In 1971, Nan Douglas and her toddler twins arrive on the remote island of Inniscuiilin, long-lost family of the eccentric Miss Campbell. For fifteen years they all live quietly up at the Big House, until the twins start planning their future – forcing Nan to confront their past…
Because someone, somewhere believes that the twins aren’t twins. That they’re not even Nan’s children. And that Nan isn’t Nan.
Only Nan herself can prove them wrong – but it’s a gamble. Win or lose, she’s still at risk of losing her beloved family.
Beginning of Chapter 3
She had expected a private clinic. And a doctor, one Malcolm knew personally, one who would keep the secret – the awful secret – as a sort of filial Hippocratic Oath.
But the clinic was unnecessary, apparently, and the man he had in mind was a doctor, Malcolm assured her, in all but the ink on his qualification drying. He knew the procedure and, after all, he was top of the class and best student of the year, every year. He had researched carefully…
It was only at that point Sally realised, with disbelief, that Malcolm wasn’t talking about a colleague of his from the hospital. No, he was talking about himself. He intended to operate on her himself.
He, personally, intended to abort their child.
‘No, no, no, lovely, Sarah, don’t say that.’ He held her to him when she asked him outright. ‘Don’t think of it as a child. It’s a scraping of cells. It’s called a D&C, you know that. Minor surgery. I’ve watched several women cured of their menstruation issues this way.’
‘Watched? Not done it?’ she whispered.
‘Darling Sarah, the difference is negligible.’
With distaste she thought he looked almost enthusiastic; proud to show off his ability, at any rate. He was getting impatient with her, too, she could sense his frustration barely masked by the kind words and carefully curated bedside manner. She was losing him, Sally knew it. Not only was she losing their unborn child, she was losing the man she loved.
‘Alright,’ she agreed. ‘Alright, Malcolm. Do what you think is best.’ She was too tired, and felt too sick, to argue any more.
Firstly, he administered a sedative, following that, a painkiller. She soon felt numb, in body now, as well as mind, and then drowsy as the anaesthetic worked. Sally watched as Malcolm stripped his bed and spread out a huge plastic sheet out over it, and then she let him take her by the hand and lay her down on top of it, her head propped up with two pillows.
The vision of Malcolm, donning surgical greens and gloves, before he pulled a mask over his mouth, was the last thing Sally remembered.
Thank you, Gill Merton and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
Gill Merton is the non de plume of five writers based around Edinburgh and the Lothians:
Entitled is their first collaborative novel, adapted from an original short story by Sheila Corrigan, and was made possible by funding from The National Lottery Awards For All.
Earlier publications include:
The Writing Group: an original stage/radio play (First recorded 2017)
A Way With Words: an anthology of prose and poetry (Pilrig Press, 2015)