Afterlife of the Party

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. We’d like to blame it on being swept up in NaNoWriMo madness, but we finished our NaNo story on 19th November. This year was different for us. This year we only wanted to write a novella, so aimed to write the 50,000 words required, rather than trying to beat last year’s target of 95k. The novella, The Malignant Dead is based on a short story we wrote about a plague doctor in Edinburgh in 1645. It’s actually inspired by the true story of Edinburgh’s plague doctor, George Rae, except with added horror. It’s not our first historical book, but it is our first historical horror. We haven’t read a lot of historical fiction of the 17thC because it mostly seems to be historical romance (if written by a woman) or about battles (if written by a man) and we wanted to do something different and recapture the love we had for history when learning of the gruesome tortures during the Tudor period.

We now have a taste for it and have decided to write a historical horror novella for every NaNoWriMo, as it combines two of our favourites things – horror and history. The next one will be about witchcraft and we might do one about the Resurrectionists. We haven’t thought that far ahead.

There is one disadvantage to finishing NaNo so early – you spend the rest of the month feeling left out. At least with our novels we had our own targets to beat so we could empathise with the pressure. This year, as we knew we were only doing the 50k, there was no pressure at all. We worked at our normal pace.

But as it turned out, there was a massive advantage to finishing early. The day after we finished, (Wednesday) our grandfather (Grampy, we called him), was taken to hospital.

He died the next day.

At 92 years old, it shouldn’t have been a shock. He’d been ill since the Saturday but showed signs of improving on the Tuesday. On the Wednesday he’d deteriorated. But we thought he’d recover. We were already arranging shifts with our sister and mum so he would have 24 hour care. Then on the Thursday, the hospital rang us, telling us he’d taken a turn for the worse and we should come down.

He died before we got there.

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe what a wonderful man he was. One of the things we loved most about him was that he accepted us the way we are. He never once asked when we were going to meet nice men and settle down with 2.4 children. (Never!) Or asked when we were going to get ‘a proper job’ (Never! Wonder if anyone asks J K Rowling this). All he cared about was that we were happy. He’d often joke about getting piercings and dyeing his hair to look like us. One of our favourite memories is of him doing an impression of his friend trying to talk after toffee had stuck her false teeth together 😀

So that’s why we haven’t blogged. Because we’ve had nothing to say. We’re no strangers to grief. In fact, we know it so well we could enter a Mr and Mrs contest and take home the cash prize for charity. Though we have no mantlepiece for the carriage clock. The hole Grampy has left behind proves how much he was loved. 92 years wasn’t long enough. The world is a darker place without him.