*John is staying in shared lodgings, belonging to the mill.*

John awoke far too early, for it was only three but oh, he was hungry. How he longed for some decent breakfast, he always meant to make his own porridge but tiredness more often than not got the better of him. Instead, John had the last meagre piece of hard bread and dipped it in his cup of hot water, for he had run out of tea. There he sat eating and drinking what wouldn’t have been fit for a church mouse. He licked his index finger, dabbing the crumbs from the plate. He placed them in his mouth not wanting to waste a single morsel. John McGrath prepared himself for a long day at work, realising that as he had nothing to take with him, he would have to go almost an entire day without food.
Cold and hungry, John prepared himself for the next fourteen or so hours, determined not to have momentary lapses in concentration for he did not want to jeopardise his chances. John sat at his work space, looking over to the person to his left.
‘Focus John’ he thought to himself, and focus he did. He coughed as he prepared the fabric in the factory loom and the tiny cotton particles caught at the back of his throat.  He continued to work away under the dim light, ignoring the churning of his empty stomach.
“Pssst John, what’s the matter with you today?”
John jumped, immediately stopped the loom and glanced at Cane Willis across the way.
“I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not.”
“I am probably not in the boss’s good books at the moment, we shouldn’t talk when we’re working. We can when we have finished.”
Alright. Pssst John?”
John raised his head again.
“What have you been eating?”
“It’s just; I saw that you only had that conker sized piece of stale bread left this morning. You look thin.”

(Buy my existing novels Teddy and Azure here)

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


16 thoughts on “Kith & Kin – Extract 1

  1. I’ve read about the shocking conditions in the mills, and that the dust caused lung problems. Poor people.
    You didn’t say where John was when he ate his bread. If he was at home, how did Cane know what he ate?

    1. Hi Francene, no John wasn’t at home. He was in his lodgings…..it’s only an extract but I did mention more about his actual surroundings in the chapter, I just didn’t post that part.

  2. I wondered about how Cane knew about the bread too. And I also wondered why, if John has porridge available, he’s only eating a little bread. I would think the extra work involved in making breakfast would be worth not starving.

    Interesting concept.

  3. You are taking us, dear Sophie, on an amazing journey, as we watch you explore ways to weave your talent, imagination and love for words. Fly high! We shall watch you soar with love and pride. HUGS ❤

  4. I enjoy your style, and I will enjoy the story if it incorporates good, historically accurate detail that makes history come alive. My problem is, it is hard to read extracts and comment on them. When an author begins a book (intentionally) in the middle of the story, he or she will write in such a way that the reader can quickly get up to speed enough to start the story, and then add detail (or use his/her skill to allow the reader to accurately build the world) as the story progresses. These extracts do not have that kind of “reader orientation” (if I can call it that – I don’t have any formal training in writing so don’t know the correct terms). So, all I can say is – your story seems to have a lot of promise. I love the John character, and look forward to learning more about him.

    1. Hi Alana.
      Like I’ve said, I am reluctant to give people my work for free any more. I think I am past that stage. I’m simply posting snippets to see if people actually like the style in which it is written and I probably wont put them up very often. This extract was from my first chapter.
      -What would you suggest that I do?

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