Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 23 November 2012

Parallel Lives Chapter 23

Sam sat at his desk early on Monday, approximately two hours before John would be taken from Fylingdales medical facility to York General Hospital under the guise of a military medical emergency. They had, of course, asked Sam to arrange for this procedure, a routine scan, before he brought John up. He had prevaricated, concerned that pushing such a request through as a priority would be viewed suspiciously without supporting evidence. And it would have needed a second opinion from another doctor within the hospital to obtain the short notice authorisation.
His weekend had been almost as much a blur as John’s, the self administered chemicals dispensed in bars and across the off-license counter mimicking the loss of time remarkably closely. Except he did remember Sunday, or at least the latter half. Coming to on his couch, the TV silently flickering an old black and white movie in front of him, he had slowly sat up from the position he had lain motionless in for hours, his left side screaming pain as he pushed himself up. His head had been splitting and the wine bottles strewn across the carpet, complete with red stains adjacent, bore testimony to his excess. But then he had started to think.
Probably, he had reasoned, he had blown it. As much as it pained him, they were almost certainly right to exclude him for the time being. He had no idea how far advanced they now were with the procedure, and they knew little of him since leaving the programme. Hell, the MRI scan was a luxury when he had been running tests on candidates, reserved for only the most likely, and then only after extensive data collection. Now it was the first port of call, as far as they were concerned, as it was for many in his profession these days. They had told him the programme had virtually stopped, that it had been dormant for years, but they were able to react swiftly to his phone call, provide resources, persuade the military to let them use facilities. And all of this was essentially overnight. Looking back, as Sam did that Sunday, it didn’t ring as true as he had thought.
He decided, that afternoon, that he should have done as requested. But his pride had been dented by the realisation that they didn’t need him. Not at present anyway. If he had hung on in there, shown his mettle, his resolve, and perhaps just a little humility they may have considered letting him in a little further. After all, that was what he wanted, to be part of the team again, carrying out ground breaking research. But instead he had blown it.
Sam had left the bottle alone after that, sinking copious quantities on non-alcoholic drinks and moderate numbers of aspirins. By late evening he had lain in his bath, relaxing to the sound of popular classical themes, gathering his thoughts. And now he was sat at his desk, earlier than ever recorded by the electronic booking system used within the department, beating his receptionist by three quarters of an hour. He couldn’t carry out much in the way of damage limitation, but he reckoned they would still need him, later perhaps than sooner. He would contact Michael this morning and try to put things straight. Then he would leave it awhile. He leant back into the worn leather chair he had taken from position to position as he had worked around the country, listening to the comforting creak as the hide stretched and micro-pores broke bonds that had been formed in manufacture. Then he started as the phone rang.


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

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