Mega busy on a novel and haven’t had much time to post. I’m wrapping up the final strands in the story, bringing the drama to a close. I’m far more confident about this novel, a psychological thriller.
I wake up not in the hospital, but in a shelter somewhere deep in abandoned wasteland, groggy and disorientated with a strange taste in my mouth, body sore from the fall downstairs. I’m lying on the floor in recovery position, wondering how I got there. Outside, the weather continues to rage, the winds howling and rattling the roof; inside, three men with torches sit around a candlelit table, playing cards and singing The Grand Old Duke Of York. They bang on the table and stamp their feet and roar with laughter.
A couple of shots I took on Sunday:
Some more photos I took of Totteridge Village, North London
Some more photos I took on a humid May evening:
I’m close to the end of my novel, a psychological thriller set in the north of England. Central character Alan reaches the point where he begins to lose control:
I make a start on supper. Electronic beeps and squeals come from Robert’s bedroom. Ollie’s computer game. Dead wicked, he described it when we went up in the lift. His laughter rings through the flat. He gets overexcited, shouts too much. My nerves are on edge, my neck rigid with tension. Each time I glance out of the window, I pick up on the watcher’s presence out there in the post-industrial landscape. Twice, the landline phone rings by the sofa bed. Silence both times, number withheld. I hardly use the landline. Less than a dozen people have the number. My hands shake as I slice the vegetables. I look out of the window again. The invisible gaze. I pull the kitchen blinds down, but just before I do I catch a glimpse of a car reversing out of a lane behind The Factory – then nothing, apart from fading daylight slipping into evening, darkness falling over Kiddlestone valley.
I’m near the conclusion of a psychological thriller after a struggle with writer’s block earlier in the year.
At this point of the story, central character Alan has discovered information about an event he doesn’t fully recall and he is being closely monitored:
At lunchtime, I sprint to the deli to fetch sandwiches for Kerry, Barry and Gordon. The unseen person watches me leave the gym; but he or she is also there when I turn the corner by the main square, scanning me amongst the tourists and the walkers with their binoculars and maps. More than one person must be monitoring me, since no one can be in two places at once. I think again of Gordon’s theory about corrupt officers desperate and mean enough to silence me, but the theory no longer makes sense.
In the deli, I feel the gaze fixed on the back of my head. The person watches me take cash from my wallet and place the cash on the counter, stuff my wallet in my inside jacket pocket, exit with a tray of sandwiches and drinks, and make my way towards Burrington Bridge to the cobbled street where the gym in situated. I wonder how much more of this I can take. It feels like a psychological form of Chinese torture by water drops, designed to make the recipient go mad slowly. I force myself not to glance round and hurry inside, the only place where the gaze isn’t.
Some photos I caught on the camera: Highgate Wood, North London