Shona shifted her weight from one foot to the other, glanced around the third-floor walkway of a council house in Manchester at three AM while Caswell picked the lock on the door of Leith Alger’s flat. “I shouldn’t be here,” she breathed. “I know this is how you work, but…” [...]
Fashionably London was the last thing Caswell expected to open his door to on a rainy night in the country. He watched with some apprehension as Elise set a bottle of wine on the coffee table, removed her cape, laid it over the back of the couch and shook out her hair as fluidly as the water running down his windows. “It’s been almost two weeks since Cliftonwood, Cas. You weren’t going to call me?” [...]
There was a time. So begins the monologue of men. Still I say the words and I raise the noun, its shape catching on lie just as easily. But sand and sea know nothing of the narratives of fiction. [...]
Kylie let her fingertips drift across the creased sepia photograph of a young sailor with a trimmed beard, his hat in his hand, a baby cradled in his arm. A pretty girl in plain, light dress stood next to him, her arm in his. ‘Dory, Juliet et Michael – St. V e C 1917’ in faded ink across the bottom. The sailor was the grandfather of a man she thought held secrets to a life she’d been denied. A man, she’d discovered, who never knew she existed. [...]
“Long stemmed wine glasses and tablecloths are a proposition, Caswell.” Elise gave the room and its elegance a practiced eye. “Or an apology. Suspect, regardless, for a man who just asked me how my French was before he asked me about wine. I spend two evenings a week with bored, over-educated or homesick women reading French Literature and speaking French. Things I’m sure you knew before you asked.” [...]
Today a slow dance of clustering clouds choreographs a timed waltz of darkening shadows on land and sea below. Soon the monochrome sky will ignite in timeworn dynastic conflict. Look up, gaze into the swaying clouds long enough and you will see a tenebrous prophecy in the shaping, dissolving, and reshaping of furious grey eyes. [...]
“What is it we’re doing again?” Kylie set a small traveling bag of tools in the back of Kirklin’s truck and climbed in the cab, made a face when the door wouldn’t close. She wasn't sure about the truck. Definitely not sure about Kirklin.