The Engineer

Two young women drinking tea --- Image by © SuperStock/Corbis

The Engineer lived just outside a small village in Lombardy, Northern Italy. He’d lived there all of his life. In fact, he’d lived there as long as anyone could remember. He never seemed to age.

“Dye’s his hair of course” my mum said.

“But he hasn’t aged, Phoebe, no wrinkles, no liver spots. He still looks the same as he did when I was a little girl”

Mum and Betsy sipped their tea silently. I was only seven and didn’t know the Engineer very well. He scared me a little bit. He was very nice enough, gave me sweets sometimes, but his eyes were dark and cold. His jet black hair and mustache showed no signs of grey. I guessed his height to be a little under six feet because he was a little shorter than my brother, and my brother was six foot two. Words weren’t his thing and he used them as little as possible. A tight smile was his only humorous expression, but the smile didn’t touch his eyes.

“Has he ever been married?” Betsy asked mum.

“Not that I know of, I think he dated once, for a year or so, but the she disappeared. Never saw her again.”

“Maybe its a good thing, not sure he’s make a good dad if kids came along. I wonder if he wears make-up. His eyebrows are perfect.”

“Could be gay! That would explain the marriage thing!”

A loud rapping on the door startled us all.

“Its him!” Mum said.

“Don’t be silly Phoebe. Why would he be knocking at your front door?”

“My boiler is playing up. Sometimes we have no hot water.”

“Did you call him” Betsy asked.

“No! I never call him, he just seems to know when something needs fixing.”

Mum’s voice was quiet, she sounded scared. Her hand shook slightly as she put her tea-cup down. “Betsy, come to the door with me.”

I watched as they opened the door. The engineer stood on the step, a tight-lipped smile on his face. He wore jeans, perfectly pressed with a crease down the front and a blue denim shirt. His fashionable shoes were highly polished. A draft blew in from behind him, or perhaps it came from him. I shivered.

“Good Morning Ladies, Phoebe I understand you have a faulty boiler.”

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Car Bomb?

march1973-55dea336d78d7508b666ed24d6128c5ed01020cb-s400-c85Lindsay watched the car for a long time. Although she couldn’t see the faces of the passengers, or the registration number, something looked familiar. Why did its presence bother her? Eventually, after making sure the doors to her flat were locked and bolted, she went to bed, but sleep evaded her for a long time. She lay awake, staring at the ceiling and wondering what had become of her friends. The friends she’d damned all to hell, for leaving her alone again. The friends that may have burned in a fiery hell on the dance floor. Eventually sleep enveloped Lindsay’s mind and body, but not for long. She awoke as the first slither of light pierced the darkness. Opening her eyes, she immediately thought of the horrific explosions and flames. Oh my God, let it be a dream.

Slipping into her robe, Lindsay padded into the living room and peered through the curtains to see if the car with its sleeping occupants was still outside. It was gone. She sighed with relief.

Lindsay switched on the radio. Instead of the music that usually greeted her, two local newsmen talked about the tragedy at the local disco. They talked in low respectful voices. She sat at the kitchen table sipping tea and listening to the sickening news.  No survivors! Surely she’d heard wrong. There were at least fifty people on the dance floor when she left. How could there be no survivors. On automatic pilot, Lindsay made herself a cup of tea and sat back down at the table to drink it. When the phone rang she almost dropped the cup.

“Hello!”

“Lindsay, its Pam. Thank God you answered, you were at the disco last night, they said there were no survivors.

Lindsay couldn’t speak. She sobbed down the phone.

“I’m coming to see you right now.”

It was only minutes before the doorbell rang. Pam lived a couple of streets away and was breathless when she arrived. Lindsay, still sobbing, collapsed into her arms.

“What happened?” Pam asked.

“I don’t know. I left early. I was halfway home when I heard the explosion. If I’d still been there…”

“Shhh, you’re safe. Don’t think about what had happened if you’d still been there.”

The radio caught their attention.

News just in points to a car bomb, although no one has taken responsibility. Of course one has to wonder if the IRA were involved because the disco ‘Studio 2’ was close to an army camp. The IRA remains silent.

“The fucking Irish!” Pam said. “I knew they had to be involved, bastards.” She had good reason to hate the Irish since her brother lost both of his legs bombing in a London car bombing.

Car…..Lindsay thought of the car that raced past her after the explosions. Holy shit, the same car that parked outside last night. Could it be involved? She shivered. Should she call the police?

Dead of July is still for sale on Amazon…if you like my blog, give it a try.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Dead of July

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It’s 2013. A new year and a new adventure. In less than three months my first full length novel will be published. I had fun with my two short stories, one of which is still available;

Girl on the Beach (Smashwords)

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

‘Guy at the Bar’ is in re-hab and will be re-released in the Summer, freshly edited and much more readable. Everyone needs a little rehab from time to time.

Keep following my blogs for updates on ‘Dead of July’. I read through this story several times before handing it to my editor. We have worked on it together and I LOVE what we produced. This is a story set in 1982 in Dortmund, West Germany and follows the adventures of a young girl married to a British Solder. Her husband was with the Royal Army Pay Corps attached to 19 Field Regiment (The Royal Highland Gunners). She gets into trouble with the Russian Mafia, (dead and alive) and eventually seeks the help of the Military Police, the German Police, and an Army Priest.

I don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure, so watch for the release date in March and buy the book. You won’t regret it.

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I love to travel and talk about life too, so if you want to giggle at my ramblings and exploits follow my other blog Travel Tales and Mishaps