The Crash

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The wrought iron gate groaned from a single bent hinge which threatened to give way at any moment and send the twisted barrier to join its twin already on the ground. A thick blanket of snow half covered the tire tracks of the Rolls Royce that had wrenched the gates open on its collision course with the Sycamore tree a few metres inside the grounds of Highbury House. Steam hissed as it escaped from the radiator. In the driver’s seat, a young woman’s head lay against the steering wheel at an unnatural angle, green eyes staring into the next life.

Chief Inspector Steadman turned up the collar of his coat and thrust his gloved hands deep into his pockets as he trudged towards the car. The forensics team were already taking photographic evidence of the scene.
“Well?”
The coroner straightened up and squinted in the glare of the low sunlight as he met the Officer’s eyes. “There’s very little blood, bruising to her wrists suggest her hands had been tied, contusions to her throat. . . and her neck is broken.”
The Chief Inspector turned and scrutinised the interior of the car. The airbag had failed to deploy. “So the crash was staged?”
“Yes.”
Steadman nodded and turned away from the scene, scribbling something in his notebook
The crunch of boots alerted him to the approach of his partner. “Witnesses?”
The Inspector shook her head. “No, Sir. The family are away for the holidays. The housekeeper raised the alarm this mornin’.” She frowned. “It’s not an accident, then?”
“No, Beth. It’s murder. This is a crime scene.”

New Year, New Me, New Blog

Hi all. Happy New Year. Let’s hope it’s better than the last one! I hope you are all safe and well.

First of all, I apologise for being away for so long. I didn’t create this blog lightly, and I certainly didn’t mean to abandon it. I simply got a spell of Writer’s Block – again.

This time, I’m far more prepared, and have enough content to keep this site going for a year – if I post once a month. The plan is, however, to increase the frequency of posts to twice a year. We’ll see how that goes.

That’s all for now. Keep safe, and thanks for reading.

Angels and Shifters – Part 2

A continuation of a flash fiction I published a month ago.

I’d resisted the magnetic pull of my soul to Drew’s for half a millenium or more. He wasn’t an angel, but a shape-shifter, and I’d wanted to be matched with one of my own kind.

Unfortunately for me, our souls had other ideas.

For his part, Drew was about as keen on me as I was on him. I was God’s loyal servant, one of many who’d persecuted his kin since the dawn of time.

He was right. Partially.

The truth was, we were at war. The shifters had persecuted, tortured and killed just as many of my kind as we had his.

Things changed when I was sent down to Earth in the body of a human three thousand Earth-years ago. My body’s childhood had been uneventful, and I’d been brought up by two doting parents who I was pretty fond of.

Then, at the age of eighteen, I bumped in to a boy with golden hair and deep blue eyes. There was something mesmerising about him, something that my higher self tried to warn me was dangerous. Of course, I ignored it, and before I knew it, I was dating my nemesis. The one I’d resisted for so long. The one I hated to love.

Drew. The shifter.

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

Euan opened the living room door and came to a sudden stop, hand still resting on the handle, as he surveyed the carnage in front of him. Jack, his roommate, lay on the floor, arms wrapped around his knees in the corner, whimpering. Strewn around him were torn books, papers, a large hole in the television, and two end tables were upturned in the middle of the room.

“Dear God! Jack, what happened?” asked Euan, open-mouthed.

With a great deal of effort, Jack pushed himself into a seated position and swallowed hard, his face, ashen.

“I. . . I was all alone!” He whimpered, eyes wide.

Euan corrected the table nearest to him and kneeled down in front of his cousin, brows furrowed and sympathy etched in hus face.

“You were here? When the burglers came?” he asked, as gently as he could.

Jack’s eyes widened in terror. “Burglers? Where? Where are the burglers?”

Euan’s concern turned to confusion, and then suspicion. “You mean, this place hasn’t been burgled?”

“I . . . I hope not! No one has been here while I’ve been here!”

Euan’s eyes narrowed to mere slits. “What happened, then, Jack?”

Jack’s tone changed so suddenly, it caught his cousin off-guard. “It’s all your fault! You left me all alone! You know I can’t cope with being alone!”

“It was only two hours, Jack!”

“So? It was too long!”

Euan dismissed his cousin’s comment by turning away from him and heading for the door. Once he’d put some distance between himself and his cousin, he turned around again. “No, Jack. This isn’t my fault. At all. You’re older than I am! You should be able to cope without me for a while. Time for you to grow up. . . God help you when Scott gets home!”

Angels and Shifters – Part 1

A flash fiction piece for now. Maybe the beginning of a short story. Let me know what you think.

A rustle of leaves. I whipped around, scanning the thicket to my right, as well as the road behind me. Nothing.

I shrugged. Probably a bird. I turned and continued on my way home, ears straining for the slightest sound. It was dark and, in this body, I felt the cold far more easily than I usually would.

A dry twig snapped behind me. I froze, senses tingling.

Damn human body! My true nature would know exactly what, or who, was behind me from the moment I heard those leaves. Probably before.

My eyes burned. I shut them tight until the burning subsided.

“Is someone there?”

No answer.

My back itched.

No. Not here. Not now. It’s not safe.

I reached for my rusty old penknife. Feeble, I know, but I couldn’t give away my true identity. There was a great deal of scepticism over the existence of my kind – and that was just the way we liked it. The knife could at least give them a nasty infection.

“I know someone’s there! Reveal yourself!”

Out of the thicket a tall, slim figure materialized out of the darkness, laughing, hands in his pockets. I felt a stab of annoyance as I sheathed my knife. Drew. The mate of my soul. We’d been together for millenia.

“Did I scare you?” he asked.

“Were you following me?” I ignored his question.

“I asked first.”

“Yes. Your turn. Why were you following me?”

Drew pulled to a stop just beyond arm’s reach. “You’re an angel, Kamzi! You’re immortal!”

“And you’re a jerk, Drew.” I turned away from him and made to continue on my journey.

Drew chuckled and swept me into his arms.

Put me down!”

My mate obliged, but wrapped his arms around me.

“You could have flown away.”

“My wings itched,” I confessed, “but it would have been too risky. I could have been seen.”

“Ultra-violet sight? That could have revealed me.”

“And turned my eyes luminous? Anyone within a two mile radius would have known I’m not mortal!” I hissed.

Drew sighed. “Fair enough. I scared you, and I’m sorry. Let’s get you home.”

McKenna Cares (working title).

Hi all.

So sorry it’s been so long since my last post – I’ve been struggling with a bout of writer’s block, but now I’m working on something new. Please let me know what you think:

Dr James McKenna finished sewing up the chest of the latest victim of The Bloody War and arched his spine backwards to relieve the stiffness. As he did so, he glanced at the clock. It was past midnight, but it would still be at least another hour before he’d get to bed.

“Doc. . .”

There was only one person who called him that – his right-hand-man, Leroy. James turned his head.

“We’re running low on antibiotics.”

“What about our honey stores?”

“We have enough for a week or so. . . But-”

“Thanks, Roy.”

“Jay. . .”

James spun around on his heel, pulled off his gloves and apron and tossed them into the bin as he kicked open the operating theatre’s doors. Leroy followed him out.

“I know what you’re going to say, Roy, but there’s nothing else we can do.” He turned to face his friend, searching his eyes. “We’ve lost the Council of Elders funding.”

The horror and shock on Leroy’s face said it all. The Council of Elders contract had kept McKenna Cares Humanitarian hospital open for three years. Without that, they were doomed.

James continued. “The honey will have to suffice. . . And we’ll just have to pray that these kids don’t develop major infection.”

“Yes boss,” Leroy replied. He turned and made his slow way towards the doctor’s barracks, head pointed to the floor.

James watched his friend’s retreating back for a moment, then headed for his tiny, sparsely-furnished office. He reached for the light switch beside the door and then allowed his exhausted body to flop down in the worn leather office chair, rubbings his forehead with the tips of his fingers. His chair swivelled gently.

A white envelope on his desk caught his attention. James frowned. Its presence alone was unusual, as these days everyone communicated through The Telecom. That the address was hand-written was unheard of.

“What’s this?”

The humanitarian leaned forward, retrieved the letter from his desk and ripped it open. Inside was a note, paper-clipped to something underneath:

Dear James.

You’re welcome.

K.
“For what?” James wondered aloud. He lifted the edge of the note to reveal what was underneath.

He froze, unable to believe his eyes. A trembling hand made its involuntary way to his mouth.

Underneath the note was a cheque for £1 million.

McKenna Cares was saved.

The Ambassador

A dialogue-only flash that I hope to incorporate into a later novel.

“Hello, darling.”

“Welcome home, honey.”

“Sir, would you come with me, please?”

“Tracey. . ?”

“It’s okay, Tom. Sven’s . . . A little enthusiastic. I just need a word with my wife.”

“. . . Sounds ominous.”

“Life-changing, not ominous. You know that interview I have tomorrow?”

“Yeahhhh.”

“It’s irrelevant.”

“What? How?”

“Because I start training next week.”

“You’re going to make me drag it out of you, aren’t you?”

“The French Ambassador’s job.”

The Aliens

Alf sat at the bar, caressing a pint of bitter as he stared into the glass. Every now and again, his ahoulders eaved and his breath escaped in a loud sigh.

Eventually, Jim decided he couldn’t take it anymore and approached his friend, greeting Alf with a back-handed slap on the arm.

“Hey up, mate. Why so glum?”

“They lied to you.” Alf replied, as he looked up and gazed at his friend. His eyes were red-rimmed and swollen, and Jim saw at once that his companion had been crying recently.

“Don’t worry,” Alf continued, “they lied to me, too. They’re lying to all of us.”

Jim frowned as he lay as sympathetic hand on Alf’s arm. “Who’s lying to me, Alfie? Who’s lying to all of us?”

“The aliens.”

Jim raised a sceptical eyebrow. “Aliens?”

Alf nodded. “We’re not real, Jimmy-boy. None of this is. It’s just a game.”

Jim huffed a laugh. “You’ve been watching too many conspiracy documentaries, mate,”

“Oh really?” Alf demanded, turning to face him. “If that’s so, I challenge you to take off your bracelet.”

Jim met the change in posture with one of his own. “What? My mother gave me that bracelet! I’d never take it off!”

“Yeah,” said Alf, turning back to his drink. “We all received these bracelets from our mothers. Funny how they’re all identical.”

“This isn’t a game, Alf. It’s life.”

“Prove it, then. Take the damned bracelet off.”

Jim stared at his friend as though he’d sprouted wings and a tail. “Alright, then. You’re on!” He tugged on the gold band and slipped it off his wrist.

The deceptively simple jewellery item fell on to the floor as its wearer vanished into thin air.

Sven’s Birthday

“Sven, what would you like for your birthday?” Pierre asked, as he hung up the brand new curtains in the living room.

Sven was draped on the couch, more lying with his feet planted on the floor, than actually sitting, while sweat dripped from his forehead and soaked his white tee shirt. He stared in disbelief at his husband.

Are you for real, Pierre?” He demanded of his husband, lifting his head from the back of the couch. “It’s the height of bloody summer! I’m in danger of melting into a pool of sweat here! And you’re talking about my birthday?” He let his head fall back against the fabric. “Way too early!!”

Pierre grinned, much less affected by the heat than his husband.

“It’s August, Sven. Your birthday will be here before you know it, and this time, I refuse to leave it until last minute.” He turned and threaded another of the curtain’s eyelets onto the rail.

“I understand that, Pierre, but my birthday’s not ’til January. At least wait until Autumn We have Christmas to get out of the way first!

“Sourpuss!”

Sven glared at his spouse. “Consider yourself lucky I’m too hot to throw this cushion at you.” He indicated the intended fluffy weapon with a limp arm.

Pierre blew him a kiss. “Yes, you are, Cupcake. Pretty sweaty too though.”

Sven folded his arms and let his eyes slide to the left as he sulked. “Don’t try to sweeten me up when I’m grumpy. . . And I’ve told you before about calling me Cupcake.”

“Okay Gummy-bear. . . Oh! I know!” Pierre clicked his fingers and beamed as an idea occurred to him. “How about a cruise around the Baltic?”

Jake’s Memory Stick

Another, particularly short, dialogue only story.

“It’s got to be around here somewhere!”

I’m not a stranger to the dark. . ,

“What are you looking for?”

Hide away, they say. . .

“I didn’t have it yesterday. Perhaps it’s under this cushion?”

We don’t want your broken parts.

“Have what, Jake?”

“Or did I have it yesterday?”

“We were at Ethyl’s yesterday.”

I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars.

“Oh. That’s right, love! We were. Thanks, Ana. . . Maybe it’s in the car, then.”

“What might?!”

Run away, they say. No one’ll love you as you are.

“I can’t remember having it in the car.”

“For the last time, Jake! What on Earth are you looking for?!”

“My memory stick!”

“. . . It’s still in the USB dock, at the front of the computer, you nugget.”

Thanks for reading. Any comments or suggestions welcome. 🙂