The Jet Pee Long Hotel

by Colin Devonshire – Read or listen to more short stories here https://anchor.fm/colin-devonshire

The Jet Pee Nong Hotel

“Jet Pee Nong, what the hell is that?” asked the walk-in customer.

“That, my friend, is the name of a magnificent hotel in a brilliant resort, on the holiday you’ve been dreaming of,” answered the overly keen sales agent at Rickets Travel Bureau.

“I noticed the ‘deal of a century’, you’ve been plugging on social media recently. Tell me more.”

“You are in luck. We only had one spot available, and it had been booked,” said the young man with the bright yellow blazer with the over-sized letters, RTB, plastered over the breast pocket. Below the logo was a pin screaming ‘Jethro’.

“I was in luck, but it had been booked?”

“Yes, tragedy in the customer’s family. She had to cancel. So, it’s yours, just give me your card and I’ll get on with booking it for you,” Jethro beamed.

Nigel Peters scratched his chin, “I’ve never been to Thailand before, what’s it like?”

“Oh, you’ll love it. It will be hot, the beaches are clean, the food is to die for… And Thai ladies are beautiful, say no more,” RTB Jethro was getting on Nigel’s nerves. He considered the reason he was there in the first place, he needed a break.

“Okay, book it.”

“Splendid decision, Mr Peters, you fly out Wednesday from Heathrow. Have a lovely holiday.”

Nigel settled himself in the middle seat in the central aisle and half-way back of the Thai Airways Jumbo.

“There’s always one, and he is always next to me,” Nigel mumbled to himself as a scruffy younger man tried stuffing his over-large holdall in the crammed overhead container.

“Sorry mate, they buggered my ticket, panic all around,” he said squeezing next to Nigel.

Pulling his jacket free of his neighbour as he sat.

“You’re here now, enjoy the flight,” Nigel sneered, making it clear he wanted no further conversation.

A man was waiting at Suvarnabhumi Airport with a small sign boasting, ‘Mr Peter’, hand-written in black marker pen.

“But I’m Peter,” an elderly man stated.

“No, sir, I meet Mr Nigel Peter,” said the mini-bus driver.

“Excuse me, are you looking for me?” asked Nigel, looking at the clipboard and seeing ‘Peters’. 

Nigel was directed to his seat on the bus.

The mini-bus took no time in becoming snarled in Bangkok’s infamous traffic.

“Hello again, mate,” Nigel heard from behind.

“Yes, hi, you again, it seems we are destined to sit together.”

“Where are you going? I’m going to the beach, I deserve sand and sea after what I’ve been through,” said the scruffy man.

“Me too,” Nigel said, dreading the next question.

“Are you going to Hua Hin?”

“Oh, God,” Nigel breathed as he studied the overhead vinyl. “Yes, I think that’s what it’s called.”

The mini-bus pulled up outside a newly painted building, ‘Jed Pee Nong Hotel’ in foot-high letters hung above the entrance.

“Don’t tell me we’re both staying here?” thought Nigel.

“This way, gentlemen,” said a young receptionist, pointing to the front desk. The driver lugged the luggage to the hotel’s trolly.

“Can I see your passports please,” she smiled.

Nigel rushed his document out of his pocket, hoping to escape his travelling companion.

“Thank you, Mr Peters. And yours, Mr Jackson?” she looked as Mr Jackson searched his pockets and then his small shoulder bag.

Mr Peters was getting used to studying ceilings, plane, bus and now the fresh paint of the hotel foyer.

“No problem sir, the police station is over the road,” she pointed, “I’ll report it missing. Here’s your key.”

“Where’s my key?” asked Nigel.

“Oh, we only give one key per room,” she answered.

The men looked at each other, then at her.

“What?” yelled Nigel.

“I’ve got you down as a couple? That’s what the agent told us,” she said.

“Oh, no, I had to sit next to him on the plane, shared the bus with him, there is no way I’m sharing a room!” 

The girl busied herself with a huge ledger, “We are full tonight, but, tomorrow lunchtime we will have a room free?” 

Mr Jackson shrugged okay. Mr Peters did not, as they trudged to the lift.

“You have got to be kidding me!” as Nigel saw the double bed.

“Which side do you want? I prefer to sleep near the window. If that’s okay with you. Oh, can you keep your noise down, I need to nap,” called Mr Jackson to Nigel’s fast disappearing back as he stormed back to reception.

“I am sorry, sir, but…” she started.

“Where can I get a drink?” fumed Nigel.

A folding map was handed to him, with bars, and restaurants circled. Nigel marched in the sea’s direction and hopefully cold beer.

After sampling some strong Thai beer, he got chatting with a few friendly bar girls. The beers soon changed to shots of local whisky. Nigel had calmed down and was enjoying himself with one young lady. They agreed to meet up the following day.

“My God, it’s gone one o’clock,” slurred Nigel as he staggered back towards his hotel.

“Can I have my key, please?” he said, proud that he didn’t appear as drunk as he felt.

“The key is with… um, your friend, sir,” the receptionist from earlier reported.

“Let me in, Mr Jackson,” Nigel spoke to the door. “Come on, hurry, I need a pee,” he asked louder.

No answer, no sound from inside, Nigel’s firmly crossed legs made it to the WC in reception.

“Have you got a spare key, please,” said a much relived Mr Peters.

“Yes, sir, I can let you in. He must be a sound sleeper.”

The room door pushed back, and the lights flicked on.

“Where is he?” asked the puzzled receptionist.

“Where are my bags? My passport!”

An instantly sober guest opened the wardrobe, then the bathroom even looked under the bed.

“Please sir, accompany me to the police station, we must report this. At least then, you will have the bed to yourself,” smiled the girl.

No smile joined her across the road. A furious snarl marched back after spending an hour with the bored night officer.

“Why did I have to keep repeating myself, as he scribbled notes?” whined Nigel.

“His English is not so good, you were speaking too fast,” said the girl.

“So, all this is my fault?”

“No, sir, please take the hotel key and have a good night,” she offered, thankfully her shift had ended.

A hammering woke Nigel at eight o’clock, “Sorry, sir, but you didn’t answer your room phone,” said the receptionist standing next to a police officer.

“I unplugged the phone, as I wanted a full sleep!” said Nigel as he glared at his visitors.

“Do you mind if I come in,” the officer strode to the coffee table and sat down, pulling the other chair back for Nigel.

“What now?”

“I need you to prove who you are, sir,” said the stern man in the brown uniform.

“I haven’t got my passport, as you well know,” glared Nigel, pulling his wallet from the trousers he had slept in.

The police officer held out his hand, Nigel passed the wallet over.

“No credit cards? No driving licence? No cash?”

“What? Give it here,” stormed Nigel, snatching it back.

The empty wallet hit the far wall. The receptionist’s eyes widened. Her ears glowed at English terms she was unused to.

“Calm down, sir. You had better accompany me across the road,” said the officer, hand on his pistol.

Nigel slumped to his knees, head in hands, “Christ Almighty,” he wailed as he was guided to the police station.

After a lengthy telephone conversation with the British Embassy and proving who he was, he could enjoy the rest of his stay in Thailand. A friend sent him cash via PayPal, making life easier with cash in his pocket. Nigel loved the Thai food, he enjoyed watching monkeys steal fruit, he even saw a dolphin when he took an interesting boat ride as part of a trip to the nearby mountain. His guide was the young lady he met his first night. They were getting on as if they’d known each other for years.

On his third day in Hua Hin, he relaxed in a deck chair on the beach; he unfolded the Bangkok Post.

“What,” instantly he sat up, as a headline on an inside page jumped at him, like a cold fish’s revenge. He felt the slap across the cheeks.

“RTB owner found dead in her home!”

For a reason only known to him, he looked all around him, as he read, “Well-known travel agent and business owner, Mrs Eastman, was found battered to death in her bedroom. Her husband, Mr Eastman’s whereabouts were unknown.”

 Nigel cringed behind the newspaper, suspecting Mr Eastman could watch him. He carried on reading the report aloud, “Young sales assistant, Mr Jethro Jenks, is helping police with their enquiries. Mr Eastman known to have boarded a flight to Bangkok. ‘We lost track of him there’, said a detective headed the case,” Nigel folded the paper gently on his thighs, as a voice he recognised, shouted from behind, “Keep your noise down, I’m trying to nap.”

The END

Books you may like…

Thai Died...Bar Girl: The second book in the Lieutenant Chai Son Sinuan Mysteries (Thai Died Series of books featuring Police Lieutenant Chai Son Sinuan of the Royal Thailand Police) by [Gerald Hogg]

Bar Girl, Thai thriller by Gerald Hogg $4.99

On the tropical island of Koh Samui bar-girls are going missing and are later turning up dead. The granddaughter of a high ranking General with connections to the upper echelons of the Thai army government has also gone missing and Police Lieutenant Chai Son Sinuan of the Royal Thailand Police, an incorruptible policeman in a police force that is deep-rooted in corruption is assigned the case. To make matters worse a German resident of Koh Samui who is the younger brother of a minister in the Christian Democratic Union party in the German Bundestag went for his usual afternoon bike ride two days ago and has not been seen since. As Son learns more about the missing German and the general’s granddaughter he is convinced that the investigations are connected. The clock is ticking and Son is in a race against time to solve the crimes before the killer strikes again. Colonel Saetang Son’s commanding officer assigns the corrupt, narcissistic Sub Lieutenant Shinawatra who has family connections reaching back to an ex-Thai prime minister to assist Son in the case and the two police officers clash from the second that they meet.

Or…

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness by David Casarett. $3.47

Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband — one who also died. 
Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer-if there is one — loose in her hospital. Then again,she never expected to be a detective in the first place.

And now, Ladarat has no choice but to investigate. . .

Love Lasts

Love Lasts – not the usual dark story, but there is a surprise at the end!

“Good morning, Vic, are you ready for a cuppa?” asked Becky the carer. The pretty young girl smiled from the doorway, teapot in one hand, cup and saucer in the other.

“Oh, yes, please, I’m gasping,” answered Vic, placing the handset back on the outdated dial phone.

“Later this morning we are going for a stroll around the grounds. Do you want to join us?” asked Becky.

“I don’t know yet, hopefully June will come to visit me, I think I’ll have to let you know later, okay?”

“Yes, dear, every day the same, I’ll pop in after breakfast and see if you are free,” said a cheerful Becky.

Vic slurped the hot tea, “Lovely, almost as lovely as Becky.”

Her smile broadened she left to get on with her chores. 

“A quick trip to the loo, then I’ll make a call,” Vic decided.

Vic settled slowly back on the armchair next to the bed. Dialling the only number ever used on the black Bakelite antique. Waiting a minute, then Vic beamed.

“Hello June, how are you feeling this bright morning?”

“They have invited me to join them on a ramble. Well, you know, just a wander around the home, really do you think so? It would be marvellous if you could come?”

“Not this time, I understand.”

Vic continued the one-way conversation for another fifteen minutes. Becky waited outside the door.

The handset was carefully replaced.

“Are you coming for a walk with us?” Becky asked.

“Yes, thank you, it seems June won’t be joining us today.”

“That is a shame. Next time?”

“Oh yes, she would love to meet you all,” said Vic.

“How long were you together?” Becky asked.

“We met during the war. A long time ago.”

“I’ve been with my husband for five years now. Sometimes it seems like forever,” said Becky.

“It was different in those days, of course,” said Vic.

“Yes, I suppose so. When our children came along, it all changed for us too. He was happy at first, but now he goes out with his mates all the time. What should I do?” asked Becky.

“I don’t know, I’m not the sort to offer advice. We never had children, couldn’t. June and I spent every minute we could together, sometimes it was awkward. But we managed.”

“You love June the same today as that very first day. How wonderful?”

“Oh yes, that will never change. Okay, I’m here and she’s not, but it bonds us with our hearts.”

Becky grabbed a tissue and dabbed her eyes.

A nurse peered around the door, “We are about to leave, are you both ready?”

“I’ll help Vic dress, we’ll be there in ten minutes,” said Becky.

“Do you mind if I ask a question?” asked Becky.

“No, dear, anything, ask away.”

“Did you live together since the war?”

“It was not that simple in those days. We met up whenever we could. You know a quick kiss and cuddle, then back to our homes, separately. Neighbours love to gossip,” Vic smiled at the thought.

“Were you both married to other people?”

“Yes, both of us were. We were in hastily arranged weddings. Our partners didn’t come home from the war.”

“That is so sad,” said Becky.

“It was, but it meant June and I were free to be with each other.”

“So, why didn’t you live together?”

“It wasn’t the done thing in those days,” answered Vic.

Becky pulled clothes from the wardrobe as Vic reached for the phone.

“I’ve got a quick call to make, okay?”

Someone slid buckets and mops into the bedroom, “Oh, hello, who are you?” asked Becky.

“I’m Bob, the new cleaner, nice to meet you. Do you want this wire plugged in?”

“No, no, please leave it. It’s from Vic’s phone.”

Bob looked puzzled, Becky put her index finger to her lips and shook her head.

“Does she not know?” whispered Bob.

“No, the phone hasn’t worked since Vic moved here ten years ago. I’m afraid Vicky doesn’t know her friend is not on the line.”

The END

I hope you enjoyed the story?

Here are a couple of full-length novels you may enjoy.

Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’.

$4.74

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again…and again.

Love Story, With Murders: Fiona Griffiths Crime Thriller Series Book 2 by [Harry Bingham]

Mysteries don’t come much more macabre or puzzling than this. Who were the two victims, and what connection could they have shared that would result in this bizarre double-discovery? But that’s only half the story. The most gruesome moments are much more about Fiona and her curious mental state. There is a complex and very clever double mystery here, and what makes the story unique is the parallel unraveling of Fiona’s own mystery, and it’s her voice, established precisely in the first book but given even freer rein here, that makes it so compelling.

$5.83

Courting

“It is great to see you smiling,” said Garth, beaming, his straight white teeth flashing in the glare of spotlights.

“Yes, I was not sure I could ever be happy again. You can’t believe the relief I feel,” Alice said.

Cameras clicked, journalists called out questions as the police allowed the happy pair through the throng of eager news reporters looking for an unexpected scoop.

“Please, may I buy you lunch?” asked Garth.

“Now you’ve finished your job, don’t you have to go back to the office?” 

“As a new partner in BA Scots and Sons, I can treat myself to a celebratory lunch now and then,” he joked.

“I see, don’t you have to celebrate with your partners?”

“We can enjoy a meal together any evening. Today, I want you to accompany me, is that okay?” asked Garth.

“Is this a date?” 

“Treat it as you wish. I’d like it to be the first of many meals we share,” he said hopefully.

“You’ve only seen me in police cells or the courtroom,” said Alice.

“I’ve seen enough to know what I want.”

The lawyer threw his jacket in the BMW’s back seat as he held the door for his freed client. She swept her skirt under her shapely legs as she slid onto the fresh leather seat.

“My guess is, you are starving?” asked Garth.

“Yes, how did you know?”

“Often, defendants starve themselves through worry. When it’s all over, if they have won, they stuff themselves silly,” he laughed.

“A small salad will be great for me, maybe I have more faith in your skills than others,” she grinned.

“Salad it will be, but, I insist at my favourite Italian restaurant, okay?”

 They parked opposite Marco’s restaurant and crossed the busy high street.

“Did you kill your husband?” a reporter shouted at her. 

“Why did you do it?” bellowed another.

Garth threw a protective arm across her shoulder as he tried to dodge the traffic.

“Ignore them.”

Alice turned and glared at one man. Both journalists stopped in the middle of the road, vehicle drivers tooting and shaking fists at them.

“Goodness me, that look scared them. Do you have lasers in your eyes?” asked Garth.

“Sometimes a certain look is enough to halt over-eager men in their tracks,” she smiled demurely.

They sat and studied their menus.

“I feel champagne will go well with your salad?” said Garth.

“How could I refuse a glass of bubbly from my shining knight?”

“After everything you’ve gone through, you deserve one, or two.”

Alice reached across the table and clasped Garth’s hands.

“Thank you, when everyone was against me, you stuck by me to the very end.”

“It would be blasé to say, ‘it’s only my job’, but I felt we grew closer as the trial went on. I don’t expect to finish up here, I hope to see you regularly. How do you feel about that?”

“Do you mean that?” Alice asked, her dreamy eyes hinted at more.

“Shall we have our coffee at my place?” Garth hoped.

“Only if no reporters are waiting to ambush me,” Alice joked.

“Sexy car, even sexier condo,” said Alice as they arrived.

“Yeah, I worked hard for them. Come in, I’ll get the coffee on.”

Alice loosened her top button, stretching her legs on the padded sofa.

“Make yourself at home,” he called from the kitchen.

“Oh, I will,” whispered Alice.

The mugs chinked against the milk jug as Garth placed the tray in front of his guest.

“Come and sit next to me,” Alice patted the seat.

Garth, confused by his nervousness, did as ordered.

“I uh, I” he started.

“Spill it out. You weren’t like that in court. What do you want to ask?”

“No, I’m not normally tongue-tied, in court or with women,” he smiled.

“Well, what is it?”

Garth leant closer and gently kissed her lips. Gentle touching turned to passion, Alice pulled him closer until they were lying side by side on the settee.

Pausing for breath, Garth held her hands and led her to his bedroom.

“I must shower first,” she whispered.

“If you choose the bath, I’ll join you.”

He now knew he would follow her smile across deserts, snowy tundras, diving into the deepest ocean anywhere she led, he would track her. Certainly into the tub. He smiled at the thought.

Steam filled the brilliant white bathroom, bubbles filled the bath as both eagerly fought each other from their clothes.

He stood with the taps behind him as he graciously helped her step over the side, both twitching with excitement. She guided him lower. He kissed her from shoulders to knees. Her panting increased as he slowly slid his legs between hers and lay on his back. The hot bath-water flicked his ears as he guided her on to his manhood.

His hands grabbed, then caressed, grasping, and sliding across her willing slick flesh.

Something caught his eye, “What is that?” he gasped as his concentration lapsed.

“Don’t stop,” she panted, encouraging him to push harder, faster.

Gasping and finally regaining her breath, she pointed between her breasts, “That is my only tattoo. Do you like it?”

He too needed a moment’s rest. He studied the inking without comment.

“It is the black widow spider. Can you see the little ticks under its body?” she caught her breath, “Every man I’ve slept with, is or will be dead,” she smirked. The thought amused her.

She flashed a full smile. As quick as a cobra, she grabbed his hair and pulled him forward and then like lightening she pushed his head backwards and deep under the water. She needed her full weight to halt his wriggling. Bubbles soon ceased finding their way to the surface.

Alice found a robe, dried herself and dressed quickly. She raced to the living room and found a bottle of Scotch, poured some down his throat and some in his nostrils, ensuring the alcohol joined the lunchtime Champagne in his system. Then emptied the rest into the tub and laid the bottle below his slumped arm. Kitchen scissors were enough to score deeply down his left forearm.

Next, the note. She had received several letters from him while they had jailed her awaiting her court case, giving plenty of time to practise his signature to perfection.

‘I can’t cope’, was all she wrote above his name.

She scanned each room, no sign of her remained. She considered taking the car keys, wisely decided against it.

“I love first dates,” she whistled as she joined the rush of office workers on their way home. “And I must get the new tick tattooed!” 

The END

If She Only Knew: A Riveting Novel of Suspense (The Cahills Book 1) by [Lisa Jackson]

$6.93

It begins on a dark stretch of highway in northern California. Caught in a blinding glare of headlights, two vehicles swerve and crash—leaving one woman dead, and another in a coma. When the surviving woman awakens, her memory is gone and her face has been reconstructed. Her family tells her that her name is Marla Cahill—but they’re all strangers to her.
 
Recuperating in her isolated San Francisco mansion, Marla waits for something to trigger recognition. Yet the only thing she’s left with is the unshakable feeling that she is not who everyone says she is, and that something is very, very wrong. Marla knows her life isn’t just different—it’s in danger. And as her fear builds, a killer waits for the perfect moment to strike—the moment Marla remembers . . .

BUY HERE

One by One by [Ruth Ware]

$13.21

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide. 

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

BUY HERE

Don’t Go Out In The Rain!

“To end today’s ‘World News Report’, we have some sad news of our own. Experienced journalist Robert Perkins has died at his home tonight, after reporting on the storms in the Lake District. His wife informed us of the devastating news an hour ago, we have nothing extra to add at this time. We are all sorry to announce the passing of a well-respected reporter and a good friend to many.”

The news-desk broadcaster was at a loss of words. They signalled her to carry on with the report, “Please bear with me, there are more shocking reports coming through. Johnny Dell, Robert’s friend and the cameraman has also died tonight. More as we get it…” she could no longer hold back the tears for her colleagues.

“Cut, get some adverts on,” rang out on live TV.

“They were only doing a weather report. What the hell happened?” asked director Sam Jones.

“The weather was pretty bad, big news, that’s why we sent them,” answered assistant director.

“It’s only raining for Christ’s sake.”

“Yes, Sam, but the story was as much about the wildlife was dying, not just the weather.”

“I’m going to see his wife,” Sam grabbed his coat and stormed out.

Sam pulled his car up outside Robert’s home. There were already several military-looking vehicles parked along the street.

“Get a team around here now, there is news breaking at Bob’s house, I want us to be the first to cover it.”

“I’m sorry sir, no one can enter,” said a uniformed man at the house front door.

“I’m here to see Mrs Parkins,” stated Sam.

“I said nobody is going in,” he meant it.

 Sam turned and hunted for his phone.

“Hi, Jilly, it’s Sam, Sam Jones, we met a few times at functions. So sorry to hear about Bob. I’m outside your house, they won’t let me in?”

“Oh, hello. They are about to move Bob’s body.”

“Who are they?”

“They flashed ID at me, I wasn’t paying attention,” she said tearfully.

“What happened to Bob, was he ill?”

“No, he was shivering from the rain, that’s all. He said he wanted an early night and went to bed as soon as he came in.”

“Did you know Johnny died as well?” asked Sam.

“Oh, no, what happened? Bob loved working with him.”

“Excuse me a moment,” said Sam as he phoned the studio, “Get a team round to Johnny’s place, now!”

“Stand outside please sir, move back,” said the guard as he pushed Sam backwards through the garden gate.

The front door opened, a man-sized perspex box appeared, then carried to one vehicle in the road.

Sam shoved and manhandled further away. He peered but was unsighted.

“Guys, what’s going on? You are not ambulance staff.”

“Get out of the way, sir, there is nothing to see.”

The vehicle roared off.

“Jilly, can I come in?” called Sam.

“They left the door open, come on in,” the woman said through sniffles.

“Whatever happened?”

“I joined Bob in bed at about eleven. He was shaking with cold but burning to touch. I wrapped him in our quilt so I didn’t notice the problem straight away,” she said.

“What do you mean? What problem?”

“His chest and upper body,” she sniffed, “had slight round burns, I only noticed when I was mopping the sweat from his chest.”

“Burns?”

“Yes, it looked like someone had stabbed cigarettes on him, I mean all over his throat and shoulders. Then I noticed more in his hair,” said Jilly.

“What did you do?”

“It was when I clicked on the bedside lamp I saw his face,” she started stammering, “He looked like a teenager with an acute case of acne. But,” she needed a breath. “The spots were wriggling.”

“You mean the spots were moving?”

“Yes, and they were getting bigger and worse.”

Sam grabbed for his mobile, “Are you at Johnny’s place yet?”

“You wouldn’t believe this…”

“Oh yes, I would. Are there any medics there?”

“Yes, they just threw us out.”

Sam put his phone away, “It seems Johnny had the same reaction to Bob. What caused it, I wonder?”

“On his way to bed, he told me, many dead animals were littering the ground, all around. Foxes, rabbits and loads of birds. He filmed them on camera and his phone.”

Jilly rushed to find the mobile.

“Look, their fur and feathers are burning!”

Bob grabbed his phone again, “Arrange for a cameraman, anyone, to wait outside the studio, I’ll pick him up.”

“Hold tight, we are rushing up to the lakes. Phone the studio, I want all we have on Bob and Johnny’s excursion earlier. Then get our scientific reporter to meet us there,” ordered the director.

“Christ, what is going on here?” Sam asked his cameraman Phil. “There are army personnel everywhere.”

“And they are wearing masks,” pointed out Sam’s colleague.

“They blocked the roads,” Sam scratched his chin.

“Come on, grab your camera,” Sam parked on the side of the road.

“Maybe that’s not the wisest thing to do,” said the cameraman.

“Do you want to keep your job?”

“Um, oh look, here comes the science guy,” Phil said.

“Ah, Patrick, what have you discovered?” asked Sam.

“It’s no good, I’m afraid,” said Patrick, the science correspondent. “It came from the rain!”

“Come on, tell us as we walk to the spot Bob was filming,” said Sam.

They clambered over the low stone wall.

“You three, get back, or I’ll arrest you,” shouted an officer from the road.

“Come on quickly,” ordered Sam.

“Sorry sir, but I’m not going up there.”

Patrick too was shaking his head, “Don’t go, Sam,” he called.

Sam snatched the camera, “I will fire you two. We have a massive story, the public need to hear all about it. Last chance. Are you coming? Or I sack you.”

Patrick and the cameraman climbed back over the wall as soldiers marched them to their cars.  

Bright lights lit up the hill as Sam jogged away from them he moved awkwardly as the camera banged his legs, slowing his ascent. Two more soldiers in full protective gear chased after the director.

The two television men sat on the wall next to the vehicles.

“You’ll need a lift home?” said Patrick.

“Yes, no good waiting for Sam,”

“Especially if it rains!”

The END

Weather Woman: A Novel by [Cai Emmons]

$11.99

Thirty-year-old Bronwyn Artair feels out of place in her doctoral program in Atmospheric Sciences at MIT. So she drops out and takes a job as a TV meteorologist, much to the dismay of her mentor. After a year of living alone in New Hampshire, enduring the indignities of her job, dumped by her boyfriend, she discovers that her deep connection to the natural world has given her an ability to affect natural forces.
 
When she finally accepts she really possesses this startling capability, she must then negotiate a new relationship to the world. Who will she tell? Who will believe her? Most importantly, how will she put this new skill of hers to use? As she seeks answers, she travels to Kansas to see the tornado maverick she worships; falls in love with the tabloid journalist who has come to investigate her; visits fires raging out of control in Los Angeles; and eventually voyages to the methane fields of Siberia. A woman experiencing power for the first time in her life, she must figure out what she can do for the world without hurting it further, in a novel about science, intuition, and what the earth needs from humans.

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The Last Bloody Straw: A Scottish Detective Mystery (DCI Logan Crime Thrillers Book 5) by [JD Kirk]

$3.99

Tormented by the recent loss of a colleague, DCI Jack Logan is on the warpath, determined to bring down all those he holds responsible for the officer’s death.

His quest for revenge is cut short when a woman’s body turns up on the remote island of Canna, and Jack is summoned to investigate. As a storm closes in, Jack finds himself cut-off from the rest of the world, with no car, no phone signal, and only DC Neish for company.

With time running out before the ferries resume, Jack must act fast to crack the case before the killer can escape. But with the victim widely hated on the island, everyone on it is a potential suspect.

Even the scarecrow…

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Mother’s Day? Father’s Day? Why Not Brother’s Day?

“Why the evil eyes, what’s the matter with you two?” a cheerful Mum asked her two sons.

“Keep smiling Mum, at least there is one lucky person, unbowed by grief. I haven’t seen Andy’s cheerful mug for weeks,” smirked Mart.

“I’m sick of the sight of you if you must know, Mr Perfect, ha, nothing goes wrong with your life?” said Andy.

“Big brother is not happy. I do not know what I’ve done to upset him?” said Mart, looking at his mother.

“You two, please settle down, let’s have dinner with no more arguments. It’s so nice to have you alone to myself,” said Gracie. 

The mother shook her head. The boys continued glaring and grunting nothings. She stood, smoothing her frock as she started to the kitchen to collect the roast beef.

“Yeah right, so our wives don’t start too rucking too?” called Andy after her.

“Where are the ladies tonight?” asked Mum from the doorway.

“My wife is busy with church work. How about yours, Andy?” sneered Mart.

“Mind your own business. Forget the food, Mum, I’m off.” 

Andy snatched his jacket from the back of his chair and stormed out.

“Now look what you’ve done,” she looked at Mart, her eyes boring into his skull.

Gracie slumped back down, head in hands.

“Oh Mum, you know what he’s like, he’ll be back when he realises his wife isn’t home,” Mart grinned.

“And how do you know she is not home?”

“Because she is with my wife, at the church.”

“What is this all about? You weren’t religious before, and neither was Peggy.”

“Let’s just say, we’ve seen a revelation. How about dinner? Come on, it will ruin.”

His mother returned with two plates piled high.

“I made enough for five, so eat up there’s plenty.”

“Lovely Mum thanks, Peggy is a superb cook, but she can’t match your roasts.”

“Don’t let her hear you say that. When are you two going to start a family?”

“No rush is there. We’ve all the time in the world,” smirked Mart.

“You don’t know that, look what happened to Andy and Ann,” said Gracie.

“I’m not like my brother and Peggy is not like his wife.”

She dished rhubarb crumble and custard as Mart’s phone chirped.

“Really? Okay on my way.”

Mart hunted his coat, “Sorry Mum, got to dash.”

“What about your pudding?”

The front door slammed, a sports car outside roared into life. Gracie left her dish untouched on the table as she flicked on her ageing computer.

“Now how do you do this Google thing?” she mumbled.

She tried all the names, the address and any details she could recall about ‘the church’ which seemed to break apart her family.

“Nothing? How come?”

Mart carefully locked his car, sneered at his brother’s van, and marched to the terraced house with the tiny logo on the door.

“What’s all this noise in the Lord’s house,” screamed from the hallway.

Peggy came running to her husband.

“He has gone mad. He thumped his wife. I couldn’t stop him,” panted Peggy.

“Is Ann okay?” as Mart marched towards his brother.

“Why do you care about her? Don’t tell me you fancy her?”

“Andy, you know me better than that,” tempers were rising, the fat fryer was bubbling.

“Why suddenly an interest in her then?” Andy’s face appeared ready to burst. He swept his hair out of his eyes, chin jutting.

“Let’s all calm down, shall we? Where is Ann?”

“I squared up to her, that’s all, and she ran up there,” he said pointing behind him.

“He hit her,” squealed Peggy.

“If Peggy goes and gets her, do you promise not to hit her again?” said Mart.

“I never hit her, it was more a push. I’ll never hit my wife,” broke Andy. Shoulders slumped, he sat on the floor.

Peggy moved past him. He remained motionless.

A tearful Ann joined the others.

“Are you okay?” asked Mart.

“Yeah, yeah, more of a shock. He has never raised a hand to me before,” said Ann.

“It’s all your fault,” Andy pointed at his brother.

Hands-on hips, Peggy stood up close and leaned across the sitting man, “We wanted to help you two have a baby, that’s all,” she hissed.

“You know damn well that’s impossible,” breathed Andy. “We’ve had all the tests, the lot. Our doctor said there was no chance, not now, never.”

Mart walked up, crouched, and hugged his brother. The girls were cuddling; they were all crying.

“Come on, all of us, let’s sit on the pews,” said Mart, as he handed around some prayer books.

“Andy, Ann, we know how stressful this has been for you both. That is why we wanted Ann to join us in worship at this church,” said Mart.

“Yes, and what good will that do?” asked Andy.

A chill blew down the quiet aisle. Only Andy seemed to feel it. He shivered. The subdued lighting seemed to dull, only Andy looked around.

“Our Lord can provide,” whispered Peggy.

Ann clutched her sister-in-law, they both had brilliant smiles lighting the gloom, Mart playfully slapped his brother’s thigh.

“Shall we pray?” he said.

Arms encircled shoulders, as the mumbling began, not the four family members, the sound bounced from the ceiling; the noise rumbled louder and louder, surrounding them.

“Oh Lord above, help us in this hour of need,” shouted Mart, as he prayed loudly for a new family member. A child he could worship as the Lord’s son.

The main door burst open, light from streetlights illuminated the bleak aisle, the overhead chanting quietened. Momentarily silence reigned, then a hissing sound as if from a giant snake whirled around their heads. Andy covered his ears and fell to the floor.

Mart, Peggy, and Ann turned to face the doorway light. Shielding their eyes.

“Out now, all of you,” bellowed, silhouetted Gracie as she stormed in.

A bed instantly transfixed Gracie, oddly positioned at front of the church. She ran forward and tipped the trestle on its side. A hard pillow bounced to an upside-down cross.

“Get out now, all of you,” she screamed again.

Red eyes, laser-sharp, beamed from the church’s darkest corner. The black-clad man stretched slowly forward and crushed her head with his bare hands.

“I only wanted a nephew,” said Mart as he dropped his keys outside the door.

The END

If you need proofreading drop me a line with your needs, Colin at write.right.okay@gmail.com

$5.69

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.  

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$10.99

A young adult novel.

During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?

Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with. 

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Stuff It!

“I’ve known you for months now, you’ve taken me out to gorgeous restaurants, we’ve seen wonderful shows together, and you have even met my parents, so why have you never invited me to your place?” asked Annie.

Annie pushed down with her chubby fists into the small pockets of her baggy cardigan. Chris wondered how the knitting didn’t fall apart. Her habit was one of the many quirks she fascinated him with. 

“My house is a mess, you wouldn’t like it,” Chris answered. He aimed to take her, but only when he was ready, not before.

“Do you know what my Mum said?”

“Oh, doesn’t she like me?” asked Chris.

“Just the opposite,” said Annie, “She thinks you are too good for me. What a thing to say to your daughter, can you believe that?”

“I’m sure she wasn’t being serious,” answered Chris.

“Am I too plain?” she asked.

“Not at all, you are just right,” he said, eyeing her, judging her measurements.

“What are you looking at? Are my boobs too big or too small?”

Chris laughed, “I want to buy you a new outfit.”

“It’s not my birthday. Are we going somewhere special?” queried Annie.

“You asked about my house, but you haven’t asked about my hobby,” said Chris.

“And new clothes? Are they linked to your hobby?”

“I want to take you to an exhibition. We should dress smartly, but not over the top. I have to meet someone there,” said Chris.

She flicked her mousey hair out of her eyes, her ponytail was working itself loose, she studied him lopsided; he was tall, slim, handsome, intelligent and wealthy.

“Why are you interested in me?” she asked.

“I won’t lie to you, you are not the prettiest girl I’ve ever dated, I just love being with you.”

She studied his face, trying to pick the untruth, and failed.

“Not everyone understands my hobby, I hope you can grow to love it,” he carried on.

“You haven’t told me what it is?”

“No, you will soon see at the exhibition. You will witness art, nothing less, things that I and others achieve with our skills,” he said proudly before carrying on. “Put on your business shoes, we are going shopping, I need to match the new outfit with your footwear, or do we need new shoes as well?” he grinned, she melted.

“Tomorrow we have a man to meet and terrific art to judge,” Chis slid his coffee cup to the centre of the table. He stood holding out his tanned hand leading her back to his car.

At ten-fifty the following day, Annie was rushing, she had the iron set too hot, and scorched the back of her blouse, “Oh, well, no one will see it under my new jacket,” she chuckled.

“You look wonderful,” Chris said as he admired the new suit.

Annie gave a twirl before she jumped in the gleaming blue BMW.

Forty-five minutes later they parked under the exhibition hall. It was only when Annie spotted the direction arrow, ‘To Taxidermist Show’, did she have any clue where they were going.

“Is that what we’ll see?”

“Yep, does that bother you?” asked Chris.

“Not at all, great, lead me to it, let’s see what they’ve got.”

A beaming Chris led the way up.

“Welcome sir, this way please,” he guided them through to the main hall.

A number back slapped him as he led an amazed Annie to the stage.

“Here he is, great to see you again, are you ready?” said the event chairperson.

“Always ready for my fellow taxidermists, what time do you want me to speak,” asked Chris.

Annie’s jaw dropped.

“You will be our last speaker, then I’ll wrap things for another year,” said the elderly chairperson.

Chris and Annie sat at the front while speakers explained new skills, showed off their lifelike pets and summed-up new techniques.

“And now, our star speaker, who needs no introduction…” the chairman waffled on.

Chris bounded up the steps to the stage, flapping his hands to quell the applause.

“I won’t bore you with a long speech, but first like to introduce my favourite lady, Ms Annie…”

Annie blushed, half stood and gave a timid wave behind her. Chris continued for twenty-minutes, even a novice like Annie understood the gist of it.

Clapping and hand-shaking went on for longer than expected, drowning the chairs’ farewell speech.

Servers handed glasses of crisp white wine out, as people viewed exhibits after thanking Chris for coming.

“So, Annie, what do you think of my hobby?” asked Chris.

“Er, it was, er, surprising. I did not expect that. Are any of the exhibits yours?”

“No, not here, I’ll show you mine later. At my home, if you want to see them?”

Annie smiled inwardly. She wanted to view his bedroom, forget the stuffed creatures.

On the way back Chris was quiet, “What’s wrong Chris, did I do something wrong?”

“No, dear, I’m thinking that’s all.”

Annie placed her hand on the leg of his immaculately creased trousers. She gently squeezed. He rewarded her with a stony stare. Hastily she rubbed her chin.

The BMW crunched gravel as they swept to the front door. Slipping the key in the door’s lock, his arm on her back, he led her in.

“Wine, or a coffee?” he asked.

“How about both,” she said as she slipped off her jacket. Quickly changing her mind as she remembered the scorched scar.

“Make yourself at home,” said Chris as he went to the kitchen.

Annie peered about her. He displayed his forest animals in glass cases; they looked so lifelike, as if they needed cages, not glass boxes.

“Admiring my efforts?” as Chris handed the wine and placing the coffee on the table.

“They look so… real,” she stammered.

“They are real, do you mean alive?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean, as if they could jump out,” she said.

“That’s the idea,” said Chris.

“No wine?” she asked.

Chris smiled at her and shook his head.

“Don’t worry about driving, if that’s why you are not drinking? I could… stay here, if you like?” she said.

“I’m not worried about driving,” he smiled. “Finish your drinks, I’ve more to show you.”

“Oh, goodie,” she whispered, wondering when he planned to show her upstairs.

“Before we take the evening further, I’d like to show off more of my hobby and then the workroom where it’s all done. Is that okay with you?”

He pushed open the next room’s door. She guessed it was a dining room, but now it was an exhibition room boasting larger and rarer animals.

“Where did you get a monkey? Oh my God, there’s a tiger,” gasped Annie.

“Keep what you’ve seen to yourself, I don’t let just anybody in here you know.”

“Were they dead when you got them?”

“That’s an odd question,” began Chris, “Do you think I’d kill protected species?”

“Um, it’s all so new to me,” wishing she’d kept her mouth shut.

“I’ll get the wine and join you in a glass next door,” said Chris.

He opened the door and pointed the way in. An odd aroma escaped, causing Annie to crunch her nose.

“Is that formaldehyde?” she wondered.

Tools were all arranged neatly, knives and various blades according to size, a wooden mallet and a smaller metal one took pride of place.

Chris returned with two glasses of France’s favourite tipple.

“Cheers Annie, have you enjoyed your evening? Maybe you’d like to work on my next project?” Chris asked.

“It’s been enthralling, I’d love to keep seeing you, but I’m not sure if I could skin an animal.”

“That’s a shame, a great pity. You are a natural for taxidermy,” he breathed.

She looked around, studying the equipment closer. 

“Make-up? Stage make-up? Why would you need that?” she whispered?

Her legs shook, she fought the drowsiness sweeping between her ears.

“Make-up is necessary for a simple reason, human skin discolours, human skin also stretches far more than animal pelt. So, I need all my skill, especially for a plump little creature like you!”

The END

$12.53

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$7.99

Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen’s greatest screams.

Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was based on the infamous skin-wearing murderer Ed Gein?

Unearth the terrifying and true tales behind some of the scariest Horror movies to ever haunt our screens, including the Enfield poltergeist case that was retold in The Conjuring 2 and the serial killers who inspired Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.

Behind the Horror dissects these and other bizarre tales to reveal haunting real-life stories of abduction, disappearance, murder, and exorcism.

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If you’ve read this far, you have read my short story, would you like to try a full length thriller?

Not Far Enough From Worries (No Worries Book 1) by [Colin Devonshire]
ONLY $0.99

A drug lord fathers his lesbian niece’s child, but not in the usual way! 
Set in Thailand late 1980s. Action, fun, romance, and tears. Breathtaking violence and tender moments add to a fast-paced read. Two young and gullible Englishmen move to Hua Hin to start a new life in the tropical heat. Along the way, they meet a dodgy Dutch ship’s engineer, two lovely French girls who are more interested in dogs than romance. A tall Welsh man with a chequered history of drug abuse, but a unique skill of mixing things to make other things. This talent gets the attention of seriously evil people. A lesbian newspaper reporter rides a powerful motorbike has an important family secret.

GET HERE

When Cold Sets In

“Did you shut the door?” asked Joe.

“Of course I did, do you think I’m stupid?” answered Greg.

“It’s bad enough having to work on a night like this.”

“Did you drive in?” asked Greg.

“Yeah, I would not walk,” said Joe.

“You live near enough, I didn’t have a choice,” mumbled Greg.

“Aargh, look, the light is on in the accounts department.”

“That’s Polly, she’s new,” Greg’s eyes lit up.

“How can they force a girl to work on a night like this? Especially a new member of staff. A brilliant manager she has,” said Joe.

“She messed up an order from a new advertiser.”

“How come you know so much?” asked Joe.

“Yesterday I took her out for a drink,” grinned Greg as he waved to her through the glass dividing wall between accounts and editorial department. “Her name is Polly if you are interested?”

“I’m more worried they have changed my alterations as marked. Hopefully, all is correct. And you must get on and finish the last empty slot, the quicker you get writing, the quicker we can file this lot at the printers!” 

“And then, feet up for a day or two?” asked Greg.

‘The Advertiser’, boasted it hit the streets every week, without fail, even during World War II. Tonight would test that. Snow piled across the main street of the small town, the weather forecast promised more. The local paper had celebrated its one-hundredth year in publication earlier that summer, to great fanfare. Joe had worked there for eleven years he was now senior editor, and Greg, births, marriages and deaths reporter, just two years.

“I couldn’t get into the underground car park. The security guy said it would be okay to park outside, ‘no one is stupid enough to work this weather’. He is mad, that guy, you know?” said Joe.

“He is a bit odd, I agree. At least he turned up!” laughed Greg.

“You had better get that marriage story finished, then we can all go home,” said Joe.

“Can you believe it? The groom is seventy-two, the bride is twenty-five,” laughed Greg.

“Yeah, and he owns seven of the newsagents that sell our rag. So make it complimentary,” said the editor.

“Have you seen the state of him?”

“Yes, I have met him. Obnoxious man, but runs a profitable business,” said Joe.

“He must be well and truly minted, how else could he get a girl like her,” Greg passed the wedding photo across the desk.

“Just get on with it… What the hell?”

The normally noisy heating system suddenly silenced.

“Great, now we’ll freeze,” said Greg.

“I’ll check with security,” Joe buzzed the internal phone. “No answer?”

“He’s probably gone to check the boiler,” said Greg.

“Now what? The lights are flickering. Don’t say the power will go off?”

“Can I sit with you guys? My room is dark and my computer has gone off,” asked Polly.

“I’ll see security,” said Joe as he marched to the door.

“I was going to make you a hot drink, but your kettle is not working,” said Polly.

Greg flicked the switch, “No power.”

The key lights went out. Security power kicked in and a dim orange glow illuminated the office.

“How romantic, pity we can’t share a bottle of wine,” grinned Greg.

“Stop it, I’m scared,” said Polly, pushing Greg’s roving hands away.

“No sign of that bloody man,” moaned Joe as he burst back in.

“Where can he be? Did you check the toilets?” asked Greg.

“I’ve been to his guard’s cubicle, I’ve checked the boiler under the building, and yes, I even shouted for him in the bog,” answered Joe.

Greg tried the office phone, “Dead. Anyone got his mobile number?”

They shook their heads.

“Let’s get on, do what we can. I’ll read through these proofs, while you two search the building. Okay?” ordered Joe.

“Is the light good enough for your proofreading?” asked Polly.

“It’ll do, when the power comes back we can finish and go home.”

Joe pleased with himself as he had already printed out all the articles, he still preferred the old ‘blue pencil’ for marking literals and grammar mistakes. Head down, he started flicking through papers, hunting errors.

He was losing track of time, checking his watch, “Where have they got to?”

The door creaked, slowly opening, Polly tumbled through and collapsed to the floor, blood splashed the tiles.

“My God, what has happened?”

Joe rushed to her.

“Mmmur muublrrr,” she mumbled.

Joe held her gently, checking for wounds.

“Where does it hurt?” he asked.

“Eeeer,” she made no sense, couldn’t get a word out.

“Whose blood is this? You are unharmed,” said Joe.

Polly curled into a ball and wailed.

Joe looked around and nervously crept towards the door. Polly grabbed his leg. Hugging with all her strength, forcing him to remain with her.

“Polly dear, we can’t stay like this. Come with me, we must find Greg.”

Shaking her head and holding him tighter.

“I must go, are you coming or not?” he asked again.

Slowly she released her grip, he helped her up, now crouching and arm in arm they moved towards the door. Joe opened it and peered left and right. He took a step into the corridor, Polly collapsed and curled into a ball rolling up against the door.

“Stay there then, I’ll look around,” said Joe.

She was quivering and mumbling incoherently. Joe stepped towards the stairs. He pointed up; she nodded.

He needn’t ask as blood splattered each upward step, Joe nervously moved on.

Peering over the handrail and looking down, he gasped.

“Oh, no!”

He rushed down to the crumpled body of the security man. He was upright and on his knees; the joints unnaturally broken, the man’s calves were flat on the ground in front of him, feet pointed upwards. 

“My God, whatever happened?”

The guard’s arms were broken at the elbows, like his legs they were at an impossible angle. Joe then looked at the man’s head, the right ear was on his left shoulder. Joe tasted acid puke in his throat as he gagged before running up the stairs.

“Where is Greg?” he asked himself.

Slowly he moved up and up. Step by step. He listened for the slightest sound, nothing, silence.

“Greg, where are you?” he whispered as he reached the end of the bloody trail. A step further, the blood continued under a door. He stood outside the MD’s office, the lock smashed. Joe breathed deeply, then pushed the door open. Something was stopping the wood. He pushed harder as he looked in. Greg’s head rolled across the carpet.

Staring open-mouthed, Joe felt stuck in time and place, motionless for a moment.

Shaking with fear, he forced himself forwards, towards the stained soggy mess of the carpet. Greg’s body bent in two, stuffed under the desk. Gripping the edge of the desk, he gawped at his friend.

Suddenly, without warning, Joe felt himself lifted then slammed onto the floor. His teeth shattered like a starburst as his head bounced like a basketball on the gym floor. The sounds of flesh ripping and bones cracking failed to stop Joe thinking of next week’s lead story.

‘What Happened At The Advertiser,’ the headline flashed in his mind. ‘Full details in next week’s edition’ ran the sub-head, he would edit no more.

The END

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel by [Grady Hendrix]

$13.99

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

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The Invited: A Novel by [Jennifer McMahon]

$9.99

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house–a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse–objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously. As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.

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I Told You I’d Remember!

“Beautiful day,” said Dr Pinkly.

“I’m so glad you decided not to keep us inside today,” answered Pauline.

“Sun shining, fresh air, what could be better?” he said.

“I could name a few things,” she answered.

“Please don’t think of this as part of your treatment. Relax and enjoy,” he said.

“What? How can I think of it any other way? It’s not as if we could be mates, is it?”

“My job is to make you feel better within yourself.”

“And my job is to make you work for your money,” she laughed.

They strolled on, bees were exploring the fresh growth on bushes, buds fighting to burst their colour. A boy clad as Thomas the Tank Engine rattled his bike’s trainer wheels on the walkway. His mother pretended she couldn’t catch him. Their love showed in shared laughter. Both psychiatrist and patient smiled at the sideshow.

“Would you like a coffee?” asked Dr Pinkly, pointing to a kiosk.

“Please, no sugar, I’m sweet enough,” the smiles continued.

Pauline sat and waited, deep in thought, trying to remember why she was there.

“Thanks, doc,” she said. The smile had gone.

Pinkly sat, crossing his legs, Pauline noticed how he attempted to keep his creases straight. She considered how ‘normal’ was that?

“Are there any memories tapping at your brain trying to break free, something you feel you should know?” he said, trying to keep the mood light.

“I even tried a local hypnotist, he advertises on Facebook. Still nothing,” she said.

“I did not recommend hypnotherapy,” he grimaced.

“Yes, I know, but I want to prove to you, I’m trying my hardest to remember.”

“Your memory will come back without needing to force things,” said Dr Pinkly.

“Did you know the police pestered me again?” she asked.

“They did not tell me, but I’m not surprised.”

“Really? What more do they want from me?” said Pauline.

She lobbed her paper mug into the bin. Looking at Pinkly’s hardly tasted, she asked, “Not up to your standard? Not as good as Miss Sexy Legs makes at your office?”

He grinned and finished his drink. They walked towards the lake.

“The police have a task to complete, they have a missing man. A man with a history of violence against women, where has he disappeared to? That man attacked you and your mother. The police need to discover what happened.”

Pauline hid a smile, covering her mouth with a tissue. 

“Why is that funny?” she thought.

“Your father attacked you. Do you have any feelings for him?”

“I feel nothing. He was not around when I was a kid. He showed up on my eighteenth birthday, turning up from nowhere, expecting Mum and me to welcome him back,” said Pauline.

“Tell me about your party?”

“It was a typical teenager’s bash. Mum laid on sandwiches, a bowl of punch and a gigantic cake. My Dad turned up at nine, in one of his vintage motors. He hadn’t remembered my special day, he was only there to pick up one of his tools. Do you know why they bought that house?”

The doctor shook his head.

“Because it boasted an inspection pit in the garage. Letting my Dad repair his dream cars. Anyway, it was clear he couldn’t join the party or even go to the garage. Some lads blocked his way, so he left. Mum went out at ten to meet her mate. He set upon her in an alley before she got to her friend’s place. She lost her handbag, but we all suspected my Dad. The police arrested him and released without charge,” she said.

“You thought it was your father?”

“I’ve told you many times, yes! Why is that so difficult to believe?”

“Why did the police release him?”

“They had no firm proof that he attacked Mum. He crept up from behind, so she saw nothing.”

The tense feeling left them as they laughed at a father knee-deep in the lake attempted to recover his son’s toy yacht. He fell in; the boat drowned.

Fighting off the smile, the doctor asked, “How do you feel about your Dad now?”

It was as if he had slapped her. Now her face froze, anger petering on the explosion, a volcano fighting to spread lava on anyone near enough to get barbecued. Shaking the dread clear, then as if a switch flicked, she smiled once more, “He’s my father, of course, I love him.”

“Why do I not believe you?”

“You can believe what you like,” she said, shaking her head.

“I am on your side, I aim to help. But you need to remember. What happened then and what happened to your Mum recently.”

He stared into her eyes, nothing.

“Are you planning on returning to work?” he asked.

“I will. But first I must get my head straight. A month ago my Dad disappears, okay, I can live with that, but Mum? Where the hell is she?”

Changing the subject, “How are you managing for money?”

“I live in Mum’s house, so no rent to pay, I’ve got savings and I use Mum’s credit cards,” she sniggered. “I will start earning soon enough, so no worries.”

They started back to Dr Pinkly’s office. A ‘bleep’ sounded from his jacket pocket.“That is ‘Miss Sexy Legs’, it must be important, she knows not to disturb me when I’m with you.”

He read the message. His sun-pinked complexion now a frosted grey.

“We must go back, the police want you.”

“Have they been in the garage?” 

“I don’t know, why?” he asked.

“Maybe they have lifted the cover on the pit?” she said.

“Why?” he asked, stopping and gripping her shoulders.

Gazing into his caring eyes, “They will find Mum and Dad,” she said.

“What are you saying?”

Memories struck like a team of baseball players swinging for home runs. Each connecting, her head bounced from hitter to hitter. Her knees buckled. He led her back to the bench.”Please tell me, go on. Is it coming back?”

“I heard my Mum’s raised voice in the garage, I went to see who she was talking with. It was my Dad. He had crept into the garage to get his tools. My Mum was begging for his forgiveness. I couldn’t believe it.”

Pauline’s hands clasped her head to stop the uncontrollable shakes. 

“I hit him with a wrench,” she whispered. All shaking stopped.

“She swore at me! Can you believe that? She had never done that before. She was protecting him, defending him. Christ, all the abuse and pain he had caused,” she said.

The psychiatrist knelt in front of her, “We must see the police, I can tell them what you’ve been through, explain your mental state.”

“Let me finish first.” 

She studied him as if they had reversed roles.

“I hit her too. She joined him on the floor like a marital bed,” she snorted. “I rolled them both into the pit.”

Now the doctor held his head in his hands. Bikes with trainer wheels, soaking fathers, and sunken boats were forgotten.

“I poured in petrol and torched them. When the flames died, I replaced the cover. And forgot what I had done.”

The END

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by [Lori Gottlieb]

$12.99

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

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$6.61

   Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. 

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Before Yesterday

“Eighteen today? A big boy now,” said June.

“Yes, mum, does that mean you’ll allow me out?” 

“Jimmy, we’ve been through this. You can go out, you always could.”

“I mean, on my own,” said Jimmy through clenched teeth.

“Open your gift. Do you like it?” his Mum asked.

“Thank you. It would be better if I had somewhere to wear it,” he answered, lobbing his new jumper onto the sofa.

“Have you any schoolwork to catch up with?”

“Most people my age have quit school by now. Why do I have to keep learning?” asked Jimmy.

“We’ve been through this too, you were a late starter, you need to catch up now.”

Jimmy started schooling at the age of just under five. Unfortunately, he stopped at nine. Fortunately, he didn’t know why.

“What are you doing, Jimmy?” June asked.

“Just researching my authors. The home school told me to,” he answered, closing his laptop.

“Let me see!” his Mum asked angrily.

Red-faced, Jimmy handed it over.

“When did you open a Facebook account?” she asked.

“I was just looking,” he stammered.

“You’ve had this for weeks, you’ve got ten friends already. Eight of them are girls. What are you up to?”

“Mum, everybody has Facebook.”

“Maybe, but it is no good for you. From now, you can only use your Apple when I’m with you.”

“Mum, I’m eighteen, I want to go out with other people my age.”

“Get your shoes on, we are going for a walk.”

June grabbed Jimmy’s hand as they rounded a corner, “Ah, how sweet, holding your Mum’s hand,” “What a pretty boy,” “Come and hold this,” laughed a gang of teenagers.

Jimmy ducked his head but smiled at one girl.

June pulled him harder as she pressed a doorbell. ‘Dr Siriwan, Hypnotherapist’, boasted the label. The receptionist showed them to the waiting room. June poked her head through the door and whispered.

“We need your help, doctor.” 

“The same problem?” he asked.

“Yes, and getting worse, I’m afraid.”

“Come and make yourself comfortable, Jimmy,” signalled Dr Siriwan.

Jimmy knew the routine. He slid across the leather seat until relaxed, laying back in the upholstery. 

When the session ended, “Sorry, but I must charge you more, it’s taking longer to get the message across. Also, I’m not sure if I can continue with this treatment. It is against all ethics,” said the Doctor.

“What am I going to do?” said June.

“Why not let him grow up?” said Dr Siriwan.

June shook her head, grabbing her son. Jimmy skipped home.

Jimmy had some cocoa and went to bed. June grabbed his laptop.

“Facebook… What has he been looking at?”

June deleted his new ‘pals’. She half-closed the top, then changed her mind.

“What’s this?” 

She scrolled through pages of home-schooling work,  “What is this? Family search? That won’t help him. He doesn’t know I changed our surname,” she worried.

She suddenly bolted up, knocking her chair backwards.

“Please no, ‘Family Tragedies’, oh no, please, please, don’t let him find out,” she wailed. Tapping local news pages, flipping page after page, what other articles had he researched. “Thank God we moved,” she said.

She stormed upstairs to quiz him, bursting through the door, she stopped, “Ah, look at him, sleeping like a baby.”

Changing her mind, she returned and flicked the kettle on.

Upstairs a ‘young’ eighteen-year-old boy opened and closed one eye, then the other. He reached under the bed and pulled out three A4 sheets he had printed earlier. Rereading for the third time.

“Could this be me?” he asked himself.

“You seem sleepy. Did you not sleep well?” his Mum asked.

“Funny dreams, that’s all,” he answered.

“There is bread in the toaster, can you manage? Don’t overdo it with the peanut butter. I must pop out,” June said.

“Okay, Mum.”

“And get on with your history lesson. I won’t be very long.”

Grabbing her handbag and snatching her car keys from the shelf, she left him.

He left the bread sitting cold; he sprinted upstairs. In her wardrobe was a metal box tucked under a selection of old shoes. It should be secure, but wasn’t. Her son would never pry, would he?

He opened it.

“I’m home, how are you getting on?” she called, noticing the bread untouched and, unusually, the top was on the Sunpat Peanut Butter jar.

“In here,” he called.

“That doesn’t look like school work?”

“No, it isn’t. I have a question, who is James Jameson?”

She collapsed into the chair. Slowly regaining her wits, she peered up at her son looming and leaning over her.

“And June Jameson?” he continued.

“Uh, I, I mean we,” she looked hopelessly at her son. “I changed our surname,” wondering how much he had found out.

“Yes, but why?”

“Would you like your toast now?”

“No, why did you change our names?”

“My dear, it was a long time ago, we had to move,” she said, realising he hadn’t mentioned moving. She bit her lip.

“So, we moved, did we? And you changed our names? Why?” he asked. He had never shouted at her before.

She studied him warily, trying not to say more.

“Well?” he screamed, clenching his fists.

“Have you taken your medication, dear,” she asked.

“Forget the pills, forget the toast. Just tell me,” his fists slammed into the coffee table. She was quaking. Old memories flooded back.

 “Okay darling, okay, you had a… a kind of breakdown. We had to move away from our old house.”

This calmed him, but only briefly, he was thinking.

“Let me make you something to eat?” 

She nipped to the kitchen. Her hands shook as she opened a tin of beans. Suddenly, Jimmy stood behind her.

“Who is my Dad? Where is he?”

“Your father is no longer with us,” she answered.

“Did you change his name?”

Wondering why he had asked that question, she puzzled what had he read?

“No, I’m sorry he died.”

“Was he sick?”

“He had er a… an accident.”

“Oh, I wondered why you kept a newspaper clipping,” he sneered.

The beans hit the floor, spilling tomato sauce across the tiles. His slippers slipped as he grabbed her throat.

“I did it for you,” she cried.

“You killed my Dad? And my little sister?”

She could no longer speak as his fingers dug deeper. She shook her head as his grip eased.

“I read the newspaper, tell me the truth,” he said.

Rubbing her bruised neck, “Let’s sit down. I’ll tell you about that day.”

He kicked off his sticky slippers before he walked on the carpet.

“You are a good boy,” she said.

Behind him, she grabbed a plastic bag from the counter and flipped it over his head. This time it was her small hands gripping the plastic to his throat. She kept a tight hold even when his knees buckled. She moved with him. Right down onto the floor.

She put a cushion under his neck, as any Mum would. Leaving the bag tightly in its place. She sprinted to her bedroom, grabbing the yellowing newspaper, and jogged back to her son.

 “You want to know what happened? I’ll read it to you.” Unfolding the paper, she cleared her throat, “Listen while I read, ‘A cold but dry evening last week saw a tragedy unfold in our small village. Mr Jameson had tidied up his garden. He lit a fire to burn leaves when an argument broke out between his children. ‘Dreadful it was,’ said his wife Mrs Jameson, who witnessed the event from her kitchen window. ‘My husband tried to stop Jimmy and his little sister fighting, Jamie was consoling Lulu when Jimmy struck him with a rock, my husband fell onto the flames. Jimmy grabbed a can, thinking it was water, and threw it over both Lulu and Jamie. I was too slow’ she said through tears. The police are unsure if the boy knew it was petrol or water in the can. They took Jimmy away for questioning.’ So dear son, now you know what happened. You spent three years in a secure hospital, treatment and counselling. They said you could leave into my care. Goodnight, sweet boy, sleep well.”

“No Mum could have done more,” she thought.

The END

The Housekeeper: A twisted psychological thriller by [Natalie Barelli]
$3.99

She’s a liar. She’s a stalker. She’s in your house.

When Claire sees Hannah Wilson at an exclusive Manhattan hair salon, it’s like a knife slicing through barely healed scars. It may have been ten years since Claire last saw Hannah, but she has thought of her every day, and not in a good way. So Claire does what anyone would do in her position—she stalks her.

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The Happy Couple: An absolutely unputdownable and gripping psychological thriller by [Samantha Hayes]
$3.99

Me and Will. Will and Me. A perfect match. He said he would always be there for me, but it’s been a year since he drained his coffee, walked out the front door and vanished.

Did he leave me? Or did something terrible happen? I’m scared someone finally found out about what happened on the drive home that night…

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Day Nine

Day nine was Christmas Day, the family had all gathered; they decorated the table with holly and crackers. We were all smiling, Dad had been generous with gifts this year. Mum carried the turkey from the oven. Uncle Pete stood, pulled his Browning and shot his brother, my father. The bullet entered below his eye, killing him instantly. 

Mum dropped the bird and stood opened-mouthed. My sister screamed. Granddad pushed his chair back and started after uncle Pete. The door slammed. Uncle Pete fired the engine and screeched down the otherwise quiet street. The black Jaguar disappeared by turning left.

I jogged back inside. Granddad was coughing and bent double by the door getting his breath back, I passed him to check on my mum. She was crying, slumped in an armchair. My fifteen-year-old sister, calling emergency services, hammering number nine. My dad? He hadn’t moved after hitting a side-plate with his head. Oddly, I noticed the family framed photo behind him, glass shattered with a small lump of metal buried in mum’s face.

Dad was wearing his Christmas present, a light-blue button-down collar business shirt. He also sported a bulky bandage on his wrist. A thought struck me, “How come did Dad and Uncle Pete have the same taste in clothes. When Dad wore light blue, Pete wore a slightly different shade of blue. If Dad wore yellow, Pete would wear orange, if Dad wore burgundy, Pete sported maroon?” I also wondered, “Why does uncle Pete have a bandage wrapped around his head?”

Pete and my Dad would meet up most mornings, they planned their next robbery. In the evening they would share a few beers, sometimes here in our living room or down at their local.

“What happened?” I asked my sister.

“You saw what happened, don’t ask stupid questions,” she answered.

I asked my mum and anyone listening to the same question. The replies were grunts or shakes of heads.

Then the police arrived, followed by the ambulance.

 The Doherty boys were well known to the ‘Old Bill’. The questioning went on for an hour. The police received similar answers to me. My granddad lost his temper, swore and threatened the police. They arrested him. They sent my sister and me upstairs.

Mum continued talking, but we couldn’t hear, even when we crept closer down the stairs. Janice grunted, “I’m going for a walk,” slamming the front door.

“Can I come?”

“No!” she yelled at me.

Day 1

“The Post Office offers such slim pickings these days, we should try something else,” said Pete.

“What have you got in mind?” asked my dad.

“I watched the employees at that Indian factory in West Road. Friday nights they check their pay packets as they exit the door.”

“You want us to knock a few foreigners over the head? And nick their pitiful wage?” asked my Dad.

“Because they are illegals, they don’t have bank accounts, so, all cash.”

“That means somebody has to pay in pound notes? Why not nick the lot? We are wasting our time by taking each worker’s salary. We’ll hit the boss,” said my Dad smiling.

Both Dad and Uncle Pete leaned back and fiddled with their neckties, Dad’s plain dark blue, Pete’s Paisley patterned royal blue.

Day 2

Sat in the Jag, they took it in turns to watch the factory. Taking snaps of everyone who entered the works. Most walked along the road, a few came on the bus. The first to arrive were in a newish Mercedes. A large turbaned man driving the passenger was a strikingly good-looking young lady in a silk sari. They sauntered through the main door.

“He must be the boss. Who is she? Too young to be his wife. Well-dressed for a secretary?” said Pete. “Christ, she’s beautiful.”

My Dad had given up trying to find a wife for his brother. He snorted, “Get a nice English lass. What’s wrong with you?”

Day 3

The staff must clock in at eight. The turbaned man and the good-looking lady were already in their office. Just after noon, a new van pulled up, the driver in smart casual clothes, flicked his ginger hair from his eyes as he breezed in. Five minutes later he left, after assisting a pair of men loading the van with bundles wrapped in brown paper. Dad and uncle Pete followed the buyer’s truck.

“Hello mate, what’s the food like in here?” said Dad to ginger.

“Yeah, pretty tasty mate.”

The pub was empty; the cooking smells wafted into the bar.

“What are they cooking, smells great?” asked Pete.

“They knock up a special, good job you’re here early. It gets packed at one when the factories shut for lunch. Sit with me if you like?”

The three men sat by the window tucking into the special lunch.

“Are you your own boss?” asked Dad.

“Yeah, I buy a bit of this and that. Hope to sell it for a tasty profit. Doing well with fancy rip-offs,” he chuckled.

“Really? That sounds good. Tell us more. What are you selling?”

“I sell fashion polo shirts, stuff like that. I get a good deal from that Indian ‘gaff up the road,” said Ginger.

“Indians, eh? Are they good to deal with?”

“Yeah, except they want cash upfront. It was difficult at first, but now business is great.”

Day 4

The Merc arrived well before eight. Later, the silk sari flowed to Starbucks on the corner. Dad stayed in the car, while Pete decided they needed coffees too.

“She smells divine,” Pete mouthed silently, following the sari.

He rushed ahead and opened the door for her, “After you,” he said.

“Thank you, kind gentleman,” she said, brilliant white teeth flashed a shy smile.

He turned and opened the door for her once more. Coffee in hands, she walked back to work.

Pete made sure nobody saw him get in the Jag.

“We’d better park somewhere else, I’m worried they’ll get suspicious, us here day after day.”

“It wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t got out. You and your coffee? We have dark windows in case you’ve forgotten. Come on, that’s enough surveillance for one day.”

Day 5

Pete was busy Googling at six am, finding out all he could about Indian ladies. He wanted to learn about saris, in case he got another chance to speak with her.

Dad swapped his car for his mate’s Ford, “Just for a day,” he told Mum. She was proud to sit in the Jaguar and didn’t want to lose it.

Late that morning a ten-wheeler arrived, staff rushed a forklift to the doors. Soon bolts of cloth, blues of many shades, creamy white and bright yellows and oranges hastily shipped inside. The driver left, stuffing cash-filled envelopes into his cab.

“Come on, let’s nick that lot,” yelled Pete.

“Don’t be so hasty, young brother. They deal in cash, right? That means there will be a lot more. Just wait, we will be in for a bumper payout,” said my Dad happily.

Day 6

They parked the Jag in the opposite direction and further down the road. Dad had brought his binoculars.

He was jumping with excitement when he came home at the end of the shift.

“You should have seen the number of customers they had, in and out, all day.”

He was rubbing his hands as he told us about bundles and bundles being shifted.

Pete was strangely quiet as Mum served the dinner.

Day 7

Pete was late coming to our house that morning.

“Where the hell is he?” asked my Dad.

“Maybe he overslept?” answered my Mum.

“He never sleeps in when we are working,” said Dad.

Pete was not in bed, he was timing his walk to coincide with the Indians.

“Good morning, lovely day,” he said.

The turban grunted, “Good day.”

She chuckled as she ducked through the door.

“Where the hell have you been?” asked my Dad.

“I went to the factory early, to see what happens before the staff arrive.”

“Why?”

“You never know,” Pete said.

“Did anything happen?” asked my Dad.

“Er, no.”

“Don’t be late tomorrow. We’ll complete our business, then the day after we can enjoy Christmas.”

“What’s our plan?” asked Pete.

“They will stuff the office with cash, as all the dealers will try to hit shoppers on Christmas Eve.”

“Why don’t we go after the dealers as they arrive. We know they have cash?”

“That cash will all be in one place if we wait. It makes our job easy,” said Dad.

“Yeah, but we have to go inside,” said Pete.

“We used to go into the Post Office too.”

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

“You won’t have a bad feeling when we divvy up.”

Day 8

“Good, you’re early. Got everything?” Dad asked.

Pete showed my Dad his pistol, it was a newer version of Dad’s one. They bought them from a man they know down the pub.

“Taking the money is one thing, but I don’t want to shoot anyone,” said Uncle Pete.

“It has never bothered you before.”

“What’s the matter, Pete?” asked my Mum.

She rarely got involved in men’s business.

“It’s the Indian lady,” said Pete nervously when Dad wasn’t listening.

My Mum controlled herself after her unladylike raucous laughter, “What are you on about?” she asked.

“He’s in love!” grinned Mum when Dad returned.

“Come on, let’s do it,” said Pete.

Both men checked their weapons. Hiding them as they walked towards the car.

They watched the factory doors, no one in or out for thirty minutes.

“Okay, let’s go,” said my Dad.

Scarves hid their lower faces, hoodies hid the rest.

The factory was noisy. Machines clattered as the brothers walked to the office.

“Hands up,” Pete shouted.

“You, open the safe,” said Dad.

“Sorry sir, but I can’t,” said the man with the turban.

Pete walked up close, pointing the barrel inches from his chin, “And why not?” 

The man shook his head, “I do not know the combination.”

“Yeah right, your factory, your safe,” said Pete.

“Oh no, sir, it is not mine,” he said.

The graceful lady put her hand up, “It is my business, he does not know how to open it.”

“Your business?” asked Pete. “Who is he then?”

The turban moved like a cobra striking, knocking out Pete with one punch.

As he turned towards Dad, the Browning fired, the shot hit him in the leg, collapsing; he hit the floor.

“You open it,” said Dad, panting, the gun now levelled at the lady.

She glared and was in no hurry to move. Dad shook his gun under her chin.

Still, she refused to move. He turned his shoulders, keeping his eyes fixed on the owner. He shot the man’s other leg. At last, she slowly knelt and started twisting dials.

“Come on, we haven’t got all day,” he screamed at her.

The well-oiled door opened, revealing wads of used notes.

“Put it all in this bag,” Dad thrust the sack at her.

The turban rolled slowly and silently, pulling a blade from a hidden sheaf. He lay on his back then released the short sword, throwing with tremendous power. Blood spurted from my Dad’s wrist. The gun fired.

It fired again, this time aimed. The turban soaked in blood. Dad slapped Uncle Pete awake. Grabbing the sack, they ran for the door. Factory workers rushed to witness the puddles of blood. Dad waved his pistol at them, they retreated.

The injured brothers escaped with a sack of cash. Job done!

Day 10

“Please, guys, give mum a break. Can’t you see you’ve upset her?” I said.

“Your father shot and killed a young business owner and her bodyguard, both in cold blood and in front of dozens of witnesses. That much is clear. What we are unsure of, is why Peter Doherty killed his elder brother?” 

“My Mum has answered all your questions, now go!” I yelled.

“Sit down and shut up, unless you wish to tell us more about your family?” the younger of the two officers reddened.

“What can you tell us about the budding romance between your brother-in-law and the factory owner?” asked the police officer.

“Pete hasn’t got a lady friend, hasn’t had for years,” Mum answered.

“We checked his email account, he sent four unanswered emails to Miss Sharma. The last one sent two days ago, ‘Darling, I can’t wait until we can be together. Please answer my letters. Your loving Pete.’ All his emails were unopened. What does that mean to you?” said senior.

“Who do you know in India?” asked the young one.

“No one, why?” answered my Mum.

“Your brother-in-law landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, this morning.”

The END

$3.85

Horniman, Birley and Craine is a highly respected legal firm with clients drawn from the highest in the land. When a deed box in the office is opened to reveal a corpse, the threat of scandal promises to wreak havoc on the firm’s reputation―especially as the murder looks like an inside job. The partners and staff of the firm keep a watchful and suspicious eye on their colleagues, as Inspector Hazlerigg sets out to solve the mystery of who Mr. Smallbone was―and why he had to die.

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The Spider's Web: A British Detective Crime Thriller (The Harvey Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 2) by [J.D.  Weston]
$2.99

A man’s dying daughter awaiting a transplant in hospital, and a prison sentence hanging over him, Debruin can ill-afford to waste time. He has just one chance to prove his innocence and to save his daughter – he must find the killer before it’s too late.

But, with every step he takes, he uncovers a web of blackmail, lies and murder. He can trust nobody, not even his partner. The only way forward is to enter the web.

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