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                         Short Stories Volume Three

 Coming in 2020!

 

                          

 

Cover Artwork and Design by Lewis Bates

 

A party – a wish expressed whilst inebriated – a sprinkling of fairy dust – it couldn’t happen… could it?

Holly Palmer fell in love with The Ivy as soon as she saw it – the derelict pub had a history – maybe she should have taken note of it.

John Naylor’s future was on the line – join the army or face an inevitable future behind bars. His decision in 1936 was to turn him into a legend with those fighting against the tyranny of the jackboot.

Emily Watson’s marriage had descended into the ultimate in mundane comfort. She craved excitement and the appearance of Daniel Thorpe provided just the thrill she was seeking – disaster was waiting to welcome her with open arms as his past caught up with him.

Just four ‘teasers’ to set you on the way in this, Neal James’ third volume of short stories. Like the first two books, you will find yourself down a succession of blind alleys which are Neal’s stock-in-trade. 

 

 

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 Wendel’s Love Story

 

Wendel Morley had never made love before – this would be his very first time, and he was extremely nervous. It was as though his entire existence has been rushing, inexorably, towards this one point in time. His hands were shaking, and he had to make an intensely conscious effort to control himself. Failure at this point was not an option, and his entire public image would rest on the decisions he would make over the course of the next few moments. He looked up and across the space between the two of them. The guy, the object of his attention, stood not eighty feet away across the grass, and was staring directly at him.

 

‘Come on!’ He whispered to himself. ‘You can do this. What could possibly go wrong?’

 

What indeed; one false move and the whole thing could come crashing down around him. His game plan had been simple - a direct approach followed by some neat interplay. He would, he thought, have been irresistible. He took a deep breath and turned away, briefly. Aware of the murmuring of a crowd of people all around, he swallowed hard and faced forwards once more.

 

‘Never thought there’d be so many here.’ He thought, looking around the place. ‘Not a single familiar face amongst the lot of them.’

 

It was true. He was here by invitation unlike many of the rest, and his very best was the minimum which would be required if he were to achieve the objective. Staring back across the expanse, he met the guy’s eyes once more. There he stood, almost motionless – six feet four, and twelve stone of sinew and muscle – everything that Wendel had imagined. It was now or never, and an edginess was beginning to creep into to his erstwhile flawless preparation.

 

Wendel took a step forward – the murmuring stopped. He looked around and was now aware that everyone around was looking at him, and him alone. This was it. In an instant it was done – the Rubicon had been crossed, and before he realised it the ball had flown across the seventy-eight feet, a small cloud of chalk dust marking the spot where the ace had landed. A flailing racquet from his opponent across the court being a despairing attempt to retrieve a lost cause. The eruption of cheering almost drowned out the umpire’s voice as he confirmed Wendel’s glorious victory.

 

“Game, set and match to Morley; seven-six, six-seven, three-six, six-four, six love.”

 

 

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