My First Novel

For my first post, if you don’t count my welcome message, I thought I would tease my early readers with the opening scene from my first novel, Where There’s A Will, the first title in my Detective Stone Series, so here it is, I hope you like it.

Where There’s A Will

Side by side, as though they were joined at the hip, Ben and Jerry stepped through the flaps that Jerry had just swept out of the way and into the pavilion. They blinked in unison as they went from the darkness of outside, it wasn’t pitch but it was hard to see anything, to the almost blinding brilliance of the pavilion’s interior, which was lit by a multitude of portable lights placed around the edges.

They had been working together for so long that neither needed to speak, they knew what it was they had to do; while Ben made for the young man who was busily gathering up the plastic glasses that littered the tables, and then wiping down the tables, Jerry threaded his way through the tables to the bar.

“On your knees.” Ben’s voice was barely above a whisper, just loud enough to be heard, but he didn’t need any volume to make it clear that his command should be obeyed, the sawn-off shotgun in his hand, which he had concealed under his black leather jacket, did that for him.

Ben was pleased, but unsurprised, to see the young man drop the cups he had gathered up and fall to his knees, almost hitting his head on the table he was cleaning as he did so.

“What do you want?” Fear filled the cleaner’s voice, making it tremble, as he addressed his question, not to the man standing over him but to the gun being pointed at him – he couldn’t force his eyes any higher than the twin holes at the end of the barrel.

“The money,” Ben admitted candidly before slamming the butt of his gun down on the man’s head, causing his eyes to roll up into his head before he slumped to the ground, unconscious. Ben stepped over the immobile form and crossed to where Jerry was waiting for him by the partition that led into the rear section of the pavilion, the part that hadn’t been accessible to those who had filled it during the day, searching for liquid refreshment.

Like his partner, Jerry was holding a sawn-off shotgun, which he clutched tightly while his finger twitched on the trigger, ready to squeeze it at the slightest provocation. “Three,” he told Ben quietly, having risked a look through the partition to see how many people they were up against, and to make sure they were at the right pavilion . His eyes shone greedily at the thought of the money he had seen.

“Let’s do this,” Ben whispered. He stepped past his partner and through the partition. “All of you on the ground,” he said loudly, swinging his shotgun from side to side so that the muzzle was pointed in turn at the two men and one woman who were in the process of counting the money collected by the three beer tents run by the owner of The Stag Inn at the Rock Radio music festival.

“Do as he says,” Jerry ordered, standing shoulder to shoulder with his partner. “Get on the ground, hands behind your backs.” The moment the three of them had done as commanded Jerry lowered his shotgun and slid the bag he was carrying from his shoulder. He took several lengths of rope from the bag and used them to bind the hands of those now on the ground, he then blindfolded them, and finally, just to be sure they weren’t going to cause any trouble, he knocked them out using the butt of his shotgun. He was uncaring of whether he had done any long-term damage to them, only that he had hit them hard enough to make them unconscious.

“Let’s get this done,” he said to Ben once he had finished.

As quickly as they could, the pair grabbed up the bundles of cash that covered the tables like the obscene cloth of a rich person and stuffed them into the bag. It took longer than they had anticipated to empty the tables, and there nearly wasn’t enough space in the bag for all of it, for there was more money than they had expected, not that either of them thought that that was a bad thing. As far as they were concerned, there could never be such a thing as too much money. By the time they were finished, the sports bag they had brought was full to bursting, leaving them both to wonder how much it was they had stolen, and eager to find out.

A little over five minutes after entering the temporary drinking hall Ben and Jerry left it; if not now rich men, they were certainly far better off than before, and they were both feeling full of themselves.

“Didn’t I tell you it’d be easy?” Jerry said exultantly, pulling off his balaclava to reveal shaggy brown hair that had clearly not seen either a comb or a brush, or shampoo, for several days at the least, and stubble of an age with the dirt and grease in his hair. “We’re loaded, fuckin’ loaded.” He let out a short sharp whoop of glee, heedless of the fact that there were still others clearing up after the festival. “How much you think we got?”

“More’n you said we’d get,” Ben said as he slid into the passenger seat of the car they had parked as close to the pavilion as they could. While he did that his partner tossed the bag into the back seat before taking the driver’s seat. “Forty grand, at least, mebbe more. We’ll find out when we get home.”

Jerry gunned the engine, which he had left running, and raced away from the pavilion, narrowly missing one of the festival staff who was cleaning up the vast amount of rubbish left by the revellers. He paid no attention to the man, who was forced to dive out of the way of the racing car to avoid being hit, as he sped through the field towards the makeshift exit from the festival grounds.

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