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.