I’ve reached a dramatic peak in the current novel I’m working on. In EggHead, a crime thriller, central character Wayne (14) has to leave home after he takes drastic measures in dealing with a bullying campaign against him. Three years on, he struggles to build a life for himself in a remote village off the North Sea. But the past begins to catch up with him again and Wayne has to escape once more…
I stagger up a ginnel with a railing in the centre, reaching a steep incline, and start to climb. Up and up and up, past houses and chimneys and back fences, struggling on, panting for air, the night temperature dropping to below freezing. Straight up in a direct line, the incline getting steeper and steeper, the shouts and dog barking still present but starting to fade into the distance. The incline bends to the right. The gradient begins to level. Just about bearable, although the weather’s slowing me down.
The incline stops abruptly. A road lies ahead, a still country lane with hedges and fields on the opposite side, fields covered in mist, fields rising up a steep hill bordering the V-shaped housing estate at the top of the village. I’m on the main road that runs adjacent to Dead End Lane.
I take out my phone, nearly dropping it on the ground. My fingers have turned clumsy, useless frozen clumps that refuse to obey my brain, and the SOS icon on the screen remains mockingly still, indicating that none of the recipients have received the message. I turn left on the main road, moving further away from the crossroads and Dead End Lane, along an empty stretch of lane with no houses or cottages. And then, I hear the fanfare all over again, a fanfare like a hunting party with bugles and hounds. Van doors slamming shut, dogs whining and barking, men and women shouting in the night. Over there. He’s over there.
Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon. Reviews