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Itchy Park
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-175-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Supernatural/Horror/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 197 Pages
Published: May 2014



From inside the flap

The year is 1988, but for Frank it’s the wrong age to live in. His penchant for exuberant Victorian fashions and antiquated literature marks him out as a laughing stock amongst his fellow workers in the London city branch of Marks and Spencer’s, Gracechurch Street.

When Frank finds an old hardback book left in a Gladstone bag outside his flat he has in his hands the very thing that will change his life forever. The manuscript penned by Doctor Stephenson one hundred years ago is a handbook on the occult. The book details the black magic rituals that the doctor performed before transforming himself into the beast that the world would know as Jack the Ripper.

Bullying in the work place. An infatuation with Victorian London. An itch to lose his virginity leads to a visit to London’s Itchy Park, an old east end churchyard. The spell transforms Frank Palmer into the devilishly handsome predator of women Francis Frisk. A handsome scoundrel with an insatiable taste for fine wines, gothic literature, and the blood of fallen women. He must reenact the five Whitechapel murders in 1980s London in order to break an ancient spell.

Detective Seymour Silk of the VIB (Vampire Investigation Bureau) is one step ahead of the metropolitan police in catching up with the killer at large. Can Frank reverse the spell before his life is condemned to finish at the end of a stake?

Itchy Park (Excerpt)


P

I'm accustomed to cheap rooms, silent suspicions and the louts that swig cider in this nape of the urbane London forest. Whores circle the perimeter like hungry buzzards. My personal tipple is that of the rouge of the fallen rose. More about that later.

Much later.

The devils manual lies open. Trophies from the fallen harlots all mixed up with a nice warm wax wash pudding just like Jacky-boy did back in the day.

Both my faith and future are determined by this satanic book, the blood of fallen women, and the truth of the doctor's wicked, wicked ways.

It was both a miracle and a disaster that got me here.

It'll take more than that to get me out.

To be Frank, it's a nightmare, dear boy. A BLOODY disgrace.


***

THE FIRST thing Frank Palmer noticed when he came home that autumn afternoon was the bag sitting there on his doorstep. It wasn't a sports-bag or a shopping bag, or a school-bag, or any other type of bag. It wasn't his bag. Yet it was sitting there on his doorstep.

Who would own such a bag?

Frank stared at it. He bent down and touched it, he ran his fingers along the surface. It was a Gladstone. The type that nineteenth century doctors carried on house-calls. It was a foot and a half in length, alligator skin, with two loop handles and a zip opening. He gripped the handle lightly. He thought about looking inside. A sudden fear gripped him. What if the owner of the bag was watching? What if the owner of the bag was an axe murdering drug-dealer? He let go of the bag and considered the options:

To pick up the bag and carry it safely into the flat meant he'd be a thief. Frank didn't like thieves. In his twenty-one years he had never stolen so much as a mars bar. His life was driven by anxiety. The fear of getting caught. The questioning. What to do? Leave the bag for a passing guttersnipe to steal? No. That would be as bad as a thief. That was even worse than being a... Frank hesitated for a few moments. He looked left and then he looked right. He bent down, picked up the bag, opened his front door and walked inside. He dropped the bag next to the telephone table at the entrance to his small hallway and exhaled loudly. He closed the front door behind him.

His Cocker Spaniel Holmes jumped up at him with welcoming yelps. Frank patted his dog on the head and tickled him behind the ears and the spaniel settled down. He looked at the old clock on the wall, and the three china ducks flying in formation against the cracks in the paint-work. He walked through his tiny hallway into his studio bedsit. The main room where he slept was full of books. Books on the floor, books on the bookshelves, and fallen volumes underneath the bed. There were books stood on the desk and books sat resting on the bed. There were books balanced precariously from the narrow window stool. There were history books and fiction books. There were books on fashion and architecture. There were books about collecting books. Books about books. Frank's perfect Saturday afternoon was to wallow in words, isolated from the outside world; he felt safest huddled up in bed with his latest volume borrowed from the library or bought from an old junk or charity shop. Frank liked books.

'Does anybody read anymore?' He asked Holmes who cocked his left ear in a pantomime of comprehension before jumping up onto the bed and collapsing in a heap on the duvet, softly panting. 'I read books every day, Holmes, but most people... Anyway I couldn't find a bloody thing to read at the library today, and besides the crowds were terrible... ' The telephone rang. Frank stood up and paced to the hall telephone. He picked up the handset from its cradle and spoke into the voice piece:

'Hello. This is Frank Palmer.'

There was no answer. Nothing. The line went dead. Frank put the hand set back down on the cradle of the rotary telephone. Frank hadn't had a phone call in days. He scratched his head and then as he turned around his foot hit something. The bag. The bag he had stolen. Perhaps the owner had found his telephone number. His heart hammered. Perhaps there were drugs in the bag. His stomach clenched. He opened the front door a fraction and took a look outside. Nobody. Nothing. Niente. Frank closed the door and turned around. He thought about simply picking the bag up and putting it back outside. Shoving it down the rubbish shoot. A sound. Holmes was growling softly and sniffing the carpet. Frank had never seen the old boy so agitated. The spaniel's nuzzle was picking up a scent.

'Hey little man, what's up?'

The dog kept on sniffing and growling. He darted between Franks legs. Frank jumped clear of the dog and turned around. Holmes had the Gladstone in his jaws thrashing forwards and backwards. A swing of his head. The little dog tossed the bag. They both watched as the bag arced through the hallway and landed in the bedroom. It hit the carpet. An object slipped out of the bag.

Frank walked over and picked it up. It was leather-bound. It had a time-stained black cloth covering with red gilt-lettering along the spine. A volume of Victorian horror perhaps? Maybe the book was valuable. Wow. He held it close to his nose and breathed in that old dead-wood leathery smell.

The book smelled valuable.

He opened the book to its copyright page. Privately published in an edition of just forty-seven copies. The author was somebody called Doctor Stephenson. Its subject was something called the black arts.

Its title:

A devilishly Handsome Predator of Women.


***