ward, gathered carrier bags, kissed cheeks, promised to be back soon and departed.

The old lady watched them go.  Her head slumped to one side, her mouth fell open showing a few yellowed teeth.

Time passed.

The curtain swished shut around her bed, she woke to see two doctors standing by her side.  The older of the two men gave her a bright cheery smile.  “Hello Mrs Abbott, how are you today?”

The old lady’s eyes stared at him, unseeingly.  “Alright.”

“Jolly good.  Can we examine you?”

A short while later the curtains swished open and the men marched away.

Teatime came.  The old lady opened her eyes to see a bowl of soup steaming on the swing-across table.  She lifted her hand from beneath the covers, sought out the spoon placed next to the bowl, dipped it into the soup, raised the spoon and tried to deliver the soup to her mouth.  Her shaky hand spilt orange liquid all over the bedcovers.  She stared at the mess a moment, put the spoon back on the table and shut her eyes.

The old lady heard the footsteps of visitors arriving, their voices noisy and friendly.  She heard other patients calling out ‘hello’ in greeting.  She opened her eyes, the soup had gone, only stains on her nightdress remained.  For a while she watched as the visitors sat on the beds of the patients, played word games, brushed hair, stroked hands, wiped lips.

The nurse came.  “Just need to check your blood pressure Edie.”

Edie held out a bruised arm.

“You got any children Edie?”

Edie shook her head.

Night fell.

The visitors left, blowing kisses, waving, promising to return.

At eleven the lights went out.  The ward lit only by the white lights in the corridor. Edie sat herself up a bit and started to fiddle with her hands, her lips moved and her brow creased with concentration.  Her fingers looped imaginary thread through imaginary material.  She murmured to herself.

As the sun rose and flickered through the blinds, Edie fell back to slumber.  Someone slapped a bowl of cornflakes swimming in milk onto the swing-across table.  Edie briefly opened her eyes and groaned.  A few minutes later her fingers reached for the spoon, dipped it into the bowl, lifted it to her mouth.  The spoon grazed her cheek spilling milk and golden flakes of corn down her chin.  She chewed at nothing for a while, then tried again only to gain the same result.

“You need any help Edie?”  A nurse stood at the end of her bed.

Edie smiled.  The nurse left, promising she’d be back ‘in a minute’ to help Edie.

Twenty minutes passed.  Edie fell asleep.  The bowl disappeared. The nurse had been distracted by someone ‘needing the loo.’

The morning passed in a haze.  People staggered by Edie’s bed on sticks, nurses took blood, dispensed pills, wheeled people to the bathroom, wrote on files.

At lunchtime a plate of roast chicken with vegetables and a glass of orange juice were placed on the swing-across table.  Edie opened her eyes.  She liked chicken.  She gathered up the knife and fork and tried to cut into the white meat.  Her arms felt weak, her wrists flopped down, her fingers ached with effort.  The knife dropped into the gravy splashing it over her nightdress and onto the blanket.  Edie groaned.  She lay down the knife and fork and picked up a carrot between her forefinger and thumb and tried to shove it between her lips.  She chewed for a bit then nodded off.

When Edie woke up, the plate of roast chicken had gone and a mound of red jelly flanked by bright yellow custard had taken its place.  Edie reached for the spoon, lifted it into the bowl, pushed the jelly around, then gave up as weariness overtook her.

The visitors woke her up.  A child screamed for its toy, a woman with a loud voice laughed hysterically at a man telling jokes.  Teenagers nodded their heads, white blobs stuck in their earholes.

Through the window, Edie could see grey swathes of rain.  Her lips trembled and she began to cry.  Lightening ripped open a gash in the greyness; the white light followed by a massive rumble.  The visitors stared through the window too.  Edie cried harder.

One of the visitors noticed Edie crying and came over.  “Hey, don’t be afraid, it’s only thunder.”

Edie stared at the unknown face a moment.  “Is there thunder?”

“Oh,” said the visitor, “I thought you were crying because of the thunder.  What’s the matter?”

Edie shook her head, “I don’t know where I’m going to stay tonight.”

The visitor thought for a moment.  “You’re safe, you’re in hospital, you have people all around you.  You are not alone, don’t be afraid.”

Edie nodded her head but still tears rolled down her face.

 

Short story by Petra Kidd © 2013

Also by Petra Kidd

The Eight of Swords

The Putsi

What Lurks Beneath

Sequel to The Eight of Swords – The Putsi

The Putsi

If you have something special belonging to someone else, what happens when they want it back?

 Eighteen years have passed since a family of Romanian gypsies invaded Jayne Patchett’s house.  In that time her life has changed remarkably, she is a successful artist, happily in love, living in an idyllic country cottage.  But all those years ago, one of the gypsies gave her a lucky pouch, the putsi.  Now, one of them wants it back.  Drama returns to Jayne’s life as secrets are unveiled and she begins to wonder who she can trust. 

Available as a short story ebook via Amazon & Smashwords

The Eight of Swords by Petra Kidd – Excerpt

When a big event happens in the world, people usually remember what they were doing, where they were, who they were with, how old they were when it happened.  For many years to come, they will say, “oh yes, when the planes hit the towers, I had just arrived in Cuba for my first holiday in two years,” or “when the Queen Mother’s death was announced, the entire family were here for lunch, including Aunty Martha who we hadn’t seen since Uncle Stephen passed away.”  All the little details of the moment they heard something terrible or significant happened come flooding into their mind.

 It is the same with more personal events. Happenings, that in a single moment of now then permeate our thoughts and memories forever after.  The day I came home to find my key wouldn’t turn in the lock, my head was full of how one of my colleagues had committed suicide, messily, under a tube train during rush hour.  I can’t tell you that I had any gut feeling or intuition that day would become such a significant turning point in my life. It started like any other, my alarm went off, I pressed the ten minute snooze option, shut my eyes tight and hoped each minute would become an hour in real time.  Of course this is impossible but when you hate your work, every little delay in getting there becomes a mini freedom. 

 I can even remember the dream I had before I woke up. It involved a tea party in the middle of a field with buttercups and dandelions, a voice said ‘don’t pick the dandelions or you will wee in your bed.’  I often wonder if that somehow signalled the events of the day and why if it did, did I get such a pointless and unhelpful warning?

 I stood on the doorstep for a full ten minutes before my poor befuddled brain would take in the fact my key no longer fitted this lock.  Stepping back I inspected the house to make sure that in my confused and distracted state I hadn’t mistaken someone else’s house for my own but no, the door remained red with a brass knocker in the shape of a mermaid, weeds had grown over the air vent, and rain dripped in a reluctant waterfall from the guttering.  No, this was definitely my abode of the past eight years, the place I bought after my second divorce vowing I would never again share my home, my heart, my possessions with another person. 

 Stepping back I glanced at my watch, I don’t know why.  Every evening I walked home from work, setting out from my office around sixish whatever the weather, regardless of time of year. I trudged through snow, battled wind, rain and hail, slid around on ice, squinted through fog and wore a ridiculously large hat to keep the rarely sighted sun of recent summers off my pale skinned face.  Somehow, I seemed to think the time might give me the answer as to why my key wouldn’t fit the lock.  Then I caught sight out of the corner of my eye, the curtain twitch open a second. It fell back again instantly. 

 Did I imagine that?  I thought, standing there stupidly as rainwater soaked my shoulders.  I leant over and tapped on the window.  Nothing happened.  The curtain didn’t move again.  It occurred to me at this point that perhaps I should try using my back door key.  I fumbled to pick it out among all the other keys on the ring: keys to my desk drawers at work, the shed key, my elderly neighbour’s key, a bicycle lock key I had ceased to use many moons ago. I began to walk round the right side of the house, across the tiny front garden, through the side gate and along the muddy path to the back door.  Again I inserted the key into the lock, tried to turn it and it did not budge.  I managed to stop myself from hammering on the frosted glass window of the door. How ridiculous would that be?  Knocking on my own door to be let into the house where only I lived.  On examination the lock looked shinier than my normal rusty edged lock, brand new in fact.  My heart jigged a little, in a downward way, my legs weakened and my stomach did a back flip, panic had finally set in. 

 I put the keys in my coat pocket and walked slowly back to the front of the house, pondering the situation.  Back at the front door I reached up and grasped the mermaid knocker firmly and thumped brass against brass three times.  Nothing happened.  I inspected the lock; again it appeared to be shiny and new.  A couple of deep scratches and a dent I didn’t recognise were next to it.  Someone had changed the locks. 

 I simply didn’t know what to do.  Bizarrely the thought ran through my mind that somehow my colleague had faked his death, come round, broken into my house and locked me out.  Why would he do that?  We hadn’t been particularly friendly, or not friendly. For the past year of his appointment to my team we exchanged personal pleasantries on an irregular basis, shared a filing cabinet, made each other the odd cup of tea and displayed only cursory interest in one another beyond our work.  A burglar wouldn’t have changed the locks. I had no family who would create such a prank. My parents lived abroad. My brother, a well off stockbroker lived happily in Surrey with his wife and two children. Extended family included only a very elderly aunt and a spinster cousin in Australia.  My friends and acquaintances were not of the type to do this either, they were for the most part professionals, reasonably well off, fully encompassed in their own complicated lives, far too busy and harassed to decide to break into my house, change the locks and then refuse to open the door.  They weren’t the kind of people who would think such an elaborate prank funny. 

Available to buy to download via Amazon Kindle.

To read on, click here The Eight of Swords 

A short story of circa 13k words

Copyright © 2012 Petra Kidd