Chapter 1

June 18, 2013

24th September 1980

As I lay in bed, eyes shut tight, body rigid with fear, I could feel the encroaching, claustrophobic darkness of a humid late summer’s eve envelop my body in its clammy grip. The slight breeze that had been drifting in through the window, providing brief respite from the terror of the unrelenting heat, suddenly disappeared, as if sucked back into the unforgiving atmosphere. Lying puzzled, bewildered and terrified, my heart palpitating at every unannounced flickering shadow, I tried my hardest to evacuate all thoughts from the swirling vortex of tumult and pain that was clogging up every inch of my tormented brain.

But…but…but…so many buts…big, big buts…I could not prevent four terminally destructive words from parading their gaudy wares around the inner recesses of my mind. On their soul destroying march to oblivion they seemed to get stuck on a punishing loop. Round and round and round and round. If the inertia of this unforgivably hot night hadn’t already taken hold I would have tried to drown them out with my own cacophonic chorus. Instead I remained still, sweat pouring off every inch of flesh onto increasingly sodden bed sheets.


“What have I done?” WHAT. HAVE. I. DONE. The question ebbed and flowed but whether near or far the true answer to that exact question remained elusive. “What have I done?” More frightening than the question is the possibility that I might do it again. Two weeks ago I took a step into the unknown and now there are consequences…

Next to me, completely unaware of my anguish, lay popular TV presenter, Gloria Hunniford, her stale beauty radiating an aura of benign decorum. I turned my head to breathe in her bland architecture. Tonight would possibly be the last night we would take detached comfort in empty embraces. Mary Winifred Gloria Hunniford flinched and murmured before losing herself amidst broken dreams while I tried to find ways to escape this broken reality. I slowly raised myself into a sitting position and grabbed the leather bound book that rested on the bedside table. The piercing moonlight helped as I flicked though my contacts looking for the one man who might be able to provide some answers.