This eerie suspense thriller follows insomniac, Luke who pays debt-stricken Gemma to perform erotic routines entitled Domestic Bliss in the dead hours. In this scene, we get a peek into the mind of a possible psychopath as Luke encounters a work colleague on the stairwell of a corporate building. It would appear this voyeur is to be feared. This excerpt is taken from Falling Awake by Charles J Harwood.
Excerpt from Falling Awake by Charles J Harwood
|This Client is Best Left Alone|
Charles J Harwood
Luke entered the building, took a left past the lifts and towards the stairs. The seven-storey climb never failed to provide a kick for the circulation and ensured aural hygiene from small-talk. The encroaching footfalls warned him today was not going to be one of those days. The footfalls hastened towards him and Andrew Chapelstowe, coordinator of correspondence, snagged him with his sights.
‘Mornin’ Luke. I thought I might find you here.’
Andrew waited for Luke on the corner riser dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, jeans and an appalling case of acne on his neck.
Luke drew level with him and offered a formal nod. ‘Good morning Andrew.’
Andrew’s eyes shifted in that irritatingly casual way meant to convey rebellious energy checked only by this ‘gap’ job.
We shall see.
‘We have a bit of a crisis situation. I’ve just got off the phone to Theresa and had to make some last minute changes.’
‘Robert Dhumbia has called in sick. Gall stones. Won’t be in for a month. We need a stand-in to discuss the Milliband contract with Dr. Sui’s secretary on Thursday.’
‘What about Derek Johns?’
Andrew shifted again. ‘No can do. He’s tied up with the Montgomery agreement.’
No can do? Luke eyed the volcanic crusts on Andrew’s nape. ‘You’d best consult Cerys. She has my diary.’
Charles J Harwood
Andrew plucked out his notebook from his back pocket. ‘No problemo. I have just taken the liberty of consulting Cerys a moment ago.’ He proceeded to flick through.
Luke watched him, his right eyelid dragging over his pupil. Sly, leering, predatory. Perhaps. Luke had a clear view down the back of Andrew’s T-shirt where boils were white-heading. Why did creatures like him have to exist in this world in place of others? Why did precious resources and time have to be allocated to those who contributed nothing but a test of tolerance for their sheer ignorance? Luke’s face fell slack like it had done so during his shower this morning. He inserted his tongue between his teeth without opening his mouth and let it rest there. He envisaged raising his right hand, fingers flexing forward. He would then administer a jab to the back of Andrew’s neck sufficient to launch him into a pin-wheel down the stairs. Luke could almost hear Andrew’s bones clattering against the concrete and something snapping with that high whiplashing sound. Luke had heard that whiplashing crack before. He had heard it many times, had felt the fissure beneath flesh. Nothing quite replicated the sound of bones cracking, particularly the fragile kind.
Andrew had done with his flick-through and was talking. A sheen of sweat dewed Luke’s brow. He didn’t wipe it on his sleeve or a tissue, but allowed the moisture to evaporate into the cool draft.
Andrew turned, his mouth still moving, this mundane quandary causing his eyes to glaze over. ‘You could free up May seventh by shifting that finance meeting to the following Wednesday.’
Luke’s eyelid remained heavy. ‘Perhaps.’
Andrew hesitated. ‘Maybe you should confirm it with Cerys.’
Luke said nothing.
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Andrew made a shuffle before bounding up the stairs. Luke would let Andrew discuss the matter with Cerys. He could discuss it as much as he liked. In the meantime Luke would engage his mind on his earlier hypothesis of bones cracking on the stairwell before continuing on his way.
Gemma would perhaps do better not to serve this voyeur.
Read Falling Awake by Charles J Harwood available on Kindle and paperback.