Excerpt from Muse

Photo of Iris Carden's books. Caption reads: "Excerpt from a book."

Excerpt from Muse by Iris Carden

Introduction

The boy bounced the ball against the wall. He was bored and wished his mother had time to play. Dad was at work.

Mum, however, no longer seemed to have time for him. She was busy with the tiny, pink object which was his new sister.

When Mum had gone to the hospital to get the baby, she had said it would be a new playmate for him, but the baby was not big enough to play yet. All it did was eat, sleep and cry.

Worse than that, Mum had got a girl baby! He wondered if girl were ever interested in the same games as boys played.

The ball rolled away. He ran after it. Down the driveway and out on to the road, went the ball. The boy stood on the footpath. Mum had told him never to go out on the road. Indecision gripped his young mind, as his favourite toy stayed just out of reach.

“I’ll get it for you!” a voice called. A girl, who appeared to come from nowhere, ran out on to the road and retrieved the ball.

“Thank-you,” the boy said as the ball was returned to his possession. “Does your mum let you go on the road?”

“I can go wherever I like,” the girl replied. “Gee, you must be old.”
“I’m older than you.”
“How do you know?”

“How old are you?”

“I’m almost five.”

“I’m older than that.”

That seemed to exhaust the conversation, but the boy did not want to lose his new companion yet. “Where do you live?”

“Around.”
“Do you like to play ball?” “Sure, I do.”

So the two went to the side of the house and together they bounced the ball against the wall.

“Why are your eyes that colour?” the boy asked.

Cover of Muse by Iris Carden, featuring painting of ancient marble statue, with red eyes and blood dripping from the mouth

Muse

Rescuer? Predator? Imaginary childhood friend? Artist’s muse? Goddess? Ancient unspeakable evil? All of these and worse? You always knew you didn’t imagine that shadow that moved, the thing lurking just outside of your field of view, the items that weren’t where you left them. You always knew, but you chose to ignore it, because the alternative was unthinkable. From the slightly warped mind of author Iris Carden, comes a monster who can give you everything you ever wanted, for a price. The catch is, you don’t know the price when you accept deal. When a failing author and an artist at the start of her career discover inspiration comes at a cost, and the consequences will outlive them both. (This book is absolutely not for kids.)


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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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