Vickie lives in London, UK, and works as a magazine layout sub editor. Her first book, Kiwi in Cat City, was written in 2002 and self-published in 2011, and she has scribbled stories and poetry all her life. Vickie’s loves include cats, reading, films, travelling, rock music, Castle, The Walking Dead, tea, the sea, dancing like an eejit, sleeping and Milky Bar.
Vickie has self-published the following 15 books:
Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance with a dog); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for young teens), Day of the Pesky Shadow, The Sea Inside (teen/YA fantasy), I Dream of Zombies and Haven (Zombies, book 2). The Kiwi Series has illustrations by Nikki McBroom.
Contact / book links
Kiwi Series website: Kiwiincatcity.com
FB author page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVickieJohnstone FB Kiwi Series page: http://www.facebook.com/KiwiinCatCity FB poetry page: http://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopePoetry FB editing service page: http://www.facebook.com/VickieJohnstoneEditing
Amazon US page: http://www.amazon.com/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE Amazon UK page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE
The dark grew thicker, like an impenetrable blanket tumbling from the sky. Soon it would smother everything.
“Come further,” the voice whispered in the pitch.
The waves flickered and I stretched out my hand as far as I could, and into something warm, which gripped my wrist and tugged. I felt as if my arm would rip from its socket; such force dragged me towards the water. I struggled, but then the voice told me to be still and not to panic. There was something in the tone that soothed my fears; there was no reason to be afraid.
No reason?! I condemned my reasoning as the icy fingers clasped my feet and dragged me back. Like a ghostly tug of war of invisible forces, they both pulled.
“Let her go,” the voice whispered. There was warning in its softness.
I tried to wriggle my feet out of the cold grip once more. It seemed an endless time until I plunged forwards with a jolt. At last the invisible being had released me from its icy embrace, sending me into the water, chilling me to the bone. I drew my legs up towards my body, hugging them to my chest as I sat amongst the waves surrounding me in every direction.
The thing did not follow and I shivered. In front of me I could see clearly, without panic and with grim certainty, that there really was nothing on the beach. Emptiness stretched as far as the eye could see. No footprints. No holes. No evidence of anything. What was in the sand? Spirits? Clawed demons? I shivered alone in the dark.
But I was not alone. “Take my hand.”
I turned fast and came face to face with a pair of eyes. They stared back, deep and imploring. It was the person I had seen in the sea with dark eyes and even darker hair. He stretched out his hand. “You must come with me or you will surely die here.”
“W-who are y-you?” I stammered, shaking with cold. “Where am I? I c-can’t swim, I can’t…”
“No, I’m dreaming. I-I will wake soon.” I hugged my feet towards me, wrapping my body against the cold, but I dared not step back on the sand.
“You have no choice,” the man said, sounding weary. “I will not let any harm come to you, but you cannot stay here as they will come back.”
Terrified, I asked, “Who are they?”
There was no reply. Without warning, the stranger’s arms encircled my waist and pulled me backwards into the water. As the cold waves swirled around my neck, I screamed, but the silence in the air stifled it. I closed my mouth when salty water swam inside.
“Hold your breath!”
The blanket of dark hovered above my eyes and I felt myself sinking. Strong arms pulled me down into the depths, yet they were warm. I was swept down, down into the dark, into the cold bluest of blues where the water swirled. I closed my eyes in the knowledge that I was going to die, even as I willed myself to wake up. The strangest thing was the sensation of my body evaporating as the depths plunged past me, as though I were descending in some fast, invisible elevator to the end of the world.
The firm arms did not leave my waist as the cool waters pressed against my ears in a never-ending song of silence. I dared not open my eyes, scared of what I might see. Time stopped and yet it seemed to surge on endlessly, and at the point when I thought I could not hold my breath any longer everything else stopped.