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A Short Sample

Before you start delving into this taster of my writing, please take half a minute to read the following:

Disclaimer & Copyright

Any similarity to actual persons, corporations or events is coincidental and in no way intended.

All of my work is original: it has not been copied or extracted from other sources. My work is also fiction, so while it may feature full and partial nudity in a variety of locations, it should not be assumed that such behaviour would be accepted or even permitted in those places in real life.

Prologue – New Year

Part of a currently unfinished and untitled novel.

Copyright © 2009 Martin S Pearson. All rights reserved.

"Happy New Year!" cried Charlotte Winters and her parents in unison, as Big Ben rang out the first stroke of midnight. The atmosphere in the centre of London was electric: people were screaming and shouting, hundreds of couples were sharing their first kiss of the year. As Big Ben continued to strike the hour, partly drowned now by celebratory fireworks and the noise of the crowd, the family joined hands in a circle and sang a rapturous chorus of Auld Lang Syne. They almost made themselves hoarse in their attempt to raise their voices above the roar of the London crowds.

"Right, that's quite enough of that!" announced Peter, the father of the family, finally switching off the television. The lounge of their suburban house in Mangotsfield, on the outskirts of Bristol, was stunned into silence, so much so that fifteen-year-old Charlotte almost found herself whispering.

"I thought you said we could stay up and watch all the celebrations this year?"

"We just did – they're only televised until five past midnight, then it's back to the usual late-night rubbish," Peter replied. "Anyway, it's past your bed-time, and you know how long it usually takes you to get up in the morning."

"Oh, go on, dad – please can I stay up a little longer?"

"No! Now, off to bed with you, before I carry you there myself!"

"Goodnight then," Charlotte sighed, "and happy New Year."

"Shouldn't that be 'happy Nude Year'?" her mother, Kristen, joked.

Charlotte smiled, and kissed her parents. "You know," she said, "it would be more of a happy nude year if a couple of my friends would try spending some time nude too. It gets very lonely on my own, you know. Even Stephen's never tried it, and he's my cousin!"

"Have you ever asked any of your friends if they'd like to try it?" Kristen ventured.

"Well, no... but I've known them all for years, so you'd think at least one of them would have taken it upon themselves by now. I'm sure that if Sam or Nikki wanted to try it, for instance, their parents would be more than supportive of them. In fact, knowing Neil and Rachel, they'd probably give it a go themselves! I bet they'd be allowed to be nude and comfortable at home when their friends were around, too..."

"Oh, Charlie – please, let's not have this conversation now," said Peter. "It's late, and your mum and I want to go to bed, even if you don't."

"Alright, but I do think it's time we talked about it again," said Charlotte. "I really want to make the most of this year. In fact, that's going to be my New Year's – sorry, Nude Year's resolution: to make the most of everything!"

"Starting tomorrow," said Peter, firmly. "Now, go and make the most of your bed!"

"OK, I'm going!" Charlotte grinned, turning to go up the stairs.

"Pete, you could have let Charlie stay up a little longer," said Kristen, when they had heard their daughter close her bedroom door. "She didn't seem at all tired to me."

"Maybe she wasn't, but I certainly am," Peter replied, yawning, "and I knew I'd never get to sleep with you two making a lot of noise down here."

"I suppose it is late," Kristen conceded, yawning too. "That yawn must have been contagious! Come on, let's leave the washing up until tomorrow and go to bed."

"What do you mean? I put it in the dishwasher hours ago. I'll just go and turn it on—"

"I appreciate the gesture, darling," Kristen interrupted him, "but don't forget the dishwasher broke down on Boxing Day. You were going to buy me a new one in the January Sales as a late Christmas present."

"So it did! Oh well, I'll just have to do it all by hand in the morning. You and Charlie can sleep in tomorrow; I'll bring you both your breakfast."

"You really know how to look after your girls, don't you?" Kristen smiled, kissing her husband affectionately. "Just think – if the dishwasher had broken down a day earlier, you'd have had all the Christmas Day dishes to do by hand as well."

"That's probably what finished it off!" laughed Peter.