Ancient Excerpt

I thought it was about time that I reminded the world that once upon a time I used to write stuff that didn’t involve a camera and a bunch of earplugs. Enter stage left, this book…

Yes, it’s the original Causality Merchant book. The same book that I keep promising to write a second sequel to. And here’s an extract…

Janice sat beside Wozniak as he manoeuvred the large estate car out of the driveway of The Peaks, and into Pikes Lane. She caught sight of her dishevelled hair in the sun visor vanity mirror, and attempted to reassemble the wayward strands into the neat, but unflattering pulled-back style in which she usually wore it.

“Leave it.” Wozniak said with a little more urgency than he’d intended. “It’s fine like that. Better than fine in fact. You don’t have to do anything with it.”

Initially startled at Wozniak’s abrupt demand, Janice reappraised her appearance.

I suppose it does look a little more care free’, She thought to herself, ‘If a little scruffy’.

“Really?” She enquired. “It doesn’t look a mess? I’m sure mother would think it was perfectly ghastly.”

“Yes, I expect she would.” Wozniak grumbled as he angled the large vehicle between the earth bank and a small van approaching from the opposite direction. “But then she’d think I was perfectly ghastly too; and we know that’s not true – don’t we!”

Janice didn’t reply verbally: she merely nodded and smiled slightly. She decided to get back to the subject at hand.

“I assume that when you say I’m to meet and greet the great Katherine Marcus, you don’t mean Doctor Katherine Marcus?”

“You assume correctly.” Wozniak replied – grateful for a moment’s respite from wheel-twisting as the vehicle entered a more open part of the lane.

“Isn’t that going to be rather difficult?” Janice said as she looked sideways at her chauffeur.

“Not if I’m right.” Wozniak said – his confidence of success seemingly high.

Janice pondered a moment before responding. This is not the Peter Wozniak of just a couple of days past: he had been pleasant enough then – but he’d also been a man who appeared to believe that he’d reached the end of his usefulness. He had referred to himself as a ‘washed-up writer’ more than once. Now this little adventure – even if much of it was delusional – was giving him back his confidence. And she was grateful for it: after all wasn’t she being thoroughly entertained in a way that she could never have previously imagined? And as regards to Peter – she was so pleased to see him favouring his cerebral nerves over his erectile variety.

“Supposing you’re right…” she said.

“Which I am.” Wozniak interrupted.

Janice ignored this, and carried on, “…how can you guarantee this doppelgänger Katherine Marcus is going to show up in the village? Judging from the way you described her previous behaviour, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brambledown hasn’t seen the last of her!”

“If I’m right…” Wozniak began in turn.

This time it was Janice who interrupted:

“Which you are.”

Wozniak grinned. “Yes – which I am. She doesn’t have much choice.”

“Of course that’s assuming Doctor Katherine Marcus goes to work this morning.” Janice reminded him.

“Oh she will.” Wozniak assured her. “She absolutely lives for her work. Given a choice between me in the sack, a national lottery win, or a morning at the office – or should I say ‘the laboratory’ – I know I’d have to settle for a distant second place. Or, dare I say it, third. Oh yes I’m pretty certain that my favourite doppelgänger will turn up: she has no choice in the matter.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

This is available as a paperback and as an e-book. See sidebar for details.

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