Here is my first draft chapter 1 from my new novel 'Dancing Through Raindrops'
“What can I get you mate?” asks James “three pints of Fosters and two gin & tonics, please”
James starts the first gin and tonic when SMASH! The gin bottle drops to the floor and washes it with sticky gin “FUCK” hollers James to a clapping crowd,
The manager comes to the bar “what the hell you been doing now”
“Not my fault boss, it slipped out my hand” James replies grinning.
“You’re a fucking liability, this week alone you’ve broke five glasses and spilt beer of several customers” angrily the manager informs James,
“Whoa, slow down... It’s not my fault, accidents happen”.
“Maybe, but you’re costing the bar too much, you’re fired!”
“You fucking wanker, I’m never drinking here in this shit-hole again” storming across to the door,
“Twat” muttered James as he grabbed his jacket.
Walking back to the bed-sit, he ponders why his life is so shit, what’s missing? Why am I now jobless? What the fuck am I doing without a job...? Again
Walking through the park, he sees a brunette in a short denim skirt and white vest, tits the size of watermelons and an arse you’d kill for.
“Alright, darling” James comments enthusiastically, his shit life thoughts vanished,
She just looked away and carried on walking past him,
“Whoa, what’s your problem?” he gestured wiggling his body sarcastically and continued on his way.
Back in the bed-sit, slumped in the ripped faux-leather armchair,
Spliff in hand and can of shop-brand larger in the other, James began to think of ways to hurt his ex-boss for sacking him,
Beat him up when he finishes work, slash his car tyres maybe, or break into the cellar and fuck the beers up good and proper, he paused for a moment...
“Why bother, he ain't worth all the hassle” he thought to himself.
Knock, knock, knock,
“Who the fuck can that be?” he mumbled walking to the door, waving all the smoke away as he opened the door kicking all the dirty clothes and rubbish to one side.
“Mr. J Cook?” asks the figure at the door
“Who wants to know?”
“My name is Stockton, television licensing sir, this address does not seem to been paying for a television license”
“Well that’s because I don’t own a TV, I’m not going to pay for something I don’t have now am I” sarcastically replied James,
“Sorry, sir... But we have reason to believe the premises has TV receiving equipment” Looking at his notes,
James looks around and then invites Stockton in to have a look around,
Stockton’s nose twitched as he entered, probably due to the smell from old uneaten take-away food in the boxes on the floor.
“Everything seems to be in order here Mr. Cook, sorry to have troubled you” he said reluctantly,
“Told you I don’t own a set didn’t I?” James said looking please with himself as he showed Stockton to the door, “Please accept my apologies... however if you do purchase a television set, please fill this form in to obtain your license” taking the form from his files he passed it to James,
“Thanks” James replied as he closed the door behind him.
That night James decided to go out a look for a whore who could cheer him up for losing his job,
his first stop was Clandaron Terrace where the cheap whores hang out waiting for ‘clients’ he passed several haggard, crack whores before walking up to the redhead, who looked at least a little tidier.
“What you charging?” he asked quietly,
“Depends what you want honey” she told James whilst stroking his arm,
“I’m looking for an all nighter?”
“Well I could do that for ₤250”
“How about ₤200”
“Well, err, ok then, where we going then?”
“My place, I live less than 5 minutes away, what’s
“Cassie and you are?”
“I’m James, ah here we are, Chateau James” he said, opening the main door,
“Nice place you got here”
Walking through the mess on the floor, Cassie sat on the edge of the bed, looking at James while he unbuttoned his shirt,
“Err, money first please” asked Cassie in a business like way,
“Jees... give me a chance to get my wallet out” he said looking for his jacket in the pile of dirty clothes on the floor.
He handed the money to Cassie, who put it straight into her purse,
“You ready?” a now half naked Cassie asked as she walked over to him and began to kiss him on the lips.
Beep, beep, beep, beep
“Fuck, what time is it?” James asked himself as he clicked his alarm to off,
As he walked to the bathroom he saw a note,
‘James, thanks for last night, you were my last
Client as I am now leaving for Asia, backpacking,
I don’t normally leave notes for the people who
pay me for sex but as you are my last one
I thought it would be a nice thing to do, as
you are special to me’
Love Cassie x
After reading the not he continued to the bathroom as he was brushing his teeth he remembered how much fun he had last night with Cassie,
“God she could suck cock!” James smirked cheekily.
“Hi Paul its James, fancy a beer…….nah not there they fired me yesterday so I’m not drinking there anymore, how about The Duke of Gloucester...ok I’ll see you there in about half an hour then, bye” he grabbed his keys and headed through the door.
“Alright James, how’s tricks”
“Ah, not too bad Paul, lost my job”
“Yea you were saying, what happened?”
“Load of bollocks really, what you drinking?”
“I’ll have a pint, so what did you do this time?”
“Nothing, I just dropped a bottle of gin... and a few glasses”
“And they sacked you for that?” asked a surprised Paul
“Yeah, shit isn’t it?”
“Sure is, so what are your plans?”
“Get another job I suppose, think I’ll work in an office instead though”
Drinks in hand they walked over to the jukebox, Paul was feeling nostalgic so he put on ‘Hey there lonely girl’ by The Stylistics,
“Class” said Paul
“Class” agreed James
At the Jobcentre a bored looking James was waiting for his name to be called, when a single parent of four children came in,
‘Fucking typical’ James thought,
“Mr. James Cook” shouted the Jobcentre Assistant,
“Yes, that would be me”
“Hello Mr. Cook, my name is Maureen; I will be helping you to find a job today”
“So what jobs do you have on your system for me?”
“Well first I need you to answer some questions, what sort of job are you looking for”
“High paid and low hours”
“Seriously Mr. Cook, we can’t help you if you don’t give us proper answers”
“Ok, sorry, I’m looking to work in an office”
“Ah, perfect we have a job here working for AGI COMMUNICATIONS
as a TELEPHONE REP for INBOUND QUERIES, does that sound ok?”
“Yes, that’s should be ideal, what will happen next?”
“I will call them to arrange an interview for you”
Maureen picked up her telephone. Whilst she was on the phone, James noticed a girl walk in wearing a tight crop-top and black jeans, James stared at her arse while she walked across the waiting room, her posterior swaying from side to side,
“Mr. Cook... Mr. Cook!”
James turned suddenly on hearing his name,
“Yes, that’s ok” Maureen remarked suspiciously
“You have an interview on Friday at 10:00AM with a Mr. Bishop; I will give you a printout with all the details on”
“Thanks for that Maureen, you have been most helpful”
James picked up the printout and started to walk out when he saw the girl from before, he winked at her; she just looked back at him in disgust.
On the morning of the interview he got up at an especially early time for him. Still half-asleep, he left his bed-sit and headed for the newsagent to buy the paper and some energy drinks to wake him up.
‘BRITISH WOMAN KIDNAPPED IN BALI’
“FUCKING HELL!!!” screamed James
“What’s the matter?” asked the shopkeeper
“It’s this girl, I know her, and she’s on the front page”
“Who is she?”
“Her name’s Cassie, I met her last week” he said avoiding the subject of him paying her for sex,
“But why is she in the paper?”
“Err, woman 27... Taken in the night by... demands of... it says she has been kidnapped by a rebel group and they are demanding money for her release”
“You hear about this all the time, but you never expect it to happen to someone you now”
Walking out of the shop, James remembered he had the interview to attend, but for the rest of the journey all he could think about was Cassie and the horrors she must be facing by her captors.
At the interview James got there just on time. Conducting the interview was a Mr. Bishop, who had to ask him twice for some of the questions, since all James could think about was Cassie.
After the interview he decided to walk home to try and clear his head,
‘Why am I so worried about her, I only fucked her that one night’ he thought to himself,
Then he remembered the note ‘...you are special to me’
“What did she mean by special?” he asked himself.
Deciding he needed some sort of distraction he called in on Paul’s flat on the way there,
Paul was more serious about his life than James and had stayed at University and completed his degree in physics, so he had a good job in the city and a very nice place in the nice part of town,
Leather sofa, modern kitchen and a stunning fifty-two inch plasma fitted on the wall, he also had what he called ‘small’ thirty-six inch plasma in his bedroom, everything a single city-worker needed.
When he showed Paul the paper he didn’t understand what he was supposed to be looking at.
“Well look, its there right in front of you, British woman kidnapped” James pointed out
“Yeah, but that sort of stuff happens all the time out there”
“But I know her, I paid her for sex last week, she left me a note the morning after”
“So, it’s not like she was your girlfriend or something, you paid her for sex” Paul told James as he poured a couple of drinks,
“But I think I’m in love with her...”
“STOP right there James, you don’t fall in love with hookers!”
“But she’s not a hooker... well, not anymore; I can’t stop thinking of her, ever since I saw her in the paper this morning”
“James, this is stupid, you were just another customer of hers, all you were to her was cash, see, nothing special”
“Maybe so, but why did she leave me a note telling me I was special to her, prostitutes don’t normally do that... I should know”
“Look, don’t be stupid, she is on the other side of the world, what you going to do go after her?” Paul remarks in jest,
James looks at Paul seriously “Yeah, why not”
“That’s stupid, how on earth are you going to get there”
“I don’t know, but I’ll find a way, I know I will”
James finished his drink and left... he had a lot of things to think about.
Walking back he had a couple of ideas on how to get there, he could fly there... only he didn’t have enough money to buy a bus ticket, let alone a plane ticket all the way to Indonesia, all he had was the 1500 in the bank and he would need that to buy food and other necessities on route.
No he would have to get there by other means, and then he remembered how in the old days people could sign on to a ship as a deckhand, that would be his savior.
When he got back to his bed-sit he looked around at all his crap and realized he would have to get rid of most of his possessions.
He took out his old rucksack and packed it with some clothes and a blanket,
“No time like the present” he told himself, took one last look around and closed the door.
On his way out he put his keys through the letterbox of the landlady with a short note;
‘Dear Mrs. Horrocks
I am leaving today for Indonesia,
Please accept my apologies for not
giving any notice however this is a trip
I have no choice but to make, I will not
be returning in the near future, as such
please sell anything of value in my room
to cover any costs at not giving the notice,
And then he left for good.
On the way to the dockyard he called in on Paul,
“So I can see, you have got your backpack on, I don’t approve of you doing this, but I can see I’m not going to be able to change your mind am I?”
“No, you are a great friend and I will return one-day” James reassured Paul,
“Just stay safe, I just hope she is worth it”
“I’m know she is”
“How are you going to get there and get her out?”
“I’m going by boat, as a deckhand... I haven’t yet thought about how I'm going to get her out, I’ll think of something”
“By Boat, ha ha ha, you used to get sea-sick when we played pirates on dry land as kids” Paul joked
“Ok, no need to take the piss, I’ll just have to grin and bear it, wont I?”
“Indeed you will, I don’t envy you one-bit James” Paul said extending his had to James,
James took Paul’s’ hand and pulled him in for a man-hug,
“Good Luck, buddy”
“Thanks, Mate” and off James walked.
At the dock he went to the shipping office where all the sailors get their work, it was a dreary looking building straight out of Victorian times, all the ornate masonry and large cracked glass windows.
Inside sat a large man behind a desk arguing with a Russian sailor,
“You can’t travel, your papers say you must remain here for the next week until you get your dock warrant” said the man behind the desk
“But these goods are my own; I have receipts to prove it”
“That my be so, but a dock warrant is still needed to take them on board a ship”
“Arghhh” he slammed his fist down on the desk and stormed out, knocking James to one-side as he left.
“Next”, James walked up to the desk
“I would like to go to Indonesia, please?” James asked
“Do you have any experience?”
“I’m afraid not, will that be a problem?”
“Shouldn’t be, just a little more difficult to find you a position if you’ve never sailed before, if you would fill this form in to get you passes”
“I didn’t realize there would be so much paperwork”
“Suppose you didn’t realize you need to wait for all you passes to come through the post then did you?”
“WHAT!, you mean I can’t sail today?”
“Today, surely you are joking, you need to wait for your passes and then take medicals, there’s more to sailing than just getting on a ship, however...”
“Well for a small sum, I could put you on a ship tomorrow... it wouldn’t be all double-legal but you could sail by 1900 tomorrow”
“OK, but I will definitely sail tomorrow, at the latest”
James handed over the money to him and he went into the back room to make a call, when he came out he told James to come back tomorrow morning at six and he would have the necessary paperwork for him and the name of a ship and captain to report to, James left the office and found a sailors hostel where he could spend the night.
The hostel was in a back street in the middle of the dockyard, it stunk like a several cats had died under the floorboards... and was still there, the bedding was stained and the mattress was thin and lumpy, James decided to sleep on the floor.
He woke up at five that morning and headed straight back to the office; he met the man who gave him an envelope and a piece of paper with the ships name and captain on.
When he got to the ship it was a dry cargo ship, used for transporting goods inside her hold, all around were sailor shouting and running around finishing off preparations for sailing, he asked one of them where he could find Captain Borchardt, one of the sailors in thick Russian spoke and pointed, James just nodded and followed the hand signals.
Walking up the gangplank two sailors came running up and almost pushed James into the water, steadying himself he continued up until he was on board ‘Volya’, still in search of the captain he bumped into an official looking person
“Captain Borchardt?” asked James nervously
“No, I am Brandon, ship doctor” he answered in perfect English
“Do you know where I can find the captain?”
“Yes, I’m on my way to meet him now, as always before a ship sails, please follow me”
“Who are you?”
“I’m James Cook, the new deckhand”
“Ah, have you sailed before?”
“Well don’t worry we wont have you navigating the ship just yet, ha ha”
“Ha ha, good”
“Here we are Captains cabin”
James followed Brandon in and the doctor began to introduce him to the captain, James just stood there cold and tired the captain stood right in front of him,
Captain Borchardt was a tall broad figure, with a neatly cut beard, and a rather large belly, but you could see he had been at sea most of his life, his chiseled face telling many stories,
“Good morning, James” the captain said
“Good morning, Sir, I’m here as deckhand”
“None I’m afraid, but keen and quick to learn”
“That’s what we like to hear, isn’t it Brandon”
“Yes, Sir” Brandon replied
“Why are you here, Cook?” asked the captain
“I’m here because a girl I have fallen in love with is in trouble and needs rescuing” answered James confidently
“So you’re going to rescue her alone then, how?”
“That I haven’t discovered, but I will find a way”
“Well good luck to you, you look a little unfit for rescue missions but 6 weeks at sea will cure you of that, I can promise you that”
“Thank you captain, what will is my duties?”
“Well you have to start at the bottom; you will be mopping up and helping in the kitchen to start of with”
James looked at the captain and the captain nodded at him, calling over ‘Smith’ a junior hand
“Smith show Cook to his quarters”
“Yes captain” Smith replied
James thanked the captain and followed Smith to his quarters, a small damp bed under lots of pipes, still it was better than the hostel last night he thought, all of a sudden Cook nearly fell over,
“What was that?” James asked Smith
“We’re leaving the dock, that’s all”
“Can’t change my mind then”
“Afraid not, if you need anything just ask, I’m your quarter mate”
“Thanks that’s most kind”
“Put your stuff here now and report to the chef in the galley in thirty minutes to get your duties for the day”
“Ok” James said as Cook was leaving the quarters.
James got on to the bed and lay down for a moment to let it all sink in, ‘here we go, this is the beginning, I’m coming to save you Cassie’ he thought to himself.