WHO AM I? WRITINGS OF A NOBODY
stepped into the flat and closed the door behind him, shutting out reality for
a moment. Not that reality bothered him
but the flat was a haven for him, his little bit of artiness in a world of
in the kitchen and flicked the kettle on as he came into the room. “Fancy a brew?”
it was music to his ears. “Sure mate,
I’d love one.”
kettle boiled and he knew that Mike was waiting to say something as he looked
awkward. “Yvette called, she’s had a
crisis and she’s coming over for the weekend next weekend. It sounds serious; she was very keen to tell
me how awful her week had been. I’d call
her back if I were you mate.”
took the offered mug of tea and walked thoughtfully along the corridor. It was a difficult situation and he hated not
being able to be there to help her. She
was going through hell what with work being difficult and a lack of money. He couldn’t help much. Commuting was getting to be a big problem and
he’d just given notice on his job and signed up with an agency locally. That was a big step away from London, not
picked up the receiver and dialed the number.
Yvette’s voice answered. “Hello,
on a smile and a smiley voice. “Hello,
Yvette, how are you?”
sounded nervous. “Thank you for
calling. We already have double glazing
and don’t need anymore.” She then hung
signed. He knew the situation. Yvette’s husband was there and she didn’t
want to talk in front of him. It was
understandable but it was not particularly nice for him either.
down on the sofa and having heard there was no conversation going on Mike came
into the room and sat down in his armchair.
“Well, how did it go?” He looked
at Jack’s expression and tried to smile.
“Oh, I get it, husband home again?”
frowned. “Don’t put it like that but
yes, I guess he was.”
shook his head. “Nothing good will come
of this. You have a good life here. You have friends and you have a new job
starting. Why do you want to get
yourself involved in all that?”
looked down into his drink and watched the steam rising in the slightly chilled
air. “I don’t know, I feel very trapped
by it. It seems wrong but when she says
she can’t cope and she wants to end it all, what can I do? I’d feel guilty if I walked away and left her
in that mess. I feel caught in the
middle as I’m still not sure that she isn’t seeing Mattie. I feel angry as I don’t like that Mattie’s
girlfriend is caught up in all this too.
It is a mess but it is one I’m stuck in.
I don’t know what to do and I don’t know how to get out of it.”
smiled. “You could just walk away.”
looked up. “It isn’t as easy as all
that. This is deeper than you
think. Yvette knows things and odd
things keep happening.”
looked very amused. “What do you mean
took a deep breath. “Well you remember
when I first got together with Yvette that there was that night when something
looked serious. “How could I
forget? One minute we are sitting
downstairs in the living room, next minute there are sounds in your
bedroom. I’ll never forget hearing the
horses and hounds. That proved to me
that there was something spooky going on.
So, is it connected?”
smiled. “Yes, there is. Yvette believes that we are going to have a
baby together and that this baby will be important. The trouble is that I have a similar
belief. That is where the story overlaps
but other than that the information she keeps telling me is way off of what I
feel is true.”
now fully interested. “Wow, well the
story deepens. Tell all.”
smiled ironically. “There isn’t much to
tell. She believed that the child she
had with her husband would be the one.
It wasn’t and now she is looking for the one who will be the right one. You know I’ve got past life issues, so part
of it does fit but I don’t think it fits in the way she thinks it does. I do recognize her from a past life but not
as a benevolent person. I could be wrong
and it is all much clouded. I must sound
laughed. “If you’d just told me that
without the incident of the horses I could have said yes. With that, I’m not so sure. So what are you going to do?”
looked down. “I’m going to see how this
one plays out and I’m certainly going to make sure that she can’t hurt any of
our friends. That she is too friendly
with Mattie is worrying. Mattie has a
chance for a lovely life with someone who is going to make him happy. He doesn’t need to get involved in this age
old war. Yvette will tell me enough one
day and I’ll work it out. Until then I
have to be careful in case I have misread the situation and she is the one I’m
smiled. “You couldn’t make it up. Ok, well I’m your friend, I’ll help any way
that I can but try to keep the spiritual visitors to a minimum please.”
laughed. “Well at least the horses
didn’t mess on the carpet.”
choked on his tea. “I guess they
didn’t. So what are you going to do
thought about it. “Nothing much. I’m going to start this new job and keep
talking to Yvette and see how things pan out.
It is a bit of a journey getting there but better than the commute to
London. I’ll hopefully make new friends
there too as it is all too intense here with the Mattie situation. I can’t look at him without worrying that
this is going to get very, very complicated.”
cleared his throat. “Well that is what
you get when you get yourself involved in these situations. I’ve got a movie and a big bottle of cider
for tonight. Let’s forget it all for
now. You’ll no doubt have your long
clandestine phone conversation and then we can relax, chat about stuff and have
a good night. I’m thinking that you’ll
want to give going to the Hungry Years a miss tonight.”
thought for a moment. Going and seeing
people and enjoying the music would be good but yes, he did fancy a quiet night
with a movie and some cider. “Sure,
sounds good. So, how was your day?”
smirked. “I went shopping and got myself
a new book.” He reached down beside his
chair and pulled up a black covered book with a glossy cover. “It is about magic and demon summoning. It also has a lot of other spells in it.”
jaw dropped. “Don’t you go summoning any
demons; we have enough problems as it is.”
smiled reassuringly. “I’m not worried;
it also has the binding and dismissing spells in it as well.”
laughed. “If you were a demon trapped in
the abyss would you leave the words to get you out of it in a cheap book in a
knock down bookshop? Would you be daft
enough to put the binding and dismissing spells there too or would you pretend
that you had.”
shocked. “I hadn’t thought of that. So, what are you up to this afternoon?”
thought about it. “I think I’ll go up
and write something or work on that painting I’ve been working on. I got the music from The Crow this week and
I’d like to listen to it.”
looked up. “Ok so it is going to be a
lovely light and happy painting then.
Fair enough. I think I’ll go into
town and take a look around.”
looked very serious. “Well at least you
aren’t going to spend the afternoon summoning demons.”
the irony. “Sure, I’ll give that a miss
today and save that for next week.”
passed quickly and it was made all the more interesting by Yvette’s
conversations. She was at breaking point
and really couldn’t face living with her husband anymore. Something had happened which she would not
talk about and the conversations had got more and more depressing.
felt so useless. There was nothing he
could do to help and having to keep quiet about it most of the time had turned
what would have been a simple relationship into a clandestine obsession. Not being able to call when he wanted and to
have to wait for the time to be right made everything much heavier and somehow
fought for it was psychologically forcing him into a more serious relationship
where it should all have been lightness and fun.
desperately wanted to meet someone else and to have a happy relationship but he
was trapped in this story he couldn’t get out of.
weeks passed by and the conversations got more and more desperate on Yvette’s
part. She really couldn’t stand being
there much longer and then the break point happened. Her husband left, taking her daughter with
him. Yvette was distraught on the phone
and there was nothing that Jack could do other than to offer her a chance to
get away from it all and come and stay with him.
jumped at the chance but the first place she wanted to go was to Matti’s place
as Jack would be at work. This was
upsetting but what could he do?
was shining as he got on the bus home from work. He was excited but worried as well. It would be better to be able to talk to
Yvette face to face and somehow he was relieved that it had all come to a
head. Thoughts ran around his head and
he was trying to work out how things would pan out.
straight to Matti’s place and knocked on the door. Matti opened the door, smiling. “Hello Jack, Yvette is here. She’s alright, bit stressed but that is to be
expected. We’ve given her a meal
earlier. Do you want a drink mate?”
thought about it. “Thanks Matti, I’d
walked up the stairs together, Matti led the way. The hallway was cosy, wallpapered and hung
with ornaments and paintings that Matti and his girlfriend loved. He had been there many times before but
somehow he now felt different. It was an
odd sensation where he was looking at something he had seen a hundred times
before but now he was seeing it in a different light.
a deep breath as he came to the top of the stairs and stepped onto the
landing. The living room door was closed
but he could hear voices inside. This
was the moment he had known or hoped would happen one day, the day that Yvette
was free to be with him.
opened the door and stepped inside.
Yvette was sitting on the floor beside the stereo and they had been
playing music. She got up, her strong
features and long black dyed hair exactly what Jack wanted to see. This was the response he had hoped for and
she was very glad to see him although he couldn’t help be disappointed that she
had wanted to go to Matti’s first.
stepped in and took up an empty chair next to Yvette. “How are you?”
looked tearful. “It was awful. He’s gone and left me and he has taken my
little girl too. I haven’t seen Becki
for a few days now and I don’t know when I’m going to see her again. The house is so empty and it is awful.”
his tongue and let Yvette carry on speaking.
“He has taken all his things and all of Becki’s things. He went before I got home from work and I
came back to an empty house and a note.
It was awful.”
took the offered cup of tea and smiled at Matti. “Thank you for looking after her.”
smiled. “No problem mate.”
looked at the two of them. “Is it
alright if I stay with you a while Jack.
I really don’t want to face it all yet.
I really need my friends at the moment and everyone is being fantastic.”
of hours later Jack and Yvette walked back to Jack’s flat. It wasn’t a long walk and they walked along
the beach looking at the waves.
was quiet but then she pulled them into a shelter and sat down. “It has been awful. I hope you don’t mind but a friend of mine is
visiting tomorrow. You’ll be at work and
I don’t want to be on my own. You’ll be
ok about that won’t you?”
thought for a moment. “Well sure, it is
good that your friends are around you.
Who is it?” Alarm bells were
smiled sweetly. “It is Sheldon, my
friend from London. I’ve told you about
indeed heard about Sheldon. He also
didn’t like to hear that he was visiting in the one week that he had Yvette to
was the husband of a millionaire and he couldn’t see why such a busy man would
have the time to come and see Yvette. He
had heard from Yvette that Sheldon was also having marital problems and that
also was something that made Jack nervous.
Sheldon had met Yvette at Kings Cross where Yvette was waiting in a café
writing poetry on the way back from visiting a friend. The two had got talking and had become
friends. That Sheldon wanted to come to
Jack’s house was too much of two worlds coming together and he was also very
suspicious that there was more to the friendship than met the eye.
was nothing that Jack could do about it.
He was thinking about it hard but he couldn’t say no.
Jack worried about what Yvette was getting up to with Sheldon. He couldn’t help it and it was a long day,
especially as Yvette’s mobile phone was switched off. He knew he was being taken for a fool. The journey home seemed to take forever and
when he got home he was sure that something had happened. He couldn’t be sure and couldn’t find any
evidence but he was not happy. But, so
as not to cause an argument he kept quiet.
There was no point casting doubt on his relationship now that he had
night he was asleep and woke up with a start as Yvette was sitting bolt upright
in bed. “Why am I here? Where is my husband? What is happening?”
up and saw something dark in the room, something black which was coming out of
the full length mirror in the corner of his room. It swirled and then Yvette got up and stood
in front of the door. He suddenly wanted
to escape as he didn’t recognize Yvette.
She held the door and wouldn’t let him out so he grabbed her and threw
her onto the bed, opened the door and ran downstairs and locked himself in the
knocked on the door about a half an hour later, totally confused as to what had
went back upstairs and the black entity had gone, everything was quiet so he
got back into bed and they fell asleep.
He didn’t want to know, he didn’t need to know and for some reason he
was accepting things far too easily.
passed and Yvette asked if he’d go back with her. She couldn’t face life in her house alone so
Jack phoned the agency and left his job and went back to live in London.
night the conversation was serious.
Yvette seemed thoughtful.
made them a mug of coffee and sat down beside her. “What is the matter?”
looked thoughtful. “I’ve got to tell you
something. You know I said that I work
for the Post Office. I do but this is
only a cover story. I actually work for
MI6. I’m telling you this as I know you
come from a military family, that you’ve signed the Official Secrets Act and I
know I can trust you. That is why I
sometimes have strange telephone conversations and it was something that my
husband couldn’t cope with. I never told
him and I think he thought I was having an affair.”
nearly choked on his coffee. Not least
that Yvette could be so blatant that her husband thought she was having an
affair when in truth she was. “Well,
that is a revelation. How long have you
worked for them and what does it mean?”
smiled. “It is such a relief to be able
to tell someone and you know that you will have to keep this quiet for your
sake as well. If my employers found out
that you know they would have to do something about it. I would also worry about your parents. I have done a lot of things for them in my
time and I have enemies who are looking for me.
If they could hurt me through you or by hurting those that you love then
they would. You will have to be very
careful. I’m telling you this as you’ll
be moving into my house and they will know that you exist now.”
didn’t know what to believe but as his father had been Special Forces and he
also had been approached to work for MI5 it was not unrealistic. It was unusual but he was used to his father
being on shift work so he did know what it might mean. It also explained a lot of the conversations
where Yvette took her mobile phone to the toilet to speak.
into someone else’s house was unnerving.
Many of Yvette’s husband’s things were still in the house and it was
like taking over someone else’s life.
The first day was long but soon over.
evening was perforated by calls from Matti and Sheldon. The conversation with Sheldon being the
longest of them.
Yvette said she had to go out the next night.
Jack wasn’t happy but he had made arrangements to go for a job interview
with an agency so other than coming home to an empty house it was alright.
night Yvette came back with an envelope full of money. She explained that she had seen Sheldon who
had given her some money to help out.
This annoyed Jack but what could he say.
weeks passed by and they had to leave as the house belonged to Yvette’s
husband. They packed up and arranged to
get a flat with an old friend. This was
a relief as Yvette was becoming very moody.
also perforated by times that Yvette had to be away. They were getting on well though so Jack
didn’t question it. He had a job and was
happy enough with his life.
night Yvette was back at the flat and suddenly she jumped up and said there was
someone outside. She pulled a small
pistol and ran out the back telling Jack to stay put. He did what he was told, not wishing to get
caught in any crossfire.
minutes later Yvette came back into the room, hugged him and said that
everything was alright and not to worry but to be careful while she was
week when Yvette was away Jack didn’t go out and see his friends as he would
normally have done. He had thought that
a few things were odd at the flat and he started taking more note of
things. Daily things were moved, not
obvious things but things he’d planted to know if they were touched. He also began to feel nervous going home from
work and to work in the morning. It was
normal to see the same faces, but not faces that seemed to be obviously
following him. He then started playing a
game, it was actually terrifying but he made a game of it. He jumped onto a train, waited until the two
usual faces jumped on too then he jumped off and saw them trying to get off as well. Then he knew.
way home, walking along the high street he saw a laser painter on his
chest. A small red dot. He kept walking, pretending he had not seen
it. There was nothing he could do about
it. He thought about jumping into a shop
but he’d have to come out again. He
couldn’t call the police as he would sound insane. So he walked home, cooked dinner and waited
for a telephone call from Yvette, which didn’t come. Not that night and not for many nights after
the things moved almost daily and it became almost an annoyance. That he could cope with it surprised him.
was back some weeks, gone others and then she said that she had been invited to
go to Ireland with Sheldon. Jack was
livid that his girlfriend was going away with someone else but she assured him
that Sheldon was only a friend and wanted some company as his husband was away
passed slowly and it was hell for Jack but he was happy that Yvette was having
a break. The week passed, Yvette came back
but she had hurt her leg which was a bit of a surprise. She said she’d tripped over a drawer in the
hotel which seemed a bit odd.
passed by. More envelopes turned up and
she knew that Yvette had been seeing Sheldon.
She was so suspicious that she went through Yvette’s bag and found a
note which said that pancakes were in the kitchen. It was obviously a note from Sheldon but
there was no proof there. Yvette was away
a lot, she could well have dropped by to visit Sheldon in his glamorous world.
Yvette said she was going to the US with Sheldon. Again this was annoying but for some reason
Jack could do nothing to stop this. He
felt like he was an animal in a cage, kept in his flat waiting for her to come
time he began to think and bits and pieces fell into place. They played on his mind.
when Yvette was meeting Mattie in London and he had ended up on the phone to
Mattie’s girlfriend who was upset about it too.
Then the time when Yvette was seeing Mattie in London again while Jack
was at work and he’d found coffee cups in the bedroom. He’d kept quiet, he wanted things to be
alright and he didn’t want to be a possessive boyfriend. Yvette was entitled to friends but gradually
Jack was losing friends. He was distracted
and as his friends knew Yvette and had tried to warn him they stepped back.
didn’t help when they went to a gathering with their friends and one of Jack’s
friends complained that Yvette had made a pass at them. Jack just didn’t believe it, he instantly
thought that his friend was making it up and decided that this friend hated
him. He then put a distance between
himself and Heath, who he had known a number of years.
those times that he had been met for work at the end of the road. They were all suspicious.
really needed was some evidence as he didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good
relationship with speculation. He also
didn’t want to cause Yvette to be hurt if she was actually doing a difficult
on Yvette’s next visit back that she did all that she could to convince Jack
that all was well. She even showed him
her other identity, a American Express Gold Card with the name The Countess of
Carnae printed on it. It looked real and
just to prove that it was Yvette used it to pay for lunch.
horrified, that she was using the card to pay for something local was in his
mind dangerous. Then she took Jack
shopping on it, buying him expensive gifts that he loved.
still questioning but as the months passed by and Yvette kept coming back his
fears got less. Then he got a phone call
to meet him in Kings Cross and to bring something for an overnight stay. Now that was intriguing enough so he packed a
case and set off.
met him at the station and they went to a hotel nearby. Yvette seemed to know the hotel far too well
but Jack didn’t want to question. They
had a lovely meal via room service and Yvette proposed. It was a little unusual and a complete shock
but Jack was extremely happy. The ring
was beautiful; it actually looked like a wedding ring and engagement ring which
Yvette insisted that he wore as she was worried that he would be poached by
elated of course and they had a wonderful night together. Yvette had to go so Jack made his way home
and slept well that night, thinking his doubts were unfounded.
peace lasted mere hours as the next day while at work he picked up an email
which had been sent to his email box from Sheldon’s email thanking everyone for
their congratulations on their marriage earlier that year. It clearly stated that Sheldon had married
stunned and angry. He didn’t know what
to do so he telephoned his mother, gave her the fax number on the email and
asked her to send Yvette congratulations on her engagement to Jack.
provocative and it was meant to be. Jack
now knew that Sheldon was more than just a friend to Yvette or Sheldon was
playing a really nasty trick on him.
telephoned Yvette who of course denied everything and then changed the
conversation to remind Jack that if people knew about them that Jack’s parents
could be in danger.
telephoned his mother and asked her if anything bad had happened. She said that she had found a spiked wooden
block under her tyres while she was in town and she had found nails in her
tyre. At this point Jack knew he had a
difficult situation on his hands and he had to do something.
mother knew people and it was by accident that she was speaking to a friend
where a reporter for the News of the World was within earshot. Within the day they were asking if they could
have an interview.
this as a way to protect his parents. He
turned down the thousand pounds they offered him and gave them all the facts.
story was due to come out the next Sunday and Jack’s mobile phone was full of
messages from both Sheldon and Yvette begging that he didn’t print the
story. Jack knew he had to so he let the
story go ahead even though it did make him look a complete idiot and a
fantasist. What did it matter if his
parents were safe.
actually believed that would be the end of it but a week or so later he got a
phone call from Yvette saying how much she still loved him and that her
relationship with Sheldon was falling apart.
didn’t believe her but there was always the element of doubt, especially when
she said that Sheldon had left her and that she didn’t want to be on her own at
the Castle where they now lived. She
threatened suicide if Jack didn’t go and join her and Jack decided that he needed
to see for himself exactly what was the truth of the situation. He’d been emailed a photo of a car with RAV
3N as the number plate. An Aston Martin
and he also wanted to see if that was real.
In truth he just wanted to know the reality of the situation so he wrote
everything down about the relationship, trusted it to a friend if anything
happened to him and got on a train to Hastings.
He got a
taxi from the station and the taxi drove up a long drive from the gate. The building was cream colored and he was
welcomed inside by Yvette through a door which led to an L shaped
corridor. As he stepped inside he was
instantly nervous, he was in someone else’s home again and this was probably
looked awful. She had let her hair dye
grow out and she was sporting a few inches of grey. She had also put on a lot of weight. Jack couldn’t help but notice.
showed him the office first. It was
messy with papers everywhere. A box file
was open on the desk. Yvette pointed to
it. “He took the papers for our
title. I suppose he thought I’d try to
sell it or something. I know how much I
was just owned. This was where we run
livid, showing him this, what was the point.
was almost in tears. “The staff were awful. They caused me so much trouble. I tried to make the break from you and to
make a life here when I knew I didn’t deserve you. But I can’t live without you. I will show you this place, it will be ours
now. She will owe me, we are married and
I’m sure I’ll do well in the divorce settlement.”
livid, this wasn’t what he wanted to hear but in truth he didn’t know what he
wanted to hear.
opened the door to a huge old library.
There was an immense oil painting on the left hand wall which was a
fantasy picture painted by a friend of Yvette’s of her as a Native American
warrior with a wolf at her feet and a bow over her shoulder. Jack had been given a print of this a while
back so he recognized it immediately.
then closed the door and they walked past the kitchen. It had a central island which was black
marble. Jack was in a dream, he couldn’t
believe it, and it was all so wrong and so awful.
made him a mug of coffee. “All the staff
have been laid off. There is a woman who
did this sort of thing but they all caused me so much trouble. I’d show you that room at the end of the
corridor but Sheldon has locked it.
There is a Tiffany Lamp in there and he thinks I might steal or break
it. That is irrelevant, I’ll have access
to it all soon. Come on, I’ll show you
the rest of the place.”
place was large. There was a long
central corridor which opened up into the actual hallway where the main door
went past this and they came to an open plan dining room with a huge table
which seated a lot of people. There was
a dresser beside the table where there was a wooden statue. Yvette stroked it. “I love this, Sheldon bought it when we were
in Brighton. I wouldn’t like to have to
part with it.”
opened the door to the living room. It
was fairly shabby but large. The carpet
was worn; there was an old tatty sofa which had obviously come with the Castle
and a big fireplace. On the table by the
window there were photographs and beside the door a small gargoyle which looked
like it belonged outside.
grabbed a fur rug. “I love this rug, it
is a wolf pelt. I’ve dreamt of
this.” She grabbed Jack around the neck,
pulled him down onto the rug; they undressed and made love on the rug in front
of the real fire.
they were sitting in the two armchairs facing each other. Yvette pointed out the telephone which looked
like an old fashioned typewriter; it had buttons which had to be pressed
down. She also pointed out the huge wall
of DVDs which was an immense collection which went with the immense television
set which was attached to the wall and fitted most of it.
smiled. “Come on, we had better pick
which bedroom we are going to use. I
like the four poster one but I think that the more modern bedroom would be
better. Sheldon’s things are in the
other room so it is a bit spooky. Come
on, have a look.”
Jack up the stairs and opened the door at the top of the stairs. In the middle of the room was a huge four
poster bed, heavily carved and it looked original and very old. There was a shelf unit with things on it and
Yvette laughed and turned Sheldon’s face to the floor.
the door there was an old wood dresser.
Yvette smiled. “Sheldon keeps all
my letters in that box there, that drawer on the top.”
livid and didn’t know what to say.
Yvette had been so careful to make sure that he had nothing on
paper. It was almost an insult that
Sheldon had so much. He was however
relieved that they didn’t have to spend a night in Sheldon’s room and was happy
with the one with the big black leather bed.
thing that really drew his eye was the large water stain on the ceiling. It was amazing that a place so obviously
expensive had a damp problem that hadn’t been sorted out.
Now he really
felt like he was in a dream and Yvette seemed very upset that he was reacting
that way. All he could think was that he
wanted Sheldon to know the truth. He’d
been told to arrive wearing something that wouldn’t be recognizable, he hated
downstairs and Yvette looked thoughtful.
The phone rang and she picked it up.
“Hello. Oh, yes thank you have
you had time to review my case.” She
listened to what was being said and her face fell. The colour drained from it. Jack watched in silence as Yvette put the
receiver back down on the strange looking phone.
thought for a minute. “That was my
solicitor and apparently I have no claim on anything here and it is likely that
Sheldon will win the case that I will get nothing from here. I don’t want to lose all this. I’ve had to put up with her for too long to
walk away with nothing. He said that an
old incident won’t help. Can I tell you
lost for words. He was sitting in what
had been his girlfriend’s home with her husband she had married months before
she had proposed to him and it he was supposed to listen to her woes about not
being able to get money and possessions off of her husband. “What happened?”
looked distraught. “We have a flat
beside the Thames, a modern place. We
were there and Sheldon accused me of having an affair. We had an argument which ended up as a fight
and I smashed a glass table, she fell onto it.
She called the police and accused me of harming her. I don’t know what our neighbors thought
having the police turn up. My neighbor
is a famous rock star who is not known for being very public about her
life. Sheldon really should have kept
could think was “I wonder which longer stay at mine that one was.” He had really lost patience with Yvette.
looked around the room. “I don’t want to
lose all this. I’m going to have to try
to get her back for now. She is taking
me to court this week. If I can get her
back for now I can then leave her later and we can be together and I can keep
some of this too.”
very angry and sat in silence as Yvette went and got her laptop. She came in with the silver laptop and a
stack of letters. “What are you up to?”
sat on the floor at Jack’s feet. “These
are the letters I sent to Sheldon. They
were in that drawer upstairs. I’m going
to quote some of the things I wrote and try to get her back. Give me a minute I need to concentrate.”
kept quiet. All love or respect he’d had
for Yvette was gone.
finished her emails, one after another.
“I have to send a few so she knows I mean it. I’ll be able to get over her fear of you,
though she does seem to see you on every corner. Like I did with my husband when he was
worried about you. I gave him that diary
you wrote as a fantasy story. It was
amusing how long my ex spent reading it trying to work out if there was
something going on. I’ve told Sheldon
some stories; he’ll never worry about you being here as it is obvious you
haven’t been here. Just for now, until I
have a bit more claim on this place. I’m
going to telephone Sheldon’s son now. I
have to get her children on side. They
don’t like me but if I get them to understand that I need mental help and that
I’m prepared to go for therapy they may well accept me again. Then they will help me to get her back. It is just for now, don’t worry I love
you. I had thought things would have
been different with you here. You always
made everything feel right.”
didn’t feel very right. He was biding
his time and he wanted to go home. The
evening was like a dream. He was sitting
looking at someone he didn’t recognize anymore.
He was looking at a liar.
night was surreal. He was with Yvette
and the memory of their love was there.
They made love but he couldn’t help thinking all the time that he was
again in someone else’s house. He wanted
out of there and he was very tempted to make sure that Sheldon knew that he had
been there. Ideas ran though his head to
put a note in Sheldon’s underwear drawer.
He wanted to do anything to let Sheldon know what a liar his wife was.
morning Jack got a taxi back to the station.
He was given a baseball cap to make sure that he was not noticed and as
he drove away he noticed that all the curtains had been pulled. He hadn’t noticed it before.
back to London on the train full of thoughts and disbelief.
that day Jack got several calls and emails from Yvette. He destroyed them all and was determined to
move on. It was a few weeks before
Yvette called again, asking him to meet her at the flat by the Thames. He really didn’t want to but curiosity was
enough that he said yes. Mere hours
later Yvette called to say that she couldn’t make it.
was enough; Jack said he would not see Yvette anymore. Yvette didn’t seem to take him seriously but
he meant it.
years later he got an email from Yvette saying that she had broken up with
Sheldon and wanted to see him. He didn’t
three years later he got another message.
Again Yvette had split up with Sheldon.
He didn’t believe her.
later he got a message on Facebook saying that Yvette had divorced
Sheldon. He didn’t believe her.
fell asleep that night knowing he’d made the right decision and drifted into
the arms of Morpheus content that he had moved on in life.
woke up confused. He didn’t have a
girlfriend called Yvette. He was in an
alleyway and it smelt bad. It was dark
as the alley wasn’t lit. He could see a
dim light in the distance and as he clambered to his feet he kept his hands
firmly on the stone wall behind him.
hands felt wet and sticky and as he staggered towards the light he realized
that they were covered in blood. He
checked himself over and found he was uninjured so he began to worry where the
blood had come from.
looked back down the alley and he saw a body lying on the floor. A large knife was sticking out of its chest.
looked at his hands and then the body and then the knife. He looked down. “Oh shit!”
was thinking what to do a horse and carriage went past the end of the
street. It was illuminated by lamps on
the side of the carriage. The street had
a strange yellow glow and as he evaluated the situation he realized that he was
in a Dickensian scene.
Marley’s Ghost at any moment he ran back down the alleyway and out the other
side, oblivious that it was dark and he could fall over. He did not want to be caught with a dead
frisked his pockets and found various items that were not his. He found a pocket knife, tobacco pouch, pipe
and he could tell there were other bits and pieces but he didn’t want to get
his clothes dirty.
have blood all over his hands after all.
He knew this was a dream and he wondered what it was all about.
A voice behind
him made him jump. “Sir, have you
finished with the body? We’d like to
move it if you don’t mind.”
stunned, his thoughts racing. “I needed
a bit more light.”
voice belonged to a teenage youth who held a large black bag and a lantern. “I have your bag and the light. I did wonder why you went down the alley
without them. Here’s a cloth for your
hands. Can I help in any way?”
walked back down the alleyway to the body of the man who lay on the floor. The body was twisted as if it had fallen and
as he picked up the man’s head there were signs that it had hit the floor at a
high velocity. There was no blood around
the chest area where the knife had penetrated and his mind raced as he realized
that the whole situation revolved around him knowing what had happen.
watching television shows now seemed less of a waste of time and he took his
time looking around the scene. He took
the offered cloth and wiped his hands.
He then opened the bag in the hope that it would give him a clue as to
who he was to start with.
contained medical instruments and his suspicion that he was a medical examiner
was confirmed. By the type of
instruments he could tell that this was not a modern situation. This was reassuring as he might just be able
to convince people that he was whoever he was supposed to be.
up and looked down at the body then he looked up. Above him the building was three stories
tall. There was a window open and he
soon put the two together and pointed out the window to the young man who was
with him. “I think the body came from up
there. The knife was the main cause of
death but the fall didn’t help. The body
was probably dead before it landed.”
young man looked bemused. “That is
incredible. Shall we go and see what is
in that room?”
smiled. “Yes, that might be a good
of them left the alleyway and found an open doorway. The stairwell was plain and dusty. Using the lantern they saw that a set of
footprints had already come down. Jack
was stating the obvious but he felt he had to say it. “I guess someone left the building by the
stairs not the window.”
young man smiled in the lantern light.
“Well at least we won’t get attacked if we go up there but it would be
good to catch the criminal.”
walked to the side of the stairs so they didn’t disturb the footprints. Once up two fights they could clearly see
where the footprints had joined the stairwell so they opened the door and
stepped out into a heavily decorated corridor. Lanterns were lit every ten feet and they made
the corridor very bright. The deep pile
red carpet was clean and sumptuous and had a spring under their step. The door they wanted was obvious. It was the only one open. They went to it and looked in.
was lit by lanterns and covered in sprayed blood. A large pool of it was on the floor and they
could follow the splatter marks and splashes to the window. There was a smear on the window sill which
was obviously where the body had been thrown out of the window.
was in disarray. Chairs had been knocked
over and things were broken. There had
obviously been a struggle and somewhere in the middle of that fight the man in
the street had been stabbed. There was
another knife on the floor and that too had blood on it.
looked on the floor and at the blood. He
went to the door and found a trail of blood which went out of the door. He followed it along the corridor and found
blood down the stairs as well. The trail
went down to the door and out into the street.
dirt of the street the blood was lost in the mess.
young man by his side caught his arm.
“Don’t worry; we’ll bring in the dogs.”
young man disappeared for a very short time and came back with two other men
with bloodhounds. They were shown the
blood and instantly were on the scent.
They followed it until they began to howl and he heard the sound of a
struggle. He was going to follow when
three men in uniform came back dragging a man who could hardly stand. He was obviously injured and had a flowering
rosette of blood soaking his shirt from the wound in his shoulder.
young man was beaming with happiness.
“Well done Sir, that was incredible.
Do you know who that is? That is
Sir Godfrey Pembroke, Fourth Earl of Monmouth and a well know womanizer and man
about town. Caught red handed and no
doubt he will hang for this one. We have
been trying to catch him for years. He
never gave us an opportunity like this before.
thought about it. “It was too easy. Be realistic he had plenty of time to get
away. Why is he still here?”
young man looked confused. “No, we have him;
it is a moment to celebrate.” The young
man walked over to the prisoner and all of them walked off down the alleyway
towards a horse drawn wagon that waited in the road at the end of it.
sighed and was turning to go with them as he had no idea where to go other than
that. He was out of time and place
again. All he could do was to wait and
hope that the scene would change and he’d know what he was supposed to be
was thinking a voice made him jump. He
turned and there was a man in a black suit, white shirt and straight thin black
tie. Jack laughed. “Now the Men in Black™ turn up. I’m doing well tonight. So, how can I help you?”
was fairly nondescript in looks, a typical Mr. Average. Not handsome, not plain and he found it
really hard to remember what the man looked like even though he was still
looking at him. The man smiled. “I’m pleased to meet you. You are having an interesting night. It was amusing to see how you dealt with that
and the praise for doing a job well. You
are an unusual person in an unusual time.
I don’t really know how to work you out.
you have enjoyed the situations we have put you in. We wanted to see how you would react. Now we know.
You have been evaluated and we know a lot more about you?
now completely bemused. He looked around
and the scene had changed. He was now in
a white room with tiled walls. There was
no furniture and it reminded him of a toilet.
There were pipes around the top of the room and a single door which was
metal clad and locked.
with him looked different now. He was
middle aged, bespectacled and holding a clip board. “Yes, very good, very good. You have passed our evaluation. You are a good citizen and we can allow you
to continue and to have your promotion.
You won’t remember any of this which is always a pointless thing to say
to patients but I like to say it anyway.
relax now and take a walk back to your precinct.”
opened as if by itself but he could see the mechanism as he walked through the
opening. The corridor outside was plain
and had many doors in it. He didn’t
count them and walked to the end where a door was open. He went straight to it and stepped through
onto a gantry. The gantry was suspended
over what looked like a city in a dome.
below a whole city was laid out below him.
There were streets and buildings laid out like a toy. People milled about and looked like big
ants. The gantry ran around the dome and
off into the distance. Cameras were
placed at regular intervals and they swiveled and moved as they observed the
city below. He looked up, his mind
already assuming that he was in some sort of city with a microclimate. Above was the expected projected sky. The sun was shining as he would imagine it
would be and he could see the projectors which projected the expected weather
system onto the screens above.
below everything was immaculately clean, he could see that much. It looked brand new and modern. There were cars moving about and busses. All were shiny silver and reflected the
colours from the streets around them. He
watched for a moment and then headed around the gantry to a glass box of a lift
which was waiting with its doors open.
As he stepped inside a velvet voice spoke to him. “Greetings Jack Niven I am pleased to take
you to the City. Doors closing.”
doors swished almost silently shut and the lift effortlessly swished down to
the City below. The doors opened and he
stepped out onto a pristinely clean pavement.
He walked out onto the pavement and into the City where everything was clean
passed shops where animated mannequins walked around wearing the outfits. There was no shop front as there was no
weather to worry about. Mannequins lined
up and then when someone looked at one of them they would walk around, showing
off the outfit.
approached by a man dressed like a Victorian Butler. He bowed slightly and held out a computer
pad. “Is Sir looking for something? You are welcome to use my services. I can order anything for you to be sent to
didn’t want anything. He didn’t live
here and he was totally confused by it all.
He was a tourist again having a look at the world he had arrived in.
didn’t know what to do other than have a look around. He then realized that the cyber butler was
holding his hand out waiting to be given something. He felt in his pocket and retrieved a plastic
card with an image of his face on it. He
handed this to the butler who seemed pleased to be handed it. The butler bowed. “Sir, I realize that you are confused. It is quite acceptable. You have been newly programmed so you have no
memory of your previous life and you are here to take up your new life. I can tell you where you live and if you wish
I can accompany you there. I understand
that adjusting to your seemingly new life can be confusing. You have no memory of your previous life so
you will have to accept that everything is new.
If I may?” The butler took his
card and put it into the machine. “You
are living in the Artisan Precinct which is not far from here. You will not need to take a personal public
vehicle. You may walk. You are not due at your employment until
tomorrow and I note that you are a Section Red, Breeder with Educational Privileges.”
looked confused. “What does all that
Butler gave him an understanding look.
“You are new here because of your reprogramming. I will explain things to you. You live here, in this City. You have an apartment in the Artisan Precinct
which means you are an artist, writer or involved in the music or film
industry. Section Red means that you
have special privileges and that you have been programmed because of a duty to
the City. Breeder means that you have
permission to have sexual intercourse and to produce offspring. You are deemed genetically suitable and you
have not already fulfilled your quota.
You are entitled to use educational software to enhance your knowledge
and you are not restricted to the entertainment channels. This will mean more to you as you settle
in. I see that your cold storage food
console and Cordon Bleu Machine have been stocked and that you have no need to
shop today. These items will be replaced
when they are used. You have an account
with Twixsoes, a Grade I restaurant and you may eat there if you wish.
yet to be allocated a wife and you have an appointment which has been scheduled
for Ackersday, which is two days hence, to choose your mate.
would follow me I will take you to your apartment. It is ready for you.”
didn’t know what to say but as it was a dream he didn’t feel like he had
to. He followed Butler and took in the
sights as he walked along the street.
The street was lined with shops which seemed to be run and filled with
androids. There were androids
demonstrating things, carrying things and wearing things. They walked in a slightly stilted way and had
plastic looking faces.
rushed to keep up with the swift walking Butler. They walked for about five minutes and came
to another lift at the base of a tower block which went almost to the roof of
the dome. The Butler summoned the lift
and they stepped into it. He pressed 235
and the lift doors closed and they were swiftly elevated to the two hundred and
thirty fifth floor where the doors opened and they stepped out into a shiny
chrome corridor with doors at regular intervals.
wall there was a list of numbers with the names of the people who lived
there. It was a projected screen and as
he watched names changed and new names were added.
followed the Butler who led him to room number 235.127 and his card when
presented to the card reader made the door swish open and his apartment was
revealed to him.
Butler bowed. “If Sir is content with
his apartment I will take my leave.”
totally bemused. He smiled. “I am content, thank you.”
Butler bowed and left.
into the apartment and the door closed behind him with a near silent
swish. As he stepped in a hologram of a
woman appeared in front of him. “Welcome
to your new home. I am Alice, I am you
in home computer and I await your requests.
There is a set up procedure which you are welcome to go through now or
you can wait until later. Please state
looked around. “I’ll do it now.”
smiled. “What colour would you like your
walls?” A screen came down from the
ceiling and he was presented with a colour chart. He selected a pale blue and the walls of the
room changed to that colour.
spoke again; her voice was velvety and unemotional. “Would you like a pattern or plain?”
responded immediately. “Plain.”
happy with the furniture?”
Sir like to change anything in the room?
If you say later you may complete the rest of these choices once you
have had a chance to get used to your surroundings.”
thought about it. “Later.”
disappeared and left him to look around his new apartment. He went to the window and realized that it
was a hologram protection onto the wall.
At the base of the window there was a panel with buttons which said
forest, beach, countryside, city and others which seemed to be an extended
pressed forest and a sub list appeared of deciduous, conifer, mixed woodland,
mountain, and valley. He was totally
bemused so he pressed deciduous, broadleaf, mountain and was happy to see a
beautiful scene appear on all of his windows on each of the four walls.
one room which was a bit bemusing as he couldn’t work out where the kitchen or
bedroom was. He spoke slowly. “Alice”.
is my kitchen?”
bowed. “Sir has not been supplied with a
kitchen as Sir has the state of the art Cordon Bleu Machine. The Kitchen in a box has been recommended for
you although if you wish to cook yourself you can have the kitchen
looked around the room. “Where is the
bowed and panels in the ceiling started to move and slide away and an elegant
bed drifted soundlessly down from the ceiling.
The bedding was on the bed and it looked very comfortable. “Thank you, you can put it away now.”
disappeared into the ceiling.
bowed. “You start work at 8.30am
precisely. You will be woken up at
7.30am and your breakfast will be on the table by 8am. Your suit will be laid out for you and you
will be expected at pod 23457 where your day’s assignments will be allocated. I will expect you back here by 5.30pm and I
will have your dinner available for you on your return. Your lunch will be served in the office
restaurant at midday as you have been allocated the early lunch.
been allocated your three weeks of holiday and you may select from the options
in the Holiday Sub Routine. Kindly
select your holiday before the end of the week so that we may plan your
now 6.30pm and it is time for your re-education. If you would kindly sit in the seat provided
I will prepare your educational upload ready for your work day tomorrow. I note from your file that you need to be
updated. This will take one hour and
twenty five minutes. I will prepare a
series of entertainments for you to watch while you are being updated.”
looked worried. “What if I don’t want to
eyes turned red. “I find your lack of
compliance disturbing. You will sit and
be updated and your attitude will also be adjusted. Kindly sit in the seat now.”
backed away. “I most certainly will
signed. “Sanitize the apartment. The unit is malfunctioning.”
filled with a white mist which wafted down from vents in the ceiling. It came down so fast that Jack couldn’t get
away and he felt his lungs filling up with it and the fell into