As a break from all my silliness, please try some samples of my sensible stuff – namely these…
Although I never intended to write these books for YA, I did write them with my teen-aged self in mind. I wanted to write stories that I would have enjoyed as a youth. So p’raps I did, after all – only sub-cobsciously. Anyway here they are – suitable for all ages…
I stood atop the slightly wind-swept railway embankment. Looking back I could see three winding tracks cut by our quad bikes through the long grass of the adjacent field. They halted at the embankment. Below my friends awaited good news.
Using binoculars, I scanned through three hundred and sixty degrees. Not a movement could I see. Not a sign that man or beast existed. No smoke; no sounds; Nothing, but a constant silence. The land was empty. Upon a whim I placed an ear to the railway track. All I could hear was my own breathing.
‘And where there’s breath, there’s life. And where there’s life, there’s hope.’
I stood up, and waved.
“It’s all right:” I called to the others, “You can come up.”
With their pillions now dismounted, Kevin, Donald, and Lee were able to blast their mounts up the steep incline. Within seconds the quad bikes were positioned within the railway tracks – upon the sleepers that separated them unfortunately. It was hoped that their wheels would be run over whatever detritus had filled the hollows between the sleepers. We also hoped that it would be both firm and deep.
Katherine put it into words, “Railway sleepers do not a highway make. Ouch, ouch, ouch, and ouch.”
Once underway it was a case of ‘close your eyes and hang on for dear life’. Although our speed must have been modest at best– all four wheels were seldom on the ground at one time. It felt like we were attempting the land speed record down the side of Everest. Our teeth veritably rattled in our heads, and our eyes could barely focus. It was so ridiculous that I had to laugh.
I heard Katherine’s voice over the thudding of four-stroke engines, and the considerably louder rattles emanating from every other component of the sturdy vehicles as they threatened to disassemble themselves whilst on the move.
She shouted to Donald, “How fast are we going?”
He shouted back, “Don’t know: My eyes are blurred.”
And I knew from current experience that he wasn’t joking.
“Have we gone very far?” She called again.
“Oh, about a million miles.” Donald bellowed between bouts of handlebar wrestling.
“I’m sorry, Don,” Katherine yelled, “But I don’t think this is such a good idea after all: I have a terrible headache, and my posterior is quite numb.”
“That’s nothing:” Donald may have been joking, but I’m not certain, “I have a posterior-ache and my head’s gone numb!”
My chauffeur, Lee, chanced a look back at me. He shouted, “You know, one of these days we’ll look back at this, and laugh like bleedin’ drains!”
“No we won’t.” I was pretty certain of the veracity of my reply, “This will haunt us for all eternity.”
“It’s not quite that bad.” He shouted again.
“Yes it is.” I informed him forcefully – punching his shoulder with every word.
As lead vehicle it was our decision when the caravan stopped or deviated from its course. Lee spotted an unmanned road crossing just ahead.
“You’re right. Hang on.” He shouted – before swerving off of the track, and onto the narrow tarmacadam road, where he braked to a halt.
The others followed. As they pulled alongside, their expressions showed undiluted gratitude.
Kevin summed it up when he said, “That was yukky!”
Katherine dismounted and stretched her legs.
“Not that I’m ungrateful, or anything: but why have we stopped?”
“I thought I’d give the fluid in my brain-box a chance to settle.” Lee replied. Then to everybody, “Right – who votes we follow the railway now?
Not a solitary hand was raised.
Lee pointed toward a hill before it. The railway could be seen entering a tunnel through it.
“Unless somebody’s got a better idea, we’ll follow the track cross-country. Sounds’ good?”
All hands were raised simultaneously.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014
It’s almost impossible to select excerpts from a sequel that doesn’t give away the plot of the original story. This is made all the more difficult when the excerpts are chosen at random. So, by necessity, the following snippet is all too brief. Sorry.
Karen had joined our triumvirate by the time, two hours later, when Shane entered carrying a tray of scalding hot coffee.
“Colin thought you egg-heads might need some brain-juice.” She said. “So where do we hit first?” She asked whilst scrutinising the vast scattering of notepad pages upon Cosgrove’s desk.
“Funny you should ask that, Shane,” I answered, “because I need an ally right now, and I think you’re just the girl to back me up.”
I swear her ears actually pricked up.
“Yeah?” She said with undisguised eagerness, “What’s all this about then?”
So I explained that I still wanted an answer to a question that had been niggling me since the day that Wayne had died so unnecessarily.
“Oh yeah, that one.” Shane said carelessly. “Why was an Espeeg hiding out in a bus station, and why’d he gone stark-raving bonkers?”
“Yes, that’s the one.” I said admiringly. “The others aren’t quite so keen to find out.”
“Yeah, you can count me in.” The diminutive girl said eagerly, “I’ll come with you. It’s about time I did something other than sitting around picking my nose.”
“Too much information!” Kylie wailed.
I hadn’t actually been seeking a side-kick on what was essentially a very secondary mission; but now that I had a volunteer I realised that it was probably a good idea to take someone along. Shane must have seen my reaction.
“When do we leave?” She asked as she dropped into a spare seat.
“No one said that anyone is going anywhere.” Karen said disapprovingly.
I chose not to hear the older, wiser girl.
“Well I’d like to finish my coffee before we go, if that’s okay.” I answered.
“Yes, that’s right.” Karen sniffed. “Ignore me completely. Ignore the voice of rationality.”
So Shane did as she had apparently been instructed. It was only when Tasman and Kylie also voiced their concerns that she responded with:
“Hey, maybe we should take Dainam along: after all he speaks the lingo which is more than we do.”
So it seemed that the decision had been made – in my favour.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014
These books were actually written ten years apart. The former was polished somewhat and re-issued in 2014, following the completion of the latter. Both are available at most e-book suppliers. The paperbacks at Lulu.com (see side bar).