Sneak peek

Here is the opening of the story I’m currently working on.  I don’t usually preview stuff until the first draft is completed so consider yourself privileged.

1988

“There’s somebody here!” Paul looked concerned.  Steven shrugged.  He said he hadn’t seen anyone on his way back from his fourth fag break of the morning.  He had only left the cellar because it wasn’t raining.  The day before he had lit up right there, despite Miss Beamish’s warnings.

“You should take a break, get some fresh air.”  Steven yawned and stretched.  Paul looked up from the stack of papers he was boxing up and sent him a quizzical look, as if to ask what on Earth would Steven know about fresh air; he was a walking ash tray.  “Working too hard.  Making me look bad.”

This comment made Paul look away.  He doubted anything could make Steven look bad.  Steven, aware that Paul fancied him, strutted around, enjoying his workmate’s discomfort.

“I did see someone!” Paul insisted, keeping his eyes averted as Steven adjusted his trousers.

“The old bitch checking up on us?”

“No… This was someone small.  Over there.  Just for a second.”  Paul waved across the room, where the vaulted ceiling disappeared into shadows.  Steven glanced across.

“You’re a fucking idiot,” he twitched his shoulders.  Paul blushed.

“We get this finished today, we don’t have to come back tomorrow.  And there’s a bonus.”

“Whoopee cack.”  Steven pulled out his walkman and pressed play.  The hiss of the music cut off when he hooked the headphones over his ears.  Paul watched him amble to a stack of ledgers and begin to toss them unceremoniously into a tea chest.

Paul recalled Miss Beamish’s admonitions about treating every item with care.  She would go batshit if she saw the way Steven chucked stuff around.  To compensate, he took extra care with each document.  He got quite a rhythm going and was making headway but, given Steven’s slacking off and careless approach, Paul was doubtful they would complete the task by the end of the day.

He coughed.  The air was close and musty.  Some of the papers were mildewed and others were sopping wet, but all were to be saved and transported from the Hall to the spanking new archive across town.

The light bulb flickered.  Paul frowned at it, willing it to behave itself.  If that blew, they would be plunged into total darkness.  He glanced across the room to where Miss Beamish had left a torch.  Paul decided it would be prudent to have it closer to hand in case of a sudden blackout.  Although, being along in the dark with the gorgeous Steven might not be all bad…

There was something about the shape of his neck that Paul found fascinating.

“Stop staring at me!” Steven snapped, perhaps a little louder than he had intended.  Paul blushed again and was about to stammer a denial when the light went out.  “Fuck’s sake!”  Steven wailed.  Paul clutched his way across the room to the torch.  His fingers closed around the rubber casing.  He snatched it up and switched it on.  He turned the beam towards Steven who was screaming, “Get off me!”   The weak light fell across him.  Steven screwed up his face and held up his hand as a shield.

The light bulb hummed and flickered back into life.  Paul dropped the torch.

“You fuckin’ -“ Steven was livid.

Paul’s mouth hung open.  He raised a hand to point at the space just beyond Steven’s shoulder.

“What the fuck?”  Steven glanced around.

“Right there,” Paul breathed.  “A child!”

“What the fuck are you on about?”

“Right there.  A child’s face.  All white.  Staring right at you.”

“You’re a twat,” Steven shoved him roughly.  “Trying to scare your way into my pants won’t work.  Fucking poof.”

***

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