Progeny Of A Killer: Chapter One Part 2

You can read the first half of the first chapter of Progeny Of A Killer here.

“I… I don’t know.” Tears fill her vision, and she averts her head. “He keeps the basement locked  and tells me not to go down there. Martin can be… be quite aggressive at times. I’m too scared to ask him questions.”

“Well I’m asking questions, Rosie. We can do this nice and gently. I don’t want to hurt you. but I can’t promise that my belligerent pal downstairs will be quite so considerate. You know exactly what Martin’s into, and yet you stay with him. Maybe he’s a good shag huh? Jesus, he’s fat and ugly. Plus he’s a fuckin’ paedophile. Maybe more than that. Do you know what was on that tape, Rosie?  There was a little girl. She was hooded and so were  the guys with her. But I knew it was your fella. They were touching up this girl. She was just a child. I reckon seven or eight. Your fella and another guy were laughing as they poured petrol over her. Talk to me, Rosie.”

Shaking her head she maintains that she knows nothing, except to suggest that we ask Martin.

“Oh don’t worry, Rosie, we’ll do that alright. The thin guy in the film. Is it Louis Platt?”

“I don’t know.”

“The other man?” I rasp.

“Yes, yes! Martin calls him Louis. That’s all I know.”

“If you’ve finished bellowing at that bird, mate, Cartright’s here,” Mitchell declares. A kind of bemused smile flirts around his lips, indiscernible in the narrow slits of the hood.

After replacing the tape, I ascertain that the ropes are secured. Counselling her not to move, I straighten to my full height. I enquire of Mitchell if he watched the tape.

He swallows hard. “‘Til the kid was fuckin’ burning.”

“I didn’t get that far. I have kids.”

“C’mon, lets intercept this fuckin’ bastard.” Mitchell pulls a Glock pistol and checks the clip. The smile, disappearing behind the mask, is swiftly replaced by a tightening set to his mouth.

Mitchell says, “by the way, I spoke to the boss,” in a sort of conspiratorial whisper.

“And?”

For an answer, he positions a couple of gloved digits adjacent to his temple.

“Fuck,man, I’m not going to be. party to that. She might be fuckin’ innocent. I’m not touching her.”

“Innocent! Jesus, listen to yourself. She lives with him. Screws him. It’s fuckin’ Fred and Rose West all over again. There’s stuff in that basement that no mortal eyes should have to look upon. Any decent woman would have had it on her toes ages ago, but she stays. That’s a fuckin’ double bed. She probably lets him fuck her after what he’s done.”

“Fred and Rose didn’t burn their victims. They just had more patios laid out. And maybe she puts up with it ‘cos she’s too scared to get away.”

“And maybe we was fuckin’ wrong about you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You can be all fluffy-bunny and Daddy to your kids, but when we’re on a job all that goes out of the window, understand?”

“I’m not fluffy-bunny. Jesus, man. I can prove it, okay? But I still say we don’t kill the woman. She isn’t our mark.”

“It’s okay if you don’t have the stomach for it.”

My mouth is tight, and I push him ahead of me. “Maybe it’s not the stomach you gotta worry about. Maybe it’s the conscience.”

The woman isn’t armed. She lies upstairs bound and gagged. Will I be able  to live with myself again, with my baby, my wife and my ten year old son?

There’s something Mitchell knows nothing about. At least I hope he doesn’t. Since I’ve been doing this, a small hip flask has become my constant companion. I carry the flask inside my jacket adjacent to my pistol. Right now it’s the former that I close my hand over.

“Look, man, you go ahead.” I instruct him.

I hear the door bang downstairs. Cartright calls out. “I’m coming to get you, babe, ready or not,” to Rosie. Which makes me positively cringe.

“I’ll check on the woman again. Make sure she’s trussed-up, okay? Don’t waste him before I arrive will you?” I attempt a modicum of humour. To which he merely shrugs.

I wait until he returns downstairs before I retreat back into the bedroom, casting a cursory eye over Rosie. She’s trussed-up fine. All an excuse of course. I imbibe a much needed swallow before I return the flask to my jacket. The drink serves both to fuel my aggression and, more importantly, to lessen the guilt at what we are about to do.

Downstairs I discover Mitchell has Cartright pushed into a chair. The expression on Cartwright’s face is one of puzzlement rather than actual fear.

“Wh…what do you want? If it’s money, I… I’ve got some stashed upstairs.”

Cartright is a burly kind of guy filling out the black tracksuit he’s wearing. His hair is thick, but lank as if he hasn’t bothered to wash it.

55 years old. He’s been in and out of care homes since the age of eight. Institutionalised for child abuse, which had actually begun while in the care homes.  At 15 he’d sexually abused a nine year old girl. According to our brief, his predilection for children, particularily young girls, saw him moving from one home to another.

“Look, when you’ve finished beating me up, not that I haven’t been beaten up before, call me an ambulance will you?”  he implores.

“When we’ve finished with you, you fuckin’ perverted bastard, you’ll need a fuckin’ hearse,” I rasp. Pulling the Browning from my holster, I fit the silencer.

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Progeny Of A Killer: Chapter One, Part 1

THE COLLECTOR

 London, 2012.

The basement was more spacious and accomodating than I had imagined. It was reached by yet another staircase. This one remains uncarpeted. My boots echo noisely on the bare boards. Flicking on the shadeless bulb, I observe it’s one of those low energy affairs. The light glows brighter, enough to illumine my surroundings. I kill my torchlight and slip it into my jacket. Pausing to light a cigarette, I scan the room in disbelief at the extensive amount of DVDs and VHS tapes occupying a couple of the large teak bookshelves. The only light in the twelve foot square room emanates from the bulb. A 42 inch TV, complete with DVD and video player, sits on a glass shelf.

To all intents and purposes, the basement appears innocent enough. A veritable haven for any movie buff. Except these aren’t the kind of movies you can enjoy with a beer and popcorn.

There’s a couple of hard backed wooden chairs face the T.V. I deposit my weight on one of them. I allow my gaze to traverse the room for anything that might be worthy of note. Nothing does it seems, apart from that huge television now standing idly by, collecting dust on the glass top.

I rest a hand on the chair arm, thankful that I’m wearing gloves, because something that looks suspiciously like blood is caked into the arm.

The stench pervades my nostrils and I swiftly leap from the chair. I taste the sliver on the leather. It’s definetly blood. I quickly rub the glove on a handkerchief.

Inspecting the shelves I read the titles. You certainly won’t find ‘Gone with the Wind’ or ‘Casablanca’ here. Nevertheless the titles catch my eye. Titles. Dates. Martin Cartright worked for the gangster, Raymond Lamond. He’s still working for someone, because Lamond’s been dead since February. The dates on some of the DVD’s are more recent. April. May. Up to August. Even two weeks ago.

My curiosity is aroused, and I remove the tape from the shelf. The smoke anchored an omnipresent fixture. A decidedly uneasy sensation now permeates my insides as I slip the DVD into the player. Sometimes, as now , I wonder what the hell I am doing here in a guy’s basement, awaiting his return. Upstairs, Dennis Mitchell guards his woman, whom he’s forced to the floor, before tying her up and gagging her. It was the reason why I volunteered to check out the basement.  I couldn’t bear to look into that woman’s terrified features any longer.

Two masked men had burst into her Brixton home, pulling guns and forcing her upstairs. This is shit. I know it, but I can’t help myself. It has to be my alter ego who flicks the remote of that DVD player. I wish to God that I hadn’t. Our brief is to check out some of the stuff Cartright houses in his basement.

The static is momentary, swift to clear. And there it is. My heart pounds. A trembling hand traces my bearded jaw thoughtfully. The scene unfolds. A child. A little girl wearing a grubby dress. There’s a suspicious saturation down the front, as if maybe she’s peed herself. The film is black and white. It’s only saving grace. She’s wearing socks that were once white, but are now grubby. No shoes. Her feet and hands are securely bound to a chair.  Who the girl is, or how old she is, I have no idea. She has a white hood, similar to the old fashioned flour sacks, pulled over her head, and tightened with a drawstring at the neck. I feel every tremble that she makes.

The two men with her are masked, balaclava hoods exposing only their eyes and mouths. One of the men is quite rotund, in possession of a stomach that is badly running to fat. In marked contrast, the other is positively skinny. Both are wearing camouflage. Because I cannot see their faces, they remind me idiotically of Laurel and Hardy. One thin. The other fat. ‘That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into.’

A laugh of sheer nervousness escapes me at the comparison, plus a physical sickness because I know that the fat one is Cartright. He’s the one touching the child up, while she sits there helplessly bound to the chair. She emits small, animal-like whimpers behind the hood, which makes me believe that she is gagged as well. I freeze when I think of my five year old neice, Samantha. My wee baby girl barely six weeks old. I can’t avoid the element of hysteria that rises. Only for it to subside, when breathing out I’m conscious of the semi-automatic .9mm Browning that nestles behind my jacket, as if the gun were an old friend. Oh yeah, Cartright. It won’t be much longer now, you bastard.

Cartright’s  laughter is ugly and forced as his big gloved hand slides  up inside her, beneath her dress. I catch a glimpse of the young girl’s almost hairless pubes. It’s plainly obvious that she isn’t wearing any knickers.

The skinny man. Treveleyan suggested his name is Louis Platt. It’s Platt who rips at her dress. The material tears apart in his hands, as if the dress were rotten. The hand rises upward toward her almost non-existant breasts. I would put the child’s age at around seven or eight. Aware that I should switch it off, I pull the tape from the machine, and crush the ungodly filth beneath my boot. But Treveleyan wishes for nothing to be destroyed. “Evidence, my boy, evidence.”

So I stare as if hypnotised, when Cartright pours what appears to be an almost colourless liquid from a small red can over the child’s head. I observe her entire body quiver inside her bonds. My stomach knots. My heart races so predominantly I can practically hear the rush of blood as it crashes through my skull.

Cartright and his companion evoke ugly, perverted belly-laughs. Their laughter is so sadistic and evil that I can barely believe that it emanates from a human being and not a demonic entity, summoned from the very bowels of Hell itself. Neither can I help but expel an involuntary gasp and feel the need to vomit simultaneously. Unable to watch any longer, I switch the abomination off And bury my head in my hands.

I have no idea how long I remain there, killing and lighting one cigarette from the glowing butt of the first. There’s a sound of hurried footsteps on the stairs. Dennis Mitchell exclaims, “What the fuck, McRaney? I wondered what was taking you so long. Did you find anything?”

“Oh sure I found something.” I attempt to clear my throat. Kill yet another cigarette. My stomach remains a bundle of knots. I swipe a palm across my eyes. There’s no way I can possibly allow this guy to remotely detect that I have shed a tear. He’ll think I’m not up to it. Maybe I’m not. But what else have I got left? Three eviction notices on my flat. My concern that my wife and baby will be homeless. It seems that no one wants to know an ex-con, especially someone whose been inside for manslaughter. “If you want to know what I’ve found. Then take a look in that machine, man. See what that bastards been doing.”

Mitchell’s eyes are of a strangely flecked hazel when they bore into mine. “I know what kind of shit he’s into.”

“Take a look,” I urge, and pass the remote. “You take care of her then? The woman. How much do you think she’s implicated in this?”

“I dunno. She lives with the bastard. don’t she? The stuff’s in the basement. What do you think?”

“Well, did you ask her? Were you able to get anything out of her?”

“I’m going to have to call the boss.” His tone of voice borders on the sombre.

“What about? To send in the cleaners?”

“That won’t be necessary. We’ll take the bastards with us.”

“The woman isn’t the target,” I point out. “We didn’t know she was going to be here. We were led to believe he lived alone. That wasn’t our brief, Mitchell.”

“That’s why I have to call the boss. See what he wants us to do.”

“Let’s concentrate on Cartright.” I flick a glance at my watch. “How much longer? Maybe the wee bastard’s got wise to us.”

Mitchell purses his lips.”We don’t need to fuck up. I wanna get this over with as quickly as possible. Look, McRaney, why don’t you see if you can get some answers from Cartright’s bird?”

“Don’t fuckin’ tell me what to do, Mitchell.”

I’m angry enough at what I have witnessed without  him assuming an unwarranted authority. Nevertheless he is correct in his assumption. We need to get this over with. Had expected our target to be present. Disposed of. Then to contact Treveleyan to send someone in  to seize the condemning evidence. That Cartright has been abusing young girls, most of them under 16. The girls are invariably masked, as are the abusers. The atrocities sold on forbidden Internet sites.

Apparently the late, lamented Lamond brothers were reputed to have had their depraved

fingers in a lot of pies, that even I had been unable to guess at. I’d not remotely suspected paedophilia. But Raymond and Francis Lamond are now dead. Alternatively,as attested to by the recent entries on those incriminating DVDs, someone else is ultimately working the ‘kiddie fiddling’ racket. Martin Cartright, a known paedophile, is merely acting on their behalf.

Unable to forget what I’ve seen on that tape, I leave Mitchell to check out the DVD. I move into the room upstairs where the woman lies on the floor. Her hands are bound behind her, her feet secured. Duct tape seals her mouth. Rolling a balaclava over my face before she clocks me, I observe her move her head in my direction when I enter.

She offered her name as Rosie when Mitchell asked. I judge her to be somewhere into her mid forties. She’s not bad looking I suppose, despite the addition of the peroxide blonde. Slenderly built, she wears pink pyjama bottoms with a tee shirt top. Rosie mutters incoherently behind the gag. I peel the  tape from her mouth. She regards me without speaking from wide, terrified eyes. She obviously believes we are there to kill her. I cannot speak for my companion, but killing her is certainly not my intention. All I require is some answers. Hunkering down to her level, I warn, “don’t scream, Rosie. I don’t want to hurt you, understand?” I talk to her gently.  “Understand?”

“I… I understand.” She starts to cry silently, allowing the tears to slide unchecked down her face. I wipe them away.

“That’s good. Because I need to talk to you before Martin returns. It is Martin isn’t it?”

Her nod is perfunctory. I guess it’s difficult for her to keep her head erect when she’s practically eating the carpet. She lies half-in, half-out under the bed, flat on her stomach.

“Are you going to kill him?”

“Depends on what he tells us sweetheart. You live here? I mean is this your house or Martin’s?”

“It’s his, M….Martin’s.”

“I need some answers. How much do you know about the stuff in the basement?” I maintain a carefully controlled voice, in spite of the perverse desire to grasp  her by that peroxide hair so belligerently  that it will make her eyes water.

“I don’t know nothin’. It ain’t nothin’ to do with me.”

“You’re lying, Rosie. How can you not know when you’re living with it in the house ? I’ve just watched one of those DVDs. It was called The Burning. What do you suppose that means?”

Short Story: The End Of The Road

This is just a rough draft, but thought it would be fun to share.

The End Of the Road

 Who would have thought it? The office mouse marrying the boss’s son, let alone dating him. His father, Samuel Pryor, was head of Pryor Holdings. Since the latter had suffered a heart attack recently, it was left to oldest son Mathew to run the London office.

photo Fresh out of secretarial college, Cathy Townsend had been lucky to acquire the admin job at Pryor Holdings. At first, Cathy believed that Mathew had asked her out solely for a bet. She had invariably seen the other girls in the office, laughing and joking with him. After all, at 26 he was a good looking man with his dark wavy hair, and such profound brown eyes. Cathy had often caught herself glancing away shyly, colour rushing to her face whenever he spoke to her.

Not only did the first date turn into a second, it developed into a relationship, then came the engagement. Now here she was, Mrs Catherine Pryor. They had recently returned from a three week romantic honeymoon in Italy. She had never realised how true happiness could be. Now she had found it in the arms of this man. She knew that the girls at the office all expected such a whirlwind romance to fail, and that a man like Matt would soon tire of her.  After all he could have had his pick of any girl.

Throughout the holiday he’d been both a constant and attentive husband. On their return he couldn’t wait to show her the new house in Kent. The place was out in the countryside, and all bought and paid for by Sam and Mathew. The young couple wouldn’t have to concern themselves with trifling mortgages. They could concentrate on making Sam, and his wife Andrea, grandparents. Sam was over 65, and wondered if he would ever have any grandchildren.  Cathy only wished that her mother could have been at her wedding, to witness her marriage to a man who was both attractive and wealthy. A man who never tired of telling her how much he loved her.

Matt and his brother David had spent the past few days fixing things up at the house, so that it should be perfect for the new Mrs Pryor. It was refreshing to escape into the countryside after the bustle of London. Cathy observed the hedgerows speed by beneath the wheels of her husband’s sporty red Porsche. He would often press a hand to her knee, smile and enquire solicituously if she were happy. That he would do anything to please her. He loved her so much. She had never entertained such peace with the world. She believed she never would again since her mother’s death. Her thoughts returned to the latter often, particularily since her marriage.

When the phone shrilled sharply on the dash, Cathy couldn’t help but jump, startled out of her reverie, annoyed that the instrument dared to disturb the peace. Snatching up the mobile, Matt demanded, “Stevie, what’s wrong, mate? You know I’m taking my wife to view the house today. I didn’t want to be disturbed. It had better be important.” The smile he directed her was apologetic.

Cathy had often wondered why he didn’t use the hands-free. But Sam had the idiotic notion that you never knew who might be listening in to the conversation if it were on loudspeaker.

“What?” Matt exploded, jerking himself up bolt upright in the driving seat. ” I thought that deal was in the bag. Come on, Stevie. Look, I’ll be back soon, but not today. You can handle it surely…”

As he talked he was prompted to swerve, narrowly missing an oncoming car. Her heart crashing, Cathy was compelled to grab the steering wheel with the warning for him to be careful.

“Don’t be a nag, darling.”

There was a distinct reprimand in his voice, one that caused her to lapse back into her seat in a subdued fashion. One of the reasons her Dad cited for leaving her mother was because he reckoned that her nagging had driven him into the arms of another woman.

So she said nothing, except to allow Matt to continue talking to his colleague over the phone. He was still talking when the huge stag came crashing out of the undergrowth. Cathy failed to avoid screaming in alarm when the creature stood before them, appearing as surprised as the Porsche’s occupants. Its antlers proud and erect, the animal seemed to emulate a kind of regal bearing as if they were the intruders, in the Porsche’s headlamps. It was already growing dusk.

The stag continued startled, but refused to move from its position in the middle of the road. The phone dropping from his grasp, his “Oh shit, fuck, what the Hell?” indicated that he had precious little control of the car, so that he couldn’t avoid hitting the creature, grazing its side, before the stag limped off into the bushes.

The Porsche, out of control, veered off into the side of the road, crashing into the undergrowth. Cathy was scared, and screaming, her hands covering her face as she felt the car bump ground, judder and threaten to overturn. Her husband managed to maintain the vehicle upright. All Cathy could feel was the excruciating pain as it throbbed through her head when it made contact with the framework of the door.

Momentarily, everything went black, except for the sensation of blood that seemed to fill her head, travelling down the side of her face. There was a kind of buzzing inside her skull, and she had lost consciousness for awhile. She was woken by Matt crying and yelling at her to hang in there. “Cathy! Cathy! Do you hear me?”

She came to then to find her husband bending over her, his face bruised, his hair falling into his eyes. “Oh Cathy, thank God you’re okay. You are okay aren’t you?”  He cradled her in his arms. “They should have put a warning sign up. I didn’t expect a damned stag to come charging out of the bushes.” She wanted to say, “but you shouldn’t have been talking on the phone.” She refrained in case he accused her of bring a nag again.

“The Porsche is a write-off of course,” he complained, scratching his head woefully as he regarded the damage to his pride and joy. “The old man is going to throw a fit.  But as long as you are okay, sweetheart, that’s all that matters. Look, you still got your phone, I’ll call an ambulance, get you checked out. Your head’s bleeding.” He touched a palm to the wound.

“It’s okay, really.” The last thing she wanted to do was to spend the night in hospital. She  had been looking forward to being alone with her husband in their new home. When she touched a hand to her head it came away sticky with blood, although the blood was already beginning to congeal. “If you’ll just help me out, I’ll be fine. It’s just a scratch that’s all.”

“But we should…” he started to protest. “And I’ll have to get someone to shift the car tomorrow.”

Matt managed to help Cathy from the car, explaining that the house wasn’t too far away. He continued to remain anxious however, about calling an ambulance. That he was worried about her.

“I told you I’m fine. ” She hugged him close. “Besides I want to see the house.”

“Okay,” He heaved a sigh of resignation, “but first thing tomorrow, Miss, I ‘m getting you checked out.”

“I’m not Miss anymore, remember. I’m Mrs Pryor now.” She imagined that she sounded a little slurred as if she had been drinking, while Matt cast her an uneasy glance.

“If you’re sure, Mrs Pryor.” He kissed her lips.

“Quite sure,” she told him, allowing him to take her into his arms.

Her initial reaction at sight of their new home wasn’t, much to Cathy’s chagrin, what she had really expected. The place was lovely, there was no denying that, with its white-facaded, old-style paned windows and fresh red brick. Even a small white picket fence encircled the Autumnal garden. She could  easily imagine how beautiful and filled with nighttime scents in the Summer. Obviously the crash had taken its toll. While Matt was rubbing his knee, that was already beginning to bleed through his jeans, Cathy attempted to muster an enthusiasm she was far from feeling, as he went onto explain the finishing touches he and David had accomplished. After ushering her into the house, he set to clean up her face, inspect her injuries.

“So how are you feeling?” he asked with the utmost concern as he taped a small bandage to her right temple. “Just in case. Although the bleeding seems to have stopped. Remember when I fell over on my stag night? Hit my head and had to have all those stitches. You threw a fit.”

“Of course I do,” she told him quietly.

He asked her if she might have a headache, that he’d fetch her some paracetemol.

“No, I don’t have a headache. In fact I feel fine,” she assured him.

“Well you look very pale, sweetheart. Perhaps I should get you to hospital after all. It’s not just the cut on your head, you might have internal injuries or something.”

“I told you I was fine,” she retorted a fraction impatiently, although she had no idea why.

Attentive as always, Matt  helped her into bed. After she’d undressed, Cathy entered the bathroom. She imagined that she heard the phone downstairs, but wasn’t sure whether Matt had bothered to answer it.

He had caught her shivering on occasions. It was the shock coming out, he’d said, for which he had prescribed a hot, sweet tea. Whenever he referred to her getting checked out at the hospital, Cathy thwarted him at every turn. She had the strangest feeling that if she spent even a night away from the man she loved, she might never see him again. A ridiculous notion of course, but one she failed to shake.

Inspecting her face in the bathroom mirror she was aware, with something akin to shock, how pale she was. Her eyes appeared to be practically sunk into the depths of her face. How the darkness enshrouding them had rendered her stark white features a skull-like appearance. Cathy discovered herself emitting a startled gasp. She was obviously still in shock. She couldn’t help but shiver at the recollection of the big bold stag standing there in the middle of the road. The way it had stared at them with such open defiance.

At first she was barely aware of the shadow that ostensibly flitted across her peripheral vision. In fact she thought she had imagined it, until the scream rose in her throat when she saw the woman. She was reflected in the mirror behind her. Cathy observed how the woman’s eyes were encircled by the deepest, darkest shadows so that they practically disappeared into the white skull’s face. The woman’s lips, a barely discernible line, formed into a kind of grotesque smile.

Cathy realised that she must have screamed, because Matt quickly burst into the bathroom, to find out what was wrong. Cathy asked him if he thought the house might be haunted. She explained about the woman she had seen in the mirror, although she had obviously vanished the minute Matt appeared.

“Haunted?” He attempted to suppress a rising tide of laughter. “You mean as in ghosts?” Cathy described the woman she had seen. “Of course not, sweetheart. Besides, ghosts aren’t real. They don’t exist. Anyway, Dave and me stayed here for a few nights while we got the place ready, and we didn’t see anything. I can assure you that the place isn’t haunted. It’s just the shock coming out that’s all. We’ve both been shaken up pretty badly. But things could have been worse.”

“Do people suffering shock hallucinate?”

“Maybe they do. You need to get some sleep.”

“You mind if we don’t?”

Kissing the top of her head, he held her close. “Guess I’m still too shaken up myself to even consider having sex. Besides I need to do something about my knee. it’s getting pretty painful. I’ll get that checked out too.”

“Did I hear the phone ring awhile back?”

“No, sweetheart, I didn’t hear anything.”

“Hearing things as well as seeing things.” She made a face. “I really must be in shock.”

During the night she had begun to feel so inordinately cold, that Matt reckoned she was making him feel cold in bed too, so he fetched more blankets and hot water bottles for her. He declared that first thing in the morning they were going to the nearest hospital. Cathy felt far too tired to argue.

Getting up in the night, and going to the bathroom, Cathy felt a scream rise up in her throat once more when she saw the woman again. Except now, she realised who the woman was. Although Cathy froze rooted to the spot, the woman’s thin lips broke into the semblance of a smile. Huge tears slithered down Cathy’s cheeks. This time she refrained from mentioning her to her husband.

The following morning, without further protest, Cathy allowed her husband to take her to the nearest hospital. Matt supported her with his arm around her. A nurse explained that he would have to wait. “But my wife is ill. She’s in shock. You see we had an accident.”

“I’m sorry, you’ll still have to wait,” the nurse retorted. “Mr…?”

“Pryor. Mathew Pryor of Pryor Holdings.” Although it was plainly obvious that the mention of Pryor Holdings made little impression on the stern-faced nurse.

“Matt!” At the mention of his name, Matthew Pryor turned simultaneously, to see the woman who had spoken. Andrea Pryor hurled herself into his arms, hugged her son as if he were a small boy again. His father was there too. His brother David, looking white and scared.

Matt realised that Cathy was no longer beside him. Where had she gone? He glanced around the room in bewilderment. “Wh… where’s Cathy? What are you doing here? Mum? Dad?”

His brother David had tears in his eyes, which he made a vain attempt to sweep away with a shaking hand. Sam approached his oldest son and shook his head, before wrapping an arm about his shoulder.

“What is it, Dad? Why are you all looking so upset? Me and Cathy had an accident. She’s getting checked out. We’re both fine. Just a little shock that’s all.”

“We tried to get in touch with you,” Andrea said. “Where were you?”

“I was at the house with Cathy.”

“You couldn’t have been, son. This accident…”

“Yes. A stag ran out in front of us. The Porsche is a write-off I’m afraid.”

“That doesn’t matter now, son,” Sam told him, brushing aside a falling tear. “I’m so sorry about Cathy.”

“What do you mean you’re sorry? I don’t understand.”

“Cathy was found dead in the wreckage of your car. You had crashed into a tree. Seems Cathy suffered a head wound that caused bleeding on the brain. We tried calling you. But there was no answer. No one could find you. Perhaps you went to get help” his  father suggested.

Overview of the Aidan McRaney Trilogy

StalkingAidanThis post is an overview of the three Aidan McRaney books, Stalking Aidan, Borrowed Time and the third book, Progeny of a Killer, which I’m still working on.

Again massive spoilers ahead! However you can just read a couple of excerpts from Stalking Aidan and Borrowed Time instead.

The trilogy is a profile of a young Irishman Aidan McRaney. The stories revolve around an Irish family living in London.

Aidan is the narrator, and the proverbial black sheep of the family. The only member of the family who has spent time behind bars. He was unwittingly uprooted from the Dublin school he loved at age nine and a half, without knowing why, to live in Blackheath in London.

There he changed from the quiet studious boy he once was, to a rebellious teen, turning his back on his schooling and getting into trouble. After saving the life of mob boss Frankie Lamond, Aidan becomes his number one minder.

One night an assassin strikes, after Lamond reneges on a drugs deal. Aidan kills the assassin, whom it transpires is one Brian Fitzwalter; the son of the man whom Lamond cheated over the drugs deal. Lamond’s girlfriend, Leanne Harlow – who is also Aidan’s mistress – is shot and killed.

The sight of her lovely face destroyed by Fitzwalter’s bullet haunts Aidan during his time in prison. At Aidan’s trial, the Fitzwalters vowed to get even. That the young Irishman was, “already a dead man.” Now he’s out. In ‘Stalking Aidan’ we meet him for the first time. Aidan’s older brother, ex-squaddie Harry, employs Aidan at his landscape business.

Much to Aidan’s annoyance, the ever vigilant Harry is always expecting his kid brother, whom he knows still has mob connections, to put a foot wrong. Harry is there to make certain that he doesn’t. However, Aidan’s only desire is to be a proper father to his nine year old son, despite the undisguised disapproval of his ex-wife.

There are others ultimately interested in the young Irishman’s progress, resulting in the death of his beautiful 18 year old sister Laurena. A wheelchair -bound ex-police sergeant Sir George Treveleyan in also interested in the young man, for his own designs.

Aidan encounters Sir George for the first time when Aidan is injured and half blinded in ‘Borrowed Time’. Unbeknown to Aidan, Treveleyan is intent on manipulating him for his own sinister purpose. A purpose that’s finally revealed in the final book ‘Progeny of a Killer’.

The book explains Aidan’s late mother’s fidelity is exposed in illicit affairs that her family knew nothing about. Aidan only learns from Harry that his sister Laurena is another man’s child. He also finds out the reason behind their impromptu exit from Dublin.

Dermot, Aidan’s father, killed one Michael Docherty, the man his wife had an affair with. Why does Aidan experience odd dreams and visions of a dead Provo who uncannily seems to bear a resemblance to him?

It transpires that Sir George Treveleyan is a dangerous man. A man equipped with knowledge of the occult mysteries of Tibet. He uses remote viewing to find anyone in the world, even if they have no desire to be found.

Only Treveleyan is aware  of Aidan’s secret. A secret even Aidan has no knowledge of. Treveleyan uses ex-cons as his operatives. Who better to know the criminal world? It has been Sir George’s intention from the outset of Aidan’s release  to manipulate him for the one ultimate goal. In the wake of the Lamond brothers demise, someone has taken over the criminal underbelly of London. A man burning with hate and revenge.

Other agents have gone in but have been destroyed. Treveleyan knows that Aidan McRaney, the man he has groomed for such a mission, is the only one who can ingratiate himself into the treacherous world of a fellow countryman. A man deep into the world of white slave trafficking, paedophilia and other heinous crimes.

It is only when he finally confronts this man that Aidan realises the terrible truth of who he really is. Faced with the ultimate decision of life or death to his enemy, Aidan is unaware of what the man is capable. The only people in his life who really matter, his 10 year old son, his little baby and his beautiful young bride are in danger from this man’s treachery. Can he save them in time?

StalkingAidanThis post is an overview of the three Aidan McRaney books, Stalking Aidan, Borrowed Time and the third book, Progeny of a Killer, which I’m still working on.

Again massive spoilers ahead! However you can just read a couple of excerpts from Stalking Aidan and Borrowed Time instead.

The trilogy is a profile of a young Irishman Aidan McRaney. The stories revolve around an Irish family living in London.

Aidan is the narrator, and the proverbial black sheep of the family. The only member of the family who has spent time behind bars. He was unwittingly uprooted from the Dublin school he loved at age nine and a half, without knowing why, to live in Blackheath in London.

There he changed from the quiet studious boy he once was, to a rebellious teen, turning his back on his schooling and getting into trouble. After saving the life of mob boss Frankie Lamond, Aidan becomes his number one minder.

One night an assassin strikes, after Lamond reneges on a drugs deal. Aidan kills the assassin, whom it transpires is one Brian Fitzwalter; the son of the man whom Lamond cheated over the drugs deal. Lamond’s girlfriend, Leanne Harlow – who is also Aidan’s mistress – is shot and killed.

The sight of her lovely face destroyed by Fitzwalter’s bullet haunts Aidan during his time in prison. At Aidan’s trial, the Fitzwalters vowed to get even. That the young Irishman was, “already a dead man.” Now he’s out. In ‘Stalking Aidan’ we meet him for the first time. Aidan’s older brother, ex-squaddie Harry, employs Aidan at his landscape business.

Much to Aidan’s annoyance, the ever vigilant Harry is always expecting his kid brother, whom he knows still has mob connections, to put a foot wrong. Harry is there to make certain that he doesn’t. However, Aidan’s only desire is to be a proper father to his nine year old son, despite the undisguised disapproval of his ex-wife.

There are others ultimately interested in the young Irishman’s progress, resulting in the death of his beautiful 18 year old sister Laurena. A wheelchair -bound ex-police sergeant Sir George Treveleyan in also interested in the young man, for his own designs.

Aidan encounters Sir George for the first time when Aidan is injured and half blinded in ‘Borrowed Time’. Unbeknown to Aidan, Treveleyan is intent on manipulating him for his own sinister purpose. A purpose that’s finally revealed in the final book ‘Progeny of a Killer’.

The book explains Aidan’s late mother’s fidelity is exposed in illicit affairs that her family knew nothing about. Aidan only learns from Harry that his sister Laurena is another man’s child. He also finds out the reason behind their impromptu exit from Dublin.

Dermot, Aidan’s father, killed one Michael Docherty, the man his wife had an affair with. Why does Aidan experience odd dreams and visions of a dead Provo who uncannily seems to bear a resemblance to him?

It transpires that Sir George Treveleyan is a dangerous man. A man equipped with knowledge of the occult mysteries of Tibet. He uses remote viewing to find anyone in the world, even if they have no desire to be found.

Only Treveleyan is aware  of Aidan’s secret. A secret even Aidan has no knowledge of. Treveleyan uses ex-cons as his operatives. Who better to know the criminal world? It has been Sir George’s intention from the outset of Aidan’s release  to manipulate him for the one ultimate goal. In the wake of the Lamond brothers demise, someone has taken over the criminal underbelly of London. A man burning with hate and revenge.

Other agents have gone in but have been destroyed. Treveleyan knows that Aidan McRaney, the man he has groomed for such a mission, is the only one who can ingratiate himself into the treacherous world of a fellow countryman. A man deep into the world of white slave trafficking, paedophilia and other heinous crimes.

It is only when he finally confronts this man that Aidan realises the terrible truth of who he really is. Faced with the ultimate decision of life or death to his enemy, Aidan is unaware of what the man is capable. The only people in his life who really matter, his 10 year old son, his little baby and his beautiful young bride are in danger from this man’s treachery. Can he save them in time?

StalkingAidanThis post is an overview of the three Aidan McRaney books, Stalking Aidan, Borrowed Time and the third book, Progeny of a Killer, which I’m still working on. Again massive spoilers ahead! However you can just read a couple of excerpts from Stalking Aidan and Borrowed Time instead. The trilogy is a profile of a young Irishman Aidan McRaney. The stories revolve around an Irish family living in London. Aidan is the narrator, and the proverbial black sheep of the family. The only member of the family who has spent time behind bars. He was unwittingly uprooted from the Dublin school he loved at age nine and a half, without knowing why, to live in Blackheath in London. There he changed from the quiet studious boy he once was, to a rebellious teen, turning his back on his schooling and getting into trouble. After saving the life of mob boss Frankie Lamond, Aidan becomes his number one minder. One night an assassin strikes, after Lamond reneges on a drugs deal. Aidan kills the assassin, whom it transpires is one Brian Fitzwalter; the son of the man whom Lamond cheated over the drugs deal. Lamond’s girlfriend, Leanne Harlow – who is also Aidan’s mistress – is shot and killed. The sight of her lovely face destroyed by Fitzwalter’s bullet haunts Aidan during his time in prison. At Aidan’s trial, the Fitzwalters vowed to get even. That the young Irishman was, “already a dead man.” Now he’s out. In ‘Stalking Aidan’ we meet him for the first time. Aidan’s older brother, ex-squaddie Harry, employs Aidan at his landscape business. Much to Aidan’s annoyance, the ever vigilant Harry is always expecting his kid brother, whom he knows still has mob connections, to put a foot wrong. Harry is there to make certain that he doesn’t. However, Aidan’s only desire is to be a proper father to his nine year old son, despite the undisguised disapproval of his ex-wife. There are others ultimately interested in the young Irishman’s progress, resulting in the death of his beautiful 18 year old sister Laurena. A wheelchair -bound ex-police sergeant Sir George Treveleyan in also interested in the young man, for his own designs. Aidan encounters Sir George for the first time when Aidan is injured and half blinded in ‘Borrowed Time’. Unbeknown to Aidan, Treveleyan is intent on manipulating him for his own sinister purpose. A purpose that’s finally revealed in the final book ‘Progeny of a Killer’. The book explains Aidan’s late mother’s fidelity is exposed in illicit affairs that her family knew nothing about. Aidan only learns from Harry that his sister Laurena is another man’s child. He also finds out the reason behind their impromptu exit from Dublin. Dermot, Aidan’s father, killed one Michael Docherty, the man his wife had an affair with. Why does Aidan experience odd dreams and visions of a dead Provo who uncannily seems to bear a resemblance to him? It transpires that Sir George Treveleyan is a dangerous man. A man equipped with knowledge of the occult mysteries of Tibet. He uses remote viewing to find anyone in the world, even if they have no desire to be found. Only Treveleyan is aware  of Aidan’s secret. A secret even Aidan has no knowledge of. Treveleyan uses ex-cons as his operatives. Who better to know the criminal world? It has been Sir George’s intention from the outset of Aidan’s release  to manipulate him for the one ultimate goal. In the wake of the Lamond brothers demise, someone has taken over the criminal underbelly of London. A man burning with hate and revenge. Other agents have gone in but have been destroyed. Treveleyan knows that Aidan McRaney, the man he has groomed for such a mission, is the only one who can ingratiate himself into the treacherous world of a fellow countryman. A man deep into the world of white slave trafficking, paedophilia and other heinous crimes. It is only when he finally confronts this man that Aidan realises the terrible truth of who he really is. Faced with the ultimate decision of life or death to his enemy, Aidan is unaware of what the man is capable. The only people in his life who really matter, his 10 year old son, his little baby and his beautiful young bride are in danger from this man’s treachery. Can he save them in time?

Overview of the Aidan McRaney Trilogy. SPOILERS!

StalkingAidanThis post is an overview of the three Aidan McRaney books, Stalking Aidan, Borrowed Time and the third book, Progeny of a Killer, which I’m still working on. Again massive spoilers ahead!

However you can just read a couple of excerpts from Stalking Aidan and Borrowed Time instead.

The trilogy is a profile of a young Irishman Aidan McRaney. The stories revolve around an Irish family living in London.

Aidan is the narrator, and the proverbial black sheep of the family. The only member of the family who has spent time behind bars. He was unwittingly uprooted from the Dublin school he loved at age nine and a half, without knowing why, to live in Blackheath in London. There he changed from the quiet studious boy he once was, to a rebellious teen, turning his back on his schooling and getting into trouble.

After saving the life of mob boss Frankie Lamond, Aidan becomes his number one minder. One night an assassin strikes, after Lamond reneges on a drugs deal. Aidan kills the assassin, whom it transpires is one Brian Fitzwalter; the son of the man whom Lamond cheated over the drugs deal. Lamond’s girlfriend, Leanne Harlow – who is also Aidan’s mistress – is shot and killed. The sight of her lovely face destroyed by Fitzwalter’s bullet haunts Aidan during his time in prison. At Aidan’s trial, the Fitzwalters vowed to get even. That the young Irishman was, “already a dead man.”

Now he’s out. In ‘Stalking Aidan’ we meet him for the first time. Aidan’s older brother, ex-squaddie Harry, employs Aidan at his landscape business. Much to Aidan’s annoyance, the ever vigilant Harry is always expecting his kid brother, whom he knows still has mob connections, to put a foot wrong. Harry is there to make certain that he doesn’t. However, Aidan’s only desire is to be a proper father to his nine year old son, despite the undisguised disapproval of his ex-wife.

There are others ultimately interested in the young Irishman’s progress, resulting in the death of his beautiful 18 year old sister Laurena. A wheelchair -bound ex-police sergeant Sir George Treveleyan in also interested in the young man, for his own designs. Aidan encounters Sir George for the first time when Aidan is injured and half blinded in ‘Borrowed Time’.

Unbeknown to Aidan, Treveleyan is intent on manipulating him for his own sinister purpose. A purpose that’s finally revealed in the final book ‘Progeny of a Killer’. The book explains Aidan’s late mother’s fidelity is exposed in illicit affairs that her family knew nothing about.

Aidan only learns from Harry that his sister Laurena is another man’s child. He also finds out the reason behind their impromptu exit from Dublin. Dermot, Aidan’s father, killed one Michael Docherty, the man his wife had an affair with.

Why does Aidan experience odd dreams and visions of a dead Provo who uncannily seems to bear a resemblance to him?

It transpires that Sir George Treveleyan is a dangerous man. A man equipped with knowledge of the occult mysteries of Tibet. He uses remote viewing to find anyone in the world, even if they have no desire to be found.

Only Treveleyan is aware  of Aidan’s secret. A secret even Aidan has no knowledge of. Treveleyan uses ex-cons as his operatives. Who better to know the criminal world? It has been Sir George’s intention from the outset of Aidan’s release  to manipulate him for the one ultimate goal.

In the wake of the Lamond brothers demise, someone has taken over the criminal underbelly of London. A man burning with hate and revenge. Other agents have gone in but have been destroyed. Treveleyan knows that Aidan McRaney, the man he has groomed for such a mission, is the only one who can ingratiate himself into the treacherous world of a fellow countryman. A man deep into the world of white slave trafficking, paedophilia and other heinous crimes. It is only when he finally confronts this man that Aidan realises the terrible truth of who he really is.

Faced with the ultimate decision of life or death to his enemy, Aidan is unaware of what the man is capable. The only people in his life who really matter, his 10 year old son, his little baby and his beautiful young bride are in danger from this man’s treachery. Can he save them in time?