Hi everyone, how you all doin?
I have almost finished a manuscript for a novel.
It kinda has friendship, adventure and love.
But it also has crime, drugs, and a touch of narcissistic megalomania.
I hope that sounds interesting to some of you.
Anyway, while I’m waiting for an agent to pick it up, I thought it would be fun to post a chapter or two, – well, maybe half a chapter at a time. Just to see what happens.
If nobody’s interested, then no problem I’ll stop.
However, if people do show interest, then I’ll continue. At least for a while.
OK, here’s the preface and a touch of the first chapter.
If you do enjoy it, please, please be kind enough to advise me, make a comment etc., otherwise I ain’t gonna know if I should carry on.
Many, many thanks. Have a great day.
The man at the head of the table looked around at the others.
“Good to see you all here,” he said. “Now, are we set for launch on May 1st?”
There were affirmative words from those providing backup and security. But nothing from those at the sharp end of production. One brave soul spoke.
“Well, we’re still waiting for the last test results, and not all the safety issues have been rectified.”
Silence fell upon the group.
The man in charge stood. “You’re not listening. I didn’t ask about results or issues, are we set for an May 1st launch?”
“Do you want the truth, or simply what you’d like to hear?”
“Choose.” said the alpha man.
“Well, then, no, I don’t think we can launch on May 1st.”
The top man looked at someone in the background, nodded, then turned to look out of the window.
“Fix it.” he said.
+ + +
Late at night, the brave soul walked across the fourth floor of the car park, and headed for his car. Someone emerged from behind a pillar, completely silent.
“Oh, I didn’t see you.” said the man, as he got out his car keys.
He grunted as something hard whacked against his shin. The pain was excruciating. Automatically lifting his leg to rub it, he staggered back towards the rail. He leaned heavily against it, swaying unsteadily.
He felt himself being pushed hard, then harder still. The last thing he remembered was a pair of black leather gloves shoving his chest. He went over the rail, and began to fall. If you’ve dropped a water melon onto concrete from a height of 75 feet, you will know what happened when he hit the ground.
+ + + + +
Sue and Steve were listening to some music when the phone rang. Steve went
to answer it.
“Yallo.” he said.
“Mr Allen? Mr Stephen Allen?”
“Yep, that’s me.”
“Mr Allen, my name is Jonathan Brown.”
There was a pause.
“Uh huh.” Steve said, slightly puzzled.
“I’m a lawyer, Mr Allen, I’m representing James Farley. I believe you know
“James Farley….” Steve said out loud, so Sue could hear. She frowned with
curiosity. Steve put the phone on speaker.
“That’s right. I’m hoping you can help me. Perhaps you can come to my offices
“Look, Mr Brown, if you have spoken to James Farley, you will know that we
met about 10 years ago, and we didn’t get on at all well.”
“Yes, I understand that. But it isn’t Mr Farley who has mentioned you, it is Mrs
“But I only met her once, and that was when I told her husband that I
didn’t want to speak to him again.”
“And that is why she has asked me to talk to you, she respects you.”
“You have been the only one to see through her husband’s inability to deal
with the truth.”
“For goodness’ sake.” Steve said with some exasperation.
“So if you could come here, for her, not for him.”
Steve looked at Sue, who was smiling with eyebrows raised in a ‘why not?’.
“OK, look. I will talk to you, but here, not at your office. If I’m going to do this,
I might as well be comfortable.”
“Great, how about 2pm this afternoon?”
“How about 10am tomorrow?” Steve countered.
“Mmm, OK. Have you moved?”
“No. James has the address.”
“See you at 10.”
Steve replaced the phone slowly.
“What was that about?” he asked.
“No idea.” said Sue. “Still, might be interesting to see them again.”
“Maybe.” smiled Steve. “But they won’t see you.”
+ + +
Steve’s words and smile should be explained here.
Sue and Steve had been together for over 40 years when Sue succumbed to
cancer, after battling it for the last 14. Steve was devastated. They were
always together, constant companions. When they had first met, they hadn’t
just fallen in love, they had avalanched into it, and continued to tumble ever
deeper over the years.
It wasn’t as if Steve wanted to die, but he found it difficult to live without ‘his Sue’. That wasn’t his being proprietorial. Sue herself had often said: “I am his Sue, and he is my Steve, always have been, always will be.”
Anyway, shortly afterwards, after a near death experience, Steve found himself in a coma. After a long stay in hospital, his family had brought him home to be in his own bed, hoping that the atmosphere of their bedroom and togetherness would make a change.
One day, Steve awoke, to find Sue looking at him with a calm smile.
Slowly getting up from the bed, he went over to his beloved Sue, took her face in his hands, and kissed her tenderly, over and over again. Their faces were soon wet from his tears.
“What’s going on, Susie?” he managed to say.
Lovingly wiping the tears from his face, Sue began to explain.
Steve’s time in this world was not up yet. He had things to do, people to see and help. But it was recognised that he was a broken man, crushed by his separation from Sue.
As a result, Sue was being allowed to return, to be with her loved one. There would be many issues to come out of this arrangement, the first and most obvious being that only Steve could see, touch or hear Sue. After all, she was only back here for him.
Steve did question whether this was fair on others who loved Sue. She explained that they, through necessity, had accepted her departure. He, however, had not. Surrounding himself and their home with countless pictures of her, and talking to her as if she were still here. As far as he was concerned, she was ever present, living out their maxim of ‘Together Forever.’
Smiling, Steve asked whether Sue could make things move, or walk through walls. Her reply was this was not a joke, something amazing was happening here, and they both had to see it accordingly. Not stern or poker faced, but accepting the incredible blessing that had been given to them, and acting within the wonderful gravity of it all.
Suitably chastened, Steve apologised, and said that he just felt light-headed by it all. He was excited by her return, but he understood the reasons behind it, and, yes, he felt incredibly blessed. Sue smiled, pleased with him.
+ + +
Sue and Steve had spent three days rejoicing in each others company, but now they were going to go outside the house, discovering what they could about the circumstances in which they now found themselves. The safest way seemed to be a trip to the coast, far away from where they were known.
Mid-morning, they left the house, as quietly as they could. Steve looked up and down the street, hoping that no-one would be around. Slowly they walked to the car.
“Good morning, Steve. How are you?”
Steve whirled round, it was his elderly neighbour, Pamela.
“Oh, hi, I’m OK, I guess, and how are you?”
“I’m well. Are they Sue’s shoes?”
Steve looked at Sue. Both were shocked, and rather shaken.
“I said, aren’t they Sue’s? They’re obviously not yours.” Pamela was pointing down at Sue’s shoes.
“What’s going on?” whispered Sue.
“I don’t know. Quick, kick your shoes off.”
“Kick them off, quickly.”
Keeping his back to Pamela, Steve picked up the shoes.
“I thought I’d take them to a charity shop, they’re brand new.”
“But they were moving by themselves.” said Pamela confused.
“I don’t think so, Pamela.” He waved them in the air. “Look, no strings.”
“But I could’ve…………..”
“Moving shoes?” Steve continued, but feeling rather guilty. “Can you see anything else of Sue’s? Cardigan, trousers……..?”
“No, it was just her shoes. But now I think about it, maybe it was the wind.”
“Yeah, maybe. But I tell you what, I’m glad that I bumped into you, I think I’ll go back in, and get a bag to carry them. Bye, Pamela.”
“Yes, bye Steve.”
Sue and Steve made their way back into the house. Once indoors, they both sighed, and gave out a nervous chuckle.
“Oops,” said Steve. “Fortunately, it was Pamela, but what happened there?”
“I don’t know. Why my shoes, and nothing else?”
“Let’s think for a sec.”
Steve at Sue from head to toe. Then nodded, “Socks.”
“The socks. Every other part of your clothing is in touch with your skin, cardigan, top, underwear, trousers…….” said Steve.
“But the shoes were on the outside of my socks……..yeah. Well done, darling.”
“Yeah, we will have to learn as we go along. This is new…….but exciting.”
+ + +
“So, Stewart, did the police speak to you about the suicide?”
“And what did you say?”
“That he had been under pressure to develop a new product.”
“Did you tell them what it was?” asked Robert White, harshly.
“Of course not, Robert.” answered Stewart, placatingly.
“OK, good. So, you told them that he was a scientist entrusted with a new product, and he may not have been able to cope with the resultant pressure?”
“Good, good, well done, Stewart. It’s important that this be just a blip in the development of the various substances. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Robert, very clear.”
“Look, Stewart, you’re my cousin, and I know you’re with me in this. But, remember, I am the only one who has direct lineage back to the beginning. My side of the family stayed true, there is no outside blood in my part. Do you understand how important that is, Stewart? It is up to me to do this. There is no taint in me. Understand?”
“Yes, Robert, I understand. But I hope that you understand that when it comes to Research and Development, it is my department. Of course, it comes under your ultimate control, but I have to be seen to run it, or it may lose scientific credibility, and then any financial and influential backing could be lost.”
“Are you threatening me?” Robert’s voice showed anger and violence in an instant.
“No, of course not, Robert.” Stewart raised his hands in appeasement.
“This is my company, my money, my quest, my dynasty.”
“I know, Robert, I know.”
Stewart looked across at his cousin. If it were possible to have the identical opportunity to develop and produce the same new products under similar conditions elsewhere, he would seriously consider leaving. However, here he had virtual freedom to do whatever he wished, under certain confinements, and he did have the safety of familial connections. If only he could count on his more senior cousin to remain rational, or, at least, stable.
“Good, after all, none of us are getting any younger. I want to be able to reap the benefits of this legacy for as long as possible. Therefore, I do not want this investigation, by the police or anyone else, to stand in the way of what we’re doing here. We must press on. I want some results sooner rather than later.”
“I know, Robert. But, please understand that it will take a while to re-arrange the section to accommodate his departure.”
“Yes, yes,” came the reply. “Make plans, Stewart, so that as soon as the police leave us alone, we get back on track. Gottit?”
“Of course. Leave it to me.”
“I hope I can, Stewart, I’m counting on you.”
Great, no pressure then, thought Stewart, sardonically.
+ + +
OK, that’s it for now. I hope some of you got into that, if only a touch.
There may more once I start getting responses and comments.
Thank you so much, bless ya.
M P O