Clive Thunderbolt Has Been Nooked


No, that’s not a misprint: good old Clive’s books are now easily found at Barnes & Noble – the people responsible for the Nook e-reader. So if it’s a pair of science-fiction mystery thrillers you’re looking for…

…you could do worse. Here’s a tiny extract from Present Imperfect…

The sound of her name being mentioned sent a shiver down Judith’s spine. She knew this place well. The occasion too.

“Oh dear Lord, what’s happening to me?” She whispered in a frightened voice.

The two men looked up. The jig-dancer called out uncertainly:

“Judy, is that you?”

Judith instantly regretted her verbal slip. But quickly realising that in the poor light it was unlikely that either man could see her clearly she stepped forward from the shadows.

“Ah, yes.” She stammered. “I – I was feeling a little woozy. I just stepped out for some air.”

“Coming back in?” He replied with a smile. “Rod’s looking all over for you.”

“In a minute.” Judith replied. Her appearance certainly couldn’t stand Rod Walker’s scrutiny. He’d notice in an instant that she was wearing different clothes, and was ten years older. “Don’t tell him that you’ve seen me, will you? I’d like a moment by myself.”

Both men were surprised, but they had no reason to be disagreeable.

“Oh, yeah, right.” The other said. “We’ll be off inside then – and leave you to it.”

With that they both tossed away their half-smoked cigarettes, and re-entered the house.

Judith released a deep breath that seemed to have been building up inside her since she’d first noticed the discrepancy with her personal portion of space/time.

“Shit.” She spoke to herself again; “Nothing in life has prepared you for this!”

She crept around the corner of the building so that she could see in through the dining room windows. By doing so she could watch the Ampur Electronics farewell party in full swing. Boogie Wonderland suddenly erupted from the two cavernous speakers that had been erected upon a makeshift dais against the opposite wall. She wasn’t at all surprised to see Dave Collins working the turntable. For a moment she smiled at the sight, but it slipped away as she recalled the events of that night many years ago – when any chance of a relationship with Dave finally disintegrated. She thought also of the evening that she’d only just experienced. Again she’d let Dave go. She wondered why she cared so much. Then she wondered if this apparent moving into her past wasn’t in some way connected to Dave. He appeared to be a common denominator.

To her horror Dave chose that moment to look up. He spotted her, and gave her a nervous smile. She smiled back. Then she did something that she hadn’t planned, and if she’d been thinking straight would never have considered. She indicated that he should join her outside.

At first Dave appeared hesitant, but her waving urged him further, and after a few moments thought she watched him move away from the turntable, and make for the door.

Judith quickly found a bench. She recognised it as the bench at which she had left Dave seated earlier in the evening: The same bench over which Rod Walker had knocked him almost unconscious. She considered the irony of the situation, and wondered for a moment if it wasn’t destiny at work.

“You’ve always had a vivid imagination, girl.” She chided herself.

Fortunately the lighting in the garden was poor. Certainly it was far worse than it would be ten years later. Hopefully it was dim enough to hide her less youthful features from Dave – that is if he plucked up sufficient courage to do her bidding.

© Paul Trevor Nolan

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About Tooty Nolan

Writer of silly tales, taker of pictures, and all round good egg
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