Mister Kreasey's Demon
Publication date: July 2011
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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Village teacher, Matt Kreasey, is reduced to paranoia by the street-hardened students in his new inner-city London post. His student, Amy, lets him glimpse at love, but could she, too, be one of those gathering with the hunting knife which has already ended the life of his colleague ? Can a paranoid stop himself from destroying she, alone, who might have shown him what enduring love could be ? Heckled, often ignored and threatened by the street-hardened students who mistake gentleness for weakness in their teacher, Matt Kreasey has perhaps just one vestige of tenderness that he can still recognise in a student who is called Amy. "Kreasey wondered whether his student had appeared before his immaculately groomed neighbour, Doctor Mallaby, in her very highest heels, the ones that gave Amy an extra three-and-a-half inches of height over a world that had always seemed to look down on her. On her first visit, he'd noticed, Amy was slightly undernourished and shivering in a short skirt with a slit up the side. She'd been clutching her essay to her low-necked top and he'd wanted to tell her that she'd made him happy enough - just by appearing on his doorstep with those eyes which spoke of deprivation and held, for him, openness more beautiful in itself than any he'd seen in any student before." She, alone amongst his students, had tried to help him... "She was searching his eyes, confused. He recalled better times, those moments when her face had shared that open comic side of her lovemaking with him. He so wished he could deliver her from the dross that was her peer group. Unblessed though their encounters had been, he couldn't forget that she'd tried to be his passport to those from 12d... those who always seemed to be gathering, getting closer..." But reduced to paranoia about his students, Matt has his first doubts about her intentions, despite her intimacy with him... " 'Well, are we going to see you in them?' she smiled, still holding his shorts out like her trophy. But as he watched her lips they seemed to shape like those in a poorly dubbed film where the voice is out of synch' with the words... reminding him now to 'eat up' all his tablets and that, then, he wouldn't need to be 'cut up'." The acute anxiety state kicks in again, the paranoia deepening, real love seeming to be no more than a cruel deception... "He was forty-five, Kreasey thought, middle-aged and he still needed a sixteen-year-old girl to open the bottle for him. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps he should eat up all his tablets. He was going to need the next so badly when Amy had left his bed and the night seemed as if it feared returning to morning." Between sleeping pills, tranquilizers, flickerings of delusion and hallucination, Matt Kreasey fights to hold to him that which could be most dear - Amy Carter... 'Long night teacher,' class 12d seemed to chorus. 'Long is for lithe, panting tiger waitin' for you.' Amy had slept with him but now something warm and fleshy had covered his eyes, the whole mattress had sagged deep beneath him, his body sprung with the bed... all was dark as moonless night." Reviews: Atmospheric; intriguing. Beautifully observed characters. BARBARA ERSKINE, best selling author of Time's Legacy. A real page-turner, worthy of comparison with the early John Fowles but distinctively Raymond Nickford. ALLEN J. MILLINGTON SYNGE , author of Bowler Batsman Spy. Atmospheric, vibrant, spooky page-turner. REAY TANNAHILL, historian, novelist and author of The Seventh Son. As a former London teacher, Raymond Nickford has nailed the teacher's fear at the 'Lord of the Flies' pack mentality perfectly. And what a cliffhanger! MARSHA MOORE - author of The Hating Game. This sends shivers down the spine.... the author does anxiety/paranoia so chillingly well. JANE ALEXANDER - author of Walker.