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Category Archives: Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Stream of Consciousness Sunday(s): The Accumulator, part forty one…

Ok, here we go, it’s time for a double dose of SoCS, after I missed the last installment of this story.

I’m using two of Linda G Hill‘s prompts, one from Friday and one from last week, so I shall attempt to include both of these suggestions in today’s episode;

” “high/low.” Use one, use both, bonus points for starting and finishing with one or both…

…and;

“guess.” Use it any way you’d like. “

Right, here goes…

The Accumulator, part forty one.

Scene: High above the pub, looking down the steep sided river valley (the director has added the classic “binoculars” effect to the opening shot, to show this is a first person POV); from our elevated vantage point we have a clear view of the small stone bridge and the road crossing it.

A car turns out of the car park and our view of it tightens, blurs for a moment as the watcher zooms in, then jumps back into focus and follows the high end saloon as it pulls away, then accelerates down the road, keeping pace until it vanishes from sight under the trees that line the river.

As the green of the beech canopy fills the screen, the shot cuts to Carlisle, who is standing next to the battered getaway car with Adam. Patrick leans out of the driver’s widow as Carlisle lowers the binoculars and looks expectantly at him.

“Well, has he gone?”

“Yes, he’s gone scurrying back to his nice safe little office in the city, I guess the country air was too rich for him.”

“And..?”

Carlisle lifts the binoculars once again and we see him scan the scene below for a moment.

“Dorn is still there, but we should get down there now, in case we miss him leaving, we don’t want to lose him now.”

Patrick starts the engine, the other two men climb in and the scene ends as the car drives off into the distance.

***

Flashback sequence: We now see a brief montage; Carlisle talking to an unidentified man in a dimly lit room full of electronic equipment, handing over cash and shaking hands; Adam giving an envelope to the bike courier; DCI Paddick in his office, typing an email which says “We have to meet”; Paddick leaving his office and driving out of the city; Carlisle, Patrick and Adam tailing him in the nondescript hatchback; Carlisle sitting in the back of the car, wearing headphones, listening intently; and a close up of the envelope on Dorn’s table, in which the ends of tiny wires can be seen protruding from the torn edge.

***

Scene: A table on the pub terrace.

The man DCI Paddick knows as “Dorn” has just finished a call and he slips the phone into his pocket as he looks around for a waiter. Seeing no staff in attendance, Dorn takes out his wallet and lays a couple of notes on his plate next to the cigar butts, weighing them down with his cup.

He stands up and strolls away from the terrace, then stops and returns to his table to pick up the empty envelope. We follow him as he takes the long route through the garden by the river, round the outside of the building and into the car park. Always cautious, he looks around him as he walks, automatically checking other vehicles for suspicious activity before climbing into the back of a black Jaguar. His driver waits for the door to close, pulls smoothly out away and heads for the exit.

Dorn’s car turns left along a road that follows the river, down a tunnel of tall beech trees which filter sunlight into constantly changing, dappled patterns in the shady woodlands on either side.

A few seconds later, we see a rather tatty, dented hatchback come over the bridge and pass the pub, heading after the Jaguar at a discreet distance.

Scene: Inside the hatchback.

Patrick is driving, Adam is in the passenger seat and Carlisle is in the back, looking down at something in his hand.

Dorn’s car, following a bend in the road up ahead, goes out of sight for a moment and Adam looks sharply across at Patrick.

“Don’t get too far behind, we’ll lose him.”

“It’s ok, our wannabe James Bond back there can track him with his fancy gadgets, can’t you, agent Carlisle?”

“You can take the piss if you like, but if it wasn’t for…wait..shit!”

“What’s the problem?”

“I…the signal…there’s something wrong with…”

“What?”

Adam looks back at Carlisle, who stares at him with a grim expression just as the car reaches the apex of the curve, revealing a stretch of empty road and a crossroads ahead of them.

Patrick slows as they approach the junction and turns to Carlisle, who holds up a black box with a stubby aerial on top, the small screen showing only four words;

SIGNAL LOST: BATTERY LOW

************

To be continued using next (week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Tuesday: The Accumulator, part forty…

Well fancy that; I’ve got a couple of days off work and SoCS is a couple of days late, what a surprise. Another burst of activity in the garden at the weekend meant that I didn’t have time for any writing, but I thought I should continue this story with help from Linda G Hill and her prompt from Friday;

“ “limb.” Use it any way you’d like “

Right then, let’s go…

The Accumulator, part forty.

Scene: The beer garden of a busy riverside pub. It is two days later.

Several families are enjoying a meal on the scattered tables and picnic benches, children and a few dogs play in the shallow river, while the sounds of lively conversation and laughter drift across the garden in the summer sunshine.

On the pub’s terrace, where customers can enjoy the view in a more peaceful setting, tables with parasols are far enough apart to allow diners some privacy and the conversation here is more muted; a group of businessmen on a working lunch break, a group of elderly ladies with a cream tea and a few couples relaxing with drinks.

And in the corner, one man sits alone; the remains of a salad and an empty coffee cup on the table in front of him, he is maybe fifty, grey haired, smoking a small cigar and gazing at the picturesque view like any other tourist, occasionally glancing at cars coming over the small stone bridge which crosses the river just upstream from the pub.

As the camera glides closer to his table, the man leans forward, grinds out the cigar on his plate and rises from his seat, obviously about to leave. Then something catches his attention and he looks up, suddenly alert.

The camera follows the direction of his gaze and the shot tightens on a car, panning left to follow the dark saloon with tinted windows, as it crosses the bridge and turns into the car park on the other side of the building, at which point it disappears from sight.

The shot continues a slow pan around the terrace until it stops at the sliding glass doors, wide open in the heat, through which we see a tall young man in a dark suit walking quickly through bar towards us. He steps out into bright sunshine and shades his eyes from the glare with one hand as he scans the tables, a relieved look of recognition on his face as he heads our way.

The camera now completes its smooth circuit of the terrace and returns to face the grey haired man, who has turned to welcome the late arrival with an impatient frown, pointedly tapping the crystal of his expensive watch as the man approaches, hand outstretched, smiling nervously.

“I’m most terribly sorry, Mr Dorn, I got held up behind some sort of…agricultural vehicle, I think it was, couldn’t get past it for several miles, I’m sure the driver was intentionally…”

The man’s voice trails off when he sees Dorn’s expression, looks down at his unshaken hand and lowers it self-consciously, then moves to the chair opposite as the older man sits down, takes out another cigar and lights it, puffing a cloud of smoke straight across the table into his face.

When the smoke clears, the young man waving a hand in front of him with a look of distaste, Dorn is smiling at him, albeit without humour.

“I’m going to go out on a limb and say you don’t get out in the country very often, Chief Inspector Paddick. More of a city boy, are you?”

“It’s not exactly my patch, you’re right there, sir.”

“But nevertheless, you’ve gone to the trouble of driving here to seek me out in my rural hideaway, delaying my attendance at a pheasant shoot I might add, due to your tardiness, so I take it you bring me news of some considerable import.”

Dorn gestures encouragingly with his cigar at the other man, sitting back and fixing him with an appraising look as he clears his throat and begins to speak.

“We have been monitoring any unusual communication traffic in the areas you specified and last night we got lucky. Some civilian called in a report of a burning vehicle out at the old cotton mill and when a fire crew went out there, they found the black van, completely burnt out. Looks like it was torched, no trace of your man or either of the target subjects, but get this; the body of the woman, that missing nurse, was discovered by a couple of my lot when they checked inside the building.”

“The woman, she’s dead?”

“Yes, it made the men who found her pretty sick, by all accounts, quite a mess apparently.”

“And no sign of where the other three might have gone?”

“No sir, not at the scene, but there was one more thing…”

“Well, spit it out, man!”

“This was delivered to Scotland Yard yesterday evening by bike courier, no return address.”

The Detective Chief Inspector, who had been secretly reporting to The Department for the last five years, reaches into his jacket and passes an anonymous brown envelope to Dorn, who takes it from him with a questioning frown as he sees it remains unopened.

“It’s addressed to you, sir, we didn’t want to open it before you read it.”

“Very good, you did the right thing, well done.”

Dorn starts to tear open the envelope, then pauses.

“Tell you what, you probably want a bite of lunch after your long drive, why don’t you go and order a snack from the bar and I’ll join you for a drink in a minute or two. Charge it to my table, I have an account here.”

Paddick looks slightly uncertain for a moment, then he nods and gets up, walking back into the pub before Dorn tears the end off the envelope and tips out the single sheet of paper.

Only six words are printed on the page, obviously torn from a notebook, with ragged perforations along the top edge;

“We’re going to make you famous”

After staring at the paper for thirty seconds or so, Dorn places it on the plate next to the cigar butt and picks up his lighter. With a click, the flame touches one corner of the paper and Dorn watches until it shrivels into ash, then he takes out his phone and dials a number from memory.

His face now a blank mask, he waits for an answer.

“It’s me…The woman is dead…Yes, that’s what I thought, but now we have a bigger problem…We need to meet.”

************

To be continued (using next weeks prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty nine…

Today’s prompt for SoCS, supplied as usual by Linda G Hill, allows us to continue this story by following this rather unique instruction;

” “book title.” Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only. I’m not asking for a book review or a synopsis, just whatever the title itself brings to mind. “

{Nearest book: The Dark Tower by Stephen King.}

Hmm, interesting…

The Accumulator, part thirty nine.

Scene: Outside the derelict factory.

The shot opens with Patrick coming out of the door, slamming it behind him before walking quickly along the front of the building.

A bright moon casts sharply edged, impenetrable shadows and gives the looming outline of the industrial hulk a stark, forbidding appearance. We can see Patrick until he turns the corner, heading for where the van is parked, then he is swallowed by the blackness.

Cut to: the van.

After a few seconds, we hear the crunch of footsteps on gravel and see Patrick emerging from the gloom; glancing cautiously around him, he opens the sliding door and reaches inside. He comes out holding a petrol can and a handful of rags, slides the door closed and walks around to the opposite side.

We see him unscrew the petrol cap and begin feeding one length of rag into the tank, pulling it out and inspecting it with a nod of satisfaction, then repeating the process with the rest. He pulls out the last one and leaves the bundle hanging down the side of the van, the dripping petrol already forming a puddle on the crumbling tarmac.

As Patrick bends to pick up the petrol can, there is a loud crash from somewhere above him. He takes a step away from the van and looks up in time to see a shimmering shaft of energy burst through the factory roof and a rain of debris clatters down the corrugated panels, narrowly missing him as it falls to the ground.

He drops the can and starts to run back the way he came and we watch him vanish into the shadows, hearing his receding footsteps as our POV slowly descends to ground level and the overturned petrol can, it’s escaping contents forming a widening pool in the moonlight.

Scene: Inside the factory.

We see one of the three fallen figures by the pillar start to rise and the camera moves in and follows Carlisle as he shakily regains his feet and staggers toward the slumped forms of Adam and Cathy. He is trying to lift Cathy’s body off Adam without looking at the gaping hole in her back, when the door opens and Patrick comes running across the echoing space towards them.

“What the hell happened..?”

Patrick stops and looks down at the bodies in horror.

“Are they…dead? I mean, are they both dead?”

There was no mistaking that hole for a flesh wound.

“That is what I am attempting to find out, if I could get a little help here..?”

Patrick helps Carlisle roll Cathy’s corpse off Adam and leans down to check for a pulse on his throat, just as Adam groans and his eyes flicker open.

“Hold on, don’t move.”

Patrick gets up and looks over at Cathy, her eyes staring sightlessly up through the hole in the roof. He goes over to her and bends down, gripping her wrist for a moment with his eyes closed, then grabs her under the arms and gently drags her back until her head is no longer in the circle of light.

Returning to Adam with a bleak expression, he kneels down next to him and places his hand on his forehead. Adam’s body jerks briefly, his eyes snap open and he gasps convulsively.

Patrick looks up at Carlisle, who nods and bends to help him lift Adam onto his feet. The camera follows close behind them as they move quickly, supporting the stumbling Adam between them until they reach the car, lower him into the back and jump into front seats.

Carlisle guns the sputtering engine and drives over to a rusty steel roller door in the corner of the building. He jumps out and fumbles with a padlock at the base of the door, heaves it up with a screeching rattle and hurries back to the car, then drives around and pulls up next to the van.

“Gotta light?”

Patrick leans forward and rummages in the glove compartment, pulling out a cheap plastic lighter, which he hands to Carlisle.

“Be my guest.”

Carlisle steps out of the car next to the petrol can. He picks up the can and shakes it, then walks slowly away from the van, trailing a steady stream of petrol behind him until the can is empty. Walking back to the car, he drives forward and leans out of the open door with the lighter, striking it half a dozen times before a low, rippling blue wave of flame flowed swiftly away from them.

Carlisle slammed the door and floored the accelerator, sending the small car bouncing forward across the uneven concrete to the gate as Patrick turned in his seat and saw the river of fire reach the van. There was a moment when he thought nothing was going to happen, then the black outline of the van, briefly visible against the flickering light, was blown apart in a short but violent explosion and engulfed in a roaring ball of flame.

*************

To be continued (using next weeks prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty eight…

Good morning/afternoon/evening wherever you are and welcome to today’s installment of SoCS, in association with Linda G Hill, who provides the inspiration to continue this story by leaving us the following prompt;

” “ick.” Find a word with “ick” in it or use it as a word itself. “

Okey dokey, let’s go…

The Accumulator, part thirty eight.

Scene: Inside the deserted factory.

The opening shot is of a door, just visible in the gloom. After a few seconds we hear the scrape of a key in the lock, the door opens and a powerful flashlight shines directly at the us, (artful lens flares glint dramatically) then the beam slowly sweeps left and right and the camera pans round to follow Carlisle as he crosses the empty expanse of concrete. He is followed by Adam, holding onto Cathy’s arm, her hands handcuffed behind her, while Patrick enters last, pulling the door closed behind him.

“I use this place for stashing motors before a job sometimes, there’s a roller door round the back big enough to get a fair sized van in here.”

Carlisle speaks over his shoulder as he leads the way to a small hatchback parked in the far corner, the scratched and dented vehicle as anonymous as any other cheap car in the harsh glare of the flashlight. Halfway across the floor, he stops next to one of the steel pillars supporting the roof.

“Ok, this’ll do, tie her to this. She can scream and shout as much as she likes in here, nobody’s going to hear her.”

“And you think you can just call The Department and tell them where I am and they’ll just come running, is that it?”

Even in the darkness, Cathy’s sneer is obvious.

“You must think you’re dealing with a bunch of amateurs like you, if you think they’re going to fall for that. They’ll more than likely blow the whole place up, just to be safe, then come in and poke around in the rubble to see if they got you.”

Patrick can’t bring himself to look at her and he speaks while staring at the floor

“You don’t place much faith in their loyalty to you, then, maybe they realise what a deceitful bitch you are?”

“Oh, darling Patrick, do grow up. You got taken for a ride, get over it, you’re not exactly a saint, yourself.”

“Ok, that’s enough, you don’t get a vote so shut your mouth. Adam, tie her to that bloody post and let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Carlisle turns to Patrick and places a hand on his shoulder, making him look up, shaking his head and sighing heavily.

“Right, we need the van torched, but not until we leave, can you go and set that up? We’ll meet you there with the car in a few minutes.”

Patrick glances once, briefly, at Cathy, opens his mouth as if to say something, then turns abruptly and walks back to the door, slamming it loudly behind him.

Carlisle turns to her with a grin.

“What, no moving goodbye? Although I suppose you never were one for all that icky romantic stuff, were you? Must have been hard, pretending to have emotions for all those years, hahaha. No, I mean, poor bloke and all that, you have to feel sorry for him, but he’s best rid of you, so he’ll get over it.”

“And now what, you kill me, now that you’ve spared his feelings?”

“What possible good would that do? We want you to be able to lead them to us, don’t we?”

“I won’t do anything to help you, you fucking…dinosaur!

“Oh, I’m hurt, I would have thought “role model” or “inspiration” would be more apposite, but never mind, I’ll get over it, too.”

Carlisle takes the handcuff keys from his pocket.

“Put her against the pillar we’ll cuff her hands behind it, not even she’s going to get out of that.”

He grabs Cathy’s arm and roughly turns her around so he can unlock the cuffs, making her grimace in pain.

“Hey! Be careful, you nearly dislocated my wrist.”

“Oh we don’t want that, you might be able to wriggle out of them, we’ll have to make sure we do them up tight.”

“Fuck you, Carlisle.”

Still holding her cuffed hands behind her and speaking straight into her ear, he says;

“Don’t worry, you won’t be here long, the police will be bored at this time of night and an exploding vehicle is bound to get someone’s attention pretty quickly.”

“What do you mean, the police?”

For the first time, Cathy sounded less sure of herself.

“Oh, didn’t I mention that? Yeah, we’re going to call in an anonymous tip that there’s been a violent confrontation down here and sounds of a woman screaming, it might even include a description of the van, just to be sure they get the message.”

Adam interrupts, impatiently glancing at the glowing dial of his watch.

“What do you mean by get the message, what message?”

“She knows what I mean,…don’t you?”

He looks at Cathy, who glares back at him but says nothing.

“The Department will be monitoring police communications closely, it’s how they obtain much of their grass roots intelligence. Saves them a fortune, apparently. They will try to get a team here as fast as possible, I doubt they’ll suspect a trap if they think the tip is called in by a member of the public, but even if the coppers get here first, The Department can still get to her inside.”

“How does that help us?”

“Because the coppers already want her for assisting in the escape of you and Patrick, plus whatever other “terrorism” charges they’ve cooked up in the meantime, so she’s going to need to cut a deal with them; meaning she’ll have to lead them to us or spend a few extra years in jail. But, if The Department get hold of her, who think she might have gone rogue anyway, they won’t trust her if she says she doesn’t know where we are and they’ll employ some ingenious interrogation techniques, just to make sure she’s not lying.”

Adam nodded approvingly.

“Sounds like you have this all planned out.”

Carlisle looks down to unlock the cuffs as he speaks, fumbling to keep hold of the flashlight.

“Always think two steps ahead, that’s the secret…”

The second her hands are free, Cathy throws her head back violently, catching Carlisle full in the face as he looks up and he staggers back, blood streaming from a broken nose. Shadows loom wildly as the flashlight hits the floor and Carlisle falls to his knees, swaying and shaking his head like a punch-drunk boxer.

Then, before Adam can react, she charges at him; with the one free bracelet of the handcuffs wrapped around her hand like a knuckle-duster, she swings and lands a heavy punch, splitting his lip and smashing his front teeth.

Adam stumbles back under the force of the blow, but as he falls, manages to grab her wrist with one flailing hand and Cathy crashes down on top of him, his head striking the concrete with a hollow thud.

Blackness threatens to engulf him and a painful ringing in his ears intensifies as he feels his consciousness fading, so Adam summons the last of his strength and places his hand on Cathy’s chest as she struggles to stand up.

Now the director gives us a shot of Cathy from Adam’s POV, silhouetted against the light from the fallen flashlight, looking straight down into his face. She looks down at his hand, then back up, her eyes widening as she realises, too late, what he is doing.

Then the shot changes, so we see them from the side, as Adam unleashes a pulse of lethal energy into Cathy as she leans over him.

We see a brief, blinding light glowing between the two interlocked figures, then a shimmering, translucent beam bursts from Cathy’s back and a split second later a jagged hole is blown in the roof and a shaft of moonlight stabs down through the darkness, picking out the gory tableau below.

*************

To be continued (using next weeks week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty seven…

Welcome back to this story, continued in the usual SoCS way by using the prompt that Dan Antion (sitting in for Linda G Hill this week) left us for inspiration;

” “ooooh, aaaah,”. Use it as a phrase, or break it apart. And since I love bonus points, bonus points if you somehow manage to start and end with all or part. “

Thanks, Dan, that’s very helpful…

The Accumulator, part thirty seven.

Scene: Interior of the black van. 

Patrick is driving, with Adam beside him in the front, while Carlisle is seated behind Patrick, gun trained on Cathy, who is handcuffed to the bench opposite.

“Aaahh, isn’t this nice; quite the reversal of fortune, wouldn’t you say? The tables seem to have turned somewhat, since our last little road trip.”

Carlisle grins at Cathy with no humour at all and is rewarded with a look that should have melted him on the spot, but she doesn’t say a word.

Patrick looks at Carlisle in the rear view mirror and tries to keep the anger from his voice when he speaks.

“So, tell me again why you’re so convinced she’s a Department agent.”

Carlisle doesn’t get a chance to reply, Cathy leans forward and shouts over the sound of the engine.

“Don’t listen to him, he’s just trying to…”

“I told you once, shut your mouth.”

Carlisle reaches over in a matter of fact way and slaps Cathy once across the face, not hard, but hard enough to silence her

“Ok, there’s no need for that.”

“Oh, I think there’s every need for it, but you’re the boss. For now, anyway.”

Adam casually leans back and waves his hand at Carlisle, who is instantly slammed back against the side of the van with a loud bang, held there for a few seconds and then released. He slumps forward, breathing heavily, then looks up at Adam with an evil expression as he pushes himself up into a sitting position and grabs the gun from the seat next to him.

Adam looks unconcerned but irritated and turns back to watch the moonlit road rolling past outside as he says;

“Just tell the story and let’s do without all the strongarm stuff, shall we?”

Carlisle rubs the back of his own head where it had made contact with the van and scowls at the back of Adam’s, but says no more about it and returns to covering Cathy with the gun as he speaks.

“I don’t know why it never occurred to me when I first saw the file, maybe because she was blond back then, but once I saw her in the black-ops gear, it clicked. Funny the things that trigger your memory, isn’t it? 

Anyway, I first bumped into ‘Cathy’ here – she called herself something else back then, I forget what – about fifteen years ago, on a job for your friend, Felix Braithwaite.
You’ve looked after yourself, I’ll give you that,” he winks at Cathy, “I bet she’s older than you think she is, but then I expect that was the idea; the innocent little nurse, helping you escape the clutches of the evil doctor. And you certainly fell for it, didn’t you?”

“But…why? I don’t understand, why on Earth would The Department want me to escape in the first place?”

“So they could field test you, of course.”

“What do you mean, “field test”?”

“Well, they obviously needed to find out what you were capable of, out in the real world.
I mean, I’m no expert, I didn’t even know what they were doing with you or their other guinea pigs, but that’s their standard procedure; when they think an asset is ready to go live, they’ll send them on a field trip, out into the community, so to speak. They would usually monitor progress very closely, but you rather put the cat among the pigeons when you took out Endicott and his goons, ooohhh, they didn’t like that at all, so that’s where your little friend came in.”

Carlisle looks at Cathy with something like professional respect.

“I’ve got to say, I’m impressed with your ability to improvise, but you should have got him under control before he got out of the country. That’s what sealed your fate, they thought you’d gone native on them and you were on the shit-list from then onwards, I’m afraid. Still, you had a good run, up until now.”

“I don’t answer to you, I don’t care who you think you are, you’re just as fucked as the rest of us.”

“That’s an opinion, certainly, but I don’t think it’s set in stone just yet.”

Then Adam interrupts from the passenger seat.

“Is this the place?”

Carlisle peers between the seats and sees they are approaching a slip road that leads off the motorway, the familiar shape of derelict buildings ahead of them, silhouetted against the skyline.

“That’s it, turn off here and take the second road on the left, it’s about a mile and a half.”

The last few minutes of the drive are made in silence, the van finally bumping over the rough surface of an unmade road and turning in through the sagging, rusted gates of a deserted factory. 

Patrick pulls up in the shadows at the side of the building and switches off the engine.

“Ok, what now?”

Carlisle stands up and slides open the side door of the van.

“Now, we go inside.”

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty six…

Here we are again, another Sunday, another SoCS post, finding out what happens next in this story, using the prompt left for us by Linda G Hill;

” “rain/rein/reign.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. “

Ok then, let’s see what we can do…

The Accumulator, part thirty six.

Scene: A motorway services restaurant at night. It is an hour ago.

Patrick, Adam, Cathy and Carlisle are sitting at the only occupied table and a single bored teenager stares fixedly at his phone behind the counter. Nondescript muzak plays quietly from hidden speakers, unsuccessfully competing with the sound of rain being driven against the windows by heavily gusting wind that has sprung up outside.

Our POV drifts across the room, arriving just as Cathy gets up from the table.

“I’m going to find the little girls’ room, I want to freshen up.”

“I’ll come with you, I need to stretch my legs anyway.”

Carlisle drains his coffee and stands up, pushing in his chair and gesturing for Cathy to go ahead of him as she walks round the table.

“Nice to see you still have some social graces left.”

Carlisle smiles tightly, nods to Patrick and Adam, then follows Cathy out of the restaurant and into the main concourse, where she heads for the far end of the building, next to the expanse of plate glass windows and automatic doors which lead out into the car park.

He slows his pace, allowing her to reach the door marked Ladies and go inside, before he ducks behind a vending machine next to the door of the gents’ toilet and waits.

He doesn’t have to wait long before the door reopens and Cathy comes out. She looks around, then takes two quick steps and opens the other door, reaching into her pocket as she slips inside.

After a few seconds, Carlisle moves from his hiding place, checks that he isn’t being watched and follows her.

*****

Scene: The restaurant table. Patrick is trying to placate an irate Adam.

“Calm down, for goodness sake. It’s not like he can go anywhere, is it?”

“No, but you’re putting too much bloody faith in him, letting him wander off like that, you should keep him on a tighter rein.”

“He’ll be fine and anyway, he can keep an eye on Cathy for us.”

“Hmm, seems to me that she should be the one keeping an eye on him, but you obviously know best.”

“Look, they weren’t coming to save Carlisle when they stormed the house, you know that, right?”

Patrick looks for some recognition from Adam, but he stares back at him blankly. He sighs and goes on.

“They were there to mop up his mess and to tidy up any inconvenient loose ends, like us and him. He’s just as deep in the shit as the rest of us, so it isn’t in his interest to drop us in it any further, he’ll only get pulled down with us.”

Adam didn’t look convinced, but he shrugged and changed the subject nonetheless.

“So where do we go from here, we can’t just keep running indefinitely?”

“I’ve been thinking about that and I think our only chance is to go public with what The Department has been doing; the experiments, the murders, the abductions, it all has to come out in the open, so we are no longer a threat to them.”

“Hahaha, don’t be so bloody naïve, you don’t really think we’ll be allowed to get within a hundred yards of a journalist or a tv studio, do you?”

“We won’t have to, not if we can get them to come to us.”

“And just how do you propose to do that, ring the CrimeStoppers hotline?”

Patrick was about to reply when he was stopped by the sound of Carlisle’s voice from behind him.

“Not such a bad idea, how about a missing persons report?”

They turned to see Carlisle, holding Cathy tightly by one arm, a livid red mark on her face and a look of fury in her eyes.

“Gentlemen, I think we may have a problem. On the bright side, I think we may also have a solution.”

*****

The scene flashes back to a close-up of Cathy in the toilet, a flash of movement is just visible behind her and we see her spin round…

Too late.

She turns to find the tip of Carlisle’s razor sharp hunting knife about half an inch from her left eye and freezes in shock.

“Looking for me?”

Carlisle, receiving no answer, laughs and continues in a cheerful voice

“Hahaha, the look on your face is priceless, you should see yourself. Didn’t know I’d recognised you, did you? Or had you just worked it out? Doesn’t matter now, anyway, I’ve got you bang to rights, as they say.”

Still she says nothing, just stares at him, hardly breathing, waiting.

He leans forward and carefully takes the gun from her hand. Then, and only then, he lowers the knife and is about to say something else but doesn’t get the chance, because that’s when she makes a desperate lunge for his throat with her bare hands.

It’s a token effort and she knows it, she’s off balance and he has all the advantages, but she’s so angry at herself for getting played like that, she can’t stop herself from trying.

Carlisle looks surprised for a split second, then decades of survival kicks in and he takes one quick step back and swings the hand holding her gun in a sharp arc, all in one smooth movement. The butt of the pistol connects solidly with the side of her face and Cathy goes down hard on the tiled floor.

Don’t do that again.”

“Fuck you, Carlisle”

“Ah, the old Department spirit finally surfaces, I didn’t think it’d be long before we saw your true colours. So, how were you going to explain my unfortunate demise to your boyfriend and his fellow medical oddity, was I going to assault you?”

“Something like that, yes.”

“Well, instead, why don’t you and I go and see what lover boy thinks about you betraying him all these years. And then, I think I’ve got a use for you.”

*************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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Stream of Consciousness Sunday…

Today’s SoCS post is inspired by Linda G Hill and her prompt;

” “sign.” Use it any way you’d like. “

No problem…

I have decided to take the fact that it’s 80° outside, I have cider in the fridge, we’re having a bbq this afternoon and it’s fathers’ day, as a sign to spend the whole day doing nothing of any consequence whatsoever, so this story returns next week (if you haven’t started it yet, this would be the perfect time to catch up).

In the meantime, here’s to all the other fathers out there, cheers

I’ll leave you with a photo of my fathers’ day artwork from Audrey.

*************

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