(Photo credit: Marabelo)
Even such is time, which takes in trust
Our youth, our joy, and all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days:
Apart from which earth, and grave, and dust,
The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
Linda repeated Sir Walter Ralegh‘s poem ‘Epitaph’ over and over again as she watched the body of her assailant self-combust. It all started with a strange shadow falling in front of her snarling attacker, who fell down immediately and began to shake uncontrollably, foaming in the mouth. She struggled to release herself but it was futile, she persisted and only succeeded in falling back, hitting her head on the tiled floor. She gritted her teeth in frustration, staring hard at the ceiling and wondered what she would do next and that was when she began to choke.
Linda dragged herself away slowly, so she could see what was happening and her heart stopped in her mouth, her attacker had been reduced to ashes, save for his lower limbs and shoes, he was burnt out. She whimpered as she struggled feverishly, rolling to her side, she managed to stand to her feet but with her hands still tied back, it was very painful. Sweating profusely, Linda refused to look at the ashes on the floor, the only thing on her mind was freedom.
Outside, a little girl skipped along the slippery sidewalk, her long blonde hair dancing with the wind, her short, pleated skirt swirled around her knees. The smell of rain and rotting leaves hung heavily in the air. She stopped suddenly and a chuckle escaped her pink lips when she saw a black BMW parking beside her.
She stared at the shrivelled old man on the back seat.
Bernstein Joel Bonnke tried to smile but it ended in a grimace and he put his bony hands on his parched lips, he knew that he looked awful.
The driver of the BMW got out, a tall, lean, bony man with bushy eyebrows. The man opened the door for Bernstein, who stepped out like royalty, his eyes still firmly trained on the girl, who curiously, was still staring at him. The leafy street was deserted at that time of the day, it was mid afternoon, and Bernstein was glad for the privacy.
He approached the inquisitive little girl, a fixed smile on his gaunt face.
‘How are you my lady?’
‘I am fine, you don’t look well, are you ill?’ she asked, her blue eyes searching Bernstein’s face. And he felt uncomfortable under her piecing gaze, his visit to London was meant to be a quick one, he doesn’t want to leave any trace or clues if he could help it.
‘Yes my dear, old age is my disease,’ he answered smoothly and reached for her head, she allowed him ruffled her hair for a few seconds, then without warning, a chill went through his body, it was akin to an electric current. He removed his hand quickly and scampered away, his body guards glared at the girl but she was unperturbed. She watched as they all entered the last house on the street, she could not move and her eyes never left the end of terrace house.
Someone called her, and she turned her attention to the petite woman standing on the front porch of the house across the street, it was her mother. She skipped towards her, there was a wild look on her face.
‘Mama, are you okay?’ Amber asked anxiously.
There was no sound and her mother later screamed in reply. Amber turned to look at what had upset her so. What she saw turned her blood to ice.
Gordon held his sons close, the tears refused to fall. He was still in shock. He had just come in from the police station. The police had interviewed him all night, and they had interrogated each of his sons as well, though they stated blandly that they were merely following procedures but Gordon knew better. The bullet that killed his twenty-three year old son was the exact replica of the bullets he used for his semi automatic assault rifle. He was mourning for his son, praying that his wife would return home safely and trying to prove his innocence and that of his sons.
It was a horrible way to live.
Luke, Gabriel, and Peter moved away from their father’s embrace, the tragedy of Eliza’s death was still fresh and with the police breathing down their necks, they were practically living in hell. The police seemed to be hounding them than pitying them.
Luke stood up and went to his room, he’d hardly spoken a word since he heard the news. Gabriel stood up and sauntered to the window, then turned back abruptly and said with clenched teeth,
‘You caused these entire problems dad! If mom hadn’t disappeared, Eliza would still be alive now!’
Gordon thought about Gabriel’s accusations and replied calmly,
‘Eliza’s death had nothing to do with your mother’s disappearance. I believe he was killed because of the contents of your mother’s diary.’
‘How do you mean?’ asked Gabriel shrewdly, his dowdy appearance further heightened by the stubble on his jaw. At twenty, his life peaked too soon. He bagged a first class honours degree in Engineering from the University of York but sadly, was not keen to do anything else but smoke cannabis all day, a habit that had put him at loggerheads with his mother. Gordon also suspected that Gabriel was jealous of Eliza’s success.
Eliza was running his property business, and doing a good job of it. After college, he had refused to go to the University; rather, he had leached on to him, following him to auctions. Within months, Eliza had bought three properties, renovated the houses, and made a profit of more than three hundred thousand pounds.
Gordon was a proud father.
‘There were some things in your mother’s diary that Eliza saw, I was certain he was shocked when he did. He gave the diary to me and shortly after that, he was killed.’
‘Where’s the diary?’ Gabriel asked quietly.
‘I have given it to the police,’ Gordon said carefully, looking at his son, ‘they believe the contents of the diary was behind the death of Eliza and could be behind your mother’s disappearance, hopefully, the diary would clear our names.’
Gabriel locked eyes with his father, and Gordon shuddered with fear. It was the cold, ruthless eyes of a killer.
Who in heaven’s name is Gabriel Leonhard! Gordon thought with a deep sigh, he wondered when the nightmare would end.
My publisher, Arrow Gate, has indicated their interest in this story, so I am afraid, this would be the last post on this story! But if anyone is interested to know more about the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Leonhard’s family and the grotesque Bernstein Joel Bonnke, you can subscribe to my newsletter and when the novel is released next summer, you’ll be the first to get a copy.
NP: July has been a special month for me, I signed up for WordPress on 17th of July, 2012 and my first post was on the 31st of July 2012. So it’s exactly a year ago that I started this blog, although I didn’t start serious blogging until mid October, it’s been a great journey so far. I have made great friends and didn’t regret starting this blog.
I also celebrated 13 years of wedded bliss to my sweet husband Kay! It’s been a great month!! (He refused to have his picture taken, he’s so shy! 🙂 ) I hope you all had something to celebrate… the gift of life!!!
I love and respect you all, you’re all awesome!
Much love, always!
You’ll have to take a photo of him unexpectedly 😉
Have a great week Seyi
I think I’ll do that! Thanks Alastair, enjoy the rest of your week too!
Well Hello Seyi,
Totally forgot what today being Wednesday meant…..my weekly dose of Santum Close 🙂
Congrats all around to you!! 🙂
Where do I sign up for the news letter??
Thanks JC, I appreciate your interest in the story! You can subscribe to my newsletter by visiting my page again ( 🙂 ) and on top of my page, you’ll see ‘Newsletter’ just click on it and you can write your details on the form (it’s perfectly safe, your email address would not be shared in any way and you can opt out if you’re tired of my scribbles! 😉 ) Thanks so much JC, do enjoy the rest of your day!
Much love. 🙂
So far this story has been solid and suspenseful. I like the way you portrayed Gordon and the rest of his kids at the police station. Poor family, I can certainly feel their pain and grievous situation. Linda’s escape before the scene break was vivid too. She seems to have escaped with the help of someone … someone that now piques my interest.
I’m sad 😦 this will be the last of a story I so much look forward to. But I’m happy it’s will be published for a bigger audience! Like JC, I would like to ask where I could sign up for the newsletter.
Sis, I’m proud of you.
Congrats to you on your blogging. My kind regards to your family.
Thanks, they would appreciate your kindness!
Awwwww! Thanks my brother, that’s so sweet of you, Linda is about to escape but she is hardly out of danger and the little girl, Amber, is a new character that would do a lot in the book. I’m glad you’ve followed the story thus far! You can subscribe to my newsletter by visiting my page again 🙂 and on top of my page, you’ll see ‘Newsletter’ just click on it and you can write your details on the form (it’s perfectly safe, your email address would not be shared in any way and you can opt out if you’re tired of my scribbles! 😉 I appreciate your friendship Uzoma, I’ll certainly send an ARC (Advance Review Copy) to you, my publisher would give me at least ten copies. I’m glad the serial is now over, it’s over to you now, I hope Okuoba is safe though… 😦 can’t wait till Tuesday and don’t post too late, I refused to sleep this Tuesday until I’ve read ‘We Are Not Cursed’
Have a wonderful month!!
That will be great — to have an ARC of your book!!! I’ve just signed up and look forward to the updates of the story. And no, I don’t think you’ll bore me in anyway.
My story is coming along nicely. I’ve trust that Okuoba won’t be taken, LOL 🙂
Thank you, I know I can always count on you! Glad my scribbling won’t bore you either, as writers, we tend to ramble a lot! I’m happy Okuoba is safe o!! 🙂
Your stories are compelling and enjoyable. No wonder an editor wants to publish them. Good luck to you.
Thanks Ronnie for your love and kindness, I truly appreciate it!
Have a great day! 🙂
Seyi sandra, congratulations on ALL fronts! My goodness, life is beautiful!
It is, thank you for your kindness, it means a lot to me Luanne!
My dearest sister, I am so happy that your publishers have agreed to take this on. It’s such a great book in the making; a novel full wonderful suspense. Thanks God;, I say. And doubly congratulations on your blogging and wedding anniversary. More sweet years for you and hubby till eternity. 🙂
Thank you Celestine, I have a lot on my plate now! 🙂 But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! 🙂 (that just came out) I appreciate your kindness and love, my family appreciates your love more than you know. Have a beautiful month!
Congrats on all… 😉
Your dear husband is well married, best wishes… 🙂 😉
Thank you dear friend, I’m grateful for your kindness and value your friendship!
Congratulations to your wonderful July! Anniversary bliss, blog anniversary and a story which is great and had been showing to be very interesting. May August be another blissful month for you!
Thank you my dear Ute, I wish you success and peace this month too, I’m grateful for your friendship and love! And today was very hot! 😉
Much love. 🙂
Good read this.
Say “Hello” to your husband Kay for me. I too hate to have my picture taken. I consider it an invasion of privacy. And thanks for liking “River Congo – Excerpt 4” on papermudandme.wordpress.com. – Aloha – pjs/
Reblogged this on Writer's World and commented:
This picture is just right for another setting in my book!
Awwwww! That’s sweet Felicia! I wish you success in your literary pursuits, thanks for stopping by!
Thank you! You’re welcome =)
So much left to wonder about, and contemplate how further outcomes might develop across the spaces revealed to date. You’ve three key strands running to date, one only just introduced here, just how much will they diverge before becoming convergent again, only time will echo a reply, for I believe you still have much to contemplate with the yarn’s directions. Anticipation awaits here… 🙂
Exactly, you’ve seen through the treads of the story, can’t wait to finish it too! Have a great week Sean, and thank you for stopping by!
Congratulations on your anniversary dear. Here’s wishing you many many more years happy years together. I can’t wait to read some more. I love how well you craft your stories, there’s always a really interesting twist. Your publisher is smart 🙂
Thanks Anne, my family appreciates your love and kindness! Thanks for enjoying my stories, I’m grateful! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Congratulations!!!!! On your wedding anniversary and your blog birthday!!!! That story is intense…. 🙂
Thank you! I love intrigues, life is too shot to be dull. 🙂 Thanks for your kind comment and visit!
Congratulations on both of the anniversaries.So glad you started a blog, you’re a great writer 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind comment, I’m grateful! 🙂
Congratulations dear Seyi Sandra, we wish you success always! On Sanctum Close, I’m glad you stopped here, you’ve given more than enough teasers away! I’m looking forward to seeing the novel in print next year. Best of luck.
Seyisandra, this is wonderful. Congrats, congrats. THAT is worthy life 🙂
While I am very happy to hear about your pending new book deal, I am not happy that we have to wait until next year to read it! 🙂 I just signed up for your newsletter as instructed! Congrats on your anniversary and may you have many happy blessed celebrations to come. Thanks sis for your support, always! Much love ♥
Thanks dear friend, and I appreciate your love and friendship. Thanks for signing up for my newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when the book is out!
Much love. 🙂
I can’t wait! I love your writing. Wish I was as good as you. 🙂
Great work – HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY AND HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU AND THE SHY GUY!
Thanks dear friend, I appreciate your visit!
I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Thanks so much, I appreciate your kind comments and visit!