Reality is just one big let down…

February 17, 2013 2:20 pm

the imaginist elizabeth glanvilleReality is one big let down, but when I close my eyes I have a life.

That world makes me happy and happiness, at the end of the day, is all I’ve ever


Read on for a preview of The Imaginist by Elizabeth Glanville!

Louise Worthington – a young woman in her twenties – moves to London full of naïve hopes and expectations, only to be met with the cold realities of real-life. Little prepared for life in the real-world, Louise’s enthusiasm starts to falter, and she develops a defence in the form of excessive daydreaming. She soon prefers to spend her time fantasising rather than living and seeks solace in her other place. But when the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur Louise finds herself on the precipice between the two, with the pull towards idealism becoming just too strong to ignore. Louise continues to live a double life which juxtaposes the real and the imaginary, until things start to come to a head when her parents pay a surprise trip to her workplace in London.

Ryan, an old friend of Louise’s from university, also has high hopes from life. With a passion for music and writing Ryan is currently temping, and when things don’t turn out as expected it becomes a struggle to keep face. As the gulf between Ryan’s real life and that which he portrays to others widens Ryan slips deeper into depression. He indulges in alcohol abuse and self-harm just to cope with each day, before fleeing across the Channel to start a new life in France.

Secrets, lies, distortion and disillusionment combine to create a dangerous concoction. But can Louise survive London, and Ryan survive Paris, to return from the brink of destruction and to the family and friends who so desperately want them back?

The Imaginist

 “Hey! Oh my God you look amazing, did you buy that dress in the shop we were in earlier?”

“Mm-hmm!” Skye nodded and laughed, pulling a few model poses to show off her frilly 1920’s dress, teemed with black patent heels, a matching handbag and a string of plastic beads. Every hair on her head lay in its rightful place, her cheekbones were highlighted with bronzer and her eyelashes black as treacle. They sent shadows across her cheeks every time she blinked.

“Freezing outside, isn’t it? You look stunning, Suki!”

Suki was dressed in an incredibly short black satin dress which flared out at the waist before coming into a tight hem around her thighs. Her hair hung down her back in a glossy velvet waterfall, and even from a couple of feet away Skye had been able to detect the scent of strawberries.

“Thanks! Hey, I’m glad you could make it tonight. The others are over there,” she waved towards the back of the pub. “I got you one of these, hope you like fruity ones!” She handed over a glass of pale yellow liquid with half a passion fruit floating on top, then turned back to pick up the others. “Would you mind carrying this one? Cheers, let’s go.” And she glided off across the pub with Skye in tow, sipping on her tart yet mellow fruity cocktail and looking forward to a night of gossip, cocktails and dancing.

the imaginist

Skye jumped as she rolled over and her duvet slid off, exposing her naked body to the cold night air. The return to full consciousness caused a pulsation of guilt to punch at her insides. But didn’t everyone have a vice? She didn’t smoke (often), drink (excessively), swear or do drugs, and she had to get her kicks from somewhere; that uncomfortable five minute interlude with Suki had been the only thing of note to happen that day.

“It’s just escapism,” she whispered to the darkness. “It’s just a place to go, where I can be who I want and do as I please. It’s my sanctuary, where everything is good and safe and where there’s nothing scary and no uncertainty. Where’s the harm in that?”

Only silence replied.

* * *

On the other side of town Ryan saw off another bottle of Stella, simultaneously wrestling to get his wallet out of his jeans’ pocket. It seemed to be getting harder to coordinate the two. Eventually he managed to free his Mastercard, and waved it around the circle of his new found drinking buddies.

“Another round, all?” He shouted above the mixing of the DJ, revelling in the appreciative cheers and slaps on the back. He turned to the barman and gave his order, then added a round of tequilas with a couple of extra shots for the wait. As his mind fuzzed over he relished in that safe, familiar sense of drifting away from himself. It started in his legs as his muscles began to soften, then moved up through his body as his trunk filled up with nothingness and he lost himself to the music and booze. He knew he would pay the price for it come morning, but at least the pain of the hangover would numb the pain of life and give him something to focus on.

* * *

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