Part 2…

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Allan spent the majority of Saturday with Charlie as Megan had promised Harriet a shopping trip that was now long overdue. The two of them washed the family car in the afternoon with Charlie finding it highly amusing that daddy came of a lot worse in the water fight that followed. After what seemed like five minutes spent with his son, it was 5 o clock and time for Allan to get ready for work. At least that’s what Allan called it. He knew deep down that he needed to call it that to make himself feel better about having to hide it from Megan and the kids.

He began packing his bag for the night ahead. His tools stashed in their new home at the rear of Charlie’s bed. A place he knew they would never be found. The toys underneath it he had long grown out of and Allan was certain he had forgotten all about them. At least he hoped he had. He placed the box into his slightly bigger changing bag and made his way downstairs.
“Right I’m off darling. See yer kids. Be good for mummy. I won’t be too late I promise babe” said Allan as he placed a kiss on each of their heads.

Allan would ride his bike to work a few days a week and would especially take it with him when he was called upon at ‘The Shed’ to make sure that Megan did not suspect his whereabouts. He would also see it as a warm up. He rode past the factory alongside the canal being careful to make sure no one saw him. A few minutes later he took a sharp right through an abandoned warehouse. The warehouse looked like it had been battered, bruised, burnt down and more. There was no reason for anyone else to be there other than those involved in what was about to follow. He arrived at a door that hung from its hinges precariously. He picked up his bike, opened the door and started to descend the stairs in front of him. At the bottom of the stairs Allan mounted his bike and disappeared into the darkness along a corridor that was only lit by one dim wall mounted light every 20-30 metres or so. It didn’t matter to Allan as he knew his way by now. He dodged every pot hole and crevice like it was his own back yard. Eventually he came to the end of the corridor. He dismounted his bike and stood next a television monitor and another door which was indicated ‘locked’ by a red light adjacent to the handle. The monitor started to flicker, two men slowly coming into focus. 
“Good evening Allan” one of them said. “We are glad you could make it this time”.

“Silas. Ray. Yeah sorry about Thursday. I’m here now anyway. Are you going to let me in or what?” asked Allan. The light turned to green and Allan walked through the door.

He approached the office ready to take his grilling on the chin for not showing on Thursday. Allan walked in to be greeted by a number of VIP’s alongside Ray and Silas. 
“Here he is. The man of the moment” said Silas. 

“Hi guys. You all okay?” asked Allan.

“Yes we are fine Allan. How about you?” he asked in return whilst delicately sipping from his champagne glass. Silas was a very sophisticated, middle aged man who dressed to impress and today sported a navy blue fitted suit accompanied by a white handkerchief protruding from his suit jacket pocket. He was the owner of ‘The Shed’ and had recently taken on another revenger to lighten the load. Allan knew that it was because he didn’t find him trustworthy.

“I’m fine thanks” replied Allan.

“Big crowd tonight son. We’ve even got live feeds coming out of Japan and Indonesia tonight. Can you believe that?” said Silas looking around at his guests for some kind of recognition. 

“I better go and get changed then. You coming Ray?”

“Yeah give me 2 minutes Allan. I’ll follow you down” replied Ray. Ray had been Allan’s manager since he had become a revenger with ‘The Shed’. Allan approached the changing room with a feeling of foreboding hanging over him…

The Carter Chronicles…

  
The beginning of the end

Part 1:

He was supposed to finish early that Thursday but a late order had kept him rooted to his desk past 6pm. Having almost given up on the idea that he may still make it to ‘The Shed’ for 7, he prepared himself to make the call knowing that cancelling this late in the day would not go down at all well. He stepped outside into the icy cold air and checked his watch. It was 6.45.
“This is a wind up surely?” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “You are shitting me right? You’re on in 15 minutes and you call me now to cancel”.

“Listen Ray I’ve just finished work. I don’t need this right now” he replied.

“You do though son that’s half the problem. You do need it.”

“Just tell him that we’ll pencil in another date” he replied.

“Allan, you don’t just pencil in another date in this game, you know that. The pencil will end up through your neck if anything”.

“That almost sounded like a threat Ray” said Allan.

“It’s not a threat son, it’s a promise. I’ll call you back once I’ve spoken to him”. The phone cut off and Allan set off on his 2 mile walk home.

Allan Carter was your every day kind of guy. A hard working honest man with a wife and two kids. He had remained loyal to his wife Megan since they married nearly seven years ago and Charlie 4 and Harriet 6 were the apple of his eye. He worked long hours as a supervisor in a factory by the canal which in turn put food on the table. To Allan that’s all it did. It was just a job to him for his interests lay elsewhere in a life outside of his perfect world. A life that his family were blissfully unaware of and one that they could never find out about. A life full of danger, adrenalin and reward as well as the odd empty threat. Apart from his family it was what Allan lived for. This was his escape to a world that only he inhabited. When the bell sounded, Allan became his alter ego. Minutes later his phone rang.
“He wasn’t best pleased Allan let me tell you that but we are good to go again Saturday night. No excuses this time you hear me?” said Ray.

“Yeah yeah I hear you. Same time?” asked Allan.

“I’m serious son. You can’t let him down again. Yes 7pm”. 

“Okay. Have a good…” Ray had gone.

Allan arrived home that evening to find Charlie and Harriet nestled in their favourite corner spot on the sofa. 
“Hey troublemakers” he said.

“Daddy!!!!” screeched Charlie as he stood up and launched himself in Allan’s direction.

“Have you both had a good day?” he asked.

“Yeah” they replied in unison. Allan was used to one word responses when he had the telly to compete with.

“Where’s mummy?” he asked.

“Upstairs putting the washing away” replied Harriet. Allan walked upstairs to find Megan in the bedroom with her back to him. He crept up behind her, wrapping his arms around her tightly.

“Evening gorgeous! How’s my favourite wife?” he asked.

“Excuse me Mr Carter. Your only wife I hope” she replied leaning back into him with a smile. “I’m fine darling. How was your day?”

“Same old. Still busy. I might have to do some more overtime Saturday babe. We’re expecting another big order in tomorrow so I may have to go in and help unpack it Saturday evening. Is that okay? We need the money don’t we?” said Allan.

“That’s fine I guess. Another Saturday night on my own it is then” replied Megan.

“I’m sorry. I won’t be too late I promise”.

“That’s what you said last time before rolling in at midnight Allan” said Megan.

“I know I know. I promise I’ll get it done as quickly as I can”. He hated lying to her but it was the only way. As he lay in bed next to his wife later that evening, his mind was only on one thing. He could already feel his pulse racing but he knew come Saturday night that his pulse could quite easily come to a halt altogether.

Allan arrived at the factory Friday morning to find a letter on his desk. He knew full well who it was from for he was used to these letters now. He turned away from the window overlooking the packing room and began to open it. It read:
‘Allan. We were extremely disappointed that you had to cancel last nights appearance. We would hate to have to remind you of clause 26.3 in your contract with us so please do not let this happen again. Yours truly. The Shed. P.s. We’ve enclosed a small gift for you this time in case you ever think of cancelling again.’ Allan checked the envelope and pulled from it a photograph that made the hairs on his arms stand tall. Staring back at him were Megan, Charlie and Harriet pictured getting into the family car outside the Carter residence. He threw the photograph into his draw, stood up and ran to the bathroom instantly locking himself inside one of the cubicles. For the first time since his involvement with ‘The Shed’, Allan felt like a broken man. As he sat there sobbing he knew he was in deeper than he could handle. There was no way out of this mess. They owned him now.

Short story…

  
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have all had a good week so far. The weekend is finally upon us.

Due to popular demand, I shall be writing my next short story sooner than anticipated. For those who followed ‘reunited’, it will follow a similar pattern with me releasing a chapter of the story each Sunday with the first being published on my blog on 23rd August.
Some of you may already be aware that I love a challenge so once again this story will not only be written but also thought up along the way with no forward planning. I will have no idea where my characters will take me. That is up to them and in turn, up to them to let me know. It’s a daunting prospect but for me makes the end result even more of an achievement.
So I hope you enjoy chapter 1 next week and as always, keep in touch to let me know what you think. Feedback of any kind is always welcome.
Take care
Mark

All change…

  
A very good day to you all, my loyal followers. I have made a couple of changes to my blog which I thought I would share with you along with an update on the novel. 

Name change – So I thought a name change was appropriate at this stage in the process to freshen things up a little. Some of you may have noticed that I have renamed my blog ‘watch this space’ and used ‘it’s almost time’ as a tag line. 
Short stories page – Having finished ‘Reunited’, I have received some great feedback. The most common comments being along the lines of ‘so when are you doing the next one?’ and ‘Is this a one off or is it going to be part of a series?’. One comment that I have listened to and acted upon is the fact that some people just can’t handle the cliffhangers every week (please don’t watch 24 if you haven’t already) 🙂 So for those who can’t, I have added a ‘short stories page’ where you will be able to read the whole thing in one go. There will be another short story very soon. Enjoy!
Lastly, an update on the novel. I am now on chapter 15 and the ideas are still flowing. I know I am onto something here as I read back chapter 3 the other day for the first time in months and got a lump in my throat! I aim to finish the first draft by the end of October at which point the editing process begins. 
I am still undecided on when to release my front cover to the world and I will also be releasing my back cover blurb in the near future too. Of course you guys will be the first to see both.
As always thank you so much to all of you for your continued support.
Take care
Mark