With only 2 days left until ‘The Dark Era’ by James Eddy is officially released here is another extract from it to whet your appetite:
The doors of the Central Line train opened to him and as he stepped inside he could feel the true extent of his stupidity and all it had cost him. He wanted to escape. It was no good. He was trapped underground. Instead, he sat down in silence, calming his thoughts enough to dull the sharp pain of his guilt and noticing very little about the journey, the train or the passengers; not even the attractive red-headed woman sitting opposite him; only a few years earlier he would have realised she was probably far too young for him but still would have tried charming her into bed. Quite a few times it would have worked too.
Blindly he went on, boarding another train that took him straight back to Alveston. It was only when he was able to play Born to Run on the stereo of his BMW that he felt any better. It was a song that had a magical quality for him. It never failed to make him feel the way he did when he first heard it on the radio in 1975; the sense that as long as there was a road to travel and something still worth fighting for, there was nothing that could stop him. It was a feeling he loved and cherished, if only because it never seemed to last long enough anymore.
On the short drive home, he stopped off to get some fish and chips. Battered cod rather than rollmop herrings was definitely more of his mother’s influence; his displeasure at how little change he got from a five pound note was more of his father’s.
Back at the flat, David plated up his dinner and managed to eat all the fish and most of the chips. In a way, that annoyed him. He’d been relatively slim all his life, despite rarely eating healthily or looking after himself in any way. The last few years had suggested that he was going to pay for this though; not only was he unable to eat as much as he used to but he’d also started to develop a much more noticeable belly.
He leaned back into his sofa and drifted off to sleep. The sound of the telephone ringing woke him. He picked up the receiver.
“Hello,” he said drowsily.
“Dad?” said the voice on the other end of the line.
David immediately felt more awake.
”Why don’t you ever turn on your mobile? I’ve left five or six voicemails for you since lunchtime.”
For several seconds David was confused; the sleepy fizz inside his head hardly helping him as he tried to work out what she meant. He’d had his phone with him and switched on all day. Then he understood. He’d had his work mobile, which he always left on in case someone needed to contact him about a case. Standing up, he went to the kitchen and found his other mobile phone sitting where he’d left it, on one of the work surfaces.
“Damn it. Sorry Em, I forgot to take it with me today,” he explained.
She didn’t say anything for a few moments. He could tell that she was annoyed.
“What’s the matter sweetheart?” he asked.
She took a deep breath and when she spoke her words were slow and deliberate:
”I don’t know quite how to tell you this but… Granddad’s collapsed and it looks like it’s pretty serious. He’s in a coma.”
There was numbness, a nothingness that rose up from David’s chest and travelled through his bones to his brain. He sat down with cold sweat on his skin and no idea what to think, let alone say. Somewhere in his mind there was definitely some relief that his father was alive but he couldn’t be entirely sure why that was. It didn’t make a lot of difference to him.