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About lomax61

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  1. lomax61


    Okay, for the record. Not that kind of story!
  2. lomax61


    There might be another reason for his aunt’s reaction.
  3. Excited to see where the next chapter is going! 

  4. lomax61


    Lol, @Danilo Syrtis. Well spotted with the character mix up. Now amended. No romance yet. They’re barely friends right now. But don’t worry, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for reading.
  5. lomax61


    Leonard’s father had used the same solicitor for as long as Leonard could remember. Not that he had needed him that often in any official capacity. Once for conveyancing six years ago when they purchased their current home, another time for the dispute with a neighbour over a shared driveway, and, of course, for the writing of his last will and testament. Mr Dawson—neither Leonard nor his mother had any idea of his given name—used to be a sole practitioner, his office a single room above a newsagent on Norwich High Street, but had joined a larger legal firm some years back. Haven and Trollope, the new firm, stood in a modern characterless three-storey complex on the outskirts of town. One advantage to the location was the many parking spaces designated to the law firm clients. Leonard’s mother insisted he drive around the car park three times until she pointed out a parking space that met her approval. Best of all, the drive barely took half an hour during which time his mother sat quietly, listening to the car radio which she insisted be tuned to BBC Radio Four, to a topical political debate. Leonard’s mind had been elsewhere but he occasionally heard her tutting whenever she felt someone had made an inconclusive statement or had circumvented answering a simple question. All day Sunday, while he had begun to tackle the back garden and then cleared his business email, Leonard mulled over his chance meeting with Adrian. By Sunday evening, he had almost called and invited his new friend out for a drink. But he had no idea what Adrian did at the weekend, didn’t know if he would be intruding, feeling sure such a good-looking guy would have other plans which probably included a boyfriend. Strange, really, but even though they had only just met—because they had never been friends—he felt really comfortable with him, as though they had known each other for years. After heading to The Red Lion, they enjoyed a couple of drinks, both opting for the same pub lunch of home-made Shepherd’s Pie and fresh garden vegetables, and chatted about their old school. Adrian seemed purposely vague about his life after leaving the education system, deflecting with trite sayings such as ‘oh, you know, here and there’ and ‘a little bit of this and that’ which Leonard took to mean he didn’t want to talk in detail about his young adult life. Sensing the guardedness, and knowing from Eric about Adrian being gay, Leonard pointedly avoided probing into Adrian’s romantic life and noticed Adrian did the same with him. What he did find out was that Adrian worked locally, although he had no jobs on right now. From stories of work he had carried out, Leonard could tell his popularity with the local community, including some the clientele in the pub he indicated, who he had done work for at some time or another. As the afternoon wore on, Leonard realised he liked Adrian and, before they parted ways, swapped mobile phone numbers and agreed to meet up again after the weekend. Inside the reception for Haven and Trollope, after asking to see their identification, one of the two receptionists, a pretty young thing his mother openly gawped at, with bright orange hair and multiple piercings in one of her ears, led them up a flight of stairs to a large glass conference room. Inside, Aunt Millicent and Matthew already sat there quietly, looking sullen and bored. After offering Leonard and his mother drinks and both declining, the young girl left them alone. His aunt and cousin had already stood, and his mother went to shake hands, with Leonard waiting to do the same. Once they took their seats, each pair on opposite sides of the table, the room fell once again into awkward silence. To Leonard’s relief, Mr Dawson entered ten minutes later. In his mid-to-late sixties, he reminded Leonard of one of his old college professors, with his olive green tweed suit, black and white polka dot bow tie, steel rimmed glasses with thick lenses, and full head of pure white wavy hair, held firmly in place with either too much Vaseline or hair gel. In his hand, he carried a thick manila folder, which had a large label on the front. Leonard could easily make out the full name of his father in large capital letters. Without shaking hands, he lowered himself into the seat at the head of the table, immediately opened the folder and took out a single sheet of paper from the top. “Good. Well. Thank you all for coming here today and being so punctual. Apologies for my tardiness, but I had a call from another client that went on longer than I had expected. I am Hubert Dawson of Haven and Trollope, and the deceased, Colin Montgomery Day, appointed me as the sole executor of his will. This is a simple enough matter and should not take long. Rather than read all the legal speak in the formal last will and testament, I’ve had a one-sheet summary put together, but naturally, all those named as beneficiaries will receive a full copy of the legal document. Is everyone present comfortable with this?” Although nobody spoke, everyone around the table nodded their assent. “Excellent. Well, in summary, the deceased left almost everything to his wife, Mrs Geraldine Olivia Day, which includes their unencumbered residential home, 14 Collier Drive and all investments, shares and possessions in Mr Day’s sole name, his pension and, of course, the proceeds from his life assurance policy.” That his father had left him nothing came as no surprise to Leonard. His father, being a pragmatic man, had spoken at length about the eventuality of his death, during which Leonard emphasised his own financial independence, and his desire for his father to make sure Leonard’s mother would be the principle beneficiary. “There are two caveats to this is under the General Provisions clause. The first is that he wishes to donate the sum of ten thousand pounds to the college research facility, and the second, that the family’s country home, Bryn Bach in Wales, changes ownership to his son and only child, Leonard Frederick Day.” Leonard had never heard his father mention a holiday home before and began to turn to his mother for clarification. Before he could, Aunt Millicent drew everyone’s attention when she let out a loud strangled gasp and sat forward in her chair. In the room, only her son Matthew seemed unsurprised by her reaction. “No! There must be some mistake. As the last surviving sibling, I should be the one to inherit Bryn Bach. It’s what our mother and father would have wanted, and something Colin promised me, should anything happen to him.” Mr Dawson sorted through the larger document, the full will, and flicked to a particular page marked by a yellow post-it note. “Mr Day’s instructions are very clear; specific; straightforward and unambiguous, Mrs Darlington. And unless you have any legal documentation which supersedes the terms of this will, then there is no mistake. Under the Additional Provisions clause, Leonard’s father leaves in its entirety the farmhouse, Bryn Bach, in Disserth, Llandrindod Wells in Wales to his son, Leonard Frederick Day. He reviewed his will at the end of each year, the last time being December just gone. There is no mistake in—” “He promised me. We spent our school holidays there as children, my brother, Colin, our parents and me. Until he went off to college on the other side of the country, and thought himself too high and mighty to associate with us, especially when he met her.” At that she glared pointedly at Leonard’s mother. “And when my ex-husband started a new job in sales, when we had barely enough money to survive on, we still managed to provide summer holidays for our three children because my father let us use Bryn Bach. We have many fond memories there. And in return, we have decorated, maintained, and cared for the place without asking for a penny in return. Since our father passed and left the cottage to my brother, he has not once been there. I know this for a fact. We still have friends in Newbridge. And my Matthew checks the cottage over every year for broken pipes and any defects, even though the place is deserted now. Falling to rack and ruin.” “This is all very well, Mrs Darlington. But legally the property now belongs—“ “What does he want with it, anyway? He’s never even been there. None of them have.” Leonard peered sideways at his mother, noticed the disapproving assessment at her sister-in-law’s outburst, glaring at her as she would a recalcitrant student. Poor Mr Dawson lifted his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. If he was going to be completely honest, Leonard didn’t care about a holiday home in Wales. He had enough old properties around the country on his books without adding one more to the list. But his father had specifically left the place to him. Surely that meant something? “What if we were to challenge the will?” This time, Matthew spoke. Leonard felt a flash of anger ignite in him at the thought of a family member challenging his own father’s specific wishes. For his part, Mr Dawson sat up straight in his chair, his lips pinched together. With both hands pressed together beneath his chin, as though in prayer, he leant forward, elbows on the table, and peered over the top of his glasses. “I am not your solicitor, Mr Darlington, but if I were, I would strongly advise you against doing so. Not only would you end up spending an unsightly amount of money in legal fees, but in my long experience, challenges of this nature are rarely successful. Possession truly is nine tenths of the law in this country. Look, rather than go that route, why don’t you begin by asking Mr Day junior if he would be prepared to sell the property to you? Or to come to some kind of arrangement?” Aunt Millicent’s eyes darted to Leonard, a glimmer of hope in her eyes, and a smile replacing the previous unpleasant grimace. “Would you, Leonard? Would you consider selling our lovely holiday home back to us? It holds such dear memories for me and my family.” “It’s as good as derelict at the moment,” added Matthew, still unsmiling, but something lighting in his eyes. “Worthless. We’d be doing you a favour taking the pile of rubble off your hands.” Up until the challenge from his relatives, Leonard had been even-tempered and might have considered coming to some arrangement, as Mr Dawson had put it. But now? He took a deep breath before replying. “My main concern today was in making sure my mother was taken care of financially, and it appears my father has done that. Until five minutes ago, I had no idea he owned a farmhouse in Wales. But he clearly wanted me to have the place. So I’m not going to make a decision right away. Before anything, I’d like to drive down there and give the place a quick once over. After that, I’ll make up my mind. But rest assured, if I do decide to sell the property, I promise you will get first option to buy. My mother has your contact details, if that is the case. And Mr Dawson here is witness to my promise. So is my mother.” “Excellent.” Mr Dawson clearly wanted to move the matter along. No doubt, like Leonard, he hadn’t anticipated anyone to contest the will. But Leonard’s aunt hadn’t finished. “You’re just like him, aren’t you? Just like your father?” Her caustic tone and scowl left nobody in any doubt about her true feelings, except this time Leonard had no hesitation in glaring back across the table. “If that’s what you see, then I am honoured.” Leonard turned his attention back to the solicitor. “Sorry Mr Dawson. You were saying?” “Um, yes, so in order to finish matters off, I’ll need you and your mother to sign the necessary paperwork, and then get copies made for our records. Shouldn’t take more than another fifteen to twenty minutes. In the meantime, Mrs Darlington, if you and your son wish to leave, I can get someone—” “Don’t bother. We can find our own way out.” Neither Aunt Millie nor Matthew seemed happy at being dismissed, but they said no more. Instead of waiting around, they rose abruptly from their seats and left without bidding farewell. After the door shut behind them, Mr Dawson waited a few moments before looking apologetically at Leonard and his mother, gently shaking his head but saying nothing. “Did you know about this family house in Wales, mum?” “I didn’t. Your father mentioned nothing to me. But you know him as well as I do. He did nothing without thinking things through meticulously. In spite of what your aunt insists, if he wanted you to have the farmhouse rather than leave it to her, then there is no mistake and you should trust his good judgement.” Before they left, Mr Dawson furnished Leonard and his mother with their copies of all the signed paperwork. Leonard thought they had finished, and began to rise until Mr Dawson handed him a bulky envelope. “The deeds to the property will continue to be kept here, Mr Day, in our safe-keeping, unless you wish them to be held elsewhere. But they will be transferred into your name. These are the keys to Bryn Bach. Somewhere on file we have a photograph of the place so I’ll get my assistant to email a copy to you. And for the record, I agree with your mother. Your father clearly wanted you to have the place, and as such, he did so for a reason.” All well and good, thought Leonard, as he and his mother strolled unspeaking down the plush corridor, but if that was the case, then his father had taken the reason to the grave with him.
  6. lomax61


    Hi @Job - I’m glad you’re enjoying this story. I reached a block with Hooking Trout and have put it on hold. I’ve had a stop/start love/hate affair with the story but I am committed to finishing it once my muse returns.
  7. lomax61


    Thanks @chris191070 - next instalment next weekend.
  8. lomax61


    Thanks @dughlas - some good questions. Why does Millicent feel she needs to hang around for the reading of the will? Maybe she has trust issues. Or is she expecting something in particular? Hold that thought. As for Leonard and Adrian, well the whole story hinges on these two, so you’ll see them being brought closer together in one way or another over the next few chapters.
  9. lomax61


    Thanks @mikedup - this is the build up before the plot begins to take off.
  10. lomax61


    Stuttering across the windscreen, the wipers on Adrian’s Toyota truck struggled to clear the sudden heavy downpour, failing to give him a clear view of the road ahead. Mindful of the slim possibility other cars heading his way down the small lane, he reduced speed, snapped lights on full beam, and craned forward, his eyes squinting through the glass. Worst of all, the interior surface kept fogging up despite having the heater on full, blowing air up onto the inside surface. When he turned into Burntwood Lane, with the tall hedgerow on one side and a wall of elm trees on the other providing a canopy of darkness across the road, he slowed to a crawl. Just as well, too, because up ahead in a section partly open to the scant daylight, pulled into a lay-by, he spied the outline of a car. Silhouetted in the lights of Adrian’s van, a figure leant over the engine using a phone to shine light into the space beneath the bonnet. Bearing in mind the heaviness of the rain, the poor guy had no hat or umbrella, and appeared soaked through. For a fleeting moment, Adrian considered driving past, wondered if maybe the person had everything under control, but then a moment of self-reproach bearing his mother’s voice hit him and he pulled over. Landing in a deep puddle as he jumped out, he cursed momentarily before grabbing a couple of umbrellas from behind the cab seat. Using his back to close the cab door, he opened one of the umbrellas and headed towards the driver. Sensing his approach, the person straightened up and stepped away from the car. Even in shadow, the stance and build of the man was unmistakable. Lenny Day. Adrian’s pace faltered a moment, until he took a breath and continued forward. “Spot of trouble?” “Uh, yes. But it’s fine, though. I’ve got everything under control.” Adrian heard the flat tone again, one Lenny had used at the funeral gathering. This time, though, he was not going to be dismissed. Besides, the man clearly had no idea what he was doing, getting soaked in rain, trying to fix an engine with the light of a smartphone. “What’s the problem, then?” “It’s the engine.” Adrian was about to make a quip about Lenny stating the obvious, but decided not to rile him. “And it just cut out, yes?” This time Lenny’s gaze bore into Adrian. And then, as though a switch had been flicked, he seemed to visibly deflate, and almost smiled with relief. “Actually, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, Adrian. This is my father’s piece of shit Astra. My mother’s been nagging me to take it for a spin, so I thought today would be good while the weather stayed dry. Until the engine cut out almost at the same moment the heavens opened. Some days you just can’t win. To top it all, I can’t even get a signal on my phone to call someone. Not that I’d know who to call around here. Do you think this is my father’s idea of a parting joke?” Adrian smirked and handed an umbrella to Lenny. “Looks as though you’re already soaked through, but use this anyway. I’m not a qualified car mechanic, but I’ve had a fair bit of experience with engines. Want me to take a look?” “Would you mind? I’ll hold the umbrella over you.” After checking connections and getting Lenny to try the ignition a couple of times—with absolutely nothing happening—Adrian identified the culprit. “Just before you pulled over, did you notice anything unusual?” “Yes. The reporter on the local radio station promised sunshine all day.” Adrian looked away and smiled. “About the car.” “Ah, so, the lights flickered a couple of times and there was an odd rumbling sound and a burning smell coming from the engine. And now the lights aren’t working at all.” “Yeah, just as I thought. Faulty alternator, I’m afraid. And your battery doesn’t look in particularly good shape either.” “Priceless. So what can I do?” “Not a lot, I’m afraid. I can drop you at Ted’s. He’s the local mechanic. But he’ll likely need to tow the car back. Suggest you grab anything you need, lock up and I’ll drop you there.” “Shit.” “Where were you headed? I can always drive you, if you want?” “Home. As I say, I gave the car a run into Norwich. I was on my way back home for lunch when this happened.” Lenny seemed to hesitate then. “Look, Adrian. I don’t want to put you out. I’m sure you’ve got more important things to do on a Saturday. Maybe you could use your phone to call this guy, Ted, and I’ll wait—” “Not a chance. We can’t get a signal for another half mile either way. Best I drop you there.” When Lenny peered around into the rain, considering the offer, Adrian almost relented. Nervousness had already settled in his stomach at the thought of having Lenny Day sat next to him in his truck. Until Lenny turned and smiled, nodding his head. “That’s really kind of you.” While Lenny climbed into the passenger seat, Adrian folded up the umbrellas and put them beneath his seat before clambering in, too. “I’d offer you a towel to dry yourself off, but it’s covered in plaster dust.” “No problem.” Lenny fixed his seatbelt in place, then dragged a clean handkerchief from his pocket and did his best to dry his hair and face. “Nice and warm in here.” Adrian started up the engine and after a quick check, put the truck into gear. Before long, they came out the other side of the tree covering and headed towards Drayton. “Sorry,” said Lenny. “Didn’t really get a chance to chat the other day.” The way Adrian remembered the funeral, Lenny didn’t want to talk. Not to Adrian, anyway. He liked this chatty version of Lenny much better. “You had a lot on your plate. Funeral, and all.” “So I didn’t get to ask what you do?” Lenny turned to have a brief glance through the small back window of the truck. “For a living?” “Building trade. Haven’t gotten round to painting the name on the side of the truck, yet. But I do plumbing, tiling, plastering, roofing. Pretty much the works. The only thing I’m not so hot on is electrical wiring. Can do the basics and make good on repairs, but I’m not qualified to rewire a house. Happily, I’ve been in the trade long enough to know some excellent people who can.” “Don’t suppose you ever get involved in restoration work? You know, repairing heritage or listed buildings, that kind of thing?” “Never been asked. But I’d imagine it’s more specialised than what I do. Around Norwich, it’s mainly standard new builds, putting down patios, building extensions, or renovating older properties, none of which you could call heritage.” Lenny nodded his understanding, and Adrian wondered where the question had come from. “At school, people used to say you were going to be the next big thing, going on to play rugby for England one day. The field boundary was packed whenever you guys were playing at home. If my memory serves me well, you had quite the following back then.” Adrian kept his eyes on the road. Since school ended, he kept in touch with nobody, and whenever he bumped into anyone from those days, he always answered the question in exactly the same way. “Didn’t happen. Very competitive in the real world. Don’t think people truly realise what you’re up against out there. Plus I liked playing for the fun of it, without the pressure, didn’t want to turn it into a profession and lose the enjoyment. What I’m doing now is what I love, building things to last.” Even though the answer wasn’t a lie, he omitted the whole dreadful truth. But the answer seemed to stop people digging any further. Because nobody wanted to hear the real reason for him suddenly being yanked out of school and scraping a life on the streets of London. “Have you always lived here? In Drayton?” “No. Came back when my dad got sick. He passed away around ten years ago.” “I’m so very sorry. We have that in common. I know he was popular in the community. Wasn’t he a church minister, or something?” Adrian did not want to talk about his father. A mountain of a man, he had shone back then as one of the few prominent West Indian men in Drayton, a popular minister of the local baptist church. People came to him for everything, for guidance, support, advice, and often for forgiveness, something he seemed to be able to dole out freely and generously to his congregation. But not to his family. “That’s him. Minister of Drayton Baptist. I thought your folks were agnostic or something.” “Humanists. As scientists, they prefer the human race to rely on critical thinking, together with rational and empirical evidence, rather than to follow organised religion, which they say is based on fairy stories and superstition. Even so, I still managed to get them to put up a Christmas tree each year. A small one, of course. My mother used to roll her eyes, but she could see how much I liked the decorations.” “And the presents?” “Especially the presents.” Lenny had a nice laugh. “How did you know about my dad, then?” “At school in the lower sixth—you’d already left—our form head used to get people from different walks of life to come in and explain what they did. They invited your dad to give us a talk on the difference between baptists and other branches of the Christian church. He was actually really good, informative, but also funny.” “Yeah, that sounds like him.” “Did he make you and your mother go to his church, too?” “My mother was a good Irish Catholic girl. Still is. But no, he didn’t force us to go. I went a couple of times when I was little, but it wasn’t for me.” “So you’re not a believer?” “I wouldn’t—I wouldn’t say that.” Lenny seemed intrigued but Adrian wasn’t sure he wanted to go into his reasoning. “Let’s just say, I’ve had a few special moments in my life when a prayer was answered. How about you? Are you an atheist, too? Like your parents?” “Humanist.” “Humanists. Atheist. Same thing, isn’t it?” Somewhat dramatically, Lenny Day hissed in a breath before answering. Adrian took his eyes from the road for a second to witness the mix of shock and amusement on Lenny’s face. “Ooh, Adrian, you ought to have discussed that particular topic with my father while he was still alive. Over a pint or two at The Red Lion, preferably. You’d have been there for hours. He was more passionate about that particular question than he was about the indoctrination and controlling nature of organised religions. I unwittingly touched on the subject once and was rewarded with a diatribe about atheism being merely the absence of belief, while he viewed humanism as a positive attitude, a positive force and movement in the world, centred on human experience, thought, and hopes. Personally, I’m still not sure where I stand, but in a sick world where people are finally waking up and trying to come up with sustainable ways to keep the planet alive and habitable, humanism seems to make more sense than passively offering up a prayer. Do you notice how we’re starting to hear people voice their irritation when government officials or politicians fall back on their standard ‘our thoughts and prayers are with the families’ monologue whenever natural disasters occur. I heard one woman on television saying, keep your thoughts and prayers, how about some action?” “Amen to that,” said Adrian. “Or not, as the case may be.” When the two of them laughed together, Adrian found himself enjoying Lenny’s company. Ahead of him in the road, he spotted the left fork which would take them to Ted’s garage. As he steered into the road, he also slowed the speed of the wipers, the rain now reduced to a light drizzle. “So what about you?” Adrian asked. “Back for good?” “No. Only until I’ve got everything sorted out with my dad’s estate and once mum’s settled. Then I’ll return to work.” “Which is?” “I run a suite of online businesses. One of them being classic cars, of all things. So you’d think I would know my way around a motor car engine. But the types of cars we specialise in are vintage and often with unique designs, so I hire experienced mechanics to survey the engine and other working parts.” “You’re the boss?” “I am, yes. I’m also involved in selling antiques, and restoring and selling old, and often listed, buildings.” “Which is why you asked me about the kind of building work I’m involved in.” “Busted. Always on the lookout for good workmen.” Adrian mulled the words over for a few moments. “So you’re successful?” “Well, my accountant seems to think so. As do the talented team of people I have working for me.” “Yeah, I thought maybe you were.” “Thought maybe I was what?” “Successful. You have that look about you.” Adrian sensed Lenny turn his way, eyeing him humorously. “I do? And what kind of look is that?” “You know. Smart. Intelligent. Confident. You always came across as being capable at school, independent, didn’t need to be a part of a group to get noticed. I’m sure I’m not the only person who saw that in you.” When Adrian peered around, he saw Lenny now looking out the window, but in the reflection could see him smiling to himself. Had Adrian’s comments amused him? “What did I say?” he asked. “No, it’s nothing. Except I was anything but capable or independent back then. Lonely, maybe.” Adrian had no answer for Lenny’s comment. He had always been a little in awe of young Lenny Day. To hear he had been lonely made Adrian feel sad, because had he known, he would have tried harder to connect with him. Up ahead, he spotted the familiar distinctive sign for Turnbull Motor Services, Ted’s garage. “Here we are. Let me come in with you. I know Ted well, and can explain what the problem is.” Adrian pulled up on the forecourt, where a line of five cars had for sale stickers on them. Parking up, he jumped out of the truck as Lenny followed suit. A small glass office with a front door sat beside the double-fronted bays of the garage, almost every inch of each pane covered with adverts for different motor companies, components or brands of motor oil. In one of the bays, two young lads in navy blue overalls leant over the bonnet of an old silver Mercedes, which had definitely seen better days. Outside the second bay, one lad smoked a cigarette beneath a canopy. “Hey, Pete,” called Adrian, as Lenny stepped up and matched his stride, and as they marched towards the office. He knew the lad well, often met him and Ted having a pint together in the Lion. “Is he around?” “In the office.” Pete nodded to the office door. “Doing sod all, as usual.” In his trademark orange overalls, Ted sat behind a cluttered desk in the small toasty-warm office and waiting area, running through invoices. After a bit of small talk, Ted acknowledging Lenny’s father and his car, having provided an MOT each year, Adrian quickly cut to the chase. Ted listened intently until Adrian had finished. “Ah, well you caught us at a right good time.” Ted’s Norwich accent bordered on caricature. “Not exactly rushed off our feet right now, as you can see from those lazy bastards as are standing around out there. I’ll get Pete to drive down after lunch, tow her back here for yer. We’ll do a service, too, if you want? If there’s nothing too serious.” “No rush,” said Lenny. “I’m only going to sell the thing, anyway.” “Are you now? And how much you asking?” “To be honest, I’m not really sure.” Adrian knew Ted well enough to see the opportunity to make a fast buck, so he stepped in. “It’s a 2012 Vauxhall Astra five-door Elite. Petrol, not diesel. One point six, probably low mileage, and in pretty good nick. As far as I could tell, the only thing needing attention is the battery and the alternator. Give it a good service and clean her up and you could get well over three grand retail. Lenny will let you have her for two grand.” Adrian was only vaguely aware of Lenny staring at him, Adrian’s full attention more on Ted’s unsmiling face and blank stare. Eventually Ted tilted his head back and laughed at the ceiling. “You robbing bastard, Lamperton. Okay, let me look her over and if what you say is true, you’ve got yourself a deal. I’ve actually got a customer who wants a petrol Astra. Not interested in any of those diesel beauties on my forecourt.” After Lenny had handed over the car keys and shaken hands with Ted, they went back to Adrian’s truck. “So, Mr Day. Where to now?” When he turned around, Lenny was staring at him and smiling. “I can’t believe you did that.” “What?” “I’d have been happy with a couple of hundred quid, just to get the bloody thing off my hands.” “And you call yourself a successful businessman? Shame on you.” This time Lenny roared with laughter and Adrian joined him, chuckling too. “Don’t suppose you fancy a pint and a spot of lunch at The Red Lion?” asked Lenny, surprising Adrian. “My treat not only for helping me out of a tight spot today, but also for getting my mother such a good bargain on the car.” Adrian smiled, but then turned to Lenny. “You don’t need to, Lenny. Call it my good deed of the day. I’m sure you’d do the same if you found someone in the same situation.” “Lenny?” Leonard choked the word out and tried to look annoyed but his mouth grinning at the corner betrayed his humour. “Oh, sorry. What do you prefer to be called?” “No, Lenny sounds fine. The way you say it. And the truth is, I do want to have lunch with you, and I am also enjoying our conversation. So unless you have somewhere better to be, fancy joining me?” Adrian started up the truck. “I would be honoured.”
  11. lomax61

    Chapter 1

    So much to love here, packed full of ideas in such a short story. And a different interpretation of the anthology title. Aliens among us (yes, your hat-tip to the X Files) some bad, some good, and some simply here to study us; political posturing back on earth with Vice President Dibben and his son; hippy Zebron, one of the new evolution of humankind (surely the world is more than ready for the next evolution? Or has it already begun?) caught wilfully mind-scanning the wrong person and basically signing his own death warrant; an apolitical corporation, no less, monitoring everything back on earth from the dark side of the moon. I’m left with a heap of questions, which is how it should be. And I agree with everyone, that I hope you explore these ideas further.
  12. lomax61


    Hey @Cachondeo - stop with the spoilers already!!
  13. lomax61


    Thanks for reading, @chris191070 - still setting up the story in this chapter, but we’re underway now.
  14. lomax61


    Ooh @Danilo Syrtis - another few assumptions here, which is what I’d hoped for. Leonard is always on the lookout for good workers. The expression ‘sod’ is perfectly fine here, a very mild British English expletive often (as in this case) used to denote someone who has had something bad happen to them (not used literally as in a derivation of the word sodomite). So especially in the south of England, you’ll hear people called ‘silly sod’ or ‘poor sod’ and it’s often a term of endearment. She might have also used the words ‘poor bastard’ but they would not have been meant literally.
  15. lomax61


    Thanks @mikedup - and things will get a little stranger before they start to make sense. Thanks for reading.
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