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Authors: David Siddall

A Man Alone

BOOK: A Man Alone
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8—Two Weeks Later


A MAN ALONE is a Full Dark City Press publication
Electronic publication June 2014
Copyright © 2014, Full Dark City Press

All rights reserved. No part of this electronic book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Cover Image: Eric Beetner

Ebook Design:
JW Manus



Many thanks to CJ Edwards and Chris Rhatigan at
Full Dark City Press
for their belief, support and hard work in seeing this project to fruition. I am forever in your debt.

Eric Beetner for his incredible artwork.

And to Ann, my personal soundboard and proofreader—for putting up with me all these years.





To Dad
David Siddall

was her crying that woke him.

Somewhere in his subconscious John Doyle heard the key in the lock, her foot upon the stair and her bedroom door open and close. But it was the soft whisper of tears that finally stirred him. He looked at the clock on his bedside table. It was 2:15. For a little while he lay there, wondering if Josie would wake and go to her daughter. She wouldn’t. The vodka drunk the night before meant she would sleep till morning. Doyle sighed. He liked his beer but Josie—Josie could drink for England. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he sat up and listened. An alley dog barked somewhere in the distance. Another joined and their conversation roamed back and forth until a harsh voice ushered them to silence. Still he could hear her sobs permeating the thin wall between them. There was nothing else for it. Doyle blew air between his teeth and slipped from the bed.

As he moved, Josie rolled in to his space. He watched the contours of her face tighten then relax before she settled back and her breathing once again returned to normal. A cool breeze shook the blinds. Doyle shivered. He reached behind the door for the dressing gown Josie had bought him for his birthday, then padded across the landing. He paused then tapped on her door. “April.” Since leaving Ireland, Doyle had cultivated a neutral tone the better to blend in. But at this early hour his voice growled with the harsh inflections of his birth. He cleared his throat and tried again. “April.”

The crying stopped. Then a small, frightened voice said, “Don’t come in.”

April was seventeen and for the first time since he had lived there, Doyle ignored the request. He pushed open the door. Inside it was dark. Yellow streetlight strayed through the curtains creating pools of light that highlighted the photographs on the bedside table and the latest Vampire romance on the shelf in the corner. April sat in the shadow at the end of the bed. Her hands were clasped, her body stiff, and her small round face stared in surprise at his unwelcome intrusion. She tried to tell him, she tried to say she was okay, that he shouldn’t have come in and should go away. But all that exited her mouth was a soul-wracking sob that burst from somewhere deep inside. She buried her face in her hands and started to cry all over again. Doyle swallowed. How small, how lost she looked and he sat on the bed beside her, put his arm around her shoulder.

BOOK: A Man Alone
10.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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