Saturday, 7 March 2009

Fruitless: An Esther May Morrow Fantasy

Book 3 in the Esther May Morrow's paranormal collection had its release today at Eternal Press. Fruitless is a contemporary fantasy with shades of Aladdin and Midas. In other words, it's a lot of fun.


Your glass fruit bowl from Esther May Morrow’s gift shop shall be filled nightly with the following ingredients—money, diamonds, anything you could possibly dream of! There is no three wish limit. No one else knows your secret. As long as it fits inside the bowl, nothing is beyond your grasp. What would you wish for?

For down-on-his-luck salesman Nick Bergman, a heartfelt gift bought with his final ten pounds opens an astonishing, magical route to fortune. His girlfriend Geri advises caution, but Nick fears the magic might only be temporary. It’s time to be creative. Physical riches soon give way to ambitious plans for the future when he realizes the awesome implications of limitless wealth. The world beckons. But will he ever know when enough is enough?


“There’s more than one kind of fruit bowl?”
She grinned and nodded.
“OK, well our last one was about yay big”—he approximated the distance between his hands—“with a fancy glass design. Anything like that’ll do.”
After staring into his eyes for a moment, she replied, “I have just the thing.”
Nick suddenly realised who she reminded him of—the scheming blonde from Double Indemnity. A dead ringer, he thought, only this one’s a little less…femme fatale.
She retrieved a fine-looking cut glass bowl from the far end of the shop. Its design wasn’t garish, its shape would blend innocuously with Geri’s other knickknacks, and it didn’t look too expensive either.
“How much?” he asked.
“Why don’t you make me an offer.”
“Excuse me?”
She handed him a white business card. “This is a ‘Buy or Borrow’ shop. You tell me if you want to keep or rent the item, and then make me an offer. It’s very rare we refuse anyone.”
Sounds screwy.
“OK, just a sec,” he said.
Rummaging through his wallet, he suddenly remembered his two debit cards were useless. He was overdrawn. Until his next, final paycheck from Sulley & Vance, a tenner was the only cash he had…anywhere! And given Rutherford’s bullying tactics thus far, he’d likely stay broke for some time to come. But Nick grew stubborn at the thought of his girlfriend’s empty sideboard. The day had been a wretched one, but if he could just fix this one thing…for her…she’d at least smile when he returned home early. Before he gave her the news.
“Is a tenner alright?” he asked. “I’m afraid it’s all I’ve got…literally!”
“Are you sure?”
“Sure, why not—it’s for my girlfriend, and she’d do the same for me. Go on, make out a receipt for ‘Everything I own for one glass bowl.’ It’ll cheer me up after the day I’ve had.”
The lady smiled and took his ten-pound note. “OK, and if you ever need a replacement, I promise I’ll only charge you the same.”
“Very kind.”
“What’s your name?”
“Nick…Nick Bergman.”
“I’m Esther May Morrow. Your girlfriend’s a lucky woman.”
“Thank you. I just hope she takes better care of this one.”
“She will. You both will, I guarantee it.”
She handed him the receipt and wrapped the bowl in blue paper.
“Thank you very much,” he said. “Have a nice day, Esther May.”
“You too, Nick.”
He left the shop with two nagging desires: the first, to devour a footlong Subway Melt with southwest sauce; the second, to snuggle up next to Geri on the settee…for the remainder of the day.

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