DOORWAYS is the first in the Bermuda Jones series, following the agent and his partner, Argyle, as they manage the truce between our world and The Otherside.
A world that envelopes our own but is only seen by a few humans who possess ‘The Knack’. Bermuda, however, is the only human to not only pass The Otherside and return, but the only one who can physically interact with the creatures, known as ‘Others’.
When people start going from places that they physically can’t, Bermuda & Argyle investigate, where they discover a threat to humanity that is only days away. As well as dealing with his self-imposed exile from his daughter, Bermuda races against time to try to save the world.
And for just this week, it is only 99p on Kindle. So get it now, as the sequel, THE ABSENT MAN, will be launching in March this year, as well as an upcoming novella and the THIRD in the series.
I am a thirty year old man child with aspirations of writing bizarre stories for a living!
Writing is my life and since I can remember it is something I have naturally done, be it silly stories at school or role-playing games during my teens. I was about 16/17 when I designed my first comic book series and since then have swung from idea to idea.
Then in March 2015, I released ONE BY ONE with the sole intention of getting one five star review. It far exceeded that and since then I have written DOORWAYS, which was signed up by Urbane Publications in September 2015 and released in October 2016. Again, the response has been overwhelming.
I saw my books hit the Waterstones charts but the end goal soon changed. I have since reclaimed the rights to Doorways and am now taking the Bermuda Jones series down the Self-Publishing route. It’s an exciting time.
I dream up rugged anti-heroes or crazy worlds on a fairly regular basis and I have promised myself they will all be committed to the written word. Believe me!
As always, you readers are more important than you know and I hope you will continue to read and enjoy. Also, make sure you sign up to the Reader Group!
DOORWAYS ~ CHAPTER TWO
The large, red bus slowly rattled to a stop, jolting slightly at some poor brake-work from the driver. Jess Lambert jolted from her drunken doze, startled by the sudden jerk. She looked out of the window on the upper deck at the streets below, her eyes fuzzy with the final strands of sleep clutching at her. It took a few moments before she realised that she still had a few more stops, the 343 bus making its final route of the night towards Peckham in southeast London.
Dressed in a tight-fitting red dress, she adjusted on her seat and rested her head against the glass. Scanning the bus, she saw an old man, his hands firmly clasping his carrier bag that swung between his legs. Sat further down, a young lad, no more than twenty, was fast asleep. She could almost see the alcoholic aroma wafting from him.
She sighed, closing her eyes again, and smiled.
The launch party for a new designer perfume she had attended was a step in the right direction. Employed as one of the show models, she was actually starting to feel like she could have a career in modelling. She was approached when she was eighteen, attending university to gain a degree in English. With flowing blond hair that cascaded down her defined face, she was aware that she garnered a lot of attention. Whilst doing small modelling jobs to help pay her way through university, she signed up with Vision, a fast-rising talent agency in London, as soon as she graduated. Now, aged twenty-six, she was starting to make a name for herself, performing at catwalk shows and launch parties for some high-profile clients.
She sighed, regretting the few extra cocktails she had drunk at the after-party, but the excitement of mixing with TV personalities and musicians overwhelmed her. Rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous of London was why she moved to the city after graduation—the chance to live a life of luxury that teaching wouldn’t have brought her.
Her phone buzzed in her designer handbag, a warning that her battery was critically low. She also had a message, sent at just after midnight from her best friend, Sophie Summers.
Sorry Jess, had to leave. God that guy was a dick!! Enjoy the rest of the party and don’t do anything too naughty. 😉 xx
She smiled. She had met Sophie on her first day at Vision and they bonded straight away. The same age as her, Sophie wasn’t as tall as Jess but she was strikingly beautiful. Her dark, flowing hair was offset by her piercing brown eyes that were tinged with flecks of green. Her cheekbones were sharp and rested above gorgeous dimples when she flashed her beaming smile. Jess thought of her previous best friends and how they had almost turned their noses up at her pursuing a modelling career. Not Sophie.
Sophie went with her to auditions and attended all of her events. Jess did likewise, offsetting the quieter periods of work by temping in local offices. Their two-bedroom flat, which sat on the third floor of a building surrounded by a gorgeous courtyard of fresh flowers and well-kept trees, was slightly more expensive than she would have liked to have paid. But now, especially with this recent modelling contract, she was beginning to enjoy the more lavish lifestyle she was leading. Jess then cursed herself for being prudent, knowing a cab journey, although more expensive, would have meant she would have been home already. Old habits die hard.
She sat up straight and her fingers began clicking on the screen of her phone, and within a few moments a message was sending its way to her best friend.
Haha. I want to hear all about it. Just about to get off the bus so will be home soon xx.
She smiled, but then shuffled uncomfortably on her seat. Another message was sent to Sophie.
Really need to pee! 😦
As soon as the message sent, her screen flickered to black and she was greeted with a no power icon. She tutted and dropped her phone into her bag. She ran a hand through her hair, making a note to wash it in the morning.
The bus turned a corner and drove down Peckham High Street, all of the shops dark and the shutters down. A few drunk civilians wandered aimlessly up the street, their footsteps anything but synchronized. A few cars sped past in the opposite direction, their headlights interrupting her half sleep. She opened her eyes, realised where they were and then pressed the button. A shrill ding echoed through the bus, notifying the driver of her exit at the next stop.
She took a final look around the bus; the old man had left at a previous stop without her realising. The young drunkard had slid further down his seat, waiting to be woken when the bus came to its final stop however many stops beyond his destination. The bus slowly pulled into the bus stop just beyond Peckham Rye Station and she carefully stepped up, her feet and calves killing her from the heels she had cruelly strapped to her own feet.
The doors hissed and opened as Jess waved her thanks and stepped off, the briskness of the spring night time catching her by surprise. She fished her cardigan from her bag and wrapped it around her, the effect minimal.
The road was dead quiet; the only noise was the reducing hum of the bus’s engine as it disappeared further up the road. A few lampposts illuminated the street, their light striking the roofs of the cars that lined the pavement. Jess wrapped her arms around her chest and began walking, her head down as the spring breeze whipped by. Her heels clopped against the pavement as she took extra-special care to navigate the crooked concrete as the night’s worth of alcohol suddenly hit her. She stopped briefly outside a grand house, the wall providing perfect support as she hunched over, feeling the impending burst of vomit on its way. She composed herself, resisting the want to throw up, at least until she got home, and turned left onto a small street.
It was another ten minutes to Garland House where Soph would undoubtedly greet her with a cup of tea, toast, and stories of the TV star that she ditched at the party. She willed herself to get home quicker and then stopped as she noticed a small walkway that cut through two blocks of flats. Both buildings were over four stories high, and as she tried to peer through the darkness she could just make out the streetlights at the other end. As she squinted, she was sure she could see the front gates of Garland House.
She looked around; there was nobody on the streets. It was almost two thirty in the morning and over two hours since Sophie had sent her message. Her want to get home to the warmth of her flat and the safety of her best friend made her mind up for her.
She had no idea of the two jet-black eyes that were staring at her, willing her to enter the dark tunnel before her—the piercing stare that was urging her to step in and be one with the shadows.
As the wind blew her long blond hair behind her, she took a deep breath and stepped into the alleyway, hoping to be home soon.
He had sat and watched the world go by for hours. Watching as all the people—male, female, black, white—walked through the streets, all convinced that their existence was linked to some sort of importance. All certain that the world would miss them should they suddenly embrace the insignificance of their miserable lives.
The cars, powered by a resource that was destroying their world, whizzed by. Humans, wanting to see and experience the world without even a thought of the cost. That was what angered him most.
The arrogance of man.
A whole planet, an entire world, which they felt was their birthright to conquer. Their attitudes to animals, other inhabitants of the planet, that they slayed for food, even for sport. Yet the moment their puny race faced any type of threat, they see it as morally wrong.
Foolish people. An abhorrent race.
As he sat on the wall of the large home, he watched as the family walked through the gates. The male, with his fading hair and large stomach, eagerly encouraged a young boy as he hazardly wobbled on a bike. They soon disappeared from sight, which he found pleasing.
More instances of human interaction, all blindly walking past him, none of them aware of the power or danger his very attendance demanded. His dark, black eyes stared out, watching everything he despised. They sat in his sharp marble-like face. His skin, a faded grey, clung tightly to his otherworldly skull. Three large scars ran down one cheek, the physical reminders of the torture he suffered. The branding of an apparent ‘traitor’. His escape from the Otherside was marvellous, ripping free of their shackles and leaving a trail of bodies all the way to the gates.
He had removed the guards’ heads as he passed through, a final gesture of contempt to the world that tried to lock him away. He shook the memory from his mind, his white hair swaying as it hung shabbily to the bottom of his neck.
Soon the sun retreated and the world became more familiar, the shadows painting themselves over the street with an aggressive beauty. He saw a few of his own kind, Others who had been granted asylum on this side of the gate. They filtered past pathetically; none of them dared to make eye contact with him.
He smiled, his razor-sharp teeth coming together like a broken zip. The Otherside knew who he was, and if Earth had any idea—if the humans could see—him then they would run too.
That time was fast approaching.
He reached a grey hand into the inside of his black suit, the blazer frayed at the edges from wear and tear. His long, spindly fingers wrapped round the latch stone that hung from his neck. His sharp nails dug into his skin, its thickness absorbing the pain.
Suddenly his head turned; the sound of high heels clicking against the pavement echoed throughout the street. He saw her and instantly knew she would be the one. He was in the correct place, as he had been for all of the others, and he watched as the blond woman carefully walked down the street.
Another puny human, intoxicated on a needless beverage that rendered them even more useless and pathetic. There would be some of them who would shed tears, but they should be thanking him for his work. His eradication of the vile stains of humanity. She leant over near a wall; he could see her back arching as she took deep breaths.
He sat, strumming his long nails against the brick that he rested his hand upon. He knew she couldn’t see him as she slowly turned the corner, her focus on just keeping herself standing.
He pushed himself up off the wall and lifted his top hat that had sat next to him the entire time. As jet black as his suit, he dusted some flint from the brim and then rested it atop of his shabby hair. He took a few slow steps towards her, his eyes sparkling with anticipation as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the crudely carved device.
Another one for his collection.
He could almost feel her, how good it would be when she belonged to him.
She stopped still.
For a second he thought she had seen him, her eyes focused dead ahead of her where he stood. She then glanced towards the small alleyway, the dark tunnel where they would become one.
Where she would be his.
He readied himself, his hand grasping the sharp edges of his device, and as he prepared to snare her and the inevitable screaming and panic as she fought against a force she could not see begun, a smile spread across his face. Jagged teeth lit up by the fading lamppost above.
She willingly turned and walked into the alleyway.
He watched with delight as she stumbled between the two buildings, her handbag swinging from her arm. It was all too easy.
The previous eight had all been easy; the human race had no way of stopping what he was becoming. But this was being served up on a platter.
As she disappeared into the shadow, her footsteps echoed and bounced off the surrounding walls.
With a calm quickness, he followed her into the black.
She wouldn’t emerge from the other end.