Ok, I said I wouldn’t write any of the new book until I finished The Beatle Man. And I suppose that’s true. It is ‘finished’. Its just that really should be sorting out a decent synopsis. But I’ve got a cold and I’m really not in the mood. So I wrote this instead. The (potential) opening paragraph of Terra Exitus. Whether or not it survives is a long way down the road.
I saw him standing by the flower stall at the end of South End Road. He looked alone. A kind face. I waited a while to make sure he didn’t call anyone. Leaving the train station, I crossed the road, walked passed him and headed up the hill. At the hospital entrance, I called him again with the next location and headed off towards the coffee shop on Haverstock Hill.
The table in the window was free as I had arranged. The world walked by. Steam rose from my coffee. I ate the small round biscuit with a single bite. He came in and looked around, his eyes finally finding me tucked in the window. His scarf unwound from his neck, he sat down and smiled.
“Finally” he said, breathing heavily from the walk up the hill.
“This is the last time, yes? Do you have the tape recorder?”
I wanted to get started. It was dangerous to take too long. “OK, its running, off you go.” I had thought through what I was going to say a number of times but now, faced with this one last chance, I didn’t know how to start. I looked out the window again. I could hear my own breath. I started.
“In the beginning…”
I stopped. That wasn’t the best to way to start. I laughed but didn’t smile.
Be interesting to see if it stays like that.