“Sunday in New York”, it’s a bumpy road to love

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment, his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-SundayInNewYork

Sunday In New York

You’d think, some day, I’d understand

The difference between what you want to do and what really happens can be as wide as the Rio Grande River

Not that I’ve tried to cross it, but you get my drift.

Shopping, any sort of shopping, can be a nightmare.  Certainly, when you decide to go shopping always leave enough time for the vagaries of serving staff and fellow customers.

And then there’s Murphy’s law

Like, for instance, you’re in a hurry to get to a lunch appointment and need money.  The ATM is broken or refilling, and inside the bank the queue is long and there’s only one teller serving

Of course, it’s lunchtime!

Or you’ve decided to get a pre-theater dinner and drink and get to the restaurant early, order, and then have to wait and wait and, well you know how it is.

Of course, there’s always late staff, missing cooks.

Or you draw a number and sit down to wait only to discover that somehow your number got lost in the system.  Or worse, you go to the doctor for an appointment, sit down, and get forgotten.

When you ask, oh, he had to go home for an emergency.

No doubt late for golf.

It’s happened to me, more than once.

But the worst thing that can happen to you.  Going clothes shopping with your partner, sit down near the counter knowing she will eventually come back for you.

Only…

You get a phone call three hours later from her asking where you are.

One day…

Getting words on paper, easy to say, not so easy to do!

Everything I’ve read, and understand, about this writing ‘thing’ is that it’s better to get words on paper, even if none of it fits the story.

Go to keep up the word count.

But, to me, it has to make sense.  I’ve written 2,000 words or four pieces of paper, or 20 sheets longhand in a notebook, but it doesn’t feel right.

It doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t progress the story, they are just words on a piece of paper.

For example:

 

My life was going nowhere.  If I took a step back and took a good, long, hard look at it, what could I say was the one defining moment?

There was no defining moment.

I’d bounced around schools till the day I decided I was not cut out to learn anything more, or perhaps the teachers had given up trying to impart knowledge.  Whatever the reason, I dropped out of college, and drifted.  Seasonal laborer, farm hand, factory worker, night watchman.

At least now I had a uniform and looked like I’d made something of myself.

Until I went home.

My parents were distinctly disappointed I was not married with children.

My overachieving brother always said I was a loser, and would never make anything of myself.

My ultra successful sister, married into a very wealthy family, had the regulation 2.4 children, and lived in the lap of luxury, mostly pretended I didn’t exist, didn’t invite me to the wedding, and I had yet to meet the husband and children.  I guess she was ashamed of me.

This year I was avoiding going home.

This year I volunteered to work the holidays.

 

It’s about as gloomy and depressing as it gets.  We’re supposed to entertain, take people out of their humdrum, mundane lives, put them in the passenger seat of a car, bus, or truck careening out of control.

Yep, time to walk away and do something entirely different, like wrapping Christmas presents, my second favorite job to mowing the lawn.  Maybe if I contrive an accident with the lawn mower …

Back in front of the words, some hours later, an idea pops into my head.  The story continues:

 

It was 3 a.m. and it was like standing on the exact epicenter of the South Pole.  I’d just stepped from the warehouse into the car park.

The car was covered in snow.  The weather was clear now, but more snow was coming.

A white Christmas?  That’s all I needed.  I hoped I remembered to put the anti freeze in my radiator this time.

As I approached my car, the light went on in a SUV parked next to my car.  The door opened and what looked to be a woman was getting out of the car.

“Graham?”

It was a voice I was familiar with, though I hadn’t heard it for a long time.

My ultra successful sister, Penelope.  She was leaning against her car door, and from what I could see, didn’t look too well.

“What do you want?”

“Help.”

My help, I was the last person to help her, or anyone for that matter.  But curiosity got the better of me.  “Why?”

“Because my husband is trying to kill me.”

With that said, she slid down the side of the car, and I could see, in the arc lamps lighting the car park, a trail of blood.

 

OK, so not such a good idea to cut close to the bone here, but rivalries do make for great thrillers.  Even if they are not your own!

Maybe it’s not such a bad day after all.

Thoughts impinging on reality

You know how it is, you’re sitting at the lights waiting for the green, and everything is calm around you.

It’s a warm day, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and because they’re taking so long to change, you’re almost drifting off, somewhere else than in traffic.

Bang!

That awful sound of two metal cars crashing, short, sharp, incisive, intruding.

Lights changed, driver next to me, in a lane that ends on the other side of the intersection, pushes his foot to the floor, trying to get in front.  Another driver running a red light hits him.

I sit in stunned silence before moments after the scene bursts into life, people getting out of cars to help.

My eyes are on the car than ran the red light.  The door slowly opens, and a person is getting out.  I look closer, it’s a woman, bright red hair, and blood running down her face.

She is standing, stunned, looking around, then sees a man coming towards her.

Is that panic.  She looks in my direction, our eyes meeting for a brief second, then she’s running.

Towards my car.

Seconds later the door opens, she gets in, and the door slams shut.

Two men are now running towards my car.

“Drive,” she yells.

“You’re injured, you should wait for …”

“Drive, now, or I’ll shoot you.”

I see the gun, now pointing at me.

“You’re joking.”

One of the men is pounding on her door, which I noticed she’d locked.

“Drive.”

I did, pushing the accelerator pedal to the floor.

The two men were now running towards another car, reaching it before I’d got more than 50 yards.  My car was tired, old, and not very quick in a standing 100.

I didn’t tell her she’d picked the wrong car and driver if she hoped to make a getaway.

Before I made a 100 yards, there was a large black 4×4 hurtling towards us.

“Turn left here,” she commanded, pushing the barrel of the gun into my side for emphasis.

I did, nearly losing the rear end of the car in a slide towards the curb, just touching it before moving forward.

My heart was now in my mouth and pounding.

Death by a bullet or an accident, both were high probabilities.

Who was this woman, now indistinguishable because her face was covered in blood.  She should be bleeding out.  Perhaps she might, and that would save me from an ignominious death.

I could see the 4×4 closing the distance between us quickly.

Perhaps there was another way to die.

“Right,”

Another swerving turn.

“Left,” she yelled almost instantly after the last order.

A few seconds later, “Right”.  Then another “left, then floor it.”

The wrong car, I muttered under my breath.

No sign of the 4×4.  Had we lost it?

At intersection coming up, one I recognized.  The railway station.

“Don’t slow down, straight across.”

“Are you mad?”

Prod.

Apparently so, and with a death wish.

The front of the car crunched on the driveway, as I hit it at speed, the slammed my foot on the brake.  A train was waiting at the platform.

She was out and gone before the car had stopped, and the doors of the carriage had closed, all just before the 4×4 pulled into the station carpark.

 

Tap, tap, tap.

I looked over at the passenger side and saw my granddaughter looking in.

“Have you been daydreaming again, Poppy?”

 

© Charles Heath 2018

 

An old story, or perhaps a new story

It’s late at night and there are twenty other story ideas that are currently running around in my head, instead of the story I should be working on.

These ideas are impinging on the current story, and somehow are finding their way onto the page.

Writing, cursing, deleting, re-writing, deleting, cursing.

I’m working on the latest book and it is not going well, and I think it is more a case of self-doubt.  It’s why I can’t concentrate.

It’s why I’m thinking about the next story and not staying on track.

This leads me to be over critical of what I have written and much pressing of the delete key.  Only to realize that an action taken in haste can be regrettable, and makes me feel even more depressed when I realize the deletions are irrecoverable.

Damn.

I think I’d be happier in a garret somewhere channeling van Gogh’s rage.

Lesson learned – don’t delete, save it to a text file so it can be retrieved when sanity returns.

I was not happy with the previous start.  Funny about that, because until a few weeks ago I thought the start was perfect.

What a difference a week makes or is that politics?

Perhaps I should consider adding some political satire.

But I digress…

It seems it’s been like that for a few weeks now, not being able to stick to the job in hand, doing anything but what I’m supposed to be doing.  I recognize the restlessness, I’m not happy with the story as it is, so rather than getting on with it, I find myself writing words just for the sake of writing words.

Any words are better than none, right?

So I rewrote the start, added about a hundred pages and now I have to do a mass of rewriting of what was basically the whole book.

But here’s the thing.

This morning I woke up and looked at the new start, and it has inspired me.

Perhaps all I needed was several weeks of teeth gnashing, and self-doubt to get myself back on track.

Who would want to be a writer?

Me!  First in line, every time!

Furnerals are a time to reflect

Funerals are by definition sad occasions.  It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them to come together to celebrate their life.

It is also usually a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, and can take an interesting turn given the right set of circumstances.

And, depending on how old you are at the time, you could start reflecting on your own mortality, and how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.

Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The sad fact is, we all do.  We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done, with a motto of, old enough to know better and young enough not to care.

What happens when you die at 44?

It’s one of those questions that we face when attending the funeral of the daughter of one of my in-laws.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many of us look forward to retirement, and having reached that age, generally in the mid to late 60’s, that we will be settled in our life, all major commitments completed, we will be in reasonably good health, our children will be old enough to look after themselves, and we have an adequate retirement plan to see us through to old age.

Until then, we sacrifice a great deal, spending our time either working, or helping our children on their way to an equally successful life.

There never seems to be time for those holidays overseas or doing those things near and dear to us, putting it off till ‘tomorrow’.

No one realizes ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

Plots ripped form newspaper front pages

Sometimes the headlines are ripped from the blurb of an international best-selling novel

Take for instance the latest event generated from the political interference by the Russians scandal in the United States

How would it read?

Take what appears to be an ordinary student in an American University, who has the ability to find and seduce various men with apparent political clout for the purpose of subverting election results. 

This would be rather startling if it was not in the United States because everyone from the national rifle association down knows any politician federal state or local can be bought.  There’s also the fact the femme fatale is not all that good looking, but on the other hand, men can always be seduced

In fact, you would have to question the legitimacy of any elected official in that country because anything to do with politics is susceptible to bribery and corruption, from any number of lobby groups the doyen of which is the NRA.

Just look what they’ve managed to achieve.  Any madman and his dog can now print a gun without restriction and go on a killing rampage.  The Russians are the least of US citizens problems

But I digress.

The blurb reads on.

The president recently elected in what could only have been described as an impossible result realized that the American people are now waking up to the possibility of his election victory was not as impossible or legitimate as originally thought has his closest aides scrambling for anything to grab the people attention away from the truth.

A Russian spy has been dragged out of the shadows and put on display.  Fearing that is not enough a plan is hatched to go to war with the rest of the world on the trade and military alliance front with solutions to coming crises in the bank for when everyone started to be affected by what seems senseless tariffs and endless attacks from those who were once allies.

But what’s really going on.  Has the president been bought by the Russians, or does he have a darker and more sinister plan afoot?  Are his battles with Russia, China, and North Korea merely diversions?

The balance of power is on a knife edge and only one man [or woman] can save a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

You have to admit it’s a hell of a plotline.