Wallpaper 397: Stone Cold Mist



Long Overdue Extract

Yes, after giving all my readers a break from my ‘serious’ books, for close to an eternity, here’s a brief extract from this wondrous tome…

Yes, I’m also Clive Thunderbolt.

Bullets made ragged holes in the grassy bank beside her car, and stones were kicked up, which spattered the vehicle’s paintwork.  Katherine ducked down inside the vehicle as a second volley of machine gun fire studded the tarmacadam road surface between Wozniak and the tiny vehicle.

Anger exploded inside Wozniak’s brain like star shell. He grabbed Len and threw him at the car. Then he strode into the centre of the road, turned to face the corner, and raised the huge revolver. Two uniformed men were running down the road toward him. Both were armed. One with a machine gun, whom Wozniak assumed was the primary culprit, the other held a rifle. The man with the machine gun loosed off two careless shots as he cantered towards Wozniak before his magazine either jammed, or became exhausted. Wozniak coolly shot down the man with the rifle with a single round that caught the slightly built man in the shoulder – spun him around – and dumped him, face down, in the road.

The machine gunner looked at his fallen comrade for a moment. He appeared startled. He appeared torn, and seemed to consider fleeing, or perhaps diving for cover behind an ancient mile stone that lay partially embedded in the bank. But when he realized that his colleague wasn’t breathing, anger got the better of him, and instead of using discretion, he wrenched the magazine from his weapon, grabbed a fresh one from his webbing, and slotted it into place beneath the barrel. Wozniak then shot him down too. Two bullets smashed into his upper chest. He was thrown backwards by the impacts – and the gun spun away from his outstretched hands. His body slammed on to the road surface beside the rifleman. He twitched twice before slumping inert.

It had been a cold and calculating act of ultimate violence, and for a brief moment Wozniak hated himself for it. But, he reasoned well enough, it had truthfully been either them or him, and it wasn’t like he’d shot an unarmed man. Their intent had been clear. So in Wozniak’s mind his act wasn’t murder – whichever way one looked at it – or so he tried to convince his conscience.

“I’m getting rather good at this.” He said grimly. Then noticing Katherine’s inquiring expression, he added, “Killing people. And all I ever wanted to do was write TV shows. Is that asking too much?”

Len didn’t say anything, but he laid a huge, gnarled hand upon Wozniak’s shoulder, and patted him gently.

© Paul Trevor Nolan

This is actually available in paperback and e-book form. Perhaps you should purchase one or two. See the Lulu logo (on the side bar) for paperback and e-books; or the book covers (also on the side bar) to access Amazon, B&N etc.

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Island of Doctor Wiel-Barrau (Episode 19)

The result of the pushed button was an automatic defence reaction. A blast of energy…

…stunned Hair-Trigger and made her  go all goo-goo. Crying out was an impossibility; but fortunately her pumpkin breakfast came to her rescue. It supplied all the vegetable matter required to produce a rip-roaring botty bugle, which Magnuss heard and to which he reacted by breaking into a rescue sprint. Less fortunately, the same energy blast that had immobilized Hair-Trigger also immobilized him…

“Argh.” He managed, before all voluntary muscles were overpowered. But, like Hair-Trigger previously, his subsequent fart measured Category Twelve on the Earplug Scale of Windiness. This impressed Slomo Chewings so much that she peered into her screen and smiled for the first time in years…

Although it was a little lopsided. “Gosh.” She said. “What a guy! And what a talented large intestine too!”

Shortly after that, Darcy, Norma, and Daffney arrived to take the stunned couple…

…to a holding cell. After that they departed  – very pleased with both the security system and themselves…

“Didn’t we do well!” They would exclaim.

And: “What a charming couple. But no match for our cunning.”

And: “I’m feeling very self-important: does anyone have the key to the executive toilet? I’m feeling ready for an executive poop.”

But Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were feeling far less self-congratulatory…

They didn’t have access to any toilet at all: and that pumpkin breakfast was threatening to make a break for freedom.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017


Junior Earplug Adventures: The Island of Doctor Wiel-Barrau (Episode 18)

Hair-Trigger understood in an instant…

“Of course.” She said with a delighted squeal. “It’s one of those machines that give answers to questions. They seem to pop up all over the place. It’s almost as  though we’re fated to find one – usually when we most need one. I think it’s called a diabolical, or something like that.”

“Oracle.” Magnuss corrected her. “The Fountain of Knowledge, so-to-speak. It will offer to answer any question we care to ask.”

Hair-Trigger didn’t bother responding: instead she spoke directly the electro-mechanical apparition: “Where are we and how do we find somebody?”

“Excuse me?” A huge voice echoed around the cavernous room. “That was a surprise. It’s just that I haven’t heard a question in so long that you caught me in hibernation mode. I don’t get to answer a single question in years, then, kerpow, two turn up at the same time.”

“Here’s a third one.” Magnuss snapped. “Why hasn’t anyone asked you a question any time recently?”

“Because,” the Oracle sobbed, “no one needs me any more. That big-headed know-it-all, Doctor Adolf Wiel-Barrau, took them all away to his new super-duper facility beneath the lovely Black Tower. And don’t ask me what he did with them: I don’t know. No one has ever come back to tell me. Wait – where are you going?”

But, of course, the Oracle received no answer to its question: his two questioners had departed…

They now stood before a pair of identical doors that probably led to different places. Well so thought the intrepid duo.

“We’ll split up.” Magnuss suggested. “That way we’ll cover more ground. You take the right door: I’ll take the left. Shout if you find something interesting. And if you’re captured, bound, and gagged – break wind really loudly; it’ll echo down these corridors like a fog horn – and I’ll come running to rescue you.”

As they stepped through the doors together, Magnuss wasn’t surprised (and was a tad disappointed) to find himself in a shadowy place…

But, conversely, Hair-Trigger was delighted to discover an ancient stone edifice, complete with huge, uneven, steps that led downwards…

“How lovely.” She said appreciatively. “It reminds me of my first home with that heroically boastful ex-husband of mine – Hunting Provost…”

And if Magnuss had known that he was being watched…

…he would have been less than impressed. But he wasn’t alone in that situation…

Security CCTV Monitoring Technician, Slomo Chewings, had spotted the intruders; and she was already reaching for the alarm button.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017