Friday, 28 September 2012

The Phantom of Bonfire Night - Chapter 1 of my kindle book

Chapter One

The Beginning

Joseph Turner was getting ready to pick up his girlfriend Emily Faden in order to take her to a big fireworks night celebration at the local town hall.
After leaving his flat he headed for his car, but he couldn’t remember where he had left it although he wasn’t alone outside since he had some company.
“Have you got a problem with something by any chance Joseph?” His neighbour Eddie Roland wondered after having noticed him looking somewhat flustered about something that wasn’t obvious to him.
“Just lost my car for a moment, but I can see where it is now.” Joseph explained to him in relieved fashion.
“That’s right it’s still parked across the street from what I can see. How much have you had to drink today anyway Joseph?” Eddie suggested to him while feeling that his eyes were playing him up for a reason and that reason could well be alcohol related.
“Not enough let’s just put it that way. I’ve got to take Emily to the fireworks display at the town hall later on.” Joseph informed him while joking around, because he hadn’t had anything else to drink apart from tea this evening since he was going to be driving.
“Hey you better not have been drinking tonight! You do remember what I do for a living right?” Eddie wondered while fixing him with a knowing stare.
“Yes I know you are a cop. Look you can make me walk in a straight line right here and now and I will pass your test with flying colours.” Joseph believed while showing that he was confident if he happened to challenge him to do that he would certainly pass the test.
“You know something? That’s not too bad of an idea.” Eddie responded and he put a shocked look on Joseph’s face since he wasn’t being serious with him when he said he would take his straight walking test.
“Come on I wasn’t being serious Eddie?” Joseph couldn’t believe that Eddie was going to challenge him into walking a straight line for him.
“How about you take that walk in a straight line and I’ll watch you and see how you get on performing it.” Eddie informed him while showing that he had no other option in the matter than to partake and he was after all a badge-carrying member of the police force.
“You aren’t kidding around with me are you?” Joseph fell into the fact that he was being serious with him and wasn’t going to let him wriggle his way out of this without carrying out the test.
“No I’m not going to let you out of this Joseph! So let’s see you walk in this straight line of yours.” Eddie explained to him in eager fashion and then rubbed his hands together in mild amusement at what he had made him do.
“Okay let’s see what you think of this then.” Joseph informed him before he made his attempt to walk along in a straight line.
“I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting for you to get going here.” Eddie informed him before checking out his watch to see how long it had taken Joseph to prepare himself for the challenge he had set for him.
“Give me a few moments please.” Joseph reasoned with him while wondering how he thought that he would be able to perform a challenge like this on such short notice.
“In three, two, one! Walk along now!” Eddie exclaimed and then watched on as Joseph kept his balance before completing his walk in a straight line shortly afterwards. Joseph then looked towards the off duty police officer in order to get his opinion on his ability to walk steady and straight.
“Well did I actually pass your test or what?” Joseph wondered if he had done as well as he thought he had while performing it.
“Just about made it! Take it easy out there tonight there’s a lot of traffic on the roads and I wouldn’t want you to get yourself caught up in anything that you shouldn’t be involved with!” Eddie explained to him after realising that he had no other option than to let him go here.
“Don’t worry about that, because I don’t want to be caught up in any of that kind of stuff either.” Joseph explained to him before walking across the street and over towards his car.
Eddie walked into his house to enjoy a movie he’d rented for his evening’s entertainment with his wife.
 After getting into his car Joseph fired it up before pressing, his foot hard down onto the accelerator where it purred like a kitten.
“This is going to be a pretty incredible night with any luck.” He told himself before heading towards Emily’s house with renewed enthusiasm and a sense of satisfaction after completing Eddie’s spur of the moment challenge. Eddie’s wife Janet looked up as he walked into the living room wearing a funny smile on his face.
“So what’s so funny?” Janet looked to find out.
“I just made Joseph complete a sobriety test.” Eddie informed her.
“Was there a reason for this?” Janet thought it was unusual since he wasn’t on duty here.
“He thought he’d lost his car, which was parked on the opposite side of the road. I thought that since he wasn’t sure where it was to start off with he might’ve been taking something alcoholic.” Eddie believed that it was for the best to be cautious in this instance.
“So you made him walk in a straight line? How did he get on?” Janet looked to find out whether or not he had passed the test.
“He passed with flying colours and hadn’t been drinking, well at least not yet he hadn’t.” Eddie reasoned with her.
“How about we just get the film on and enjoy our evening’s entertainment?” Janet believed that this would be for the best.
“Well I’m up for doing that.” Eddie responded before he cuddled up to his wife on the sofa and they settled in to watching the film they had rented for the evening.    

Meanwhile at Emily Faden’s house she was getting pretty impatient for Joseph to turn up and pick her up. He had promised to be there about fifteen minutes ago and so far he had no showed on her and she had no idea for the reasons behind his no-show since he hadn’t called.
“Where is he?” Emily asked Megan Davis her flatmate for her opinion on where she thought Joseph was tonight.
“Maybe that wreck of a car he’s driving around in has gone and broken down on him yet again what do you think?” Megan suggested a possible scenario to her and one that she could certainly see happening.
“It’s a bit of a bomb I’ll give you that much, but it still does the trick of getting him from a to b though.” Emily reminded that it still had its uses.
“Not if it breaks down it doesn’t get you from a to b does it!” Megan responded before they both started laughing about it.
“So looking forward to the fireworks display tonight are you then?” Emily wondered while trying to get the subject back off of her boyfriend’s car.
“Why are you asking me? Aren’t you the one going to the display at the town hall with Joseph?” Megan suggested to her.
“If he ever actually gets here that is! I thought I heard you say that you were going with Arnie to the very same fireworks display?” Emily recalled her mentioning something about it the other day.
“I am indeed, but I’ve got to meet him there, because he can’t even be bothered to pick me up?” Megan suggested to her with a lingering question at the end of her sentence that Emily quickly picked up on.
“Why can’t he pick you up then?” Emily wondered while feeling somewhat confused as to the reasons’ why he couldn’t come and get her tonight.
“He’s gone and got his license suspended once again.” Megan informed her of what had happened to Arnie recently.
“When did that happen though?” Emily was surprised to hear this news since his driving had improved over the past few months.
“It happened last week actually. He got caught again for another speeding violation. Third strike and its all gone his license that is.” Megan was disappointed about what had happened since she had to relay on public transport and cab services since he had lost his license.
“Still he could have picked you up by cab or something instead?” Emily wondered what she made of this idea.
“That’s just not his style I’m afraid to say.” Megan realised that it just wasn’t in Arnie’s thinking pattern.
“In that case how about you come along with us then? I’m sure Joseph won’t mind dropping you off and after all we’re going to the same place as you are.” Emily explained to her.
“That’s if the aforementioned Joseph ever actually gets here to pick either one of us up!” Megan reminded her and then took a look outside to see if any cars were coming along the street with their lights on outside.
“Don’t worry he’ll be here soon.” Emily responded while still having some faith in him even if Megan didn’t have that same kind of faith in him.

Joseph pulled his car up outside Emily and Megan’s flat and then looked around and since there didn’t appear to be anyone around he quickly sounded off his horn in order to attract her attention.
“Sounds like he’s actually made it here?” Megan suggested to her.
“All ye of little faith and all that kind of thing?” Emily wondered while wearing a smile on her face.
“So I was wrong about him and he got here in the end.” Megan conceded before they made their way out towards Joseph’s car and got inside the vehicle.
“Joseph I think that you already know Megan my flatmate.” Emily reminded him that they had met a few times before.
“Hi Megan! So where are we dropping you off this evening?” Joseph responded after all he hadn’t been expecting her to be coming along with them this evening.
“At the fireworks display at the town hall. That’s my desired destination this evening thank you driver.” Megan explained to him causing some raised eyebrows.
“That’s a strange co-incidence, because that’s exactly where we’re going ourselves.” Joseph informed her.
“That’s the main reason why I suggested she come along with us. Arnie had his license suspended last week and he will be meeting her there this evening.” Emily explained to him why she wasn’t going along to the display with her own boyfriend.               
“In that case let’s get going then. It’s going to be one heck of a night with any luck.” Joseph was hopeful of the display living up to the expectations he had for it in his mind.
“Are we going to be getting a move on or what?” Megan suggested to him.
“Of course I don’t plan to sit here all evening.” Joseph reasoned with her before he drove away from outside the flat on towards the local town hall.
“I’ve read they have brought in some special foreign fireworks for us to watch this evening. It’s been in all of the local newspapers recently.” Megan informed them after having been intrigued about them and what kind of noise and pattern they would make once they hit the sky.
“They’ve brought in some special foreign fireworks?” Joseph found himself repeating back to her with a fair amount of surprise in his voice since it sounded a bit adventurous for the local fireworks display.
“Yeah you know ones’ that really go bang and thunder around the skies before disappearing into thin air kind of like they were never there in the first place.” Megan explained to them with a smile on her face showing how much she was looking forward to seeing them detonate.
“What are the fireworks called? Did they have a name?” Joseph wondered if Megan had seen them called anything.
“I think the name they used for them was the rocket plus.” Megan had seen this printed in the newspaper she read and a light went off in Joseph’s mind as he had come across these somewhere before.  
“I’ve heard all about them these special fireworks. Last time they were brought in something went wrong with them didn’t they?” Joseph suggested to them after recalling an incident that had backfired after they had tried to send them up into the sky.
“Something as in what for instance? People weren’t hurt or anything were they?” Emily asked him while feeling concerned to hear him talking about this.
“It’s nothing like that Emily, because nobody got hurt. They just failed to go off and people were left feeling somewhat disappointed and that was the last time those kinds of expensive fireworks were used in public at the town hall.” Joseph explained to them.
“Well let’s hope for all of our sakes. These one’s go off with one almighty big bang.” Megan responded with the look of excitement in her eyes at the prospect.
“I think that all depends on the weather of course?” Joseph reminded them that they couldn’t accurately predict the weather for the evening.
“I heard that it was supposed to be changeable whatever that’s supposed to mean?” Emily suggested to them after having seen a local weather bulletin from a few hours ago.
“I heard that as well, but I haven’t seen any rain in the air so far this evening. So let’s just hope it stays that way.” Joseph was hopeful of clear night weather wise at least.
“Why were you late in picking Emily up anyway?” Megan decided to question what made him late and caused them to wait in for him to arrive.
“My neighbour decided I looked like I’d been drinking something I shouldn’t have been. So he made me walk in a straight line in order for me to prove him wrong about that.” Joseph explained what had happened to them still feeling disappointed in Eddie for having done this on a day when he was already feeling a little nervous.
“What’s your neighbour do for a living then?” Megan asked him intrigued.
“He’s a police officer so when he said that I had to do it I felt like I had no other choice in the matter.” Joseph reasoned with them.
“Did you go ahead and pass his test of his?” Emily wondered while thinking that it would’ve been funny to see it.
“Yes I did pass his test! Passed it with flying colours as well.” Joseph confirmed for them both.
“At least that’s something! The last thing I wanted to do this evening was get into a car with someone who had been driving under the influence of something they shouldn’t have been.” Megan reasoned with them before laughing at the very idea of it happening.
“Hasn’t Arnie just been banned for the same kind of things though?” Emily moved to remind her and in the process stopped her from laughing about it.
“No he was banned for going way too fast although it still amounts to the same thing really doesn’t it? He has no license and with it he now has no car to drive.” Megan suddenly got what she was pointing out to her when she was laughing at Joseph walking a straight line for his neighbour.
“We’re aren’t too far away from the town hall now. Lots of people around here so there must be a quite a crowd expected for the display itself.” Joseph believed after checking out the scene that greeted them this evening.
“Not a lot else to do in this town tonight by the looks of things then.” Megan exclaimed with a flat observation about the town and its people.         
“So did Arnie say anything about where he was going to be meeting up with you?” Emily suggested to her while hoping to find out, because the last thing they needed to do was have to walk around lost trying to find him.
“No! He just said to me that he was going to meeting me up at the town hall for the fireworks display.” Megan reminded her that he had been a man of few words on this occasion.
“No what I meant was whereabouts exactly? I mean there’s bound to be a lot of people there and it will be difficult to find him unless you know where you are going to be meeting up with him.” Emily explained to her.
“That’s the main reason why I have a mobile phone on me at the moment!” Megan reminded her before Emily realised that she was panicking for no real reason here.
“At least we will find out where he is once we get there.” Emily was pleased that they would be able to get through to him on arrival at the town hall.
“Looks like we will get to see the display after all.” Joseph believed that this was a good thing since he was still looking forward to it himself.

At the town hall Arnie was walking around and getting ready to meet up with his girlfriend Megan, but as he was unsighted he passed an elderly looking gentlemen posing around with a couple of figures in the dark.
“Hey watch out!” The elderly man called out to stop him from walking into him.
“Whoa you really scared me there for a few moments.” Arnie informed the man with the hat on his head who was stood in front of him.
“Was it me who really scared you? Or was it my two friends here that actually did the trick?” The man suggested to him while diverting attention away from him-self and onto the figures standing either side of him.
“I suppose it was a little bit of both to be honest with you.” Arnie explained to him in honest fashion after giving them a more detailed look and finding them more than a little creepy looking.
“That’s just what I wanted to hear.” The man informed him before breaking out into heavy sounding laughter.
“Can I ask you why you are standing around with a couple of dummies anyway?” Arnie wondered what the purpose was to this.
“These aren’t dummies! These are guys. You know when you were a kid you would say penny for the guy after making up one of these things and hanging around looking for a penny or maybe more to drop into a hat?” The man suggested to him and Arnie stood there contemplating the idea.
“I suppose I would’ve probably done that at some point when I was younger of course.” Arnie realised, that he had done this a few times as a kid although his guys never looked anything like as good as these ones’ did that the old man had knocked up for the display.
“Well I’ve decided not to sacrifice my two dummies, so I’ve now got to go and take these things back to the car.” The old man responded before taking a heavy sounding sigh, as he readied himself for the task ahead of him.
“Do you want me to give you a bit of a hand with them since they look kind of heavy?” Arnie suggested to him while trying to be helpful to him.
“No I’ll be perfectly fine, but listen do you want to take one of my guys with you for this evening?” The old man suggested to him while thinking it would be a nice gesture to make.
“I was wondering why you had two dummies with you in the first place, because they looked quite a handful!” Arnie responded after feeling that it must’ve been quite a task for him to cart these two around the town hall all night.
“The more of these guys you have the better in my opinion. One penny for one guy and two pennies for two guys.” The man explained his money making plan to him and Arnie understood what he was getting at.
“I can see what you are getting at now.” Arnie realised it was actually a good money making scheme, but it didn’t look like it would be paying off for the old man not this evening anyway.
“I need to take them back to the car now, because I haven’t been getting too many tips from passers by since I’ve been stood here for the last hour or so. They all seem to be too caught up in the fireworks that will displayed later on to notice me and my dummies as you called them.” The old man explained to him before he shook his head.
“Hey listen if the offers still open I don’t mind taking one off you…unless you want some money for it, because I haven’t got a great deal of money on me and the money I’ve got is to make sure my girlfriend Megan has a good time this evening. I kind of owe her that much for sticking by me.” Arnie informed him while thinking about his license being taken away and with it losing his favourite possession known as his car.
“Why not? Take it! This guy of mine! He’s all yours.” The man responded before handing the dummy standing to his right over to Arnie to hold onto and look after for as long as he liked.
“Gee thanks a bunch. Megan is going to really love this! Has he got a special name or anything?” Arnie suggested to him while feeling impressed with the dummy he had just been given.
“His name is Guy Fawkes! He’s the reason why we celebrate fireworks night every year on the fifth of November.” The old man responded with a wry look on his face.
“What’s your name anyway?” Arnie wondered after having failed to catch it so far.
“Why’s it so important you know my name?” The old man suggested to him in defensive fashion since he didn’t know Arnie and as such didn’t particularly trust him.
“It’s not that important I suppose, but thanks for the dummy or should I say thanks for Guy Fawkes.” Arnie responded with a smile on his face pleased at the dummy he had just been given.
“It was my pleasure, but just make sure you look after him and nothing comes of his being with you.” The man informed him before turning to walk away with the other dummy tucked under his arm.
“What could come of his being with me then?” Arnie wondered what the old man meant by this idea, but the old man didn’t answer and just continued walking away without turning back to answer his question for him. Arnie didn’t let that get to him and simply smiled before he checked the time on his watch and picked up the dummy of Guy Fawkes and made his way over towards the main entrance of the town hall in order to meet up with Megan for their date of fireworks on this special night of November fifth.

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