Friday, January 27, 2012

Walter Wallace - Chapter 44

Mark sat listening idly to the reports of the local station manager. Something about never thinking this could happen and that he personally suspected sabotage. All Mark could think was why did this happen to him – he suspected it was personal sabotage. The rubble of Newport Haven Terminal sat smouldering in the floodlights of the camping reporters. They would be expecting a statement from CitaRail soon and Mark had no desire to give it; no idea what was expected of him or what he could say. His stomach churned with anxiety.

He had switched off his mobile phone in the panicked minutes that followed his final drink with Stevie. He was horrified at what he might hear if he answered a call from Boss. Sam Tank had heard him blurting about business and when Boss found out he would be finished. But the silence of his phone was almost worse. How many calls had he dodged? What would Boss do in retaliation to his desertion? He winced as the flood of worry washed through him again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Walter Wallace - Chapter 43

Brian Smithwaite was impressed. He had to tip his hat to the new Walter Wallace. From the hermit who spent the happiest days in human history keeping his history free from all other humans, he had now begun learning the art of media manipulation. Brian had felt the biggest fault in the Walter Wallace saga had been the man himself; ugly, quiet and downright hopeless on camera. Brian had even sought to destroy (with alarming success) the career of the great Tony Holdsworth in an effort to bridge the gap between sponsorship monies coming in and the potential rating catastrophe that Walter could prove. But today had put those fears to rest.

At the door to his own room in Newport Haven hospital, Walter stood commanding the attention of a horde of news reporters. His voice rose above them as they vied for key positions, wanting nothing more than to ask the question that draws the quote of the day. Behind that door was the story of the day. Lucy Blues, back from obscurity after she had run out on her contract with Channel 8 (a fact that can easily be overlooked as a clause in a brand new contract), is dragged from a burning inferno by the one and only Walter Wallace. And now amidst rumours and here say over possible romance between her and her saviour, Lucy decides to walk, unannounced, into Walter’s hospital room in front of half the nation’s grittiest news reporters.

Brian knew the big story was in that room and that with a wave of his will that door could be opened and the two could be ambushed by the wolves - an open slather that would delight the masses – but he found it personally much more interesting to see this confident and assertive Walter Wallace step out and tame the pack.

Walter had weathered the storm by holding a mirror up to its eye; he stood calm, firmly closing the door behind himself and waited as they threw everything at him. Eventually they lost their vigour and a sense of anticipation had grown, it was then that Walter took charge.

“You have no right to be here; it is only on my goodwill that I don’t request you all be escorted from the premises. I’ll take your questions one at a time in an orderly fashion and then I expect you to leave.”

Surprisingly, the reporters fell in line, perhaps struck by Walter’s change, Walter’s charge. The interview continued for a quarter hour and as the privileged interviews became exhausted Brian could see that Walter would be hard pressed getting the peace he had negotiated. Even the most kind-hearted reporter is backed by the relentless demands of a media outlet. Perhaps Brian would let the wolves off their leash in end. He gets his fill, they get theirs; everybody wins.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Walter Wallace - Chapter 42

Whisky arrived back to Station St and found the white van still in the same place he left it. He felt a slight flutter in his stomach – another new sensation on this strange day. He looked beyond the van at the rubble that was once Newport Haven Terminal. The idea of being nervous would never have crossed his barren plane of emotional diversity a few weeks ago, but he had never faced a situation like this. His prior existence, before Walter Wallace, any risk or threat or decision was met by his ability. He was the best trained and best equipped of the Citadel Soldiers and his decisions were simply logical. Doubts and malfunctions were to be referred to a superior. His existence was never in danger; death was distant, irrelevant.

But none of that existed any more. Now he had abandoned protocol and sought personal endeavours. He had developed an instinct of right and wrong; weighing up variables outside the parameters of Citadel’s interests. But where had this got him? He walked into the wrath of Sam Tank, out of his element and backpedalling through lies and disobedience. He had covered his tracks in the moment – Sam couldn’t pin anything on him but it would not take much for Sam to check back with Boss and find that Whisky had received orders to stay on site and leave the tracking of Walter Wallace in the time of crisis.

He reached the van at a walk, after having sprinted through the back streets from the hospital. He hopped into the driver’s seat, immediately starting the vehicle and swinging it round in a single point U-turn. He did not like the idea of relying on Sam’s suspicions. The man was meticulous, always on. But he was struck by the swift exit Sam had taken at the hospital. Midway through grilling Whisky Sam had hurried off. What was he doing before Whisky had arrived? What business did Sam have hands on with Walter Wallace?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Walter Wallace - Chapter 41


Stevie had just switched off another Walter Wallace interview that was playing on the radio. He sat in the driver’s seat of his car massaging his own forehead, forcefully trying to roll out the white noise that was buzzing around up there. He could barely grasp what had just happened. Mark had been mute for the remainder of the conversation after his associate Sam Tank had left, and the two parted ways after a short while. Stevie needed a cigarette, offering a wry smile to the blatant arrogance in which his addiction presented itself. It was too easy to give in, his reasoning being that he could use the temporary clarity just to get his mind straight.

Mark was in some sort of trouble - that was obvious. Sam was openly warning him of an incoming reprimand once they were back in the privacy of business – but for what reason? Talking about Citadel was the wall Mark had built between them but that wall was weakened at the mention of Walter Wallace. The whispers of fate and destiny that had called to him earlier that day again rose to his immediate conscious. It all has to do with Walter Wallace. Isn’t it obvious? But maybe he was being swayed by the extremist media he read and a desire to trace meaning in the tangle of chance.


He took a long drag for the cigarette, wished he had a pen and paper. Maybe if he could write this down his thoughts would become lineal, but for now he just needed to concentrate.