Truth Series, Book 2/Chapter 15

The address took them to a small, neat, terraced house and as Simon walked up the narrow path the blind at the front window lifted in one corner. He rang the bell and smiled as a dog inside set up a racket and a distant voice sent it to a basket.

A tall, slender woman with shoulder length, dark hair opened the door. A little girl of about five years old, dressed in a cute school uniform peeped out from behind her. “Yes?”

“Hello, sorry to bother you. Are you Michelle Buj erm Bug?” The woman grinned and nodded, “Yes, that’s me. Who are you?”

“Sorry. My name is Fulton, Simon Fulton. I’m really sorry to bother you but I wondered if I could talk to you about the accident you saw on the moors the other day?”

“Are you the police?” He was aware of her fight to drag her eyes away from the scar that snaked down his cheek and under his chin. He never thought about the wound from his time in jail until he met someone new and saw them struggle between curiosity and good manners. His solicitor had once tentatively suggested that he could have the state pay for plastic surgery on that and the slashes across his belly. He didn’t care about the way they made him look and they made him remember. Every time he looked in the mirror he remembered it had happened because he let his sister down. If he hadn’t become bored waiting for her, then she would still be alive today. No matter what happened, he knew it was a guilt that would be with him forever, so why not wear the scars it had caused. He dragged his thoughts back to the present.

“No, no I’m not. I suppose you’ve already spoken to them?”

“I did. I gave them a statement. You’re not a reporter are you? Because if you are you can get lost right now. Anyway, I’m in a hurry, I have to get my little girl to school. We can’t be late.”

“No, no I promise you I’m not a reporter. I’m – well, I’m sort of working for Mr Clegg. The man in the car.”

“Oh right. How is he?”

“He’s doing alright now thank you. He reckons you saved his life, he’s very grateful.”

“I’m glad he’s okay but anyone would have done what I did.”

“Well, maybe – maybe not. It must have been pretty shocking for you.”

“Yes, it was. I was just glad Keira wasn’t with me.” As she spoke she wrapped an arm around the child’s shoulders, drawing her close.”

“You had to drag the door open?”

“Yes, I did, had to clamber up on that car and then once I saw he was breathing and not bleeding too badly I just left him as he was, I didn’t want to make things worse by moving him. I called the ambulance and just talked to him while we waited. I didn’t think he could hear me but you know, just in case.”

“Well you did a good job.”

“Look, I really do have to get going. Thanks for coming by, tell him – Mr Clegg is it? Tell him I’m glad he’s okay.”

“I will. I did wonder if you could just give me a few more details though?”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, did you see the accident for example?”

“No, I didn’t but it must have happened just before I got there because the engine was still hot, I burned my hand on the exhaust.” She held out her arm and Simon saw the nasty reddened skin on the back of her hand. “Bit of nuisance to be honest, I’m a beauty therapist, I can do without something like that on my hand.”

“It looks sore.” She nodded and frowned as she studied the damaged skin.

“Well it’s nothing compared to what happened to that poor old bloke is it?”

“No, I guess not. So, you didn’t see any other cars, nothing like that?”

“No, nothing. Oh, well – hmm.”


“Well for one thing he didn’t have his seat belt on. I didn’t tell the police, these older men, I know what they’re like. My uncle’s always doing it, stubbornness that’s all it is. They possibly thought I’d taken it off, but I hadn’t.” She smiled and shrugged. “There was something else and again I haven’t mentioned this to anyone. I wondered if I should have told the police. To be honest when they came I was still a bit upset about it all and it was only afterwards I remembered. I thought about it and decided it didn’t really matter anyway because they had pretty much assumed that he‘d fallen asleep at the wheel or something. You know him being an old bloke and that.”

“Yes, I think that’s their explanation. But you saw something else?”

“Well, I don’t know.  While I was sitting waiting for the ambulance. I saw a woman, or maybe a girl. Just on the top of the hill. Off towards where that narrow road goes. I think there’s a farm down there. She was standing on the rise and then she disappeared. I did wave to her, I thought she might be able to bring a blanket or something but she didn’t wave back, just vanished. I thought she’d probably gone to get help but I was already talking to the ambulance by then anyway so It didn’t matter. Look I really do have to get going.”

“Sorry yes of course. If I need to, could I come back and talk to you again? Could I take a number so I can ring, in case you’re busy or whatever?”

“No, I don’t think I want to give you my number but I’m here most days after five, you can come in the evening if you like.”

“Great, that’s great – thanks.”

“Tell Mr Clegg I hope he gets better soon.”

“I will, yes I will thank you.”

Simon slid into Gloria’s car and they pulled away as Michelle buckled her daughter into her own vehicle and as they reached the junction at the end of the road the two cars were together. He turned and waved at the child in the rear seat, grinning at him through the window.

“Did she say anything that might help?” Gloria didn’t look at him as she pulled into the line of traffic.

“I’m not sure. She didn’t see another car or anything like that but she did say she saw a woman, watching from up by the farm.”

“Oh, well maybe that should be somewhere else we could go, see if they saw anything?”

“Yeah. I think so. Can we go there now?”

“Might as well, as we’re out anyway.”

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The Generation We Lost (Repost)

Nik Eveleigh

“All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God…”


“I was told I should report here. What do you need me to do?”

“Shovels are over there, buckets are behind you. Dig or help carry it away.”


“Each little flower that opens
Each little bird that sings…”


“I’m sorry Mrs Jones but you’ll have to move back. They’re going as fast as they can.”

“I just need to know if Tommy is OK. He is OK isn’t he? He said he was feeling sick this morning but you know what they are like on last day of school…”

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Flash Challenge

So,  was complaining about a lack of inspiration. A face book friend gave me this challenge. Thanks Polly.

“It was midnight and yet another walrus was making its way down Main Street. A trail of water sizzled behind it and the town band followed in its wake, weeping quietly…”

I changed it very slightly and came up with this:


‘It was midnight and yet another walrus was making its way down Main Street. A trail of water sizzled behind it and the town band followed in its wake, it was weeping quietly…

The sky was purple, yellow and green clouds scudded before a diamond studded wind.

Charlotte tied her dragon to the hitching post. She wrapped her cloak around her and strode into the middle of the road. She held up her hand, she waited. Nothing happened. The crowd were singing Yellow Submarine, the trees swayed in time and the birds danced a Pavanne along the verges.

She had to stop them. She had to let them know. It wasn’t for her. She knew that she could climb aboard Stenflo and be away in moments, away to the rainbow mountains where the danger couldn’t reach her. But here, here on Main Street the laughing children, clutching cotton candy sticks and sucking on lollipops were in mortal danger. The happy teens, hand holding, hip touching, heart hoping teens were in danger and the elders, mostly her fear was for the elders.

Their silvered heads, their wisdom lined faces and their overknuckled work worn hands, they would make them prey. When it came it came mainly for them, for the years of knowing, the decades of learning and the centuries of loving that they carried in their hearts. It needed all of that. The Walrus knew, the mermaid on the corniche knew. Though unlike her marine brother she didn’t try to tell them. She smirked and tossed her sea green curls and with nary a final glance she dove into the harbour and Charlotte caught just the edge of her laugh as she lost herself in the waves.

She ran to the bandstand and tore up the shallow steps, she tried to take the microphone but the town Cryer was in full flow and snatched it back and pushed her roughly aside.

She ran to the wind section who by now had formed a semi circle around the percussionists. She chose the smallest musician, a small girl child and she snatched the gleaming instrument. Raising it to her lips she blew as hard as she could blow, she called on the north wind, the tempest and the hurricane. She implored help from the whirlwind itself and she blew and the note that she made left the end of the bugle and it flew into the air, a purple storm of sound, swirling and whirling upwards ever upwards until it met the feet of heaven and rebounded and cascaded back to the town as the sound of a million weeping angels.

The people gasped, they screamed, they clutched and grasped at each other. They cowered in the corners and they ran down the alleys into darkness. Only the old ones didn’t run, they didn’t flee. They knew that it was coming for them. The eons passed had foretold this moment and they knew that the only thing they could do was to wait, and to hold onto each other and speak words of love because letting it take them was the only way to save the young.

As she remounted her dragon and swept into the sky Charlotte took one last look at Main Street, at the elders, at the wise ones. They had turned to the west, their eyes were open, their faces were calm and as it came and they gave themselves to it she heard them. They were singing.




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Good Morning

A piece of Flash – just because.


Stickiness was the first hint that something was amiss.  Her hand, between her fingers, felt gluey and oddly crunchy as she bent them.  Flora cracked open her lids and squinted in the harsh light, she tried to read the numbers on the flashing digital clock but her brain refused to make sense of the blur. She reached for her spectacles.  The curtains hadn’t been closed, that was odd, very odd, the watery light showed smears and stains on the skin of her hand and arm, what the heck?

Her head pounded, a dull heaviness, her stomach contracted and acid threatened her throat.  She tried to remember. Exactly how much had they drunk last night? Fighting the nausea she acknowledged the misery that hovered at the edges of her heart.  They’d had another row, another blazing, painful confrontation.  Tears formed and overflowed, yet more tears.  She had to get out, this relationship was no good, it was toxic, destroying them both, going nowhere.

She pushed back the duvet and glanced down.

Panic threw her from the bed, she backed towards the wardrobe her gaze fixed on the devastation of stained sheets and ruby splattered pillows.  The knife lay on his side of the bed, Trevor’s side.  What the hell was he doing with a knife, a knife in bed?  She peered now at her shaking body.

Her nightdress was smeared and streaked, there were cuts and slashes in the fine fabric and the tiny lace frill around the hem hung in ribbons around her knees.  Her legs let her go and she flopped in a quivering heap to the carpet.

She couldn’t find the wound, her arms, legs, her belly; all seemed undamaged, whole and pain free.  She stretched a hand behind her and stroked it across her back – nothing.  Where was it from, the blood, she wasn’t hurt yet she was covered in it, the bed was a turmoil of gore there were marks on the carpet, the wall near the light switch.  The more she looked the more she found.  It was everywhere.

“Trevor?” she heard her whisper, it came from far away, feeble and quavering, “Trev?” There was no answer.  There was no sound of the shower, no flush of the toilet, no clatter of pots and dishes from the kitchen.  The house was silent, dead and silent.


She pushed to her feet, there were drips of red on her slippers, she couldn’t bear to push her toes into them.

“Trevor?”  She remembered that they had screamed at each other the night before. Her, screeching his name in fury, both of them drunk and unreasonable, railing and tearing in their anger.

“Trevor?”  She made her way down the hallway, no sound.  The red smears on the wall accused her now, her stomach turned and roiled, the door to the kitchen was slightly ajar, she reached out.  Her blood stained hand touched the cream paint, she pushed at the wood.



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Truth Series Book 2/ Chapter 14

When the phone rang Simon was puzzled to see Charles Clegg’s name on the screen. “Charlie, this is a surprise. I thought you’d still be out for the count.”

“No, no I’m sorry Mr Fulton, this is Beryl, Mrs Clegg.”

“Oh, is everything okay? He’s not worse is he?”

“He’s alright. They say he’s not in any danger now and it’s just a question of time. He’s tough so he’s going to be champing at the bit to get out of there as soon as he can stand up.”

“Well, that’s a relief. What can I do for you Mrs Clegg?”

“I want you to stop what you’re doing.”

“I’m sorry?” The woman took in a shuddering breath, when she spoke again her voice wavered.

“I know what Charlie has asked you to do and I want you to stop. Don’t stir things up.”

“Mrs Clegg, I don’t understand.” He had thought that Charles Clegg had been as keen as he was to keep his wife away from the enquiry. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

“Yes, you know. I haven’t been married to Charlie for all these years without knowing how his mind works. I’ve put two and two together and I understand what’s happening here. He means well, I know he does – God bless the man. But, I want you to make an excuse. Tell him there’s nothing you can do. Our Colin will be out of jail in a few years and we’ll look after him. It won’t be like with you, we’ll make sure he has work, his dignity, a place to live.”

“But your sister in law, Charlie’s sister? He said that they don’t think she’ll last.”

“Aye well sometimes things are best left as they are. Listen to me, the least said soonest mended. An old saying but in this case it couldn’t be more true. Leave it all be. Will you do that, for me and Colin and Maureen?”

“Mrs Clegg, I’ve taken the job on. I told him I’d do what I could.”

He heard her sigh, “I know. But, you’re not listening. Leave it be, that’s all. If it’s money you’re worried about I’ll pay you. What did he promise you?”

“Nothing, we didn’t talk about it. Except for expenses and there haven’t been any. No, it’s not about money. I haven’t got very far but – well, things have happened that lead me to think there’s something off about all of this and…” She didn’t let him finish.

“I’ll give you a cheque for five thousand pounds tomorrow if you tell Charlie you can’t find anything.”

“No, I’m sorry but –no I can’t. I promised”

“What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can – just do it.” Her tone became stronger now, hectoring and bullying. She was making him angry, he tamped it down, the woman was under stress. “I realise you’ve had a nasty shock, but really I think if you have a problem with me trying to find out about Colin and the accident you should talk to your husband. I gave him my word. I can’t let him down. Apart from that I need to do it because I think there’s something in what he thinks. I can’t turn my back on that. I just can’t.”

The quiet click told him that she’d cut the connection. He replaced the handset on his desk and stared at it for a minute. He pulled one of the little cards from the pile and wrote out a rough precis of the conversation. He muttered into the quiet room, “Well that’s bloody odd.”


It was wonderful to be back in Gloria’s living room. Although the empty hotel felt forlorn she had cleaned and tidied in the last couple of days and it was almost as he had first seen it, downstairs at least. She had cooked roast lamb for them and now there was her favourite jazz music, heavy with saxophones, playing quietly in the background and she’d turned on the fire. The atmosphere was cosy and relaxing. Simon sighed. “I thought I’d lost this forever. It made me sad.”

Gloria nodded, “I’ve had trouble remembering what life had been like. It felt as though I’d been catapulted to a whole different world. Now, here tonight that side of it is unreachable. Life is odd. I hope I’m better, but sometimes it sweeps over me, the whole bloody thing. Ah well.” She deliberately pushed the maudlin conversation aside, “Anyway, back to what you were telling me.”

“Yes, so at first she was really upset I think but then towards the end she sounded more, angry.”

“God, this gets more and more complicated every day. Will you tell Charlie?”

“I don’t think so, not right now anyway. I can’t see how it will help and it will probably cause trouble between them and I wouldn’t want to do that.”

“She must know something though, mustn’t she?”

“Yes, I reckon. But obviously Charlie doesn’t know she knows – well, whatever she knows.” They sat in silence for a while until Gloria moved forward in her chair and leaned towards the coffee table.

“Do you want another drink?”

“No, I’m fine thanks.” She raised the whisky bottle, uncorked it and then looked across the space between them.

“I’m just having another little one. I know, I know – I’m drinking too much, but this is nothing compared to a week ago even. I’ll cut back, I will, but not just now.” He shrugged, though he wanted to speak, to tell her that he had smelled the alcohol already on her breath when he arrived. He held his tongue. It was all too delicate, building this new bridge.

“For now I’m going to just carry on, trying to find the girls first of all. Oh yes and I’m going to go and see that woman who found Charlie. I’ve got her name from the paper – Michelle she is and an unusual surname, it sounds Italian or Spanish maybe, so it was easy to find her address in the phone book. She lives in Keighley. I just thought I’d ask her what she saw when she found him, though like with everything else I’m just working on instinct.”

“So for now, we’ll just keep on shall we?”

“Yup, that’s it. Cheers Gloria. Thanks for the meal. It was lovely but I think I’ll get back now. I’ll come down early tomorrow and we’ll go and find this Michelle – will that work for you?”

“Yep. Tension crackled between them but she moved and picked up his coat from the back of a chair, holding it out to him.”

“See you tomorrow, Simon. Maybe some of this will start to make sense in a while.”

“Well, I bloody hope so.” As he turned at the end of the drive he heard her lock the door and imagined her moving through the rooms, sliding under her duvet and laying there in the dark, alone. If he had pressed it she may have let him stay. He would have liked to stay. He picked up the pace until he was pounding up the hill his heart racing and his breathing quickened. By the time he let himself into the shop he was calm again.

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Truth Series. Book 2/chapter 13

(Twist of Truth is available on Amazon – click the link in the side bar.)

Charles Clegg looked old. The life force that was so much a part of him had been subdued by drugs and confusion. He lay in a quiet room in the local private hospital. Once out of danger he had been transferred from the infirmary and was now well enough to have visitors. Simon dragged a chair up to the side of the bed, he was shocked at how ill the man looked.

There were large floral displays and cards on the window ledges and tables and the hospital smell was drowned by the heavy scent of lilies. It was over heated and in spite of the attempts at luxury, the old man was still lying in a hospital bed with wires and tubes attached to his bruised body. Subdued noise leaked into the room and it was all pretty depressing. Simon couldn’t see any point in staying. They had said Clegg was conscious but there was no indication that he was going to be able to talk and so, with a brief squeeze of the age spotted hand Simon stood and prepared to leave.

“Don’t go lad. I’ll be with you in a minute. Just give me a bit of a chance.” The voice was just above a whisper but the words were clear.

“I thought you were asleep.” Simon lowered back onto the seat.

“No, it’s the dizziness. I can’t see straight, it’s bloody awful.” His eyelids flicked open for a moment and Charles Clegg moved his head a little towards Simon.

“Don’t worry I can come back. When you’re feeling a bit stronger. It’s fine.” He was surprised at the strength in the hand that reached out and gripped his wrist.

“Wait. Just wait.” The old man forced his eyes open again and pointed at the glass of water on the bed table. Simon helped him to take a drink and then settle back against the pillows.

“Bloody drugs ‘ave me confused. I’d rather feel the ache in me leg to be ‘onest but they’ve got me in their clutches and they’ll do what they will. Bloody doctors.”

He lay now with his eyes closed but the slackness in his face had lessened. “Good of you to come lad. ‘ppreciate it.”

“I wondered if you remembered what happened?” Clegg groaned as he made the mistake of shaking his head, his concussed brain paid him back with pain and nausea. He breathed deeply and raised a finger to indicate that Simon must wait.

“I’d ‘ad a busy day, out and about and what not. I remember leaving the yard. I decided to drive over the top. I do quite often, usually mid-week, even though there are memories up there. It’s no good letting stuff like that dictate what you do. I don’t know much more than that. I remember that young lass, the one that helped. She clambered down to me, somehow opened the car door, called the police. Saved my life I expect. I’ll tell you sommat but you must promise not to say a word – right?”

“Erm, yes okay.”

“I didn’t ‘ave my belt on. Bloody belts, I ‘ate ‘em, always ‘ave and every now and again I just leave it off. If I’d not been such a stupid, stubborn old bugger I could ‘ave walked away from this. Well, serves me right. I were probably goin’ a bit quick truth be told. No point ‘avin’ a powerful motor if you don’t let it off it’s leash now and then.” He gave a throaty chuckle but it caused him to cough and Simon helped him to take another drink. “Bit of slide on corners you know, bit of a twitch in the rear, just for the ‘ell of it. Bit ‘o sharp brakin’, testin’ ‘er metal, you know? They’re sayin they think I fell asleep but that doesn’t feel right, not right at all.”

“No, not from what you’ve just been saying.”

“Aye, well I don’t want em pryin’ too much, crash investigatin’ and what ‘ave you, so I’ll let ‘em ‘ave their way and take the ‘it on the insurance. Serves me right and I’m paying for it now. But truth is I don’t remember anything properly, just flashes. I can see that girl, but it’s odd because sometimes it seems that maybe there were another one, ‘appen a woman, ‘appen not, but anyroad it’s all a fog. It’s just the drugs and my poor scrambled brain but… Let’s be ‘onest, I reckon they know, about the seat belt I mean, they can tell these things from bruises, stuff like that, but sometimes, well if you show folks an easy way out they’ll likely take it.” He flapped a hand weakly now against the bed covers. “It’s no good I’m befuddled. They reckon it might come clearer in time but right now I just don’t know what ‘appened. Been drivin’ for more than fifty year and only ever ‘ad one other accident – years ago when I were a daft kid.” Simon saw exhaustion and medicine take Charles Clegg away again. He left the little get well card on the table and walked quietly out of the room.

It would be useful to speak to the woman who had helped him. Maybe her name would be in the paper by now. He pulled out his phone and made a note to check.

So, the afternoon would be spent on the computer. This wasn’t quite as he had imagined it would be but the web was such a great source of information. He hadn’t been able to do anything about tracing the veterinary nurse though, he had spent hours well into the night bent over his desk.

When he phoned Gloria they decided the only route left open to them was to call all the local veterinary practices – “At least there are fewer than there are hairdressers.” Gloria had laughed and they had taken half of the listings each to work their way through, just calling and asking if Fiona Carpenter worked there. “You know they might start with the stupid privacy stuff don’t you.”

“Yes, I know but at least we’ll have tried.”

He called at the little convenience store and picked up a Lasagne ready meal for lunch and a six pack of lager. He was seeing Gloria for dinner but for now he liked the idea of getting on with what he was thinking more and more of as his job.

The shop front looked smarter with the new pane and he decided to have it painted. Now they were talking again he would speak to Gloria about making an offer to buy it. It would be much simpler having cleared his name and he would love to own his own place. He was settling and becoming attached to his home. It was a good feeling. He knew it would please his dad as well, so that was another plus.

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Truth Series. Book 2/Chapter 12

Link to Twist of Truth on Amazon

“Poor old thing. Did you get any details?” They were driving away from Ramstone. They passed the bungalows on the outskirts of the village and then it was all dry stone walls and fields dotted with shaggy sheep and low, wind formed trees. As soon as he had closed the car door Simon had blurted out the news about his ‘client’.

“No, not really. There’s no real reason to do it but I’ve been arguing with myself back and forth, trying to keep things in perspective, not jumping to conclusions, but I just keep thinking it’s bloody odd.”

“Do you know where it happened?”

“Yes, I looked at the local news on line. It’s not all that far from where Melanie was killed, and I’m trying not to read anything into that. It’s not the most direct route but it is the nicer one, going over the tops as it does but…”

“Did you make a note of whereabouts?”

“Yes, can we go and look, can we do that first?” She nodded.

“I know these roads can be dangerous but it’s a heck of a coincidence isn’t it? Or am I just a bit freaked out and overreacting?”

What had promised to be very little more than an excuse for a winter picnic had become something else and the atmosphere in the little car was sharp with tension.

It was easy to see where the accident had happened. The grass beside the road was torn and muddied. Great clods of soil had been thrown up the bank which was scarred with huge gouges where the big four wheeled drive had plunged down the embankment. Yellow paint on the road, marking the start of the skid and swerve evidenced the police investigation. Simon and Gloria walked back and forth. A wet wind began to blow and grey clouds scudded low across the sky.

Gloria pulled her collar closer. “Not much to see really is there? He’s lucky someone came along, it’s not that busy.”

“It was a young woman, been taking her daughter to school apparently and just coming back a different route from normal.”

“I wonder if we can find out who that was?”

“Perhaps. I think I’ll go to the hospital as soon as they say he’s well enough to have visitors and maybe Charlie will be able to tell us more.”

“Well, I wouldn’t bank on it. If he was knocked out he might well not remember anything.”

“No, but – well, I can ask.” She nodded and climbed back into the warm car.

“So, the other accident, the first one. Can we work out from the plan exactly where that was? As we’re here we might just as well carry on.”

“Yes. Down here, there should be a narrow turn off and it was just before that.”

“It’s an odd place for a young girl to be walking about on her own isn’t it?”

“Yes, I’ve puzzled about that myself but her friends said that she often walked this way. Did it because she enjoyed the buzz of being on the hills alone. I can sort of understand that because I love it myself but it’s not that usual for women, girls, is it, even these days? Plus, it was winter, latish in the day, all just a little bit of an odd choice to make.”

“Well, I guess she must have been pretty self-confident. Didn’t do her any favours though in the end. Here we are. Is this the turn?”

“Looks like it. It’s very isolated.”

“Yes, but once you get over the dip there are houses, not quite as lonely as you would think. I wonder where that turn off leads to?”

“High Hill Farm according to the OS map.”

Clouds had gathered in grey heaps on the tops of the moors and they lowered now over the peaks and flowed into the valleys. Sheep huddled at the foot of low walls and in minutes they could see only a couple of hundred yards in any direction.

“God, the weather’s turned now. Come on Gloria, get back in the car. Did you bring something hot to drink?”

“I did but I don’t think this is going to clear do you?”

“Let’s give it a little while it might blow over. Anyway I rather like it when it’s like this. As long as you’re not out in it with the wrong clothes on it can be fun and it certainly makes you appreciate a hot shower after.”

She poured soup into mugs and gave him a packet of cheese and ham sandwiches and they ate quietly, watching through the streaming windows as the moors, the road and the walls vanished in swirls of mist.

The roads ran with water and fine rain whispered against the windows. But every now and again a glimpse of blue peeked through and as suddenly as it had begun the drear weather cleared. Beams of light speared through the remaining clouds and the pools and puddles shone in wintery sunshine. Grass and leaves twinkled with moisture and as a hawk spiralled up into the rapidly clearing sky Simon sighed and leaned forward to wipe with a cloth at the condensation on the inside of the windscreen. “This is what it’s about for me you know. This is the closest thing to magic that I can imagine. I know it’s lovely in the summer but this, this wildness is what I love.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty special, I used to enjoy it back in the day, with Dave you know.” She sighed. Anyway, we need to get back, if you’ve seen all you want to.”

“I think so, to be honest I’m not sure I’ve learned anything much but it’s been good to come here, it all helps to make it real.”

Gloria pulled out onto the narrow highway and gave a little squeal as a horn blared loud into the quiet. She wrenched the wheel over as a Land Rover, its headlights flashing, streaked past them down the gleaming tarmac.

“Bloody hell. That’s a bit quick for the conditions isn’t it? I’m beginning to think this road is jinxed.” She puffed out a sharp breath and then slipped the stalled car into neutral.  She turned the key, Indicated and turned to look back through the window, no longer trusting what she saw in the mirror, she pulled slowly onto the road.

Simon reached over and touched her leg, “Are you okay, you’ve gone pale?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine, it just made me jump that’s all. It came out of nowhere.”



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Truth Series. Book 2/Chapter 11

The shop looked forlorn with old planks nailed across the front and they sighed and shrugged when they saw that ‘Gazo’ had already tagged it. It didn’t matter. The insurance company had arranged for a glazier who was coming by the end of the day.

“There’s no real damage is there, apart from the window? Did they break in by the back door?”

“No, I reckon they must have come in through the broken glass. Bloody dangerous really, those big shards have been dropping out all the time, whenever a car goes past. They could have been sliced in half.”

“Oh, don’t!”

“No, you’re right. It was messy but apart from the wood on the skirting boards here and there, oh yes and my trainers and jeans, there’s nothing much to see really.”

“It makes me even more sure that this wasn’t meant to do real damage, not meant to hurt you. You haven’t said but I’m guessing you haven’t called the coppers?” Simon shook his head.

“I don’t see what they could do and I can’t face it. There’d be fuss and risk that the papers might find out and – well you know what it’s like.”

“Yes, but it’s just that they would have access to any cameras and might be able to see the car. At that time of night there wouldn’t be much traffic would there?”

“I think for now at least I’d rather not.”

“Fair enough. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to call Mr Clegg?”

“I am, yes. But for now I’m not planning on mentioning this. I don’t want to worry him; he’s got enough on his plate.”

“Okay, so I suppose the thing to do is to get going on trying to find out about that poor girl and the bloke in jail. I’ve been thinking about that though, since last night and it’s not like you is it?”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, you fought it right from the start, you denied everything even after they locked you up. Yes, you knuckled down later but at the beginning you told them it wasn’t you. But this bloke hasn’t. Isn’t that a bit odd? I reckon that for the time being at least you have to keep in mind that he might actually have done it and it’s Mr Clegg who is just clutching at straws. With his sister so ill and everything.”

“I’ve been over that and over it in my mind and you’re right, but this puts a different light on it doesn’t it?”

“Maybe. How are you going to start?”

Simon shrugged and for the first time in months Gloria laughed aloud, it surprised her as much as him. “You haven’t got a clue have you?”

He raised his eyebrows, “Well, that’s not strictly true. I have found out about her friends, the ones she was with that night. I thought if I could find them and have a word it would be a start. I also want to go and have a look where it happened. Charlie gave me a plan, it’s out on the moors.”

“Yeah, that seems like the right place to start. What do you know about her mates?”

“I have their names. They were all college friends. Hairdressers and a veterinary nurse.”

“Well she’d be your best bet I should think.”

“How so?”

“Well, they’ve probably graduated and finding a young woman hairdresser would be like trying to find a piece of wood in a log pile but surely a veterinary nurse would be registered somewhere.”

“Brilliant. See, I knew I needed you.” He leaned and hugged her. She smelled like Gloria, shampoo and the perfume that she had always worn.

“I’ll go on line and see what I can find out about it. Hopefully I can at least find out whether or not she qualified and then if it comes to it I’ll just start ringing round the veterinary surgeries.”

“It’s a start at least.”

“When the bloke’s been to fix the window I’ll drive you to the accident place. I’ll go back home now and make a flask and some sandwiches. Let’s have a picnic.”

“A picnic, it’s bloody cold and it’ll be even colder up on the tops.”

“I know but I feel like a picnic. I’ll make soup. Don’t be a wuss.” She paused for a moment and then raised her eyes to his. “Thanks Simon, I feel so much better already. I can’t believe the difference a couple of days has made. God, I’m a stupid cow sometimes.”

“Yeah, well.”  She thumped his arm and then turned to leave. “Give me a call when the glazier’s finished.” And she was gone. Simon went up to the flat with a grin on his face and his spirits in a much better place.

He was surprised that a female voice answered when he called what he understood to be Charlie Glegg’s private mobile number. “Hello.  I’m trying to reach Mr Clegg. My name’s Fulton.”

“Hello Mr Fulton, this is Beryl. I’m sorry you can’t talk to Charlie just now.” Simon caught the break in her voice.

“Is he okay, is everything okay?”

“No, not really. We’re at the hospital. Charlie’s having an operation, he broke his leg.”

“I am so sorry, did he fall, is there anything I can do?”

“No, he didn’t – he didn’t fall Mr Fulton. He was in a car crash; his car went into a ditch. We’re lucky he’s still alive. If it hadn’t been for a young woman passing in her car I dread to think what would have happened.”

“I am so sorry. Will it be okay if I call again, in a little while? Just to see how he is?”

“Yes, alright. I’ll tell him you rang. Thank you.”

Simon turned off his phone and stared out of the window. Poor Charlie, his money wasn’t saving him from trouble heaped on trouble. Was it?

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New Release



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Through My Eyes I See It

I came across this recently in a bit of a tidy up I was doing and thought it could have another outing:-

Through My Eyes I See It.

The trees in the park are glorious. Like a magnificent pavan they unroll as far as these old eyes can see, their ball gown finery, gold and russet and crimson billowing and tumbling in the breeze. The pain is good this morning. It is there prowling like a great bear around the battlements but for now at least the drugs repel it. Soon though the other assaults will begin, first on my physical self and then, and what is far worse, on my poor addled brain.

Here she comes now the “care assistant” who in truth needs some assistance to care. Bright and brittle in lavender and body odour. Brace for the first wave of attack “Oh Amy what are you doing sitting here all on your own? Let’s pop you with the others so that you can watch something more interesting, it’s no good you just staring out of the window at nothing all day.” Staring at nothing, the billow and wisp of cloud, the glorious, glorious trees and the oceanic swells of winter wheat rushing before the wind. “Staring at nothing.” And she will take me and “pop” me before that abomination the television. She will line me up with the others ogling in aquatic dumbness at the flashing colours. How I hate it, the joyless laughter, the high priestesses with their pregnant pauses and their pregnant bellies and the ignoramus hoi polloi giggling and flirting, leaping into mutual degradation all for their fifteen minutes and a free holiday.

Don’t “pop” me anywhere you lavender suited storm trooper. Leave me in peace with the song of the birds and the glitter of the frost where it lays encrusting spider webs beneath the hedge. Treacherous vocal chords gurgle and splutter. Outraged obscenities transmute into meaningless drivel and so I am duly “popped”. The second invasion approaches, there is nothing in my arsenal with which to repel. “Hello Amy, it’s Thursday.”

Good God Mrs Wilkins you don’t say, a revelation beyond all expectations.

“My Gerry comes today, he comes every Thursday without fail. He’s such a good boy.”

First of all you overblown dollop he is not your Gerry. He is Gerry who belongs to the world, he has a wife, a life and a reason to be. He can wash himself, shave his flabby fat chops and presumably grope ineffectively at his wife in the dark to produce his disgusting progeny. He is not a good boy he is an avaricious little shit who comes every Thursday in the hope that you will have expired on Wednesday night and the home haven’t had a chance to tell him. He comes so that he can pack up your feeble belongings and once and for all put this whole miserable responsibility behind him.

“It is a shame that you never had any children Amy, they are such a comfort.”

Comfort my arse you silly old fool. A cushion is a comfort. Haemorrhoid cream is a comfort Gerry is a cretin.

Now, it comes, the deepest torture. Another careless carer her mind on bus stop gropes with spotty youths and illicit fags in darkened corners will spoon pap into my gullet. Bang the spoon on my teeth again you moron and I swear I’ll somehow find the wherewithal to bite your hand. Oysters fresh from the sea in the South of France. Tender pasta robed in piquant sauce bejewelled with fiery peppers and bread still warm from the boulangerie. Drooling peaches and sun-filled melon with a Bacchanalian of sparkling white Bourgogne sipped from crystal goblets as the heat of the day bleaches the hills and diamonds sparkle in the bay. I can’t bear it, not another minute, not another mouthful, jelly and juice and plastic oh god.

The outsiders approach. The floral tributes, chocolates, pictures of grandchildren. The hugs and kisses, grinning rictus and off set embraces. No don’t come over here, please don’t. “Hello Amy, how are you today. You’re in the best place there’s a nasty wind out there and you’re lovely and snug.” A force seven gale off the ocean, lifting my hair glueing the clothes to my legs and startling tears from my eyes. His hair lifting and flicking as he smiles down at me, the two of us thrown together by the force of nature external and internal. His arms a harbour his broad chest my haven and the warmth of his body welding us together in the blasted sunshine. The sudden silence behind a hedge and the glory of daytime lovemaking. His tears, my tears the ghastly separation as he leaves for the airbase and the violence of waiting for his return. The devastation, the emptiness and the total loss of reason when he is gone and then the wretched years of decline becoming this traitorous slug of a body slumped in a dung heap home waiting for release.

He is here, he has come, it is time, thank God it is time.

“Nurse, excuse me nurse, can you come quickly and look at Amy I think there’s something wrong.”

Ah no for the first time in decades something is wonderfully right.


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