Editing and Writing – I’ve put these two together because they are happening at the same time. I’m burning my candle at both ends and that results in very little time to do basic things, such as eat or sleep, for instance. Brian feeds me and makes me coffee, but he can’t sleep for me, which is a bummer. I keep going too far into the night, and then I sit up in bed, wired up, unable to fall asleep. Oh, well, one day I won’t be able to open my eyes, and then I’ll catch up on my sleep, like it or not. It’s just a little difficult planning for that day.
New beta read starting this week, too, so wish me luck fitting everything in.
My TBR list – I tidied up my kindle and now I’m down to 244 titles. I have read a little (what else can I do when I can’t sleep?), and reviews are forthcoming.
New things manifested themselves this week in the form of ideas for a non-fiction book, but this will be too comprehensive to be written in a couple of months. I’ve jotted down the skeleton, and it looks like it’s going to take me over a year to write, at about 3500-5000 words per week, so it won’t impact on my work much. Yes, it’s that complex and comprehensive. I’ll definitely publish it as a resource in hardback, as well as all ebook formats I can manage.
Sweetie for you – because I greatly appreciate your friendship. A little snippet from Nick’s adventures:
“Where are we going?” Lucy asked.
“Well, since we seem to be walking in the general direction of the bar you visited earlier this evening… I guess we may as well go say hello to our favourite barman. Once we’ve extracted all we can from him, I’ll escort you to a police station. Do not leave there on your own. You must make them believe you and demand they take you to a safe house.”
Lucy shuddered but didn’t argue.
They passed another block in silence.
“Do you think he’s following us now?”
Nick cut his eyes to her, then looked straight ahead, his lips a tight line.
“I guess I know your answer,” Lucy said. “‘It’s what I’d do’,” she mocked him, unsmiling. When Nick didn’t say anything, she looked up to him, her steps floundering. Nick pulled her forward, saving her from sprawling all over the pavement. “Would you?” she insisted. “Would you follow us?”
Nick stared back at her. “Yes,” he said after a while. “I would.”
The four youngsters who formed their shield stopped in front of a twenty-four hour newsagent, debating whether they should go in as they continued to push and shove each other. Nick dragged Lucy into the store ahead of them and made a bee-line to the back wall. In less than ten seconds he’d forced open the door that led to the stockroom and marched down a short corridor to a metal fire exit door, with Lucy in tow. Moments later, Lucy stumbled her way into a pitch-black delivery yard. The contrast between this place and the relatively bright shopping street was confounding; it was making her clumsy.
Not wasting a beat, Nick pulled Lucy across the open space at speed and turned the corner. Across the street, down an alleyway between a betting shop and a Blockbusters, then one more delivery yard and suddenly they were standing by the bar’s back entrance, still alive.
The Bloo Moon was a semi-subterranean lair deeply rooted into traditional design. While most London bars leaned towards clean lines and minimalist modernism, The Bloo Moon sported exposed brickwork and a décor hinting at three different twentieth century decades, not necessarily consecutive, the styles all jumbled-up to create an untidy look. If you cared to be polite, you’d call it old-fashioned. Otherwise, it could accurately be described as unloved.
Nick dragged Lucy up to the bar and pushed her on a bar stool.
She looked offended by his rough handling, so Nick hissed “We don’t have much time” at her, then picked up a heavy-looking glass ornament and smacked it hard against the counter top. It left a divot in the brass and cracked into half a dozen pieces.
That got the barman’s attention. He turned and leaned on the counter right in front of Nick, his face like thunder. His left hand was intact, but the right was missing its fingers. The thumb was a tiny stump at the side of the pudgy lump of flesh which was his hand.
The only two customers in the joint scurried out of the front door, their drinks forgotten.
“Dollar,” Nick spat at the barman, “I need to pay him a visit.”
“Don’t know who you mean.”
Nick nodded, turned as if to stand up from his perch and then he snapped his left arm forward, his fist connecting with the barman’s nose. The impact made the man lose his balance and he staggered back as far as the tight space allowed, but he remained upright.
“Remember him now? I need his address and I don’t have much time.”
The barman wiped the blood off his mouth with the back of his fingerless hand; a steady stream continued to pour over his lips and dribble down the front of his T-shirt.
“The hell you don’t know him, you cowardly piece of shit!” Lucy crawled up to kneel on her bar stool, so she could see him better. “You watched me earlier, when I was asking about my Nathan. Dollar and that bloke, Campbell, were sitting there, in that corner,” Lucy pointed at the offending table, her cheeks darkening with righteous indignation.
The barman leered at her, showing a set of blood-covered teeth. “You think I haven’t got a’ything better to do that watch you sign your own death warrant?”
“So you saw me, then?”
The barman just laughed, his eyes not leaving her face.
“I’ll do you a deal,” Nick said coolly. “You tell me where I can find Dollar and I’ll let you keep what few fingers you have left.”
The man narrowed his eyes and leaned closer to Nick. “You think you scare me? I’ve lived through hell.”
Nick pulled out his dagger and swiped it across the counter, scattering the broken glass all over the floor.
The barman took a step back and looked straight ahead, his pupils dilated. At the same time a faint wave of cold air ruffled the back of Nick’s head.
Before anyone had a chance to react, Nick threw himself over Lucy, toppling her and her barstool to the floor. In the same motion, he flicked his dagger towards the front door. Over Lucy’s groans, he discerned a silent ‘pwft’. His eyes travelled reflexively to the barman, who now had a perfectly round hole right between his eyes. The man crumpled, catching a tray of freshly-washed pint glasses on his way down. The combined clatter of his body hitting the floor and the glass shattering obscured the noise made by the front door sliding shut, but the air had stilled, so Nick was certain the attacker had gone.