SNEAK PEEK: The Traveling Man by Matt Drabble

The Traveling Man by Matt Drabble

 

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Available Now!

SYNOPSIS

 

Matt Drabble is a name that will one day be as widely recognized as Stephen King & Dean Koontz” – READERS FAVORITE

from the award winning & bestselling author of “Gated, Abra-Cadaver, Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror and After Darkness Falls comes a new journey into horror.

The small desert town of Granton is a typical slow boiling pot of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Every hard working day is much like any other here where little ever changes.

Sheriff Cassie Wheeler runs a tight ship in the tradition of her late father. There is little serious crime to trouble her department, save for the local miners’ occasional rowdiness after payday.

But Granton has its share of secrets hiding behind twitching curtains and small town folks often have the biggest of ambitions.

Now the long dusty road into town has brought with it a stranger. A man of elegance calling himself Gilbert Grange has arrived. He brings with him a bag full of dreams and a silver tongue of promise. He can give you whatever you desire, all you have to do is sign on the dotted line.

The residents of Granton are about to discover that dreams can come at a terrible price, and you should always be careful what you wish for.

EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1

Granton

Hey Sheriff, what do you say?”

Cassie Wheeler turned towards the voice and withered the man with an unblinking stare that held his gaze with authority. “I say that you’d better move that car of yours, John, before I give you a ticket. That meter ran out three minutes ago.”

John Stains paused for a moment to try and see if she was serious or joking around; he soon hurried across the town square to his car.

Cassie watched the man positively run and smiled to herself. It seemed like most days were a constant battle of wills where someone was always trying to push the boundaries.

She was 39 and a tall woman pushing six feet one with the sort of broad shoulders that seemed to be genetically handed down through a family line of linebackers. Her hair was a short natural blonde bob cut for easy maintenance rather than style and her eyes were a deep chestnut brown. She had the shape of a swimmer: broad at the top and with a small tight waist that she worked hard to keep. She was in uniform today- a combination of tan and brown with a gold star that she polished religiously.

She had been Sheriff in Granton for going on six years now and while the Wheeler name might have helped get her elected, she had kept the job on merit. Big Bob Wheeler had been a bear of a man who carried himself with the sort of weight that made his job easier. Granton was a small town in the desert without much in the way of serious crime and more often than not Big Bob only had to make an appearance for the bars to quieted on a Friday night. When he’d passed away from a heart attack, Cassie had returned home to do her duty.

At the time, she’d been working as a cop with dreams of a gold detective shield haunting her nights in Cedar Falls, some 200 hundred miles away. It had been almost far enough to escape her father’s shadow, almost.

Her mother was a small timid woman with a passion for homemaking and a large part of her had died along with her husband. When Cassie had returned it had only been for a visit, but she had soon slipped into her dutiful role to look after her mother and then in turn the town.

Upon her return she had been accompanied by a small bundle of energy that her parents had known nothing about. Ellie was the result of a drunken one night stand with a passing businessman stumbling through a hotel lobby where she had been attending a police function. As far as Cassie had been concerned though, it was a perfect storm. She’d got a daughter without the unnecessary entanglement of a marriage or even a partner. Her parents were deeply religious though and she’d never quite had the courage to tell them as she’d always feared the look of disappointment in her father’s eyes far more than any belt whooping. She’d found that the more that time passed the harder it had become to explain the other person in her life. The funny thing was that she had already started to consider the possibility of returning home to Granton. Ellie was growing up so fast and the city may have been gold for a cop’s career, but it was poison for a child’s development. When she’d received the call about her father’s unexpected passing, she knew that she’d waited too long. Her mother had shamed her further by sweeping Ellie into her arms and showering her with love, without a mention of the child’s father or a prying eye.

Cassie looked across the town square as she spotted her mother and Ellie walking along Main Street. The shops were all attractive boutiques lined up in a uniformed parade. The Town Council was always strict when it came to Main Street and dictated just what could and couldn’t be done to the shop fronts. It was a pretty town, mainly devoid of tourism, but the place was kept as pretty as a picture nevertheless for the benefit of its residents. It was a pleasant place to live and raise a child and she knew that this was home.

She grinned at her mother’s attempts to keep up with Ellie as the 11 year old ran around in circles with an unusual energy. Cassie’s heart suddenly lurched in her chest as she watched her daughter pause outside of the Laura May Bridal store. Ellie’s head tilted to one side, deep in thought, as she stared at the wedding dress on display in the large window. The white gown was suspended and Ellie’s reflection in the glass placed her head atop the dress. Cassie’s normally rock hard interior broke a little as she watched her daughter.

Ellie had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She had begun to show signs of lethargy and had started to show up with unexplained bruising. At first Cassie had suspected Mrs. Norton’s Day Care, however ridiculous that might have seemed. But after getting her checked out by old Doc Gere, her world had been shattered. Her medical insurance had been full coverage and she thanked God every day for that. Ellie was currently in the “Induction” phase of her chemotherapy and her poor little body was being blasted with radiation. Ellie had another week left of the treatment before she would undergo a bone marrow test to see how effective the chemo had been. Cassie was normally a strong person, but now she knew that she had to find Herculean powers to carry them all.

She waved to her mother across the square and started to cross the road, returning waves from the friendly townsfolk who stopped their cars to let her pass.

“Hey Ellie-Belly,” she called out to her daughter with far more gusto than she felt.

“Mom, don’t call me that,” Ellie hissed under her breath. “There are people!”

Cassie laughed along in good grace, but inside she hated the way that Ellie was having to grow up so fast because of her illness. It always just seemed so unfair.

“How you doing, Mom?” Cassie asked her own mother, who seemed to be flagging. She was a woman who some days looked immeasurably older than her now elderly years.

“Oh I’m fine, sweetie,” she smiled in reply, if a little tired and forced.

“So who’s up for a couple of Dogs for lunch?” Cassie asked lightly.

“As long as we’re sitting, I don’t much care,” her mother smiled wearily.

“Mom?” Ellie asked. “Who’s that guy over there?”

Cassie turned from towards her daughter’s pointed finger. “You mean Harlan Harris from the hardware store?”

“No, dummy, I know Mr. Harris. Behind him,” Ellie said impatiently.

Cassie lifted her hand up to block the strong glare of the sun. “I can’t see anyone, dear,” she shrugged.

“Oh, he’s gone now,” Ellie sighed theatrically. “It was probably just some weirdo.”

“And I suppose you’d know all about weirdos?” Cassie smiled.

“Of course, you see them all the time on the TV,” Ellie said grandly. “I could spot a weirdo from a mile away; you should bring me out on patrol with you. I’d be able to point out the bad guys like that,” Ellie said, snapping her fingers with concentration as though she was still mastering the skill.

“What did he look like?” Cassie asked.

“Who?”

“The weirdo, Columbo.”

“I dunno,” Ellie shrugged.

“Some detective,” Cassie grinned.

“He did have a suit on and a tie and he was wearing a hat, in this heat? That’s got to make him a weirdo in my book,” Ellie announced as she headed for the hotdog cart.

———-

Harlan Harris watched the Sherriff surreptitiously from a safe distance. He knew that a lot of the folks around town thought that she was doing a decent job and he had to agree. She obviously wasn’t a patch on “Big Bob” but then again how could she be when she was saddled with the wrong chromosomes?

He was a big man standing around six feet four in his socks. He had been a husky boy who had spread out in all directions as he grew older, but he could still snap a neck or two if the moment required it. He walked slowly but only because he chose to. He favoured short-sleeved Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts and he was rarely out of sandals. He had a large bushy red beard and wore his hair in a scruffy ponytail usually under a straw cowboy hat. He was a popular guy around town and he worked hard to keep his hard exterior under wraps and well hidden.

He watched on a little while longer while the cop and her family took a couple of dogs from Jerry Marshall’s cart. He looked on as though inspecting his store front window while taking in the view in the reflection. Word was that the Sheriff’s kid was sick with something serious and that was just fine with Harlan. The more attention that the cop took away from her job, the better things would be for him.

The hardware store had been in his family for four generations but he had little interest in it, save for appearances. He was a smart man, smarter than his father and his father before him for damn sure. He knew when to be seen and when to fly beneath the radar. He was on practically every committee that the town threw together and he made sure that he was first in line for any volunteer work. It hadn’t taken him long to gain a place on the town council. It wasn’t that he cared for this little cowpat town; it was that he wanted to be in the centre of life in Granton with his eyes and ears wide open. In his business, or at least his business behind closed doors, it paid to keep one’s ear to the ground.

The hardware store barely covered its costs and Harlan’s pockets were in need of filling far deeper than shifting a few screws and a couple of pots of paint. As far as the town was concerned Harlan Harris was a pillar of the small town’s community, but Harlan was a man with a far darker shadow.

Once a month he sent a shipment out of town. Granton had acclaimed his ingenuity and acumen when he’d announced that he had secured a contract to supply the city of Greenford with all of their town maintenance requirements. While the shipment of various containers was indeed heading for Greenford, it wasn’t maintenance supplies that he was sending. Deep in the desert, out beyond Granton’s borders, he had a manufacturing lab that worked during the dark nights producing some of the finest chemical products to ever find their way into the grubby hands of Greenford’s junkie population. He dabbled a little in transporting guns and a little white powder here and there and he was also known as a man who could lend you a few bucks until payday.

He was normally a man who tried to keep his private business strictly private but now his stomach was twisted into a churning nest of vipers. Davey Mackie was a sweet-natured guy with a belly full of beer and stories. He was a man who could be relied upon to liven up any evening and Harlan normally didn’t mind footing the drinking bill. Davey also had the added advantage of being an occasional employee of Harlan’s nefarious business. But last Thursday good old Davey had hit him up for a loan when Harlan’s guard had been down, way down. Davey had wanted to buy a new truck and the longer the evening had worn on, the more the beer had flowed and the more Harlan’s guard had lowered. He had a vague recollection of lending Davey $18,500 and had been horrified to find that this had indeed been true the next morning when he discovered the scrawled contract in his pocket. The money wasn’t a problem, or even the fact that he’d lent it in the first place. The problem was that if good old Davey slipped on his payments, then Harlan couldn’t let that lie. In his private line of work all you had for your credentials was your reputation; the moment that the other sharks smelled blood in the water it was over.

He slammed the van door shut behind him as he climbed in and turned on the engine, trying desperately hard to keep his temper under check. Davey had been ducking him for the last week or so with one excuse after another, mistaking Harlan for a whole other person.

He drove out through the main downtown area away from the commercial district, such as it was, and out towards the outskirts of town. He waved and smiled pleasantly to familiar faces with forced levity as the friendly folk recognised the store’s van with the painted logo.

Thankfully Davey lived out in a secluded area, one devoid of potential witnesses. The house was a rundown dump with overgrown weeds that were vying for superiority with their human counterparts. Harlan drove with whitening knuckles as he gripped the steering wheel’s leather cover with anger boiling in his veins.

While Davey was married (for some inexplicable reason), his wife was away for a few days visiting her sister.

He pulled into Davey’s driveway, which still held the man’s beaten to shit old pickup, and his temper slipped another notch. He knew by Davey’s ducking of him that there was scant hope that his money was still intact and unspent.

“Harlan,” Davey greeted him as he stepped out of the van.

The man looked shocked to see him but was trying hard to cover it. Davey looked as unkempt as his property; his face was covered with graying stubble and his dirty robe flapped around him.

“Hey, man, I was just about to call you, swear to God,” Davey said, speaking too quickly.

Harlan held a finger to indicate that Davey should wait while he walked around to the van’s side door and opened it.

“Let me explain,” Davey garbled. “There was this guy, you see… he had this inside tip that couldn’t fail,” he laughed nervously. “Should have known better, no such thing, right?”

Harlan withdrew the sledgehammer and hefted it without much effort as Davey’s face drained of all natural color.

“Look man, I swear I was going to pay you back, fucking horse fell at the last, can you believe that shit? It was leading all the way and it fell at the last,” Davey said, backing away with his hands held up in surrender.

Harlan let his town character slip and he shed the skin of his carefully created and honed persona; it was a liberating experience.

He marched towards Davey as the man forgot to run away. He swung the sledgehammer through the air and smashed it down onto Davey’s right foot. The pink flesh exploded as white bones shattered beneath the black metal head of the tool. Davey screamed initially until he collapsed on the ground and passed out. For some reason, Davey passing out infuriated Harlan beyond measure and before he could stop himself the sledgehammer was rising and falling with expert precision and murderous intent. What had once been his occasional employee, occasional drinking buddy and teller of funny tales, was now a bloody stain on the concrete below.

Harlan looked down as his muscles hummed under his shirt and sweat stained the thin fabric. His broad chest heaved with the effort under the hot sun and he panted like an overheated dog trapped in the back seat of a car. He wanted to believe that this instance was an anomaly and completely out of character, but lately he seemed to have more and more trouble holding his temper or even his tongue. At the last town council meeting he’d almost been totally overwhelmed by a strange urge to stand up and piss all over the circular table that they had all been sitting around. He had even started to rise before he’d come to his senses and sat down with a struggle. His slips in control were starting to become more and more frequent as though his own inner being was trying to burn his carefully constructed world and image. It was a crack in his world that was starting to widen and he dreaded what might spill out.

As he stood staring down at the bloody pulp on the concrete, he suddenly felt eyes on him. He whipped around quickly and found himself staring at a strange man across the road. The man was dressed in an immaculate pinstriped suit and smart hat; his eyes gleamed and sparkled and a small smile was etched across his thin lips. The man nodded ever so slightly as Harlan watched, rooted to the spot after his brutal crime had been, if not witnessed, then at least discovered.

“I’m sorry,” Harlan heard himself say aloud, confused at the very words themselves.

“Not to worry, Mr. Harris,” the man said with a clipped English accent. “These things do happen.”

“I didn’t mean to,” Harlan whispered, feeling tears prick at the corners of his eyes.

“Never compromise, never apologize,” the English gent replied jauntily. “But I must say, you have made quite the mess.”

“I slipped,” Harlan said, meaning that his façade had slipped, as if that explained the splattered mess on the floor.

“It could have happened to any of us, dear boy. I would offer to help with the clean up, but I’m afraid that manual labor is not exactly my forte,” the man said apologetically. “But I will be seeing you soon, Mr. Harris, very soon.”

Harlan blinked and then the man was gone. There was no fading, no wisps of smoke, just gone. He stood there and felt a strange calm reach out and take a firm hold over him as he looked down at the mess before him and started to form a cleaning plan.

———-

Becky James was staring down the barrel of another dreary afternoon. She worked at the local diner in Granton and spent most of her days either shoveling coffee and pie or else slapping away the wandering hands of the yokels.

She was 29 and still trying to figure out just what had happened to her life. One minute she had been Prom Queen with visions of leaving this dustbowl town far behind her with the bright city lights calling, and the next she was pushing 30, stuck in some crappy service industry job.

During high school she had been an avid and active member of the drama club. They’d had no budget and had to convert the gymnasium into a temporary theater space themselves every time that they had a show. But she had loved those times on stage. Under the spotlight was where she had always felt most at home and she longed for the pin drop silence of the theatre, followed by the explosion of applause.

She held up a silver coffee pot and checked her reflection in the curved surface. She was still pretty enough to never be short of date offers on a Friday night. She was around five feet eight with long waves of blonde hair that she kept dyed to perfection, no matter if she could afford it that month or not. Her eyes had once sparkled with shimmering crystal blue pools, but now they looked dulled and drained of vitality. She pulled in her stomach that was no longer quite as concaved as it had once been, but the extra weight had filled out her curves to balance the gain.

Most folks in Granton were decent enough, but the miners always worked the night through to morning shifts due to the unbearable temperatures once the sun was at its apex. These were grubby men who wandered into town, often still covered in dust and dirt, and by late afternoon they were drunk, as to them it was the evening.

The Boron Mine was the main employer in Granton. Boron, from borax and borate evaporates, was an essential ingredient in the manufacture of glass, ceramics, enamel, agricultural chemicals, water softeners, and pharmaceuticals. As such, the mine was a profitable enterprise out in the middle of the barren desert.

Jim Lesnar owned the mine and was considered to be one of the most important men for many a surrounding county. Becky had only seen the man on a few occasions since they had been in school together and mainly then only at town functions. They were the same age but had hardly run in the same scholastic social circles. She had been the Prom Queen and he had been some weirdo creeping about in the shadows.

Lesnar was now said to be practically a recluse and barely left the apartment that he’d had built near the mine. He was an ugly man but undoubtedly a rich one and a man’s wallet went a lot further than his face as far as she was concerned, but there were limits.

She looked around the late afternoon clientele. Most were regulars who came in so often that she rarely had to take anyone’s order. There were several of the miners crammed in around a booth. Father Jacobs was nursing a coffee and taking small bites from a pecan pie. He was a kindly old man who always seemed to start every sentence with an apology. Mrs. Simpson and her usual crew of old farts were debating something to do with an upcoming bake sale. Any debate involving Mrs. Simpson was really a democracy in name only. The woman was a fierce and cold pensioner that never tipped with coin, only with caustic comments masquerading as advice. Her eyes were drawn to the table by the door as she spotted a stranger sitting in the booth alone. He was a slender man, dressed in an expensive looking suit topped with an elegant hat. The guy looked interesting based on the fact that he was a stranger and Granton saw few. She felt a small uncharacteristic blush touch her cheeks as he smiled and dipped his head slightly in a greeting.

“Hey, honey, while we’re young?” Some large lump of a miner decked in red and black checks beckoned her from across the diner, diverting her attention.

She plastered a smile across her lips at the lumbering oaf, but as she turned back to the man by the door he was gone.

“Today would be nice,” the miner bellowed again grumpily, to the sniggers of his cohorts.

She stiffened her resolve and told herself to think of the tips as she added a little wiggle to her walk as she crossed the room trying to make herself believe that she was only playing a part.

———-

Jim Lesnar stood by the window of his apartment with his hands clasped firmly behind his back. He was a short squat man at around five feet four with naturally blonde hair that bordered on white and had all but left the field of battle leaving behind remnants of a once great army. His torso was thick like an oak tree and his eyes were green and a little buggy. His arms were long and strong like an orangutan and his hands were large like shovels. His legs were short and squat and he waddled rather than walked. He was a self confessed unattractive man and knew that others considered him ugly. But he held the power over his employees; they ate and lived at his benevolence and he never let them forget it.

He was one of the few outsiders in Granton and his family had moved there when he was still young enough to attend the local high school and endure the jibes of his classmates which almost exclusively relied upon his physical appearance. He was known simply as “Troll” for most of his high school life, and the irony that he had eventually opened a mine was not lost on him. They were deep cuts that had still never fully healed and he often still employed his old classmates for the simple pleasure of making their lives hell before firing them.

The mine below was shrouded in dusky light as only the night lights were operating at this hour of the afternoon. The air conditioning in his apartment was pumping out at full blast as the heat of the day baked down from up above, heating the earth to unbearable levels. He hated to hear the machines lying silent and dormant for even a minute of the work day, but he had been forced to change the mine’s operating hours by interfering legislation. As far as he was concerned, if a man wanted to risk his life for double pay then it was his God-given right to do so.

The small apartment was adequate for his needs but did not reflect his wealth. He was currently worth somewhere in the region of 85 million dollars, but he cared little for the money, only what it represented: success. The more he had, the more he was worth in all senses of the word. He often thought of himself as some kind of fairytale troll digging gold from the centre of the earth and hoarding it all for himself; all he lacked was a princess.

His school days had been full of repressed anger and swallowed bitter bile. He hadn’t just been an outsider to Granton, but he had been cursed with the sort of shape and face that demanded to be smashed and pummeled into pieces by a bully’s fist. He had learned quickly to duck below the eye line of his compatriots and to exist in a solitary world free of compassion and companionship. As a result, he had grown up sour and resentful, mistrustful of everyone around him and forever guarded. His one ray of light had been Jeanne Rainwood. She had been one of the popular cheerleaders’ set, but he’d always sensed a kindred spirit in her. He knew in his heart that she’d only hung out with the cruel girls for appearance’s sake and he had worshipped her from afar, imagining her loneliness and knowing deep down that they were kindred spirits. He had never plucked up the courage to ask her out, but he had watched her from a distance, dreaming of the life that they would one day live when he had finally proved himself worthy.

His life since school had been just as lonely and empty of everything except the mine and his precious cargo. Money, he had found, may have bought respect, but it was only to his face. He could still hear their sneers and laughter behind his back and he knew just what they really thought of him.

He looked down into the pit below him, the hole in the ground that had showered him with riches and a kind of power. His eyes were drawn to a figure moving across the dirt through the shadowy low light. He reached out and hit the button for the PA system that he had rigged by the window for constant monitoring.

“Who’s there?” he shouted, loud enough to distort his voice through the crackling microphone.

For a second, a man stopped and looked up at him. The figure was dressed like a banker or stock broker. His elegant suit was power dressing of the highest order and Jim wondered if the guy was a salesman of some kind who had taken a wrong turning.

He turned away for a second to hit the main lights, but when the area below was flooded with powerful beams the man was gone. Jim stood motionless, staring into the deserted mine below, trying to understand if he had seen anyone at all. This place could play tricks on people but never him before. Some of the more impressionable workers had spoken in hushed tones of hearing voices and screams coming from the mine’s dark corners, but Jim had always dismissed such talk as superstition. His mind immediately took a well worn path along the lines that he was being made to look a fool again, a figure of ridicule and the butt of yet more jokes at his expense. Marshall Dinkins would be the first name on his list for such a mark of disrespect. Marshall was the sort of guy that had made his life hell in high school. He was still desperately clinging onto the hope that the day would come when he could ruin Marshall’s life, but he needed to keep the man employed in the meantime as simply firing the guy seemed insufficient. Unfortunately, Marshall was the sort of man that drew others to him and firing him now would cause too much disruption amongst the other miners who could, God forbid, even raise a strike or get the unions involved. Whatever he had just seen, or not seen, he pushed it aside in his mind and buried it in his own grave that he kept there for such occasions.

His thick powerful hands squeezed together hard enough to crack the knuckles as he thought of the town and all of its residents. He thought of their two-faced natures when they came to him with their begging bowls for town improvements or sponsorship and how they must laugh as they cashed his checks.

He closed his eyes and pictured them all falling into the great gaping hole in the earth that he had carved out. One after the other they fell into the black pit, screaming as they tumbled and he shoveled the dirt onto their trembling bodies. His face broke into a rare smile, but it was cruel and unnatural on his thick lips and wide mouth.

———-

Marshall Dinkins belched loudly and took the applause of his crew; it was his customary tip to leave in the diner.

He was a big man, as broad as he was tall and round of belly to boot. He hefted himself up and out of the booth, watching the cute ass of the waitress as he left. He had been hitting on Becky James for longer than it was decent to for a man in his position and yet he was still getting nowhere. He remembered being a couple of years above Becky in high school. Those were the days when he was a God walking as a man. He was captain of practically every school sports team and students and teachers followed him around like lost puppies, but those days were long gone and almost forgotten.

He left the diner on a wave of laughter as he cracked another bad taste joke that seemed to get the biggest reaction. Some days, he felt like a once famous rock star used to selling out massive stadiums and now reduced to playing crummy hotel ballrooms for a handful of people more interested in the shrimp cocktails. In reality, he was far from the beer laden goodtime oaf that people took him for; it was just that he so longed for the days when he had been the best at something and admired and loved for it. Nowadays, he had to make use of anything to get a reaction. In the land of the truly stupid, the man with a single brain cell was king.

He left the boys and headed home, weaving his way along Main Street. His apartment was some rundown hovel owned by Jim Lesnar himself. He still couldn’t quite believe that his living and the roof over his head were owed to the same geeky bug splat that had once cowered before him under the school bleachers.

His knee groaned in protest as he climbed the steps up to his front door on the second floor of the apartment block. He had blown out the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a football game in college and his dreams of a pro career had died with it. He should have been able to come back from the injury, but during his down time he had discovered beer, girls, and recreational partying. His mind had slipped, along with his rehab, and before he knew it he was kicked off the team and his grades were nowhere near good enough to get him by without his scholarship. He had found a job at the bar where they had all once gone to party, but suddenly he realised just what a joke he had become trying to still hang around the team and be part of the group when he was actually serving them.

He pushed open the apartment door and his nose was assaulted with the stench of leftover food and unwashed clothes. He knew that he should either start cleaning up after himself or else start looking for a cheap cleaner, or maybe a girlfriend.

He entered the apartment on a wave of self pity. Some days he wished that he could just be the ignorant asshole that most people thought he was, but he was still smart enough and self-aware enough to realise just what a mess his life had become.

He kicked the door behind him harder than necessary and it slammed hard enough to dislodge dust from the ceiling. He stood and waited. A couple of seconds later, a thumping came from the apartment below as old man Withers pounded upwards with his cane. The noise brought a small satisfied smile to Marshall’s lips.

He crossed the room to open the window and let a cooling breeze in before he crashed out. He happened to look down to the street below. Standing on the opposite side of the road was a man holding a dark briefcase, dressed in a pinstriped suit. The early evening light had lowered but Marshall could see clearly enough as the man tipped his hat in greeting. Instinctively, Marshall drew the curtains quickly and didn’t dare to peek out again.

 

 

Untitled-1 copy

AUTHOR BIO

 

Born in Bath, England in 1974, a self-professed “funny onion”, equal parts sport loving jock and comic book geek.

 

A few years ago after a serious back injury I was diagnosed with a degenerative condition that left me unable to work full-time. Also due to the austerity measures also meant that I did not qualify for any disability benefits. So I despite having zero in the way of a literary educational background I started to teach  myself to write. Hopefully as each book passes I am getting better and touch  wood, sales seem to indicate that.

 

Websites:

website: www.mattdrabble.com

Twitter:  MattDrabble01

Facebook: www.facebook.com/matt.drabble.3

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/MATT-DRABBLE/e/B0089NFG8Q

 

Book Trailer:

The Travelling Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJDEsMBksJo

 

 

Sneak Peeks are our way of helping readers find new books and authors and get previews. Please share and/or comment! Thank you!

 

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https://youtu.be/OXtQ2h_I98w When everything falls apart, getting back to the basics is often the best answer. Kenny G. Down, continuing his work as a “grateful and...

The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

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The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr   Reviewed by Holly Irish   My rating: 5 of 5 stars I couldn’t put this story down! I was hooked...

No Comic-Con, No Problem: Del Rey and Out of Print Team Up to Launch...

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In advance of the 30th anniversary of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in May 2021, Del Rey and Out of Print have teamed up to celebrate Thrawn like never...