Anyone who knows me, knows that Enigma is without doubt my favourite out of all the books and stories I've written. I am so completely in love with Silver, one of the MC's I should probably be worried, but what's not to love?
As any writer knows, when you write a good character you 'live' it. I lived and breathed Silver for a long time. I know how his mind works - and how it doesn't. He's beautiful, oh so beautiful inside and out, but flawed as we all are. He's hurt, lost and confused, a true innocent in a world he doesn't understand. He's my inner child and my incredibly hot and talented lover.
Silver is everything!
FOR ONE WEEK ONLY
BETWEEN 1ST AND 7TH NOVEMBER
ENIGMA IS FREE ON ARe AND SMASHWORDS
THE SMASHWORDS CODE IS YF47W
Troubled residents come and go at the Care House where River Caulfield is a caregiver, working towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse. When Silver arrives, a patient found on a roadside near death after suffering terrible abuse, River finds his previous personal detachment is compromised.
Seeking to help the mysterious and enigmatic young man locked inside his own mind and memories, River finds his professionalism slipping as Silver begins to open up and live again. But as their relationship begins to blossom, the roots of Silver's past abuse and the abuser who forced him into such a mental state sends forth new shoots of darkness enveloping them in dangers threatening not only Silver's sanity, but their very lives.
With River's devotion and help, will Silver finally be able to break away from his past? The answer lies in the words of a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard harbouring the secrets of the enigma that is Silver.
Pages or Words: 98,000 words Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Gently pushing Silver forward, I lean over his shoulder to look at what he’s been drawing. Clearly, he must have been drawing furiously for most of the time I’ve been gone. The table is filled with sheets of paper as if he drew one, thrust it away, and moved on to the next.
I almost gasp aloud. The drawings are... Well, they’re good, really good, but they have an undeniable nightmarish quality. They’re incredibly dark: twisted bodies, their faces showing horrible pain, lost souls trapped behind bars or locked into cages, or cowering with their hands over their faces. So many drawings, so many images of pain in such a short time, and they are all so... so...
I crouch down at the side of the chair to bring myself level with him. He turns his head to look at me.
“These are good, very good. You’re a talented artist, Silver. Did you draw at the hospital?”
He looks at me with that same blank expression and, without thinking, I take his hand and stroke his fingers. He looks down at what I’m doing with a little spark of interest.
“Did you draw at the hospital, Silver? Did you paint?” He shakes his head. “Did no one ask you to?”
He thinks for a moment, then nods. “But you didn’t feel like it?” He nods again. “Do you feel like it now? Do you feel like doing more drawings, or maybe a painting?” His eyes meet mine and, for a moment, there’s a definite spark, almost a hungry expression, then his eyes sweep the table and the spark dies. He shakes his head.
“That’s alright. You tell me if you want to and I’ll make sure the equipment is available. I have to write a list of things for Ronya to get when she goes out shopping today. You can help me with that in a minute. Shall I ask her to get some art materials?”
He just looks at me with a completely blank expression. I smile and squeeze his hand. “It’s okay, Silver. I’ll get the stuff and show you where it is and if you feel like you want to use it, you can, anytime. Okay?” Still, he just stares at me, but there’s something... I don’t know what it is, but there’s something there that makes me think he understands.
I reach out and gather up all the drawings with one hand. I have to use just one hand because suddenly he’s gripping the other one, watching what I’m doing with anxious eyes. At first, I think he’s afraid I’m going to damage or get rid of the drawings, but then I realise it’s because he sees what’s in them.
I pick one particularly detailed one. Most of them are outlines, albeit expertly executed ones, but this one has lots of detail. It’s of someone in a cage, cowering on the floor, long, thin hands wound around the bars.
“Is this you?”
Silver stares at the drawing and fear consumes his eyes. His hand grips mine so tightly it aches. “Is this how you feel, Silver, as if you’re locked in a cage?”
He turns his head away from the drawing so slowly, almost as if he pries his eyes from it, and looks at me. I have no idea what’s going on behind his eyes, but whatever it is, isn’t good. His lips tremble and part and he whispers, shaking his head. “No.”
“Good, because you aren’t. Not if you don’t want to be, not anymore.”
Does he wince when I say that? Does something flinch? It might be my imagination. In moments, he’s carefully blank again and he releases my hand. Taking the papers from me, he shreds them, turning them into so much confetti, the cage one first.
My first impulse is to stop him. They’re too good to be treated like that. But they’re his creations and it’s for him to decide their fate. If he needs to destroy them, then so be it.
Meet the author:
Nephy Hart was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her niece, nephew and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, hamster and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art.
Where to find the author:
Publisher: Flying with Red Haircrow
Cover Artist: Red Haircrow