Category Archives: Intrigue

Dark III

The second of Chrissy’s writing challenges was to …
“Ask three people, on line, on the phone or in person what their favourite onomatopoeia is. Write a short piece with these three words in the text.”
So the words I eventually ended up with are… sizzle, trickle, drizzle, purr and clunk…

***************************

The guy in the park had been less informative than I had expected. He had done little more than tease me with the short interchange we had shared, then invited me to join him at a group of which he was part. He gave me a card, that was more like a tarot card than a business card and said he hoped that he’d see me at the group the next evening.  At the time I took hardly any notice of his card and shoved it in my pocket with little more than a quick glance.  From it I learnt that his name was Dane Slagskygge and that  the group, which he had already told me, was ‘From the Shadows’.

Walking to the park, and sitting in the sunshine had raised my mood slightly, but the encounter with Dane and now the drizzle that had started out of nowhere had pushed me back down.  The words from my waking dream were back with a vengeance and running round in my head.  They had returned as an intrusive repetitive purr but were gaining strength. A migraine wouldn’t be far away.

As I trudged homewards the sky darkened even more. It was clear a storm was coming. I was now wishing I had put on a warm coat instead of the shades that were now surplus to requirements.  The rain had started to trickle down my neck wetting my collar and my shoes were soaking up the water as it settled in small puddles.

Instead of rushing home and getting a complete soaking I decided to duck into the cafe I sometimes went to for breakfast. Looking through the window I could se that I wasn’t hte only one caught out by the suddenness of the change of the weather.

I pushed the door open making the bell above it jingle.  It was such a traditional greasy spoon type cafe. There was a low murmur of conversation but the dominant sound that grabbed my attention was the sizzling of the grill from which the smell of bacon wafted across the room assaulting my nostrils. I moved towards an empty table and took a seat on the bench along the side wall.

” You’re late today. The usual?” Belle, the waitress asked as she sidled up to me with a coffee jug in her hand. She was easily old enough to be my grandmother but as spritely as a teenager, and so much more pleasant. She placed a mug on the table in front of me.

“Fill her up,”  I told her pushing the mug towards her. “And yes the full veggie.”

“A man of habit,” she commented as she filled the mug. “Bad day today?”

“Again,” I replied. She instinctively picked up on my demeanor.

She knew me well and instead of offering some pointless platitude simply tilted her head signaling her understanding, giving me a wink at the same time. She grabbed my shoulder as she returned to the kitchen.

Beside me on the bench there was a damp newspaper. I didn’t usually read the news, finding it all too depressing, but something about the headline had caught my eye.  I picked the paper up and shook it out to read the article.  I was just a few words into the story when there was a loud clunk on the table. I looked up from the paper slightly startled, but it was only Belle with my all-day breakfast.

She was normally a seen and not heard kind of waitress, unless you were looking for conversation. Then she could talk the hind legs off the proverbial donkey. I looked up from the plate to her. For just a moment she had a blank look on her face.

“Don’t go,” she whispered. Her face changed as if registering where she was after a long sleep.

“I’ve only just got here,” I half-joked away the awkwardness.

“I know, love. More coffee?”  She asked brightly. It was clear she had no recollection of what she had just said.

I nodded and as she moved away looked back at the article I had been reading. ‘What the hell is going on?’ I asked myself under my breath.

01-14 Drizzle

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Filed under Contemporary, Intrigue, Mini Saga, Thriller/Mystery

Dark II

Although I had decided not to listen to any other self revelations from the recording those three words stayed with me.  They weren’t constant but once they started the self maintaining loop, they were worse than any earwig pop song.  

Sleep was elusive even when dusk turned to night.  My insomnia was a two-pronged problem.  On one hand my mind wouldn’t, or couldn’t let go, while on the other I wasn’t ready to return to the darkness of sleep.  What might wait for me in the unconscious slumber scared me.

No matter how much I tried to fight the pull of sleep it gained the upper hand on occasion during the night, but it failed to be restful and when morning came I was exhausted and out of sorts.  

After the briefest of ablutions I decided that a walk would do me good. The dark corners in my mind that usually retreated with the dawn were more persistent than usual.  I needed time in the sun.  Donning my shades to hide my tired bloodshot eyes I headed out to the park. 

After having walked around for what felt like at least an hour I could feel my spirits rising, while my energy depleted. I decided to sit on the closest bench and enjoy the warmth of the day.  I crossed my legs and closed my eyes, leaning back to get the full sun on my face.

I hadn’t been sitting long when a shadow briefly fell across my face.  I ignored it until a voice quietly asked, “May I?” 

I opened my eyes.  A blond man of indeterminate age stood there.  He gestured to the bench.  He clearly wanted to join me. I gestured back indicating he should feel free to do so. 

“Lovely day,” he said as he sat.

I  hardly took any notice of him and didn’t want to get into conversation so nodded, hoping that he would take the hint.  He was good looking but I hadn’t come to the park to cruise. 

“But the shadows remain,” he added in a deeper tone. 

Now I was interested.  “Sorry?” I asked.

“I know you heard.  I know you understand,” the blond stranger told me. 

“You wha…?” I began to ask then switched to, “who are you?”

“Someone who knows,” he replied enigmatically. 

“Knows what?” I asked him. He knew he had me hooked.  He had a satisfied look on his face. 

“How it feels, and the answer to that question stuck in your head. But…” He started to stand up. 

“But nothing, sorry,” I quickly interrupted, “please…” I needed to know more. I wanted those three words and the feelings they caused out of my head. 

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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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