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Twisted Scruples

By Simon John Bower All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Adventure


We all make micro-decisions thousands of times a day, but when that nano-judgement results in the death of your lover, we tend to re-examine each decision made. Being tied up in the back of a windowless van has given me time to think. As my mind clears, I look back over the past months to figure out who might want to kidnap me and where they plan to take me. It strikes me as most probable that it has everything to do with the death, and to have any chance of survival, I need to be on the top of my game to outwit my pursuers. Let me tell you how it happened…

PART 1 - Chapter 1

“You can only connect the dots in your life by looking back - not forward…Connect the dots and find what you love.”

Steve Jobs


Tuesday, August 2

When I regain consciousness, I instinctively, but ineffectually, gasp for much needed air. I can sense a thick, effective sticky tape pulling on the stubble surrounding my mouth. I crave to stretch my jaw, just for a moment. I try to throw a rejuvenating yawn, but it’s just not happening. Apparently, when you yawn, your brain cools off and your motor functions restart. I’d like them to restart now. I desperately want to quench my thirst; water would be fine. When I gulp air to swallow, a grating pain sears down my throat, like waking from a comatose state after a wedding party. I muse to myself, ‘Charlie, what the fuck happened?’

Prising open my eyelids is somewhat successful, which is a small solace, one mildly tarnished by the palpable lack of view. So this is what it feels like to be sightless. Years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with the degenerative eye disease. She told me that it wasn’t all darkness, being blind. She said that she sometimes experienced glaring shades of red and yellow, breaking up the monotony of eternal darkness. And that is pretty much what it feels like right now. But I am fairly sure my eyes have not been gouged out with teaspoons. It strikes me as far more probable that I am blindfolded with a rough fabric, perhaps a scarf, which is annoyingly restricting my view.

Evidently, I am in transit, the groan of an overworked diesel engine filling my ears. Whoever is driving is doing so with reckless abandon, swaying between lanes, eliciting the occasional horn of frustration. Judging by the fairly constant speed, we appear to be on a motorway, or at very least a dual carriageway. The ribbed rumble strip, designed to keep drivers - and I can now confirm hostages - from dozing off, is working well.

As I continue my bodily self-assessment, I realize that my right arm is numb to the core. The blood in my left arm has ample circulation, although I wish it had less. My left biceps muscle is in intermittent spasm, no doubt from being trapped behind my back and I now realise that something strong and ropey is keeping my left wrist unwillingly coupled to its right-hand partner. I manage to dislodge the blindfold by scratching the back of my head against a protruding notch on the side of the vehicle, whilst simultaneously making an incongruous surprised expression with my forehead to shift the textile material upward. It does not shift very far, something on my head is impeding it, but at last I have some visionary sense restored. Hallelujah.

From what I can tell, I am in the back of a car-derived van. Or it could be a van-derived car, depending on your position. From mine, curled up in a foetal pose, it doesn’t really matter. Lying on my side, I notice that I am wearing Lycra cycling shorts, which my housemate has counselled me is no way for a discerning man to dress (my defence of ‘freewill - the case for going commando’ received no sympathy). The thigh-length shorts are black and silky, the type that provide a sewn-in padded seat which explains why I still use them when taking my road bike. Since I am not inclined to don these shorties for any other sorties, I conclude that my last conscious actions involved my bicycle, which now comes into focus on the other side of the cargo space.

Straining my thought process further, it reminds me of trying to remember what I was dreaming about, after waking in the night. I have this image of an old lady looking pitifully at me, a mother with a pushchair deftly parking it so that the young occupant cannot witness the scene. Then a voice, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” There is a strong French accent to it, and the status update is directed at the onlookers, not at me. “I will take him to l’höpital”. Definitely French. Am I on my way to hospital? Is that why we are travelling at speed? Am I dying? No, good Samaritans don’t gag and blindfold people. This driver is not my friend.

My mind has become rapidly cogent, whatever induced my sleep appears to be wearing off sharply. To understand what I am doing here, I should explain the remarkable events of the past six months that no doubt will shed some light onto my current predicament. Then, perhaps, I can find a way to get away from this swerving lunatic.

I can feel something preventing my sore head from resting comfortably on the floor of the cargo hold. I realise that my prized, wind-tunnel-designed helmet is still strapped reassuringly to my head. It is one of those state-of-the-art models, with a live streaming helmet-cam incorporated into the polystyrene moulding. Suddenly, I grasp that someone other than my captor could be aware that I am here….

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1. PART 1 - Chapter 1
Further Recommendations

mray2174: I did like this story. I would totally recommend it to a friend, but it didn't seem like a book. Your writing style reminded me of a fan fiction writer, always adding in tiny details and making things like "Oh, my name is [name that no one would ever name a child] and here is my life story. Oh, d...

Michael Katz: I love reading all the stories in this universe. I do especially love this one about Green Hell with Roy, Sam, and Partner. I can't wait to read more!

Rouba Shishakly: The story is very engaging, I wasn't expecting the ending!! What a surprise. Great work overall.

Ginger: I like the idea behind this; the idea and story itself are great, However, I'm finding typos periodically and some of the sentences could be worded a bit more clearly. You might want to 'show' a little more than you 'tell,'

NancyRichFoster: This second book of the Anmah Series was as awesome as the first story, I disagree with spare runner. The names were ordinary names with different spellings, which I for one loved. I am now going to read the third book in this amazingly awesome story!

Kevin Brand: My overall rating: 4.8/5 starsLoved. Every. Second. Everytime I came back to continue reading I got this overwhelming feeling of getting hooked on the first sentence... Over and over and again!The only things that were missing for me include more descriptions on what happens when Reuben touches s...

NRF: This was a very interesting story line, although the author did not go far enough in explaining the war and why some received special powers and some didn't. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of this author's writing.

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aoifecollopy22: I loved how the author had the conflict come back later in the story. Also how they passed time without going over anything. That really helped move the story along. This kept my up for a few hours. YOU SHOULD READ THIS

aaron10905: This is undoubtedly one of the best books written on here. I actually unistalled this app until someone told me about this story. I came back not expecting much, just to be drawn into the story and the characters. I would buy this book in real life, as long as another was promised shortly after.

nehmeyasmin: It was the most heart warming but heart breaking story ever and I want the next part right away. It kept me hooked until the end even though there were a couple mistakes it was truly amazing. I think this book could go far if it wanted to

Steven Tesoro: The Symphony Of Life, as I read this I myself are homeless, not much of an income an occasionally, it crosses mostly everyones mind about doing the dirty. But it is worth the time to read this story and as I'm reading it thinking about getting my life back to where it should be, it's hard in thi...

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

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