Penny Periodical

Fiction in parts – inspired by the Victorian periodical press – pioneer of publishing literature in instalments

The Tallow Chandler – Part 6 (final instalment)

The next week brought a damp spell and as the crisp carpet of leaves was made sodden the village prepared for the funeral. Without the tireless song of the wind there was an odd silence about the place; voices were replaced with sad, knowing nods and gentle pressings on arms and even Mrs Froggart and Mrs Tipper kept their gossip low. Nothing had been seen of the stranger and people were beginning to forget. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tallow Chandler – Part 5

Joe’s right eye was bloodshot from disturbed sleep, framed by the slight opening of the door and lit as if by lamplight in the glaring moon. The man, stood far enough away that Joe could see him whole, looked right into it, the strange blackness of his own an eerie, hypnotic mist. He was still, staring, just as he had been on the opposite side of the beck. A small black hole cracked open on his face.
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The Tallow Chandler – Part 4

Joe awoke from his fretful sleep gasping for breath and in those first few seconds it might well have been a dream. But the choking cloak of reality came quickly around him. It had not been a dream, it was a memory, a raw memory, open and sore as torn skin. His candle had burnt out and, sat upright in his waking fright, he listened in the dark. No sound but the sleepy lap of Genie’s tongue at her lips.
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The Tallow Chandler – Part 3

As he slept, Joe dreamt of last evening and the events that had brought his fear so firmly to the surface. Genie, curled right up into him, gave him comfort, even in sleep.

The wind had been strong all day and the blustered leaves flew around Joe like kites. His stiff but thinning hair, at that odd length between the nape of his neck and the top of his shoulders, flickered about around his collar and he battled into the village with Genie at his heels. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tallow Chandler – Part 2

Joe slid the door closed quickly and with as much force as he could muster before bolting it locked from inside. He stayed there for a moment, eyes wide, leaning against the rough wooden slats and catching his breath. His chest heaved up and down. He stayed there for a few minutes, arms unsteady against the door. As his breath began to come more easily he turned to face the darkness of the workshop.
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The Tallow Chandler – Part 1

The arms of autumn were wide when it fell heavily upon the ground, smashing into a thousand tiny pieces and scattering its copper and brass confetti along the narrow streets. Summer had faded quietly away before anyone had noticed, taking with it the long, warm evenings and now the wind was dry, catching on the lips of people bundled up against it, scurrying home to their families, or their cooking, or their kitchen fires.
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