Category Archives: Intrigue

A Meeting of Minds

The club was busy tonight, packed with the usual heavenly bodies and a few out-of-towners looking for a holiday fling, or perhaps just a casual one-night encounter. Barry shimmied onto the dance floor, the rhythm of the latest Eurobeat making it impossible for him to stand still. He was sure some of the old queens would be watching, they always were, and hoped the sculptured blond was too. He’d spotted the visiting Adonis from his perch at the bar when said Adonis had sashayed down the stairs.

Barry knew the effect his favourite jeans had on some of the regular crowd and hoped they were having the same effect on his quarry.  He was too cool to look round as he moved centre-stage  but once he started to move to the music he casually looked that way to check.  He was watching.  Barry worked his way through his repertoire of dance moves, giving the object of his desire the occasional look.

Coming out of a rather demented spin Barry noticed the stranger take to the dance-floor. ‘Let the games begin,’ he thought to himself as he moved in that direction, idly wondering what his new dance-mate’s name was.

Step by step the two moved closer until they were dancing close enough to touch.  Barry looked up and was greeted with a reciprocal smile.  ‘This guy really knows how to move,’ he said to himself wondering if he moved as well horizontally.

As the song ended Barry nodded towards the bar. His dance partner nodded in agreement and followed.

It was slightly quieter at the bar allowing conversation at a normal volume without shouting.

“What’ll you have?” Barry asked.

“Besides you?” Came the reply, “GT, no lemon, Jim.”

“No. My name’s Barry,” Barry replied as he ordered slightly flustered at the obvious come-on.

“I know. Mine’s Jim,” Jim told him.  “You were wondering, weren’t you?”

“Err, yes,” Barry replied even more distractedly as he paid and handed Jim his drink.

“Cheers, and if you want to find out, I’m willing.” Jim told him.

“Find out?” Barry was having trouble keeping up with the conversation.

“If I move as well horizontally.” Jim replied. “Isn’t that what you wanted to know?”

“Oh jesus wept, I didn’t say that out loud did I?” Barry blushed.

“No, you’re okay.” Jim told him.

Sitting at the bar they sipped at their drinks and chatted, though nothing of consequence. Each time Barry tried to find out more about JIm he either ansered his question before it was out of his mouth, or avaoided them completely.

Barry couldn’t beleive his luck. He had managed to grab the best looking guy in the place. He tried to check Jim out as casually as he could. He was seriously interested but didn’t want to overplay his hand. He knew he was ‘punching above his weight’ he thought was the expression.

Jim leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “You should trust in yourself more. I’m not the best looking here, seriously, have you got a mirror at home?”

Barry blushed again, thrilled at the compliment which was clearly over the top, but also surprised that Jim had pretty much read his thoughts again. ‘Could anyone read thoughts really’ he considered.  He took in all Jim’s features and imagined himself kissing those moustache topped lips.

“I can and I did,” Jim said leaning into Barry. “And I’d love to kiss, if you’d like.”

Barry leaned forward and gently brushed his lips against Jim’s.  Inwardly he sighed. He wanted him badly.  Jim pulled him in for a tighter embrace and a deeper kiss.

Jim abruptly broke off their kiss replying to Barry’s thoughts again. “Let’s go then,”

“Are you a mind reader or something?” Barry asked with a laugh.

“That and so much more,” Jim  replied. “If you’ll just give me chance to show you.”

“Yes please.” Barry replied.

Jim took his hand and led him out of the club into the cool night air. Their futures sealed.

26 glitter ball WIrtey ho

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Special Cake

A follow up to  ‘Your endearing mother called today.’ 

Finally finished. Roger put the knife down and admired his masterpiece. He had pulled out all the stops this year in making his wife’s birthday cake. Fondant Icing hadn’t got the better of him this time. He knew she’d be amazed. Hopefully the secret ingredient would have the desired effect.

20 -birthday cake

The next episode can be found here: ‘Out of Focus’ 

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New

The previous part of William’s story can be found here: Bright

To start at the beginning go here: Hello

William was surprised how calm and relaxed he was feeling as he dozed on the bed waiting as he had been instructed. He had no idea what, or who, he was waiting for but that didn’t bother him at that moment. He guessed that the hypodermic pen in his arm had something to do with his relaxed state of mind, as well as his inability to move much.

After an indeterminable period of time William heard a door open behind him, out of his line of vision. “Hello?” he called, remembering that it was this very word that had got him into this trouble.

“Hello,” a girl’s voice replied. Seconds later the face, and body, belonging to the voice appeared beside William. “So you’re the new one,” She said.

“New one?” William asked.

“Yep, we heard we’d been joined by a new reader. “I’m Stella,” she added checking William out from head to toe.

“Stella.” William repeated the girl’s name. “The new reader?” he asked.

Stella was about eighteen, William guessed. She was slim with long dark hair which was pinned back from her face with a variety of clips. She was wearing a grey jumpsuit that seemed to be reflecting the images in the room. William decided that Stella posed no threat to him. He was pretty much captivated by her piercing green eyes and was innately aware of her aura of confidence and intelligence.

“That’s right,” Stella replied enigmatically. She took hold of the hypodermic pen in William’s arm and gently removed it, throwing it onto a stainless steel table behind her. “There that should get you moving soon.”

“Where am I, are we?” William asked, “And who are you?” He could feel full sensation returning to his arms as he flexed them slightly.

“Like I said I am Stella, just another of the readers really, and presently we are in the Waiting room. You must have been told to wait by ‘Hal’.” She lifted the cover that had been draped over William’s torso.

William looked down and noticed that he was wearing a grey jumpsuit similar to that which Stella was wearing. “Hal, like the computer in 2001?” he asked her.

“The one and the same,” She replied. “Now if you’re feeling more stable we should get going, before anyone else turns up.”

“Get going?” William sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He noted his feet were no longer bare, but that he was wearing some kind of running or dancing pumps, although he had no memory of putting them on. “Where?”

“To meet the others.” Stella grabbed his hands and helped him off the bed. She pulled him towards the door through which she had previously entered the waiting room. “They’ll be keen to know more about you, and I daresay you them.I bet your head is full of questions.”

Opening the door she looked both ways then pulled William through after her. “Okay, follow me, and stay close” she said as she set off running down what looked like a never ending corridor.

14 -new

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I see…

Part one of William’s story can be found here: “HELLO”

11 -I see

William awoke with a start. He looked around him and had no idea where he was. He attempted to lift his head but it hurt way too much, so he flopped back down on the pillow. For a few moments his head pounded with a headache that made him cry out. He tried to remember how he had got here, wherever here was, but couldn’t recollect anything except a vague memory of sitting under the old oak tree reading a book.

A book.

No not just a book.

Not just any book.

A book that had so captured his imagination that he had entered the pages and hungrily devoured the story inside as if it were real life.

All of a sudden a memory flashed back. He suddenly remembered a woman’s voice calling out to him. Then he remembered more. He went to the gate to find out who had called out. He had a vague memory of leaning over the gate, but that was as far as it went. He still couldn’t raise any memory of how he had got here.

From this memory flash his mind jumped straight back to the book he had been reading. He was just about to find out what happened to one of the main characters, Sol, when the voice had dragged him up from the book’s depths.

From his prone position William looked around as much as he could. It was neither dark not light.  Far off to his right he thought he could see some kind of window, or at least something that was letting light into the room. He let his arm fall off the side of the cot in which he was lying. He expected to feel a floor somewhere down there but even stretching his arm out as far as he could he could find nothing. He tried the same with his other arm. Still nothing.

He turned his head slowly to the right. In order to do this he screwed his eyes tight shut against the searing pain that throbbed behind each of his temples.  Once the throbbing in his temples calmed somewhat he opened his eyes and looked over the side of the bed. He immediately felt nauseous. The throbbing in his head started up again, and with such a vengeance, that he had to lie back down flat,  close his eyes, and hold his palms tight to his head.

Looking over the side of the bed he had seen no sign of any floor. The bed on which he was lying appeared to be suspended in mid air, yet he could see no wires, ropes or beams that could be holding it there.

“I see you.” A deep and powerful voice echoed in the darkness. “I see you.”

William closed his eyes tighter for a moment. He had no idea who the voice belonged to but the words came from the book he had been reading. The main character, Sol, had been about to steal from the Castle’s Laird when one of the Laird’s magician’s had entered the castle’s strong room and said exactly the same words to Sol. “I see you. I see you.”

William had no idea what was going on. He opened his eyes and raised himself slightly on his elbows. The pain was still pounding in his head but he wanted answers.  He was about to ask the disembodied voice where he was when the semi darkness was broken by several bright flashes in quick succession and the voice repeated those three words again – “I see you.”

Part three of William’s story can be found here: Bright

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Hello

“Hello,”

“Er, Hello,”

“Hello, excuse me, Hello,”

Finally the voice registered. William had been so involved in his book that he hadn’t realised someone was talking to him. It was a muggy summer’s day. The kind of day when even just slight movements exhausted you or made you too sweaty to think of moving again. William wanted nothing more than to fall back into his book as he sat against the old oak tree with it’s dappled light providing the perfect reading spot, but the voice was now insistent.

“Hello?” it said again.

“Are you talking to me?” William finally looked up from the pages and his imagined world fell back into the book leaving him in the hot and humid reality that was his parents garden.

Taking a moment to fully reload the world reality William looked about him for the owner of the voice. As he had surfaced from the pages of his book he had thought that it must be someone wanting something from his parents who was looking over the garden hedge.  However, on surveying the length of said hedge he could see no-one peering over it.

His gaze rested on the gate expecting to see a figure appear in the hedge arch that framed the blue wooden gate. Nothing.

“Hello, can you help me?” the voice added a question to its first initial one word introduction.

“But….” William said. He was about to ask where the owner of the voice was and what they wanted. It was definitely a woman’s voice but more than that he could not really tell.

“Oh my, you can’t see me can you?” the voice asked.

“Well, duh, no. Where are you?” William asked. He was still having trouble locating from where the voice was coming. He was still sure it was somewhere around the garden gate.

“Oh for a moment I thought you had seen me,” the voice said, you looked as if you were looking straight at me.”

“Okay this is getting a little odd,” William sat up and plopped his book down beside him. “Where exactly are you?”

“Exactly? Mmmm, I’m not exactly sure,” the voice replied.

“Like I said this is getting odd. Why are you hiding? I’m not going to bite,” William had now decided that the voice was almost definitely coming from the hedge beside the gate.

“Oh, how funny, you… bite… me…”  the owner of the voice laughed.

“Erm.” The voice’s nervous giggle had set the hair on William’s arms on end. He stood up. “What is it you want?”

He moved towards the gate. He moved slowly as he wondered who the voice belonged to. It sounded harmless enough but something was troubling him about it. He had a gut feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

Since its last utterance the voice had said no more.

“Hello, Hello, H-e-l-l-o-o-o?” It was now William’s turn to overuse the familiar word of greeting.  He was now within an arm’s length of the hedge and never before had the gate and arch of privet looked so ominous.

William chided himself for being so spooked and moved the last foot or so towards the gate with more purpose. Although it was the middle of a bright and cloudless summer’s day he had the sense of darkness beyond the hedge. Immediately after acknowledging this thought he felt stupid for even considering such nonsense. His mum always said he had an overactive imagination.

Reaching the gate he leaned over slightly and repeated the time honoured greeting once more, “Hello,”

“Hello,” a deep voice replied to his right, not at all like the first gentle female voice that had brought him out of his book.

William turned his head slowly towards the voice as his world went dark.

10 hello

Part Two of William’s Story can be found here: I see 

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I hear…

The silence of the library was starting to drive Chester slightly wild. He needed to get out. He had been the only person in there all afternoon. even the cute librarian wasn’t in attendance. Studying for exams was all well and good but he knew at that moment that enough was enough. Normally he was content amongst the rows and rows of books shelved in high columns, you could almost say he felt quite at home, but today he felt slightly ill at ease. The old library with its wood panelling and frosted windows was one of his favourite haunts whether to study or relax a while, but today something felt a little off kilter.

Picking up his notebooks, paper and tablet he threw them haphazardly into his bag and started to stand up when someone said his name right behind him. The voice as so close he was sure he had felt the person’s breath brush his ear.

He looked over his shoulder to see who it was and what they wanted, but there was nobody there. He looked back and started to pick up his notebooks, paper and tablet.

‘Hang on a minute,’ he whispered to himself, checking over his shoulder once more. He had been sure that he had already picked up all his things once and put them in his bag. Deciding that the hours of solitary studying were really getting to him he picked up his bag and pushed back the chair.

“Chester…” the voice came again. Again Chester looked over his shoulder, but still there was nobody there. He tried to peer through the books stacked on the shelves behind him, guessing that someone was trying to wind him up.

“Benson, is that you?” he asked quietly moving toward s the shelves. “Come on, man, are you trying to spook me?” Benson was one of Chester’s best friends and prone to carrying out pranks on everyone, and on Chester in particular.

He rounded the corner into the next aisle to find it empty, but the window at the end of the stack of shelves slightly open and the fine mesh curtain blowing in the draught. He giggled nervously realising that what he had thought was someone calling his name was simply the noise made by the curtain as it brushed the edge of the shelf. He hadn’t felt someone’s breath on his era it had simply been the breeze from the window.

All of a sudden two books fell from the shelf  to his right hitting the floor with a loud bang.

“Jesus,” Chester stuttered and clutched his chest. He hadn’t realised just quite how wound up he had felt.  He bent down to pick up the books and put them back on the shelf, and was amused to notice one was about paranormal activity.

Having put them back on the shelf he went to the window and closed it, straightening the curtain back down as he did so.

Hitching his bag on his shoulder he started back down the line of shelves towards the exit. Just ahead of him he saw two more books on the floor and wondered how he could have missed them.  Well they could jolly well stay there he decided and stepped over them glancing down as he did so. That was when he noticed that they were the books he had already picked up once. He stopped and started to bend down to retrieve them again, wondering how they could have got back on the floor without him noticing or hearing anything.

“Out now,” He said to himself. “Study no more for madness is upon thee.”

He plopped the books back on the shelf and stood upright, stretching slightly. He turned back round and was about to head for the door when out of the corner of his eye he was sure he caught sight of someone moving back behind the next row of shelves. He wondered if perhaps someone had said his name after all and had just narrowly missed being caught. He was sure Benson was the miscreant and was going to catch him this time.

Despite being in the library where silence was favoured Chester shouted “Benson I know you’re there so you can come on out right now.”

He waited a second to see if there would be any reply then hitching his bag up once more he ran full tilt round the stacks of shelves to where he had been sure he had seen someone. Again there was no-one there.

“Okay,” he shouted down the aisle. “You can play your stupid games, I’ve had enough and  I’m out of here. There’s a pint with my name on it and I’m headed straight over to the Feathers.”

“This is no game Chester, and you know it. Remember Denham?” the voice came back at him.

“Denham?!” Chester blurted out in a stutter “Who are you, and how do you know about Denham?” he asked looking all around. Now he was sure it couldn’t be Benson. Denham had been an unfortunate student at the university long before Benson had started there. Chester had no idea as to who the voice might belong to. “Show yourself now.” he said assertively.

No answer came but Chester was sure he heard movement behind the door ajar to his right.  “I hear you in there,” he shouted, “And I’m coming in.”

Chester grabbed the door handle intending to pull the door wide open and find this mystery person, but it was wrenched from his grasp and slammed shut. At exactly the same moment the shelving directly behind him tottered and swayed in his direction causing an avalanche of books to fall out and bury Chester under them. Seconds later the shelves themselves toppled and fell on him too.

Although he didn’t think he was seriously hurt Chester could hardly move and would need help to get out from under the heavy tomes. As he tried to move he was sure he could hear movement and the sound of someone breathing above him. “Who are you?” he asked. “Help me get out from under here, please…. please,” he begged to no avail.

“I know you’re there,” he  breathlessly whispered as the crushing weight of the books felt heavier and heavier on his chest. “I know you’re there.  I  hear you…, I  hear you…, I  hear ……”

04 -I can hear

Thanks to fatmumslim.com  for the prompt

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On the other side of the door

10.20 - strange door

“What the …?” Allen exclaimed as he sat up rubbing his head. “How did I…” he started to question. He had no idea how he had arrived outside the house he was now staring at. To be quite frank he had no idea how he had got into the forest either. He remembered being out with Paul and the other lads, but after that everything was a bit of a blank. He didn’t even have any idea of how the evening had ended, or when he left. But he was pretty sure this was some kind of wind up.

“Goddamn it,” he groaned. Rubbing the back of his head he found a lump the size of a small egg which hurt when he touched it. “What the…?” he exclaimed once more. He had no idea how that had happened, but it wouldn’t have been the first time he had hurt himself under the influence.

He pushed himself up against the tree which he had been lying beside. He looked the small house over. It didn’t look at all remarkable, yet the story of Red Riding Hood jumped into his mind, and along with it a savage hungry wolf slavering. It was a simple cottage which appeared to only have one floor, although the thatched roof could easily be hiding another.  On the lower floor there were two windows on side of the small building and a wooden door to the right hand side. A run of the mill country cottage in the middle of a forest. So why was he here? And how had he got here? The nearest forest to his place had to be over fifty miles away.

As he stared back at the door he had a sudden feeling that everything wasn’t quite as straightforward as he had first considered. He had seen something strange. Although it appeared to be an ordinary wooden door for a moment Allen was sure it had shimmered and symbols had appeared down its length. He screwed up his eyes and stared at the door again. He was sure it was shimmering. The symbols appeared then disappeared pulsing in and out of sight.

Allen laughed out loud. “You gotta be joking me.”  he said incredulously. ‘What is this, some kind of enchanted forest, with a magic cottage?’ he asked himself.

As he pulled himself up to a standing position, feeling a little nauseous from the bump on his head he was sure that not only did the symbols pulse in and out of sight on the door, but the door itself also appeared to be bulging outwards with the same rhythm. Allen shook his head slightly to try and clear his mind and vision, but it did no good, He simply felt more nauseous and even more disoriented.

“What’s going on?” he shouted out loud, while in his mind he asked the question ‘What is on the other side of the door?’

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