The Defeatist- An extract from chapter 14

defeatist car

-I have written the very first draft of this novel, and hope to revise/ redraft it before releasing it as an E-book later this year.

November 2013 :

“Turn that light off!”
“It’s pitch black and I need to see.”
“Selfish bast…”
“Oh great, cheers Joe. That’s very mature of you.”
“Stop winding me up, Jude. Don’t just flounce in here, all squeaky clean from your shower like nothing has happened.”
Oh God, he’s furious. They say never go to sleep on an argument, we need to fight this out.
“Joe, we need to talk about this. You didn’t let me finish earlier. I still love you. I really do.”
I perch myself on the bed, and gaze into his eyes. He’s so beautiful and gets better looking with age. Think of something decent to say, Jude. I don’t, instead I reach forward to stroke his cheek. He tickles me. In shock, I lose my balance, but he catches me and pulls me back onto the bed. I’m scared that he might strike me, but instead he just shakes his head and laughs.
“You’re such a pushover.”
How dare he! There’s no way that I want to share a bed with him now. I pull my pillow and the whole double duvet from our bed and stomp down the staircase. I’m sleeping on the sofa and don’t give damn what he says.
“Oh Jude, what the hell? Stop being such a diva. Come back, I’m going to freeze!”
“Good!” I yell. He’s following me, running actually. Shit! What is he going to do?
“Bring the duvet back, you idiot! What’s the matter with you?”
I don’t know what the matter is. My legs are trembling uncontrollably, I think I need to sit down. He’s quick on my heels, and yanks the double duvet so hard from my tightened grip, that I fall to the floor.
I’m struggling to catch my breath and-and my ankle hurts. I look to my left and Joe is crouched beside me. He looks really pale, I wonder why. He’s shaking me back into reality and pulls me to my feet. Woah, it hurts to stand, putting any weight on my left ankle is almost unbearable. I sit down, he’s rubbing my back and I remember what has just happened. I don’t know what to do. Joe says that he loves me, but I don’t think so. I lie along the sofa, with the duvet draped over me. I don’t say anything, I’m afraid to.
I think I fell asleep. Where am I? Hang on, one moment ago I was lying on the sofa, now I’m tucked under our thick duvet. He-he’s beside me. Oh crap, how did this happen? Did Joe carry me to bed? No! I said that I wasn’t going to sleep in the same bed as him. No way. I slip out of bed, don my dressing down and curl back on the sofa. It’s not the most comfortable of places, but I would rather be in control. It’s colder than I thought. Brrr! I reach my hand to the left and realise that the heating must have been off for a while.
Crap! My heart freezes, I leap up from where I am trying to sleep and my ankle smarts.
“What on earth are you doing, sleeping alone on the sofa?”
“Why did you carry me to bed when I made it quite clear that I wasn’t sleeping with you, Joe?”
“Oh Jude, I knew you weren’t serious. You never are about anything.”
“This time, I meant every word.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Aira Force

Aira force

-Based on the Cumbrian folk tale.

The besotted lovers were not long betrothed, drums forced Sir Eglamore to war
He promised his weeping Emma that he’d return as he had done before
Emma yearned for her Sir Eglamore, the Knight so gallant and fine;
But alas, he had to depart, abandoning her for some time
News came that Eglamore had perished, grief hurled her into depression
Her health deteriorated seriously and she lived in a deranged possession
In time, Emma began to sleepwalk and the knight did not know;
That she was far from the sweet lady he had met some years ago
One day he returned, alive from the war to be reunited with her
He was not aware of Emma’s condition, or that her mind was deterred
Sighting her near the beck, he approached, tapping her upon the shoulder
But terror struck, and she stumbled, then tumbled over a slimy boulder
Down she plummeted as she fell on a prepiece and over the waterfall
The Knight could only watch in horror as there was nothing he could do at all.
He pulled his lover to the edge of the pool and up, onto the side
It was then Emma lost her life, for in his arms she died.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Pit Of Hell

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John :

This bed is my prison; the iron cast frame is the bars

In my semi conscious state, I lie trapped here for hours

I want to be in the garden, but it is not safe for me now

I cannot leave my confinement, my body doesn’t know how

My painful bones are a punishment, alongside my aching chest

It might be will of God. Everyone thinks that he knows best

I am a man of thirty-eight, but it’s as if I am ninety-two

My body is slowly shutting down. Was this God’s plan too?

People fear the fires of hell, and take the up most care:

To study the bible day by day and the word of God they share

Perhaps I should have gone to church and worshipped him as well

I fear I have fallen too far. I am condemned to the pit of hell.


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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


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John :

I see a kind young woman, one who is pretty and fair

Genuine and fine of figure, with a mane of fiery hair

She is support for her Mother and caring as can be

Bonnie is a dedicated worker, I think she takes after me

She is only fourteen years old and so wise for her age

She has a hot temper, but carefully controls her rage

I know she will do well, Bonnie is hard-working and clever

My! Children grow up so fast. We cannot hold their hands forever.

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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014



Peter :

This conman is a crafty one, eccentric and aloof

He has many aliases, his fake passports are the proof

Why would he escape prison, with a matter of months to go?

What were his initial motives? Perhaps he doesn’t know

Neal doesn’t look his usual self, dressed in prison clothes

He seems refined somehow, even though he’s wearing those.

He’s composed and witty: he wants to strike a bargain with me

But why after he ran, does he suppose I should set him free?

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


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Queen Evangeline :

Who is this pompous child of mine, with his shock of chestnut hair?

He doesn’t possess any self-composure, yet about him every one cares

People say he is a talented boy, but they cannot see through his smile

Theodore is a flighty thing and that side shows once in a while

His paintings are mediocre, but his Father is so full of praise

His newest creation sat in our hall for more than several days

He was more amiable as a little boy; Mr Howard kept him out of my sight

I saw him for under an hour each day, when he kissed me on the cheek at night

Lady Jane seems to have taken to him and she does well to play her part

Yet I doubt that she will even fall for my son and offer him her heart

Oh Theodore, why must you defy me? You’re ignorant and obtuse

On other instances your behaviour turns and your actions are aloof!

I will not hesitate to strike you my boy, if that is what it takes

Mend your frivolous manner. Your crown and kingdom are at stake.


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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Kindred Spirits

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Maira & John :

We were kindred spirits for twenty years, but life is leaving you.

Why must God be so cruel, when you’ve endured all you can do?

I want to hold you in my arms and tell you that you’re not going to die

But precious John, you and I know that it does not do to lie.

Do you remember the times in the meadow, when we sat under our tree?

Or we talked for hours on end, and you poured out your heart to me.


Maira back then we were but children, how fast the years have passed

I always feared that we were over-content and things were too good to last

I feel safe as my head rests on your shoulder and Bonnie enters the room

I watch her tears fall once more and fear that I will be gone so soon

I promise to cling on to life, and exist for as long as I can

Thank you both for completing me. You made me the man I am.


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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


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Father you’re in agony, what can I do to ease your pain?

Can I fetch you a glass of water, before you fall asleep again?

Tell me how I can help, for I cannot watch you suffer so

Day after day, night after night your head writhes to and fro

We don’t want to leave your side, though you sleep all of the time

I will stay with you now and listen to the clock’s hourly chime.


Bonnie is that you? How pleasant it is to hear your voice

I loathe being indisposed: my useless body gives me no choice

Darling, you make me so proud. You have achieved far more than I

Hush now, don’t pity me. Please, I don’t want you to cry

My eyes are growing heavier, but before I sleep I must say

I am grateful to have a daughter, who makes me proud each day.


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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Teddy- Extract #3

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Teddy, chapter 18 :

John felt groggy, not wanting to alarm Maira he sat down with her and continued to rub her back, when really; he needed someone to massage his.
“I am fine.” He reassured her. “I’ll be as right as rain. Maira don’t worry, you have time yet and you’re doing so well. This will be easier than the first time.”
“But that was 14 years ago!”
“You’ll remember; I promise and I’ll be here at your side to talk you through. You’re only in the early stages love.”
“I know you will.” She whispered. “I love you John, so, so much. Please don’t let me squeeze your hands whatever you do. I might forget and hurt you.”
“If it helps, I wouldn’t care one bit. Now then, I think we should have a little walk up and down.”
“That helped with Bonnie.”
“Exactly, come along now.”
John supported her waist and took her hand in his as they paced up and down the floor.
“Any better?”
She nodded. “Thank you, love.”
Maira whimpered as the contractions grew closer together.
“Maira, where would you like to be?”
He did not wait for and answer and scooped her up, carrying her into the bedroom. He tucked her into the bed and propped her up against the pillow.
“The sheets will be ruined!”
“They were last time. There are spares in the draw. Keep breathing through them my love, that’s it.”
Maira closed her eyes as another contraction came.
“I want to push, John. I think I need to.”
“Not yet Maira, keep taking deep breaths and say calm. You’re doing so well. Now then, you’re going to have a very quick and easy labour.” He rubbed her stomach in circular motions. “Do you hear that little bump? Do not cause your Mummy too much pain or trouble.”

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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Fate’s Glare

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John McGrath :

My body is failing, I can barely press on
I dwell on days which have been and gone
I am far from the man I used to be
My heart is weakened and all can see
I don’t want to be a nuisance, but I can’t sit and wait:
As the days drag by and I near my fate
I have to continue working for as long as I am able
I sense my frail legs shaking, my heart beat is unstable
I carved my fortune, laid out my unfortunate path
Now I sense fate’s glare and await its wrath
An icy wind brushes past, it is lingering for me
I cling onto life. I am not prepared to be free.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014