Chapter One – Fridge Horror

11 Jul

I was throwing out a jar of pickled aubergines when I heard the knock on the door. Jake had bought them ten months ago for reasons which I still can’t understand. He’d tried one of them and almost spat it out in disgust before leaving the rest to rot at the back of the fridge for the rest of the academic year.

Now that everyone else had gone, I was finding all of these little surprises in the fridge, let alone elsewhere in the house…

Knock Knock.

For a second, I kept sorting through the fridge, expecting Craig or Rachel to get the door. Then I remembered that they were gone – even though their blue cheese, dried ketchup and petri dishes still lingered in the depths of the fridge.

I listened to the next couple of knocks and then decided to answer the door.

‘Claura Draine?’

A man with short black hair and a grey T-shirt stood in the doorway, He had a trace of an accent which I couldn’t quite place. My guess was that he was from somewhere between Birmingham and Liverpool, but I was probably wrong. Accents are tricky things.

He said my name again and I nodded, at least he knew how to pronounce it properly. Although that, in and of itself, was more than a bit suspicious. In my whole life, I’ve never met another Claura before, but it seemed like he knew ten of us.

‘Ah, thank god for that! I thought that you’d already left. Look, I hear that you’re good at finding things and I want you to find something for me.’

‘Well, I’m packing at the moment. But, I’ve got a week or two until the lease is up. It’s sixty quid a day, plus travel expenses. But, I’m not promising anything.’

What might have been a smile flickered across his face before he reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of crumpled notes. He thrust them in my general direction and said: ‘Two weeks, plus travel. That should cover it.’

I took the money and counted it for about two minutes, there was nearly a thousand quid. I don’t think I’d ever actually held this much money in my life before. For starters, it was crinklier than I thought it would be.

Whatever he wanted me to investigate, he obviously wanted it done quickly and quietly. It was probably something illegal too. I’d probably end up having to find a suitcase full of cocaine, poached ivory and harvested organs that he’d lost at the train station or something like that. Still, a thousand quid is a thousand quid.

‘You’d better come in.’ I said.

He shook his head and handed me a small scrap of paper ‘You’ll know it when you see it. Trust me.’

Then, without even saying goodbye, he left. I closed the door and just stared at the stack of money. There was no way that I’d be able to deposit it into my account without raising a few eyebrows.

For the sake of due diligence, I realised that I should leave the money in a sealed bag and give a description of the man to the authorities. I’d probably have to play along with the case and, like in all the TV shows, wear a wire and report to a handler of some kind. I’d almost certainly have to plant hidden cameras around the house in case he came came back again too.

I could have done all of that. But I decided to look at the scrap of paper instead.

One Response to “Chapter One – Fridge Horror”

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  1. One Trick For Starting A New Chapter If You’ve Got Writer’s Block « PekoeBlaze - the official blog - July 12, 2013

    […] actually came in handy when I was writing the first chapter of “Liminal Rites”. The first chapter pretty much had to be a classic “film noir” scene where the […]

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