Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Da Dan Brown Code - Chapter Thirty Four

Chapter Thirty Four

‘So, how did we end up with this?’ asked Lady Bartholomew, looking around the cab of the milk float.  Bradford ground his teeth before attempting to bite his tongue, only to find out he’d ground his teeth so he couldn’t bite anything.

‘The address provided by Al Bino is in Blackpool, the Organisation of Blackpool Street-traders are in Blackpool, the jokers who keep popping into the story are from Blackpool. It’s probably a long shot.
‘Surly thought we needed to travel incognito,’ he continued, adding, ‘but his cognito is in the repair shop.  At least this is an automatic,’ he added, flooring the pedal and accelerating down the M62, levelling out at ten miles per hour.  ‘If we keep this up, we could be there by the end of chapter thirty eight,’ he said, optimistically, wondering where he would charge it between chapters thirty six and thirty seven.  Deep down he was concerned that not only was the still air rushing past, it was overtaking him. ‘That damn still air will be in Blackpool before we are at this rate,’ he growled.

‘What’s the plan when we get there?’ asked Lady Bartholomew, holding up a wine glass to the light, watching the milk slosh around.   ‘And when are we going to get a proper drink?  Bradford rubbed his eyes as the motorway traffic rushed past, keeping a sharp lookout for the buffoons of coppers he knew wouldn’t be too far behind.

‘Check out the address Al Bino texted, search for your father, save him, pocket the cheque, ravish you when you’re not looking,’ suggested Bradford, not sure if he’d got the order correct in his mind.  Or if he’d spoken aloud.

You sure did, sucker,’ thought Belsen, lying across the gold tops and the various fresh produce.  Bradford realised he was approaching novel fatigue, the syndrome where characters realise they’ve been active for days and nights without sleep.  It happened in practically every story and was never accounted for adequately.

‘Hey, why don’t we catch some shut eye in the back while Belsen drives us to Blackpool?’ he asked, ignoring the swear words that flowed into his head.  ‘We could pop up in Blackpool within a chapter or two and it wouldn’t appear so odd.’  Lady Bartholomew didn’t make a sound; Bradford assumed she was thinking it over.  Then the deep rumbling sound started, rattling the milk bottles into a crescendo.

‘Christ, she’s snoring,’ he shouted back at Belsen, pointlessly given the man could have read his thoughts as easily.  Or heard her, it’s not like a milk float is that large.  He pulled over onto the hard shoulder.  ‘Take over, and don’t wake either of us until we reach the Golden Mile,’ he said, climbing over the crates, being passed by Belsen clutching a bottle of milk and some fresh produce.

As Bradford started to slip into a deep sleep he felt his nose twitch.

‘Can you smell fish?’ he asked, as Belsen engaged the Turbot.


Daniels and Ryder were shown into the Morning Room, critically aware that they only had an hour left at most before they’d have to move out again.  Surly Teabing joined them a few moments later, which really irritated Ryder, who liked his space.  Surgically separating himself from Daniels he squared up to Surly; he figured he needed the edge.  Surly triangulated back, because he knew exactly where they stood.

‘We’re looking for a scumbag named Bradford,’ said Ryder.  Surly riled.

‘Well, do you know what I think?’ he snarled.

‘Actually, he does,’ suggested Daniels, examining his fingernails.  One passed, two failed and the rest were scheduled for resits.

‘And if I don’t co-operate?’ asked Surly, deciding to stall.  Ryder didn’t hesitate; he walked Surly around the room to bump start him, struggling because Surly had a flat battery.

‘We’ll charge you,’ he said, then decided he ought to get back to the questioning.  ‘If you don’t co-operate...’ he started, which was a shame as it was Surly he was hoping to start.


‘We’ll make sure you don’t appear in this story again,’ said Ryder.  Surly looked back to his agent; it was mixed blessings, that was for sure.  He thought about his prospects, whether he’d be able to fabricate a semi-rational excuse to pitch up in Blackpool...’

‘Thanks,’ said Ryder, snapping his notebook shut and startling Daniels.  ‘I’ll fill you in on the way out,’ he said as the other buffoon stood.  Surly watched the two policemen leave the room and exit out onto the front drive.  While Ryder gave Daniels the duffing of his career, Surly heaved a heavy sigh – it was one that Bradford had left behind – and watched the two buffoons scatter across his lawn.

Bradford and Lady Bartholomew woke up as the Turbot powered milk float skidded to a halt, just outside Blackpool Tower.  Bradford’s head spun, Lincoln to Blackpool in under a chapter, unheard of in fiction, impossible in real life.  And a free parking space in Blackpool, that wasn’t just stretching credibility, it was taking the piss, which reminded him - it's a long enough journey normally, in the back of a milk float...  Clutching an empty milk bottle, Bradford braced himself for the final chapters.  It had been a long journey, he had only one thing to do, and the empty milk bottle was just what he needed.


Missed the beginning? Click here to go to Chapter One

'Da Dan Brown Code' will be published in early January as 'The Last Simple'. Anyone who is registered as following either my blog or Twitter account will receive instructions on how to obtain a free e-copy of 'The Last Simple' shortly after it is published.

Also, don't forget to 'tune in' to the blog on Christmas Day when a Da Dan Brown Christmas Special will be uploaded.

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