Category Archives: Thriller/Mystery

Nanowrimo update / Mistakes

Today I shot over the 25% having written just over 13,000 words so far this month. The story is flowing fairly smoothly, and details become clearer as I write. 

Here’s a bit more from Craig, picking up whee I left off last time…

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Below the message there was a button titled ‘Help’  which if clicked would take him to a specific link.

“Sod that,” he said aloud to the empty room. “That’s where you’ll get me and a bloody virus will infect my pc with a Trojan or something.” He felt quite pleased with himself for spotting that one, even if he wasn’t sure he’d got the terminology spot on.

Craig clicked another couple of buttons and banished the strange email to something his virus-checker called ‘the sand-pit’, which sounded to him far too simple a location to be somewhere safe to dump dangerous items .

Without further thought he turned back to his writing programme and set about making a start on chapter two.

Before he had managed to type more than another ten words the landline rang startling him out of his other world.

“Who the…?” he said to himself as he jumped up and moved into the hallway where the phone was trilling away. “No one calls on the landline anymore, except Barry, and he’ll be well out of it by this time of night.”  The clock on the hallway wall was at just before midnight.

Snatching up the received and pressing the button which opened the line he put it to his ear.

“Hello, Craig speaking,” he said feeling just a little bit formal.

The line crackled slightly, which Craig put down to the weather that was still thrashing about outside, but no one spoke.

“Hello,” Craig said again. “Hello.”

For a few moments he considered that it was probably Halloween pranksters that were having a bit of fun with him. He strained to see if he could hear anything in the background but couldn’t identify any of the noises for definite.

As he was about to take the phone away from his ear and hang up there was ripping sound and a woman’s voice breathed in an hoarse, almost sexy whisper,  “ Craig? Craig? hello?”

Those two words were followed by static and then silence.

“Who’s there?”  Craig asked. “Who is it? What do you want?”

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Mistakes (3)

Jumping forward slightly in the story
                                 and to another location and character …..

Craig

Craig hit the space bar on his lap top five times then settled back in his chair.  It had been a long time since he had got so lost in writing that he was thrilled to see the words rushing onto the pages as his fingers whizzed across the keys, albeit with a whole gamut of typos for correction later.

For the past few months he hadn’t quite had writers’ block more of a lack of intention. Where in his head his writing usually was there had been a space, now it was rapidly filling with images and characters whose stories needed to be told. Well to be honest not a crowd of characters just a few special ones; the ones that were already making the pages of his new… novel perhaps.

For Craig his writing came alive; from his mind to his fingertips to the page and back round to his mind. It felt like a continuous loop. The more he considered his characters the more they gave back to him in the means of their stories to be told.  To Craig his characters came to life. In one of his first books he had felt obliged to kill off a character, and even as he typed now he felt some level of guilt and having caused the other characters in the book pain. He also missed Stanley like he would if he had really been bereaved.  Sometimes the borders between reality and the worlds he created became blurred and he found himself spotting his characters on television, and at time in his day to day life.

Grabbing his mug of tea, which had more or less gone cold, Craig reread the first chapter of this new story that was coming together before his eyes. Once again he marvelled at the process.  Reading the words off his laptop he silently mouthed the words, something that was left over from learning to read as a child, something Sonia said she hoped he never lost.  She said she found it enchanting. Craig wasn’t so sure and wondered if perhaps it just made him look stupid.

After tweaking the vocabulary and grammar here and there, with the help of the ever present auto-correct, Craig was satisfied with this first draft.  He sat back again feeling a sense of accomplishment. He sipped the now cold tea and listened to the storm raging outside.  It really sounded like it was ratcheting it up to be the storm of the century.  Thunder and lightning never worried him. On the contrary they were his friends.  They were friends that had already added a touch of drama to his latest offering.

For a moment he thought of his girlfriend, Sonia, who had gone out to a friend’s early Halloween party. He had tried her mobile a couple of times but had been unable to get any answer. He guessed either the storm was interfering with the signal, or that Sonia couldn’t hear her phone amid the hubbub of the party.  Although Craig loved to dress up, and loved partying too he had decided to stay in and get to grips with the writing while the ideas were alive. If the truth be told he was sure he was having just a good a time sitting in front of his laptop with his newly created characters as he would have had at any party.

All of a sudden the lightning shuttered through the window once more, accompanied by a simultaneous crash of thunder making Craig jump at its ferocity. The storm had to be right overhead at this point he calculated. Within a second or two the lights flickered and his laptop screen went blank, before reappearing moments later with the sign-on screen. Craig had a moment of panic not remembering if he had saved his first draft or not. Signing in he hoped against hope that he had been conscientious enough to have done so.

As the laptop windows opened that he had previously been using he was struck that  the email window appeared on top. Without checking his emails he switched to his writing programme window. As it came to life on the screen he took a deep breath and scrolled up and down. With relief he saw that it was all as it should be. He had been careful enough to save as he had been going along and had lost nothing by the temporary black-out.

In the bottom corner of the page a reminder window was flashing telling Craig that he had two new emails. He clicked the window opening another full screen one with his inbox displayed. The first email was from his credit card company offering a free transfer of any balance on other credit cards. He deleted that without opening it. He had no interest in adding to any credit card account, not while he had a bit of money in the bank.

The other email had no title in the subject line and in the sender information box it appeared that he had sent the email to himself. It looked a bit suspect so he opened it cautiously, after clicking the command telling his virus checker to scan the email for malware. He had had the misfortune to infect his laptop once before by not being cautious enough with a suspicious email.  He wasn’t going to do that again if he could at all help it.

The email opened full screen on his laptop. The only thing the message said was:

“Lost something recently?
Is there a space in your life when once there wasn’t?
We are here to help you get it back.”

you have mail

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Mistakes ……

The story continues ………………………………………………………………………………

……

For too long now she had had enough of the physical and emotional abuse that was being unleashed on her daily and tonight had found the opportunity and strength to break out and get away. She could hardly believe it.

Her mind hadn’t processed anything further than making her escape from the dungeon that Mack had created for her. Still, nothing had changed, rushing along the dark streets with the rain lashing against her face she had no clear plan of what she was going to do. To her this was a strange town and she had no idea where she was or where she was going, but at least she was getting away.

Huddled inside the blanket she felt her baby sneeze.  Instinctively she pulled the blanket tighter to her breast. Her baby was all she had in the world and she couldn’t even begin to think about losing him.  Yet those thoughts still pushed insistently into her mind as she felt him shiver and sneeze again.

The lightning lit up the sky and the wet streets with a sporadic regularity, followed by thunder loud enough to rattle windows and doors. Tanita was petrified.  Everywhere she looked she saw danger, even imagining she had seen Mack’s face in some of the shop windows as she ran by. All of a sudden the street lamps went out and the town was plunged further into darkness. Now only the latent light from the windows of the buildings lit up the streets. Although this would probably help Tanita’s escape she found that the outside world was such a scary place and she almost regretted her decision to escape. The further she got from Mack’s hideous grasp should have made her feel easier, but she couldn’t let her guard down for a second.

Tanita’s stomach rumbled almost as loudly as the thunder overhead. She couldn’t remember when Mack had last fed her, but thought that it hadn’t been at any point that day.  The gruel he fed her, although nutritious never satisfied her desire for fresh food.  She vaguely remembered eating pineapple so very  long ago in her past. The thought that someday she may once again get to eat such a delight made her salivate and her stomach groan even more energetically.  She would have to find some food soon or she wouldn’t be able to continue at such a pace, and feeding her baby would be just as important.

Once again Tanita’s instincts kicked in. She looked around in the hope of spotting some place to find some food, but could see nothing in the almost pitch black.  She sniffed the air to see if she could locate and aromas that might give the game away of a food store nearby, and thought she could smell something edible.  Clutching her baby tighter to her breast she picked up her pace and set off in the direction in which she was sure food might be found.

…….

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Mistakes

So here it is – the start of my new novel ….. and I really have no idea where things are going to go… 

 

Tanita

Clutching her baby closely to her chest she ran down the rain soaked street.  It wasn’t a good night to be out as the promised storm lashed the coastal town with a force greater than predicted. The lamplights cast pools of light and dingy shadows full of promise. At the same time the rain and lighting caused disturbing shadows and frightening images in every doorway and plate glass window and door.

Running as if her young life depended on it she was careful to stay hidden in the shadows. She wanted nobody to see her, and luckily the weather meant there was hardly anyone around. The storm had sent the whole town’s population heading for cover on this fateful night in October. Now everyone was holed up for the night in their warm homes. This year there would be no trick or treating, or at least none of the traditional kind that usually filled the streets.

As she ran she could feel her heart beating wildly in her chest. She could also feel her baby’s laboured breathing through the blanket she had snatched up and wrapped him  in as part of their escape. Although her thoughts were jumbled and her mind consumed by fear she also felt a kind of elation that at last she was free, that they were both free from Mack and his cruel ways.

 

Any thoughts? Comments? suggestions? Encouragement? ….

 

11 - Mistake

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HANDS

PART TEN

Part NINE can be found here:  EUROPE

Pete threw his jacket over his shoulder and rushed down to the morgue in the basement, where he found Matt (Matthew P Corbin),  the coroner up to his elbows in another suspicious death.

“Matt?” Pete said pressing the intercom to speak to the coroner in his ‘theatre’.

Matt waved for Pete to come in.  “What’s up?” he asked as Pete came through the double doors and maintained a respectful distance from the latest addition to Matt’s morgue.

“This Svetlana woman,” Pete began.

“Body’s already been handed over to the Ruskies,” Matt told him.

“Yeah, I know. I’ve got some SOCO photos here,” Pete said, not giving away the fact that they were actually his photos.”And I thought we could compare notes, as I’ve a question that could change things.”

“Hang on a sec, I’m pretty much done here. Let me clean up a bit and we’ll go through to the office. Sam…” Matt called his assistant and started to wash off his hands.

In Matt’s overcrowded and paper-strewn office Pete laid out a couple of photos on Matt’s desk. “Take a look at these and tell me what you think.” he prompted.

Matt picked up the photos and started to study them. “Any hints?” he asked.

“I don’t want to lead you into my thoughts.” Pete replied smiling. It was something Matt had often thrown at him when he didn’t see something and asked for help.

“Okay, got it.” Matt smiled triumphantly. “And you’re right it could change everything. Hang on.” He turned to his computer screen and brought up the postmortem images. “I had a feeling something wasn’t right here, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Now with these photos and checking against mine,” he turned the screen towards Pete to show closer images of Svetlana’s dead hands.

“Exactly,” Pete said. “They’re working hands,They’re not the hands of some sit on her arse Russian princess.”

“I’d say you are spot on. I think we have a case of mistaken, or swapped identities.This woman’s hands show signs of hard work, and the nails aren’t as perfect as one would expect from the Russian and Italian elite.” Matt concurred.

“But why swap? and it has to be a swap if the body was identified incorrectly.” Pete asked.

“That’s your job,” Matt turned the question back to Pete. “Perhaps someone needed to disappear.”

fig temp 5col 2 across [Converted]

   Please check back again soon for an update to ‘Pete’s story’ ….

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EUROPE

PART NINE

Part EIGHT can be found here:SWIM

Once they got back to their own office Josh an d Pete set to work. It was by now late into the evening, but neither of them wanted to lose a moment in chasing down the people who had drugged and set up Pete.

“So what do we know about this Svetlana you were in bed with?” Josh asked.

“Not much. Russian national married to an Italian national, both families on the far side of dodgy, with connections in high places, but neither of the families were under investigation by us on any level, so not sure how they fit in.” Pete gave a brief synopsis of what he knew, which wasn’t much.

“She can’t have been a coincidental death. Perhaps enemies of her family were responsible for topping her and perhaps you were in their territory sniffing around -two birds wit hone stone.” Josh suggested.

“Huge leaps of faith in there again.” Pete shook his head. “Has the body been released yet? and what did the PM show?”

Josh picked up the phone and called down to the mortuary. after a short conversation he hung up and turned to Pete. “The body was released by some official from the Embassy less than an hour ago. Matt was a bit suspicious as the same person who called in the missing persons report also identified the body and took it away. No family involved or anything.”

“Cause of death?” Pete asked.

“High Octane Overdose.” Josh told him. “New stuff recently hitting the streets from Europe. Strong and deadly, but what all the cool kids are after. Makes Meth look like aspirin. I think we have our first lead. Matt said that the Drug Squad was all over this recently.”

“Europe’s a big place,” Pete sighed. “Any intel on exactly where?”

Josh smiled. “Italy and all points east of there. It appears that it’s coming into Europe via Italy and distributed from there. Italy Pete, Italy. Let’s dig around in this Svetlana’s Italian connections and see what we can find, and maybe ‘Drugs’ have some kind of route through Europe as to how it’s getting here.”

Pete had been absentmindedly sifting through the photos he had taken at the scene when something caught his interest. “What say you chase that down with ‘Drugs’ I think I may hava another telling lead here in hte photos, but don’t want to get carried away too quickly yet.” Saying this he jumped up and grabbed his jacket.

“I can do that,” Josh replied, “But where are you off to?”

Pete tapped his nose. “I’ll be back within the hour,” he said and shut the door behind him as he left.

09 - Europe

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SWIM

PART EIGHT

Part SEVEN can be found here:BIRTH

“So why would someone have gone to all the trouble of setting you up in such an elaborate scenario? Why not just plant drugs on you after they’d drugged you? That would have been much more believable. It really looks like you’ve pissed someopne off, they really don’t like you.” Taylor had listened to Pete’s story and flicked through the photos he had taken of the scene. From where Pete was sitting it was beginning to look like Taylor wasn’t convinced of Pete’s innocence. Pete wondered if he had done the right thing after all.

Josh pitched in once again. having already explained about the blood and urine samples he reiterated that they were proof of Pete’s innocence. “Besides, Guv, Pete in bed with a gorgeous blond bird, come on we all know which team he bats for and that is just so unbelievable.”

Peter coloured a little at the reference to his sexuality. Although he was at ease with being the only out gay member of the serious crime squad he still felt slightly uncomfortable whenever it became a subject of conversation, discussion or even jokes.

“I guess I know you two well enough to trust you both. In as much as anyone can know another person. And I guess that could mean that I’m being a bit gullible here.
I also know that the top brass will have my cojones if we screw up this case, especially if it is known that I did nothing about what you have just told me.” Taylor steepled his fingers and rested his elbows on teh desk.

“Guv….” Josh interjected.

“Guv, nothing. I haven’t finished yet.” Taylor silenced him with a nod and a look. “So here’s the deal. It’s Thursday and this is a bank holiday weekend coming up. Nobody will expect the case to be solved during the next four days. However if I stay schtumm and let you two investigate, under the wire and incognito mind, I will expect answers on Tuesday, if not before.”

“And….” Pete started to say.

“And nothing, except that tis conversation never took place. I have no knowledge of what has gone on, or is about to occur, right?” Taylor looked from Pete to Josh and back again.

“Right,” they both answered.

“Although I shall expect regular updates to my personal mobile. So get out and do your jobs,” Taylor ended teh conversation. Josh and Pete were dismissed.

Pete thanked Taylor an as good as pushed Josh out through the door.

“We can crack this, mate,” Josh said as they hurried down the corridor towards the lift.

“I bloody well hope so, both our necks are on the line,” Pete replied pushing the lift call button. “This really is sink or swim….”

08 -sink or swim

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