Trevor Belshaw Author

Author of Out of Control

Page 2 of 3

The Westwich Writer’s Club

Chapter Four

Work Issues

After dinner Charlotte bought her laptop over and went through her collection of digital photographs that she had taken on safari. Stephen was impressed with her detailed knowledge of the animals and places.

‘You should write it all down, Charlie, I’m sure it would find an audience.’

‘Me, write? as in writing something other than an email or a report? I can’t see it somehow.’

‘I read your emails, they were very descriptive, I think you’ve got a real talent there. It just needs polishing up a bit. While you were away, I joined the local writers group. They’re a strange lot, mainly elderly, but they do have some younger members stashed away in a cupboard somewhere. Why don’t you join too? maybe together we could blow away some of the cobwebs and get it functioning again. What do you say?’

‘Writing, hmm, I have to admit I’ve always fancied the idea. My old English teacher said I should be a journalist. It’s certainly worth thinking about. What do they do at this group?’

‘Not a lot as things stand, but they do have writing competitions every month and they have reading nights, so you can get an idea of what strangers think of your work. Family members and friends are always going to be polite about your writing, and while that’s encouraging, it’s not really going to help.’

Stephen put the last few pages of his novel on the table. Charlotte picked it up and read.

‘This is great,’ she said eventually, ‘where’s the rest of it?’

Stephen tapped his head.

‘In here, I’ve more or less got it all worked out.’

‘So, you wrote the ending first?’

‘Yes, I know, the writers group thought I was mad too. Or at least I think they did; I didn’t get any reaction from them at all when I read it.’

Charlotte pursed her lips and thought for a moment.

‘Thinking about it, it’s quite logical. You should know where you’re going to end up.’

‘That’s how I see it. Of course, when I write the preceding chapters the story might take a major diversion and it may end up in a totally different place, but I just thought I’d give it a go.’

‘If the writers club is so old and crumbly, is there any real point in me joining. They sound a mean old bunch.’

‘I was told they are just scared of change; they know things will have to be done differently if the group is going to survive, but they just can’t face up to that reality.’

‘So, what are you going to do, start a revolution?’

Continue reading

The Westwich Writer’s Club

Chapter Five

The Wrong Side of the Tracks

Chapter Five

It took Stephen the rest of the afternoon to remove the various worms and Trojans that had infiltrated Mick’s computer defences. He ran five spyware scans a full virus sweep and rebooted the machine several times before he was confident that the machine was infection free.

At five thirty Carole popped her head round the door of the workshop.

‘I’m off now boss, I need to call in at the supermarket on the way home. See you tomorrow.’

‘Give me a minute, Carole,’ called Paul, ‘I’ll drop you off, I’m going that way.’

‘Night boss,’ they called together as they left the shop.

Stephen began the final tests on Mick’s PC.

‘No home to go to Mel?’

‘I’ve nothing on tonight, so I’m not in a hurry.’

Stephen heard her slide from her seat, a few seconds later he felt her breast press against his elbow. She slid a hand around his waist and stretched to look over his shoulder.

‘Anything I can do?’ she whispered.

Stephen straightened and edged away to the side.

‘No thanks, Mel, I’m almost done now. I just have to deliver the bloody thing.’

‘Need any company? I’ll come with you if you like.’

‘Thanks for the offer Mel, but I don’t’ want to put you to any trouble.’

Mel pushed her body against him, placed a hand on his hip and looked up into his face.

‘It’s no trouble.’

Stephen tried to back off again but found himself pressed tight up against the wall. He lifted his hands in a defensive posture, then thinking that she might get the wrong idea, stuck them in his pockets instead.

‘Mel… I’

‘Okay, boss, wrong time, wrong place, eh?’

‘Mel, there isn’t a r…’

Mel shushed him, stretched, and placed a soft kiss on his lips.’

‘Another time then. Goodnight.’

She turned away, picked up her bag and performed a catwalk wiggle across the workshop, Stephen’s eyes followed her every movement. When she reached the workshop door, she looked over her shoulder and blew a kiss.

‘See you tomorrow boss.’

Stephen wiped his brow with the back of his hand.

‘That was a close one,’ he said aloud.

At six-thirty he loaded the repaired computer into the boot of his BMW, locked up the shop and joined the tail end of the rush hour traffic. He pushed a Deep Purple CD into the player and turned up the volume. As he drove along the ring road, he began to think about a new plot twist for his novel. He decided it would take the story off at a tangent but it might make it stronger in the end.

As he drove through the council estate, he spotted a small convenience store and pulled up at the side of the road. Stephen followed a well-used path that had been worn into the grass bank and climbed the slight incline. The Mini Mart was the first in a small line of shops.

On the pavement outside, a group of hooded teenagers leaned against a wall talking in their own coded language. Stephen hurried into the store trying not to make eye contact.

Continue reading

The Westwich Writer’s Club

Chapter Six

The ‘Orgy’

Chapter Six

At the end of Redvale Lane, Stephen pulled onto the grass verge, picked up Mick’s job sheet and entered the address details into his sat-nav.

‘After three hundred yards, turn left,’ he was advised.

A few minutes later he pulled up in front of a short row of terraced houses. Mick’s was right in the centre at number four. Stephen flipped the latch on the wrought iron gate and stepped up to the red painted front door. There was a choice of a bell push or a brass knocker. He chose the bell push, there was no reply, so he beat a rat-a-tat-tat with the door knocker.

A woman’s head popped out of the upstairs window at number three.

‘What are you after?’

‘I’m looking for Mr Morrison,’ said Stephen. ‘I’ve got a delivery for him.’

‘He’s not in.’

Stephen looked at his watch.

‘I suppose I am a bit late.’

‘It wouldn’t matter what time you turned up, he’s never in these days,’ advised the woman.

‘Any idea when he’ll be back?’

‘Could be any time, I’ve seen him sneak back in after midnight. Is it a parcel? I can take it in if you like. I’ll make sure he gets it.’

‘No, it’s not a parcel, I’m returning his computer. I need to set it up for him and show him a couple of new programs.’

‘Computers?’ she spat. ‘At his age?’

‘There’s no age limit on using them,’ said Stephen. ‘Most people have one these days.’

‘And we all know what people get up to on them too, that Intynet is full of sex.’

The woman looked up and down the street then came to a decision.

‘Hang on a minute, I’ll come down.’

Stephen moved to her front gate.

There was the sound of bolts being drawn and keys being turned. A few seconds later she stepped out of her doorway patting her steel grey hair into place. She bustled down the path towards him before coming to an abrupt halt just short of the gate.

‘Who did you say you were?’

‘I didn’t, but I’m Stephen King. I run a computer repair shop in town.’

‘You ought to be writing books with a name like that,’ she observed.

‘It has been mentioned,’ said Stephen.

‘Got any ID? You could be anyone.’

Stephen handed her a business card. She held it close to her face, then squinted at it from a distance.

‘Left my glasses on the coffee table,’ she confided. She put the card in the pocket of her cardigan. ‘I’ll read it later.’

‘Any idea where Mick will be?’

‘It’s Mick now is it? It was Mr Morrison a minute ago.’

‘I know him from the Westwich Writers Club, as well as being a customer, Mrs?’

‘Wilde, Mavis.’

‘Do you have a son called Oscar?’ Stephen joked.

‘Oscar’s my cat.’

Continue reading

The Village

A Thousand Years of Division.

The village of Kirkby Sutton is a conglomerate and an enigma. Formed by the merging of two villages that had outgrown their ability to remain separate as an entity, it nevertheless retains two extremely different and specific identities. One half, as its name suggests, is built around the church and is a, (mainly), well-to-do, haven of respectability, with its Georgian Manor, leafy, wide-verged streets, lined with large, detached houses, driveways, off road parking and a library. There is also a small 1960s estate, a mix of private, three bedroomed, privately-owned houses, with an enclave of housing association tenants bolted on for political expediency.

Down the hill, the other half of the village contains a higgledy-piggledy, hotchpotch of stone cottages, modern, town houses and rows of Victorian terraces, originally built for the employees at the local lace factory, brewery and estate workers, who made the short trip up the road, to toil on the farms of Lord Beresford on the other side of the village. Nowadays, the descendants of those workers still live in the red brick terraces, but are employed by industries in the nearby cities of Nottingham and Derby.

The rivalry of its residents compares to any found in much larger towns and cities. You would be hard pressed to find as much animosity at a local Derby football match in Liverpool or Manchester. The annual village fair, which includes a fiercely fought, tug-of-war competition, held on a boozy bank holiday weekend, regularly turns violent. For years, a police sergeant from the small town of Higton, was paid to referee the event, but when the ageing sergeant retired and the police station was closed down to save money in the 1950s, the residents were left to sort out their own mess, so a committee, made up of the vicar’s wife and a group of teetotal residents from both sides, sat in sober judgment over the proceedings. To this day, the committee still rules on complaints and accusations made by one side against the other. Most of the grievances are easily dismissed, but on a few occasions, a vote has to be taken with the chairperson, a lady with no connection to either side of the village, holding the casting vote.

Sutton is the older part of the village and dates back to Saxon times. Its name comes from the Anglo-Saxon term for South town, (village, or enclosure.) It was built on the plain at the bottom of a long slope, on the bend of a fast-flowing stream. They built a timber church, which, in bad winters, became a flood plain. Sick of paddling to church for their religious instruction, they erected another one, higher up the slope, using the soggy timbers from their original construction.

A hundred or so years later the Danes arrived, but instead of rape and pillage, the Vikings merely appropriated the land around the church and began to farm it. This community became known as Kirkby, or, the settlement by the church. Over time, the Danish intruders, became Christianised, improved the church building, and appointed one of their own number, a man from the nearby town of Derby, as priest. They reluctantly allowed their near neighbours to attend religious ceremonies, in an effort to re-Christianise the local population, who had, by now, become almost universally, heathen.

Continue reading

The Diary of an Aspiring Adulteress

Part Three

Suckers

What is it with teenagers? They are so full of contradictions.

At 8.00am on Saturday I was in the kitchen cooking bacon, when Lara strolled in. I looked at the clock in mock-shock and opened my mouth wide. Normally we don’t see her until lunchtime at the weekend. She slammed a magazine down on the kitchen table and pointed to the headline. ‘Have you seen this?’ she growled, as though I was the subject of the article.

I picked up the magazine. ‘Polar bears in trouble as ice pack melts.’ I read.

‘It’s sad isn’t it?’ I sympathised.

‘It’s not sad, it’s disgusting, that’s what it is.’ Lara flicked through a couple of pages and pointed to another article. ‘Whaling,’ she continued. ‘Aren’t you ashamed? The fleets catch more and more each year, soon there’ll be none left.’

‘Whaling is bad too,’ I agreed.

Lara fixed me with a glare. ‘It’s your fault.’

‘My fault? Why is …’

‘Your generation’s fault then. You allowed it to happen on your watch. You’ve

sat back and done nothing for years, now it’s probably too late.’

‘That’s not really fair, Lara,’ I said quietly, trying to take the heat out of the situation. I always give to the animal charity collectors when they come around, and I joined the RSPB.’

Lara wasn’t appeased. ‘So, you stick 50p in a tin and think you’ve done enough to save the planet? Look around you Mum, animals are suffering.’

I looked round the kitchen. Spencer was attempting to get the last atoms of dog food from his bowl and Slasher was washing her face after eating a breakfast of tuna chunks. ‘Doesn’t seem to be much in the way of suffering here,’ I joked.

Lara grabbed two sandwiches, slapped them onto a plate and stormed out of the kitchen.

‘That’s right, make a joke of it,’ she spluttered through a mouthful of bacon sandwich. ‘You just don’t care what happens to animals, do you?’

Continue reading

Easter

Easter

Hi Emma,

I hope you got a lie in after Carmel’s break up party last night. I managed to get an extra hour, so got up about twelvish. I didn’t feel too bad considering the amount of booze I put away. I can’t remember getting home, but worryingly, Mum found a pair of men’s underpants in the porch this morning. All my clothes are in a pile on the chair near my bed, so I know I arrived home fully dressed. Who was that bloke I was talking to, late on? I know I snogged him outside the loo, but that’s as much as I can remember. Was he okay? Don’t tell me I snogged a minger. My street cred isn’t what it was since that tart, Olivia, told everyone in Slappers night club, that I had crabs. I know it must have looked like I was scratching at nits, but it was those knickers I got from Ali’s market stall last week, they had some dodgy stitching and were irritating me all night. I’m going to take them back on Saturday. I paid a bloody fiver for those; Ali can do one, I’m not wearing seconds. I ended up going commando in the end, which was very risky in that short dress I was wearing. I had a bit of a rash round my bits next morning, though that could be down to the fact that my razor is blunt. I think Gran’s been using it again. I don’t know why she insists on having a Brazilian at her age. Her pubes are like a Brillo pad: she needs a chainsaw to trim them really.

Poor Gran, she’s starting to feel her age a bit now. She’s in her 80s, so doing really well, but her knees are giving way and she’s struggling with the stairs now. When she stands up or sits down her knees crack so loudly that you’d think you were down at the rifle range. Mum says we’ll have to move her downstairs soon. We have a room at the back that’s only used to keep Dad’s knock off fruit and veg out of the sight of prying eyes.

Gran wasn’t keen on the idea at first, but changed her mind when she found out that Dad didn’t like the idea either. Dad said he’d have a heart attack carting all his stuff upstairs to Gran’s room. Gran said she’d like to see that and asked Mum to point the indoor security camera at the stairs so she could record it and watch it over and over again.

Continue reading

Brexshit

Hi Emma,

I’ve just been listening to Dad and Gran arguing about Brexit, or should I say, the lack of it. Remember I told you about all the arguments in our house when we first had the referendum back in 2016? Well, we’re still having the same old rows. It’s like Groundpig day. No one has changed their opinion in the slightest. Dad still thinks we should stay in the European Union and that everyone who wants to leave is a racist, insular, narrow minded, myopic Nazi. Gran said that was a compliment and reckons Dad is a weak minded, spineless, yellow bellied. commie traitor and should be shot as a Quisling collaborator.

I didn’t get why Gran bought up the fact that Dad enjoys taking part in pub quizzes during a political argument, so I looked the word up on Google and it seems that Quisling was a Norwegian bloke who took the side of the Nazis in the war. That puzzled me a bit, because if both their arguments are correct, they should be on the same side.

Even Mum gets involved at times. She said that If four ex-Prime Ministers and that nice Nick Clegg, who was nearly Prime Minister, think we should stay in the EU, then it’s good enough for her. She’s worried that if we leave, she might not be able to spend the 20 Euro note, left over from the day out to France she had with the Clicking Needles, knitters’ group, last year.

I’m a bit worried about it all too if I’m honest, I mean, if we leave Europe, we won’t belong to a continent anymore and it will cost a fortune to reprint all those atlases. Anyway, I want to go to Malaga this summer and if we aren’t in Europe I could be classed as stateless, like that ISIS bride, and that might make it a bit tricky until we sort all the maps out.

Continue reading

Feminist Chat

Hi Emma,

How’s the jogger’s nipple? I hate that, I got it once when I wore that hessian blouse without a bra to Bryony Chalmers’ end of engagement party. I was really popular with the lads that night but Christ, my nipples felt like they’d been chewed on by a starving buck toothed Piranha. I used up three-six-packs of Greek style yoghurts trying to cool them down.

That bastard, Simon, my ex, put my name down for the wet t-shirt competition at Tossers night club. The lousy sod said I’d be a shoo in with my cast iron nips.

Gran’s been giving us a lecture on how tough life was back in the 1960s tonight. It all started when Dad came home from work saying he was going to see the doctor about getting a few days off. Mum got all worried, she doesn’t like the idea of dad being on the sick. The last time he had a few days off he didn’t go back for twenty years.

Continue reading

Undecided.

Undecided.

Hi, Emma.

Hope this email finds you in good health. How’s the ingrowing hair on your nipple? Have you had it removed yet? It looked really sore when you showed it to me. Sorry my efforts to dig it out with my eyebrow tweezers wasn’t successful.

Apologies for not being in touch sooner, but I felt I had to get away to think about everything, so I went down to Newquay for a fortnight. That was a waste of time. I ended up getting pissed every night in Easy Riders nightclub. Remember that place, Emma? We had some fun in there when we were on holiday with your mum and dad. How old were we, fifteen? We thought we were so grown up. You tossed that lad off in the toilets and got his stuff al over your blue skirt. I still laugh at that. You told your mum I’d spilt some superglue on it when I was trying to stick the heel back onto your shoe. If only she’d known, she wouldn’t have tried to get the stain out by handwashing it.

Continue reading

The Meditating Monk

Today, the Independent newspaper is carrying a story about the perfectly preserved body of a Buddhist monk that has been found in Mongolia. One Buddhist academic maintains that the monk, still sitting in the lotus position, may not be dead but might be in a state of deep mediation.

Now, as some of you know, I’m not one to be taken in by religious relics. I wasn’t fooled when a ‘genuine,’ nail, from the crucifixion of Jesus was put up for sale on Ebay, nor was I convinced by the splinter from the cross that was being offered by the same seller. (Not least because I had already bought one from a street market seller when I was in Turkey, and the one I’d haggled for was made of a much darker wood.) I was sorely tempted to purchase one of the thirty six, Messiah’s foreskins that were offered to me on the same holiday, but in the end I didn’t succumb, I mean, Jesus only had one foreskin removed, how could I be sure which one of them was the genuine article? I could have ended up with Judas’ prepuce and that wouldn’t have been half as valuable. I suppose, in a way they may all have been genuine, he was a supreme healer, after all. I just don’t think he’d have put up with a rabbi following him around with a sharp knife waiting to snip the latest growth.

Continue reading
« Older posts Newer posts »