Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Parallel Lives Chapter 9

The drive down to Bristol was easier than Jack had expected, with the November weather being kinder than of late and the infamous M6/M5 interchange pretty much the quietest he had ever seen it due, Jack surmised, to the time of day. Thanks to the meeting with Alan Parkinson, Jack was turning onto the M5 an hour later than he had anticipated but he estimated that he might pull back twenty or more minutes as a result of the lower traffic density. By the time he reached the Strensham services, north of Evesham, he had clawed back even more and had decided to reward himself with a much needed comfort break.
Jack was generally reluctant to stop on any journey, regardless of the distance or the time it took, except when the family were on board. As a consequence his colleagues tended to avoid travelling to conferences or meetings with Jack behind the wheel. But it wasn’t just the need to relieve his bladder that caused Jack to pull over, it was the need to vent his conscience as well. The drive down from Manchester had given him plenty of time to think about his conversation with Alan, and the disparate events he now associated with John Staples. He reckoned that Alan deserved to be given the information that Jack had, crazy though most of it seemed. He also figured that John would have mentioned some of the discussions and the notebook to Alan in the course of conversation, and it might look strange in retrospect if Jack hadn’t mentioned the passage from the book should it transpire that John had been up to something. Oddly, despite not feeling any great obligation to the maintenance fitter who had barely caught his notice until this week, and certainly not because Jack believed a word of what John had written, he felt faintly bothered about his decision to reveal all to Alan; possibly because really all he was doing was protecting his own back, and that wasn’t a trait Jack had, generally.
Sat back in his car, Jack punched the mobile phone keys with his thumb, whilst holding Alan’s business card up to the light. After about six rings Jack was transferred to voicemail, inviting him to leave a message. His initial instinct was to hang up, but after a pause he decided to leave a message that wouldn’t be compromising if picked up by someone else.
‘Alan - Jack Howells. Reference our conversation this morning, I think I may have some more information that could be of use to you. I seem to remember that you mentioned you live a mile or so from me, well there’s a pub near you called the ‘Green Man’, I sometimes drop by there on my way home. I’ll be in tonight about eight. If you can’t make it, call me at my work number tomorrow.’ Breathing deeply, Jack started the car and continued his journey.


Copyright Ray Sullivan 2011

The characters, places and events described in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, places or events, past or present, is coincidence.  All rights reserved

Parallel Lives is published in paperback and as an eBook

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