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Authors: Ken Scott

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The Sun Will Still Shine Tomorrow

BOOK: The Sun Will Still Shine Tomorrow
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Title Page

The Sun Will Still Shine Tomorrow

By

Ken Scott

Publisher Information

Published by Libros International

www.librosinternational.com

Digital Edition converted and published by

Andrews UK Limited 2010

www.andrewsuk.com

The right of Ken Scott to be identified as the Author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998.

Copyright © Ken Scott 2006

All characters in this publication are fictitious and resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Any person who does so may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

Acknowledgements

Once again to the marvellous team at Libros International: Kelly, Dawn, Trevor, Roger, Tim, Maureen, and Mr PR, Simon Dent. To Richard and Joe for getting my books into shops, and special thanks to my brother in-law Graeme Purvis for his specialist technical input. But especially to my editor Carol Cole for her patience and understanding.

And once again, thank you to my family.

Dedicated to Dave Valentine

The road of life is long and twisted and inevitably we all take a wrong turn now and then. Live and breathe the memories, mate…the good times… See you again soon, my best friend – Scotty

Quote

Respect the Lord because he is capable of very special things. He created a man from dust and a woman from the rib of a man and did punish the woman by bringing her suffering in childbirth, and he will kill the homosexuals and the adulterers and the old man gathering sticks on the Sabbath; he shalt smite his enemies and utterly destroy them; he shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them because he is the Lord your God – and he loves you all.

Ken Scott

Prologue

“Quickly, just go now. Go before they come after you.”

“But the causeway, it’s already covering with water. I’ll never make it.”

“You will. It’s only three miles to the mainland; if you run hard you’ll be there in less than thirty minutes.”

The youth looked across the broad expanse of sand and water. He had a decision to make. He’d felt the fists and boots of the locals a few hours ago and didn’t fancy a second beating... or worse.

“Will I see you again?”

“Of course you will, but please hurry.”

He peered out again into the pitch-darkness and it sent a shiver up his spine. He’d known his latest girlfriend for a matter of weeks and had really been taken with her. And the few stolen nights of passion in the small bedroom above the public house. Pleasant memories.

He’d enjoyed his first and probably his last visit to Holy Island. And that body. She was certainly something special.

She stood in front of him, pleading.

“Just go, you’re wasting time. Please!”

Tears now. Tears falling onto those beautiful cheeks, cascading downwards towards those wonderful tasting lips. And a strange feeling inside. Who knows? He’d never felt it before; this was special, very special. He would come back to the island. He had to. He had to stand his corner, fight for the woman he loved, so to speak.

Why on earth did he have to interfere, the man in the suit, so cocksure of himself. He’d accused him of offering drugs to the islanders, said he was going to call the police. He had been frightened. The man had said they’d searched his bedroom, found them. And then the locals seemed to gang up on him; then it was like something out of a Hammer House of Horror. A good kicking outside and then waking up in chains in a dungeon. Jesus… he thought it was a bad dream. A dungeon, a cell. This was 2008, for Christ’s sake, it just wasn’t for real!

And then the vision.

The beautiful Claire mopping his brow as he came to. Telling him she’d come to rescue him; he had to escape. And she’d produced a key and told him to be quick. Jeez… his head hurt as he stood up, but that kiss, that embrace, her smell and the taste.

Heaven.

“Are you listening to me? Go now. Please – across the causeway.”

She looked at her watch, peered out across the darkened sands stretching out like a black lake.

“Please go.”

She looked behind her, a worried look on her face and then she turned to face him. More tears, the bottom lip trembling.

“They’ve killed before.”

“They’ve what?”

“Killed. Took the poor half-unconscious lad out into the North Sea in January and threw him overboard.”

“But the police, why–”

“Just go, don’t argue.”

She turned round, looked back in the direction of the village.

“I can hear them coming; go – now!”

And he looked into those frightened eyes, those piercing, beautiful blue eyes and her copper-coloured hair, wet now and darkened from the light rain beginning to fall. And she did look scared, she looked terrified as she glanced back at the village and then back across the causeway.

“Please, just go.”

He took her hands. He too could now hear the voices growing ever closer. He could see a torch, its penetrating beam seeking him out. He looked out to the causeway.

“You’re sure it’s safe?” The sea had begun to lap against the causeway road, an odd puddle now covered the tarmac road.

“Of course I am. I was born here, remember? But you have to hurry. Please hurry, you’re wasting time.” Her voice had an air of desperation. She reached in her pocket.”Take this.”

A torch.

He took it from her, felt for the on/off switch.

“No,” she cried, almost shouting at him, “no time, just go.”

She leaned forward and brushed his lips with hers.

“I love you,” she whispered.”Go!”

It was the most wonderful sound he’d heard in his life. He wanted to reply, wanted to tell her he loved her too. But the voices were growing louder.

“I’ll call you tomorrow, Claire, I promise.”

He turned and ran across to the causeway, cursing as he splashed through the puddles. He set off, jogging lightly, aware that he wasn’t as fit as he used to be, but convinced he could run the distance across to the mainland, especially as his life depended on it.

He remembered reading the stories in the Newcastle Chronicle of the poor bastards who’d been caught out on the causeway and had to be rescued or, worse, had to spend a night atop the safety tower in the middle of the causeway. All alone in the pitch-black with only the sound of the roaring sea below for company. No mobile phones worked on Holy Island, no phone box in the safety tower, no way of contacting the emergency authorities.

A strange geographical, sea-level location, with Cheviot Hill on the mainland a few miles to the west blocking all signals. And the stubborn islanders blocking all attempts to erect a communication mast anywhere near their beloved community.

And then there were the few that hadn’t even made it to the safety tower. Their bodies washed up several days later along the coast. And something gnawed at him. Something Claire said about murder.

Sure enough, the first mile or so was a breeze as the road stretched out before him. He felt invigorated but wished he’d visited the gym a little more the previous month as his breathing pattern increased. The second mile. Not so good; a few nagging doubts crept into his head and his leg muscles began to burn.

Damn! The sea water had all but covered the causeway now; it lapped around the soles of his battered Nike trainers and made the running difficult. Every couple of minutes a surge of water seem to sweep in from the open sea, almost like a mini tidal wave. He could just make out the white lines along the centre of the road. He looked up. The half moon shone across the sea illuminating his route to safety. Thank God for that.

He slowed to a forced walk and cursed as a thick cloud drifted across the moon plunging the route into darkness. And he remembered the torch. He stopped, tried to remember where he’d put it. He looked up, could just make out the lights from the small cottages on the mainland. He felt the hard shape of the torch in his inside jacket pocket.

“Claire,” he whispered and raised a smile with little effort. He thought about the weekend and the good times ahead. He thought about their future and how he’d take her away from this damned island. He’d rescue her. His damsel in distress. As he started walking again he thought… was he the one in distress?

He pulled the torch from his pocket, located and flicked the switch upwards. It flickered into life but immediately dimmed. He lifted the beam to his eyes. A silly thing to do as it powered into life again giving him a moment of temporary blindness. He stopped again, rubbing at his eyes. Too many stops, too many delays.

Claire stood on the island straining to pick out the form of her lover. She was frantic now, she could just pick out the beam of the torch and his progress was woefully slow. Just what the hell was he playing at?

And then the torch went out, plunging the causeway into darkness.

He tried it again and again and still it was useless. He cursed as he threw it into the sea. And now he felt fear. He walked on slowly, wary of each step, struggling to pick out the white lines.

The safety tower, he thought. Where was it? He remembered seeing one when he came onto the island. He couldn’t remember passing it. Surely he couldn’t have missed it. He looked at the distant lights of the main land. They were close – he’d make it, he was sure he could even swim it from here. The safety tower, he’d reach the safety tower, climb up, do a quick recce and go for it. The sea water was halfway up his ankles now and his walking had turned into a slow shuffle. He couldn’t believe how quickly the water was rising, almost an inch or two every minute and he cursed himself for dawdling earlier.

The safety tower.

He looked up ahead and convinced himself he could make out a faint shadow.Yes. It was definitely something. He looked down at his legs, the water was halfway up his shins. Shit! He couldn’t see the white lines, where were the edges of the causeway? Was there a drop to the sand below, he couldn’t remember. He looked back. Could he make it back to the island? Did he want to make it back to the island? A few figures stood together at the island end of the causeway, silhouetted against the faint glow of the streetlamps. Torches, their beams trained on the causeway, trained on him. He couldn’t go back, not now.

The safety tower. His last hope.

He strained his eyes into the blackness of the night. He could make out the frame of the tower now. He allowed himself a smile, only about twenty feet away. It loomed up large as he approached it, the freezing cold North Sea numbed his legs now, the water up to his knees making it difficult to set one foot in front of the other. He spotted the ladder and reached out for it. He didn’t notice the abnormally large wave surging towards the causeway from the south side, a wave that would ultimately add another few feet to the depth of the water, a wave that would sweep him from the causeway into the freezing perilous waters and fast flowing undercurrents of the North Sea.

“How do you convince them, Claire?”

She feigned a smile.”Oh, I have my ways.”

“Think he’ll make it?”

She lied.”I doubt it. If he’d been Linford Christie, perhaps? But not him; he was out of condition, a little bit flabby across the middle.” He was fit enough, she thought, and he’d had a torch. He’d pick the white road lines out, no problem. He might be up to his waist in water at the end of the causeway, but he’d make it.

“Think he’ll make the tower?”

Claire shrugged her shoulders.”Doesn’t matter if he does. You can pick him up first thing and give him a little boat ride.”

Father Thompson stretched out a hand, squeezed her shoulder gently.

“You’ve done a good job again, Claire; the Brotherhood appreciate it. Your father would be proud of you. God bless you, child.”

“My father. Yes.” My great protector, she thought to herself; it was he who’d battered her
uncle
Jake senseless when she’d told him what happened. Only he wasn’t her
uncle
, just a very good family friend whom she had called
uncle
since childhood. Why did her parents have to die? Why had it been
uncle
Jake who’d broken the news and why had it been
uncle
Jake and his wife who’d formally adopted her at fourteen? There was no protector then, no one to stop his advances each time his wife left the house.

The girl turned towards the village, pulled up her collar to protect herself against the elements, and walked towards home praying she’d get a phone call very soon.

Chapter 1

Ashley Clarke had never liked the first name his parents had christened him with. He cringed every time he heard his mother’s voice using it, be it in the confines of his small terraced home, outside, or, worse still, as her tones echoed on the wind as she screeched in her ‘come home now’ pitch from the scullery door.

Yeah, that was definitely the worst. He’d be in the middle of a game as darkness descended over the east end of Newcastle when in the distance that terrible sound could be heard.

Ma never came looking, never bothered to walk the twenty-five yards to the Heaton Junky that was the unofficial and strictly off limits playground of every latchkey kid in Heaton. Perhaps it was just as well she didn’t come looking, he thought to himself.

Nevertheless, he still hated that sound...”Aaaashleeeeey.” And, of course, as soon as he’d heard the voice, he’d turn round and head for home.

He couldn’t take the chance that his mother would dare to come looking for him. She’d warn him every day to stay away from ‘
The Junction
’.

The British Rail fencing had been breached yet again. (By Ashley and his friends.) The fencing that was supposed to keep Ashley and his gang and others like them away. But what a playground it was. Stationary coal wagons and disused buildings and warehouses left over from an era when coal was definitely king.

Heaton Junction had been the intersection for just about every coal train, cement and steel wagon from the North of England. Train after train had pulled in and dragged their cargoes to and from the junction. And, of course, the yard had prospered and grown and adjusted accordingly, giving Ash and his pals the greatest adventure playground in the world.

The wagons were pushed away into the holding yards adjacent to the backstreets of Spencer Street, Cleghorn Street, Richardson Street and Ebor Street. They were mostly deserted during the hours of daylight as the goods were generally moved at night, leaving the tracks free during the day for the passengers on the main East Coast line.

Occasionally a member of the British Transport Police or a British Rail labourer patrolled the rough land. What was the point, Ashley thought; not one member of his gang had ever been caught. The boys were used to the terrain, knew every conceivable escape route and had even built a few themselves.

One game involved creeping up to the workers’ makeshift canteen, housed in an old steel container, braying on the sides with a tin shovel as many times as the individual dared risk, giving a just sufficient head start to escape the furious workmen as they sprinted from within. Two or three seconds elapsed as they ran out, determined to catch the ruffian that had disturbed a pleasant lunch break or even forty winks before the next part of their shift began.

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