Continuing the trend set by my last post, here are some more words from ABOVE HIS STATION, helpfully continuing where I left off last time. And just in case you’re thinking that I might serialize the entire book to save you from shelling out for it once it’s released…um, no. No, I don’t think I will, if it’s all the same to you 😉
I carried all my worldly possessions in my brown leather suitcase, with the more fragile or sentimental objects in the satchel over my shoulder. Strolling along Regal Street, a route that was to become familiar in my new role, I plonked my case down and eased myself onto one of the three benches along the platform. I leaned back and forth, testing the wood’s strength. It was well-constructed with not a squeaky joist to be heard. I wasn’t surprised in the slightest, but it proved an earlier supposition correct. Everything in the station was made of the finest materials and constructed with the finest workmanship in the land. I looked up and down the platform, trying to decide what it reminded me of. After far more consideration than was really necessary, I settled on the answer being a child’s model railway. I knew the station had been utilised several times before, but not in the last 20 years at least. No wonder it looked as if it had been built only yesterday.
There was still no sign of anyone coming to greet me, which was now far more than impolite, it was bordering on the remarkable. I was forced to question the date, wondering if my memory was at fault. But no, it was as reliable as ever. I was always good with dates; generally good with numbers in all forms, as it goes. It was the 23rd October, the contractual start date exactly as had been written in my offer letter. I knew this because I had moved out of my bungalow at lunchtime on the 22nd and slept last night at a reasonably-priced hotel in the city.
I then concluded that my new employer must be at fault, which was disconcerting to say the least, for surely that office was highly regarded for its adherence to protocol. What if my being late had had something to do with it? What if my new employers had dispatched someone to greet me and as I was found absent upon arrival they simply left? I felt myself getting a bit cross. My mind was grasping at straws to explain the oddness of things, and I was most anxious to prove that the error was not of my making.
After checking my wristwatch yet again, I pulled out Bear Island by MacLean, one of the two novels that I had packed in my satchel (the other being Sahara by Cussler) and I flipped through the pages seeking my bookmark. It was of the type that I could not abide; far too short to effectively mark my place so it was forever getting lost in the pages. On several occasions I thought that I’d mislaid the thing, but then it would always turn up again, inexplicably in a completely different section of the book to where I had left it.
I put the book back into my satchel, thinking that it would give the wrong impression when (if) my contact eventually arrived, and instead I unfolded the newspaper that I had not yet bothered to even glance at. The headline was a blur without my spectacles, and they were somewhere at the bottom of my satchel. I had no wish to go rummaging around inside it searching for them, so I looked at the photographs on the front page instead. There was a large one of a celebrity whose name escapes me. She used to be a singer in one of those girl bands (although why they call themselves a ‘band’ is beyond me. Most of them couldn’t play an instrument to save their lives). She married a footballer but he’d had several affairs, from what I recalled. The photograph showed her looking disheveled, stumbling out of a nightclub at an ungodly hour. I began to regret not going to the effort of finding my spectacles, because now I was intrigued as to what her story was. Presumably something earth-shattering for it to be plastered across the front page, or perhaps she had just changed her hairstyle.
Her ex-husband the footballer played for one of the tops clubs. I forget which (I rarely follow the leagues these days, opting to watch only the internationals with the promise of a more entertaining game). I often wondered how it was at all possible in this day and age for a man to kick a leather ball about for 90 minutes and get paid more than a school teacher, a doctor, or a nurse. It beggared belief, but then my wish to remove myself from the modern world was but one of the reasons why I accepted this post in the first place.
So there you go, the story unfolds. Who is the Station Guard? Why has no one come to meet him? What else might be waiting for him down in the Underground tunnels? And will he survive what is about to come next???
ABOVE HIS STATION will be released for the Kindle at the end of this week………more details to follow!