The title of this piece doesn’t refer to writer’s block: No, it refers to that state of mind when (no matter how much a person loves – or is driven – to write) he or she just has to put a work aside and let it…fester. And so it has been with the wannabe third book in my Causality Merchant series – Broker Me No Future. I wrote – or rather I laboured over – the first free-hand draught; then I found that (to put it bluntly) I just couldn’t be arsed to write the second draught. The one that’s done on a lap top, that is.
But today that situation changed. I spotted the red file containing the original tale lurking beneath the TV unit; dragged it out; and thought, “Right; let’s go!”
Take a look at the prologue: see what you think…
The pages of the calendar had been flipped over five times since Peter Wozniak and his ‘intended’, Janice Gale, had last stepped inside the large rural retreat, known to the inhabitants of the nearby village of Brambledown as, The Peaks. It had taken that long for the wounds – both physical and psychological – inflicted upon them by the being known as Jart to finally heal. It had also taken those five months for the tall, big-boned, Wozniak to create two television scripts out of the experience, and for Janice to pluck up the courage to revisit the village that for most of her life she had called home.
As they travelled the main road from London, where they usually based themselves in a swanky Thames-side apartment, Wozniak and Janice recalled the visits to their respective doctors following the battle royal they’d endured against an unstable, yet implacable, and virtually invincible foe, whose aim it had been was the destruction of industrialised civilisation.
At the wheel of the huge, but aged and battered, Volvo station wagon, Peter Wozniak laughed as he said: “Doctor Pearson suggested that I quit taking on the New Zealand All Blacks without ten other burly guys on my side of the field.”
“You didn’t try to pass off your wounds as rugby injuries, surely?” Janice replied disbelievingly.
“Anything else would have had him calling the police.” Wozniak chuckled. “He thought I’d been set upon by a gang of thugs.”
“Charmaine – that’s Doctor Winton – was much the same.” Janice confided. “I told her I’d fallen from a horse. She wasn’t to know that I’ve never been near a horse in my life. The damned things bite!”
“Did she have any pearls of wisdom that she wanted to pass on to you?” Wozniak inquired as he turned off the main road, and followed a sign that read ‘Brambledown 7 miles’.
“Yes.” Janice giggled at the recollection. “She told me to take up knitting – and suggested that I wear safety goggles and a stab-proof vest.”
Twenty minutes of rural driving down ever-narrower and winding roads finally saw Wozniak steer the Volvo into the tree-lined Pikes Lane where both occupants could intermittently spot the chimneys of their destination through gaps in the foliage.
“Home.” Wozniak said as he slowed the car to allow him time to savour the moment.
Janice might have released a sigh of contentment. Perhaps she should have. But she knew, with a certainty, that fate would somehow intercede – just as it had always done whenever they visited the large country ‘pile’.
“Home.” She echoed her fiancé as he turned in through the gate; drove across the gravel driveway; and finally drew to halt in front of the imposing oaken front door to The Peaks. “But somehow I doubt that it’ll ever be ’Home Sweet Home’; we couldn’t get that lucky.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan