Anticipation, part 5

For those who missed the earlier episodes

The next morning at breakfast, Sally announced “Mum I don’t believe that man, something just doesn’t add up. I KNOW Ben and he would never do anything dishonourable.” Teddy surprised them both by adding “Unless it was to protect something that needed protecting”.

Sally went off to work at the laboratory where she was a technician, and Teddy went off to school, leaving Mariah to tidy before she left for work as well. Before she left she took a sudden decision and looking up the number, dialled Ben’s parents’ home.  As she hoped she caught his mother still at home.

The two women greeted happily, they liked each other and were satisfied that their children had found the right life-partners in each other.

Mariah asked if they had yet had a visit from Jacob. Faith, Ben’s mother said no, but that a man calling himself Steven Brown had called just after her husband had left, and that she had given him the office address as the man had said the matter was urgent. She had phoned her husband to tell him about the stranger, so that he would know how the man knew his work address.

The two women compared notes, and it appeared to be the same person.

Mariah then told Faith the whole story and said “Of course we believe there is a perfectly good explanation behind it, we know Ben better than that man does.” Faith sounded very emotional, thanked Mariah and said her goodbyes.

That evening, Mariah told Sally and Teddy what she had done. They all sat around the table for a discussion. Then the telephone rang. It was Ben’s father. He spoke with Mariah and then with Sally. He thanked them for their belief in his son and said he was going to get to the bottom of it all and that they were not to worry.

For the next two weeks there was no news. Sally became somewhat depressed. She stopped humming as she pottered in the garden, her favourite occupation. As she loved growing strange plants she and Mariah had over the years constructed a wooden-frame glasshouse and there were some very exotic blooms just at present. Instead of her usual delight and dragging her mother out to see them, she just smiled, touching them sadly.

Then on a Wednesday evening just after supper the phone rang and a male voice asked to speak to Sally. All he said was “If you don’t stop discussing Ben you will never see him alive again.”

Sally sat staring at the phone in her hand. What did it mean. Then she was afraid, very afraid for Ben. She ran outside to where her mother was standing at the gate chatting to the next door neighbour. She said “mum, please come inside I need to talk to you”.


10 thoughts on “Anticipation, part 5

  1. Sidey, whilst not being a reader of fiction books, can I dare to tell you my impressions so far.
    I think the story is a real page turner. Each time a part finishes, I am anxious to know the next part. Cliff hangers at the end of each section. It would make a good serialised story.
    However I would be even more captured by the story if the emotions of the characters were stronger, and their characters were more fully sketched. For instance, how did Sally feel when staring at the telephone?
    What happened in the pit of her stomach, and what was her brain feeling.
    I do hope you will feel this is intended for totally constructive and helpful review, Sidey. I have never written a story, and really am quite unqualified as a reviewer, so please take this at its worth.

    Respectfully, John

  2. I love this serial, Sidey, but this time the lack of characterisation was more obvious than before. Were you hurrying to get it finished? Your basic plot is very good and the poor characterisation only really hit me in this episode. Although I still want to know the ending, I admit I didn’t enjoy this as much as the earlier chapters. You are such a good writer, don’t let yourself get impatient.

    1. adee, i was feeling pressured, bad week and not a single post. i think you and John are right. Maybe this one gets canned or stuck on the back burner till I can have time

      1. No, it is really very good. I think short stories are fine and straightforward without much characterisation, but anything longer needs more… Eventually you can resusitate it and add in stuff here and there to bring the characters to life! The plot, so far, is perfect.

      2. No, Sidey! Whatever you do, finish the story. otherwise I will remain in a state of permanent tension, my friend. This testifies to the strength of the basic story line.

    1. next week, i’m so tired of my keybaord, big report in full sentences, a presentation in points to elaborate on, and a web site in sound bytes to white papers……………..

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