Here is an excerpt from our new novel which was read to the Edinburgh Writers' Club in the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel on the evening of Monday 16th April 2018. The response by the other members was positive.
TRIANGLE OF TORMENT
James L.S. Carter and Thomas Hoskyns Leonard
CHAPTER 1: TO THE GAMBIAN CONSULATE
It was April 1972, and Malky McLachlan was a mere Diploma in Education student in the fiercely independent Moray House, where his history tutor focussed almost entirely on the Scottish Reformation and mentioned John bloody Knox at least twice a minute.
Malky was left wondering whether to switch to ' Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.'
With this life-changing decision in mind, he took his cheeseburger and chips to eat on a white-painted bench outside the classically D-shaped McEwan Hall (where the toffee-nosed Edinburgh University students were awarded their degrees upon graduation). He was nervous about entering the snooty University of Edinburgh Student Union without the right sort of ID in case he was ejected as a rank outsider.
A fulsome girl with pigtails ensconced herself on the end of the bench, slurping her strawberry milkshake.
“Hi, I'm in Law,” she snivelled, searching for her crimson lipstick in her green handbag which had been well-spattered by the milkshake.
“History,” replied scrawny Malky, nonchalently, though feeling embarrassed about the pimples beneath his prune-like eyes.
“How bloody impressive,” she replied, scratching her ear.
Malky rubbed his obloid chin. “And my elective at St. Andrews was in Pure Mathematics.”
The girl pursed her lips, and opened that month's edition of Cosmopolitan.
“I get a kick out of groups, rings, and weak convergence,” he added, limply.
“What a shocking picture of Burt Reynolds!” she exclaimed.
“Wot a tosser!” blurted Malky. “By the bys, I'm gonna to a sleazy party on the Royal Terrace later. Wanna come?”
“Who else will be there?”
“Pompous piss artists from George St., starving students, and sleazy diplomats,” replied Malky, feeling as self-indulgent as the crazy Greek God Dionysus. “There'll be lashings of acid.”
“I'm not into that sort of trip,” retorted the lass, with an inexplicable twitch, “and I'm beginning not to like you.”
“Wot a bloody shame. Are you sure? How 'bout a stretch in the Meadows?”
“How dare you!” shrieked the girl, spitting the dregs of her milkshake into Malky's face. “I'm away to my tutorial on social jurisprudence.”
The delicately handsome Joe Hamilton was as mercurial as the God Hermes himself. He noticed Malky's plight, chuckled, and thought he'd have some sport with the homely fellow, though he didn't really understand his own motives at all.
“Better luck next time, Jock.” commisserated Joe, walking up. “She looked like an obstinate bizzom if ever there was one.”
“I wanna date a girl like my sister,” moaned Malky, wiping his face, “but I get to go to weird parties and get laid by the fat broads and hard-arsed lessies.”
“You should try to be more classy,” replied Joe, with a slight sneer. “They taught me that sort of stuff and nonsense at Gillespies.”
“Ain't that a girl's school? ”
“Y-Yes,” stuttered Joe.
“I thought it was Jean Brodie country. My Great Aunt Nancy says that stuck up bitch was as flighty as Aphrodite herself.”
“B-but they have a small intake of b-boys nowadays,” stammered Joe. “It's about to become a co-educational comprehensive.”
Malky gave Joe the once over. “I see! And wot do you study?”