Line of Descent; The abandoned prequel.


I’ve just got back from a holiday in a place where there’s no internet access and where the people there aren’t too bothered by that either. It was very relaxing and the last thing I was doing was preparing the next blog piece for this weekend and I’m still in holiday mode. Chatting to my … Continue reading

Ship.


The craft hurled across the cold light years, a gutted wreck. Inside the pierced hull, the litter of habitation floated idly, free from the long gone bounds of artificially induced gravity and free from the orderliness of her crew. Indeed, their bodies formed a part of the slow motion blizzard of objects. It had sped … Continue reading

Food for the Wolf


Once upon a time there was a mangy old wolf who liked to eat a pig once in a while. People blamed the poor devil terribly for what was after all, just his nature. They made up horrible stories about him eating piglets, cats, dogs, barns, little girls and anything else they could think of … Continue reading

A meeting in the park.


A Meeting in the Park. The elderly man walked down the path in the park. It was late in the evening and the Sun had long ago set. Beside him his small dog trotted on a lead. Like its owner, it was small and gnarled but somehow managed to convey a plucky dignity. The path … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 27


Chapter 27 Drayton waited with Krupmeyer amid the ruins of the summer house. He sat on the floor, resting his injured back against the wall. It throbbed with a steady nagging ache that the drugs could not quite mask. Beside him on the floor, Krupmeyer lay in a stretcher. About them, the team of paramedics … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 26


Chapter 26 Krupmeyer stared through the smoke at the black indistinct figure rising up through the hole in the floor in front of him. His eyes watered from the acrid smoke and his ears were filled with a high-pitched ringing from the effects of the explosion. The figure seemed to unbend slowly until it was … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 25


Chapter 25 The wounded man’s lifeless eyes stared up at the wooden joists of the ceiling. He had died quietly, slipping away from life unnoticed among the group of people huddled there together in the centre of the room. The maid had been the first to realise he was dead and had backed away from … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 24


Chapter 24 As soon as Drayton and his men entered the forest, the pace of their withdrawal slowed as they carefully negotiated each twist and turn of the path, wary of an ambush. They leapfrogged from position to position, always covering the man whose turn it was to go ahead and check out each corner. … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 23


Chapter 23 Drayton lay prone, squeezed between the other two men at the northern post. In front of them, the lawn stretched out in the moonlight to the treeline. Nothing moved or made a noise, not even his companions whose breathing had become almost inaudible. The moonlight turned the carefully tended lawn into a silvery … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 22


Chapter 22 He lay full length on the ground, concealed within a clump of vegetation through which he studied the house and the hastily built positions in front of it. He held a rifle which poked out in front of him, stopping two feet short of the end of the cover. It had been in … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 21


Chapter 21 ‘You did the right thing’ said Drayton handing him a glass of whiskey from the bottle Harting had produced from somewhere. Krupmeyer looked like he needed it. ‘If you’d stayed, he’d have got the lot of you.’ Krupmeyer accepted the drink. His hand still shook from reaction and the brutal physical effort of … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 20


Chapter 20 Krupmeyer sneaked out of the house and across the lawn with five of the guards. Each was armed with a sub‑machine gun and a pistol. Before entering the forest, they stopped at the edge to rub some earth on their faces and hands. Krupmeyer went around each of them checking out the results. … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 18


Chapter 18 Drayton rolled to his feet, still not fully recovered from the exertion of collecting Williams’ body. He felt light-headed and his thighs ached. He told the original ambush team to stay where they were and ordered the reinforcements to follow him as he headed as fast as he could in the direction the … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 17


They stood silently around the console, looking at the blank screen of the monitor. While they had watched the miniature tableau unfold on it, a creeping sense of horror had held them in its grip, gluing them to the screen with a compulsive interest that only ended with the camera’s violent demise. Suddenly they were free. The spell was broken. Drayton looked around to see wide nervous eyes in pale faces. He had been shaken by it and was relieved to see he wasn’t alone. There had been a nightmarish quality about the whole thing. Like an anxiety dream where something terrible is happening and you’re standing on the sidelines, ignored and powerless to stop it. Krupmeyer was the one to break the silence.

Line of Descent chapter 16


Chapter 16 By the time they reached the control room, Drayton had explained his reasoning to Krupmeyer. He agreed with Drayton’s conclusions. It all fitted together too damn well. ‘You’re right. You should have seen that mob in Coole’ he said. ‘They weren’t exactly world-class. A pop with an idiot son. It wouldn’t be like … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 15


Chapter 15 The foundations of Cosgrave Hall had originally been laid by a beer baron of the early nineteenth century. Its blunt and unadorned features reflected the solid uncompromising attitudes of its builder. It consisted of a large two-story house to which two wings had been added by his more refined descendants. In a further … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 14


Chapter 14 Walters raged and stormed. Drayton had never seen such a complete loss of control by a man of his position. He and Campbell sat silent for five full minutes, while he told them in vitriolic detail what he thought of the way they had handled the situation at the safe house. His language … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 13


Chapter 13 Drayton was called in towards the end of the meeting. It had been called at the instigation of Sir Gerald Walters and was attended on his behalf by his private secretary Grantley. Campbell, Grantley and Cheetham from the US embassy had discussed Krupmeyer’s information behind closed doors for nearly an hour before calling … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 12


Chapter 12 Captain Wainright was in charge of the team that had been flown down from Herefordshire that evening to assault the safe house. He was large and angular and looked very capable. Drayton had taken to him straight away. He had a flinty forbidding look that was constantly undermined by the dead pan asides … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 11


Chapter 11 Drayton was back in London by early that evening. He went directly to the plain sixties style building overlooking the Thames that housed the headquarters of the security services. They had been waiting for him to return and had scheduled a meeting to begin at his arrival to discuss what he had learned … Continue reading