The First Betrayal

The First Betrayal by A. M. Clarke Read Free Book Online

Book: The First Betrayal by A. M. Clarke Read Free Book Online
Authors: A. M. Clarke
Tags: Fiction, thriller, Suspense, Death, Horror, Mystery
skin begins to pucker and crawl as he neared the light. The door was slightly ajar, he eased it open and saw the TV was on, and in front of that, a high backed chair. ’Jesus fucking Christ.’  The words fell out of his mouth without him realising, and Chequers continued to whine cos he knew something wasn’t right. He moved around in front of the chair, stunned and horrified at the sight of Jim. Two knitting needles protruding from his neck, like a hideous X. His eyes still open and gazing at the TV screen, the pool of black blood gathered around the chair legs. The metallic smell was nauseating and he wondered how he hadn’t noticed it when he first entered the house. Chequers had.
    Dreading what he might find, he forced his legs up the stairs. Chequers ran ahead of him and into the bathroom. He barked only once but loud and sharp, alerting Stephen to that room. Gladys was in the bath, her pale body a stark difference to the dark bloody water she was lying in. A razor lay on the floor, blood on its edge. Poor Gladys, what the hell made her do something so awful, so deliberate, and so final. She was always so upbeat and frisky. Yea, frisky was the best way to describe her character. Why? Damn it. He backed out the door and retraced his steps to the front door. Dr Bells number was in his phones memory, and after a few rings, he answered. He was on a call at the other end of the island, at the gas explosion. Stephen explained that there was nothing he could do, and they arranged to meet in the morning. The Doc tutted, muttering about being under-paid for all this extra work, and hung up. For the second time in two days, he rang the mainland.

Chapter Twenty Two  
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    Unfortunately, they had no police presence on the island. Government cutbacks meant rural stations had been closed, and the larger towns and cities had swallowed the smaller stations and their staff. Communities had to fend for themselves, and resort to their own means of protection. Text alerts had become very popular, where, if someone saw someone or something suspicious, they messaged times, descriptions and relevant areas of sightings. The alerts were very useful, except for visiting tourists who may have gotten lost and who were simply travelling slowly as to get their bearings. This had caused a few embarrassing moments, but all in all a good idea.  Neighbour hood watch was another community scheme, which had also posed problematic. Lovers trysts for the faithful and not so faithful were a minefield of chance and luck. A sure fire way for the  suspecting and not so suspecting spouses, to discover indiscretions of lust, that were  meant solely for personal diaries and in-depth therapy.
    For the youthful, the sneaking in and out of windows had become hazardous. Parents woken in the night, to be told their precious daughter, or studious son, had snuck out and were cavorting in the wood walk. One would imagine a small price to pay for a little security and peace of mind, but a surprising number of people had opted out of these helpful community schemes!
    A story had been circulating for a while about an elderly man, who had been burgled twice. Both times on the evening, that he had collected his pension from the local post office. Two men, held him hostage and bullied, threatened and physically coerced the whereabouts of his money. Upon leaving on the second night, they promised the bloodied, bruised and terrified man, that they would see him again the following week, on payday. That night, he packed a few clothes and personal belongings, pumped the tyre on his old black Nelly, threw his life into the tattered wicker basket and set off.  Leaving behind the land that his grandfather, father and he had worked, loved, and shed blood, sweat and tears over. The house that his grandmother and mother had, with very little, made a home, a home they and he had been proud of, a home he was leaving to soulless thugs. From the other side of the

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