Addled

Chapter 7: Thumbprint of God

In this final extract from ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic’ Zoe celebrates Christmas with her friends and receives an unexpected gift. But when her guard is down, the presence circling in the darkness makes its move…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

Fragmented images flashed and swirled about me, none of them lasting long enough to decipher. It was the tail end of a convoluted dream that had confused me even while I was having it, and I wanted to wake up and get back to reliable, linear reality. At last, I struggled into consciousness and lay with my eyes squeezed shut. I wanted to be awake, but didn’t want to get up. The weather had been frigid lately, and I knew once I emerged from the duvet, bits of me would start to freeze. The acidic tang of coffee hit my nose and made me think I was lying on the sofa downstairs. Disoriented, I opened my eyes and saw an envelope with my name on it leaning against a steaming mug on the floor beside the futon. I frowned at it, utterly baffled, until I remembered it was Christmas Day.

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Addled

Chapter 6: False Pretences

Christmas arrives in ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic’ and Zoe is ambushed by a psychiatrist with a hidden agenda and unusual facial furniture. Can she keep it together and convince him that she’s not crazy?

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

The lights had been up since October but it was only with the Big Day looming, that the mania set in. Everybody was getting stressed. I’d already had three desperate calls from panicked clients freaking out over poultry or puddings or oversized trees.

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Addled

Chapter 5: Maya

Continuing the extracts from ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic.’ In this chapter Zoe makes new friends and hears Jonah’s band play for the first time. Meanwhile, Danny isn’t happy his sister has moved out and comes looking for her, only to have a fateful encounter…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

I was walking into Heaton, my backpack heavy on my shoulders, when my mobile rang. I knew it was Danny without looking and braced myself for the onslaught. Reality had penetrated the fug in his head and he wasn’t happy.

‘I’m not abandoning you, Dan. You’re not a child.’

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Addled

Chapter 4: Little Miss Ouseburn

In this chapter of ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic’ Zoe moves out of the flat she shares with her brother and finds sanctuary in a shabby but beautiful place. However, the madness she hides is beginning to stir in the darkness…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

I stood before the open wardrobe and ran my eyes along the desultory collection of clothes huddled inside. Moving out was the perfect opportunity to get rid of my junk. There was stuff in here I hadn’t worn in years and couldn’t remember buying. I was going to have to be systematic and ruthless. Jonah had found some cardboard boxes and they sat behind me expectantly. I’d already packed my collection of psychology books and there was a small box of mementos, with bits of old jewellery, a couple of seashells and a pebble. I was surprised by how little I had accumulated over the years and even toyed with the idea of chucking the lot, but then found I couldn’t let go of the tiny pebble. Literally. I held it over the bin and stared at it.

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Addled

Chapter 3: Three Scary Monsters

Continuing the extracts from ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic.’ In this chapter Zoe defends her scary monster theory of life and comes clean about what she’s been hiding. Meanwhile, Jonah receives an unwelcome request and makes Zoe an offer she can’t refuse…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

The tide was coming in at Tynemouth and the water-logged sand reflected the cold blue sun, dazzling the handful of hardy dog walkers trudging up the beach, wrapped tightly against the wind. Their dogs ran and leapt and barked at the sea, which crashed and rolled as it advanced.

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Addled

Chapter 2: Popper Originals

The next chapter from ‘Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic’ – in which we meet the rest of Zoe Popper’s family: her single-minded mother who runs an art gallery and cares a little too much, and her hedonist twin brother, Danny who could do with caring a little more…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

Jonah’s red and rusting transit van was a treasury of sweet wrappers, empty crisp packets and assorted fluff and sticky stuff. I was surprised. His flat was an oasis of order and cleanliness. I shot him a questioning glance as we drove into town.

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Addled

Chapter 1: Jonah and the Whale

To celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic, here’s another chance to read the opening chapters. It’s a novel about spiritual awakening and the fine line between mysticism and madness. In chapter 1 we meet our protagonist: Zoe Popper – a cleaner and reluctant mystic who fears she may be going crazy. This is the start of Zoe’s journey into awakening where she meets Jonah, a musician nursing a broken heart, and then she runs into Dionysus…

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

This story isn’t easy to tell. It’s a bit like one of those obscure films where nothing happens for hours but then you realise that, somehow, everything has changed.

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