Ray Sullivan publishes science based fiction adventures on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith and other good eBook retailers as e-books. Additionally all of his books are available in paperback on Amazon. He also muses on technology, posts comedic books in serial format and discusses the world of self publishing.
Books written by Ray Sullivan
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Parallel Lives chapter 31
Stirring the coffee impassively occupied Karen as she
stared at the Formica topped table. She had tried looking out of the grease
streaked plate glass window at the grey strip of sky topping an even greyer
background mix of Victorian and 1960s facades, stone and concrete mixed
indiscriminately. The few pedestrians out had contributed to the dull colour
scheme in all the shades of grey known to man. So Karen had changed her focus
to the posters and blackboards dotted around the café, advertising unwholesome
and heart threatening fare with gusto. Electing to ignore the delights she had
resorted to studying the patterns previous occupants of the table had
inadvertently made with stray scatterings of sugar and salt. It was as she drew
her finger through one such congregation that she was startled by the voice.
‘I came as fast as I could,’ said Alan, sitting down
opposite. Karen looked up, realising too late that her face must have revealed
a desperation and relief at the man’s presence. She regretted not keeping a
sharp ear out for the door, even if she couldn’t bear to sit and watch it.
The look she gave Alan was registered as he adjusted his
position, and inside he felt a warm satisfaction. An opportunist by nature
where women were concerned, Alan chose to suppress his instinct. Her eyes had
changed now, dulling down to her normal appearance from the sharp, bright
lights that had greeted him. She was assessing him in a different way, he could
tell. What a difference a second makes, he thought.
‘What?’ he asked, a mock affront in his voice.
‘Your clothes, I didn’t quite expect…,’ Karen tailed off,
grateful for the opportunity to banter. Alan drew his hands down the front of
his body, in self mockery.
‘You think I wear a suit all the time, eh? Give me a
break,’ he said smiling.
‘You wore a jacket and tie to our house on Saturday night,
what do you expect me to think,’ replied Karen.
‘I didn’t know what to expect, don’t forget I’d only seen
Jack in his work and immediately after. Anyway, I’m in the office all day today
writing reports and generally that means I don’t get to see the public, so I
dress for comfort. I would have changed if I had realised it was an issue,’ he
smiled. Looking round at the counter he invited Karen to join him in another
‘Not for me,’ she insisted, ‘but please have one yourself.
I’d hate to die alone,’ Karen smiled weakly. Alan waved to the counter and
continued talking to Karen.
‘I take it that your meeting didn’t go too well,’ he said
in a matter-of-fact voice. Karen shook her head.
‘He out-classed me, I reckon. Basically he reckoned John
had misinformed us, either accidentally or by design. Of course we can’t check
this out, and as far as Jackson is concerned we don’t know where John is.’
Karen paused, watching Alan’s face. ‘I didn’t let on that we know, in case
you’re wondering.’ Alan flinched.
‘Knew, to be accurate. Who knows where they took him after
Friday? At best we can use our knowledge to lever some information out of
Jackson, and I believe we have no more than a day or so to use that. Even then
we could find ourselves on the back-foot.’
‘You think they could have moved him again?’ Karen’s head
whirled at the thought, one that hadn’t occurred to her previously. Alan shook
‘Unlikely, judging by the way the military were trying to
keep me away from the base, but we can’t assume that is where he will remain.’
‘But if you let Jackson know what you know…’ Karen tailed
off, allowing Alan the opportunity to complete her sentence.
‘…they’ll certainly move him then. Probably within short
order. I’ve been thinking, we might have to use this to our advantage.’ Alan
leaned forward conspiratorially. ‘I have a plan, but we need Jack’s help for