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Don't Mess With Dolly (Chapter 1)

Posted by Shortie Williams on November 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

One thing that I have always wanted to do in my life is write a book. Not because I think that I can, it's just that it is something I have always wondered about, how do they do it, where do the ideas come from and what do you write about? these questions make me curious and as with anything that I do I want to satisfy my curiosity.
I want to write something that anyone can read, not aimed at a particular market but totally universal. I want it to be simple to understand and not have to try to work out what is going on or become too in depth with science to the point where nobody really gets it and I want it to be light hearted and fun.
I'm not sure that I can do any of this but releasing a blog book is free and if you don't like it! you don't have to read it and it has cost you nothing.
I will release it in small chapters, spaced over a period of time, so all that is left to do before publishing the first chapter is, The disclaimer and here it is.

Author -  P Williams

Title  - Don't Mess With Dolly

 

© 2013, Author  - P Williams

Self publishing

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

 


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. OK Here we go!




Don’t Mess With Dolly!

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

The Dimple’s

 

 

Dolly Dimple.Respected and loved by many. A reasonably ordinary housewife, living in the centre of a row of terraced houses in the urban area of Peckham.
Dolly is fortunate enough to have a comfortable life, not wealthy, but with enough money coming into keep the wolves away from the door, however she is wealthy in the love she has from her family and friends who appreciate the caring thoughtful and helpful woman who is known as Dolly Dimple.
Dolly’s pains and ailments would bother any normal sufferer, but dolly has a strength and character that helps her get on with her life the best she can. Her wheeled walking frame she humorously refers to as “Dolly’s Trolley” keeps her mobile and her sense of humour with the would be mockers and the stigma attached to using such a device is admired by all, many people at the age of 45 would be embarrassed to use a walking frame but Dolly loves the equipment that keeps her moving and has learned to control the frame with precision and agility which amazes all around her.
Tuesday is typically a quiet day. Having taken care on Monday of the cleaning and chores around the home, after the blitz that her family have caused whilst relaxing over their weekend off, you know, Stuck in front of the TV Saturday and Roast Dinner Sunday, sweet wrappers, cola cans and glasses, and the crumbs from that late night snack before retiring to their beds and of course lets not forget the big Monday clothes wash and replenishing the stocks from the local supermarket, Tuesday needed to be relaxing!
Dolly had prepared the dinner for all, ironed the clothes from the wash the day before and was sitting enjoying elevenses’ at ten thirty. Dolly enjoyed the peaceful silence that was almost a sound in itself, better than music to her. Relief.
In an almost relaxed state of meditation, Dolly jumped out of her skin at the sound of the letterbox rattling as the postman relieved his bag of one more letter on his round that made a morning seem like a day, in the highly populated area in which Dolly lived.
Peckham has changed so much since Dolly was a child and she had always lived at the same address, the house that her parents had left her in their will as the greatest gift they could have bestowed upon the daughter of which they were so proud and loved so much. Dolly’s Father John, had been so supportive to her as a child and even in her later years and her Mother never realised that Dolly had grown up and was clearly able to support herself, but Dolly appreciated these factors with her parents. Whatever made them feel good was good for Dolly.
Dolly stared out of her window into her small garden that was neatly lawned with a small garden shed to the right, tucked into the top right corner just before the grass bank that raised itself to the fence that separated their lives in the suburbs from the railway track above. You don’t really hear the trains passing when you have lived in their environment all your life, they are just part of the background and do not spoil the homely feel of your own world, locked inside your own terraced haven.
Dolly never felt lonely when Dr Alan worked. Although she had been his wife for 22 years she still enjoyed his company, but a part of him was always with her when she was apart from him. Their home was their small cocoon where they could forget the rest of the world when they wanted to switch off and pretend that they were not a speck on the map of the suburb of Peckham.
Dr Alan Dimple was no ordinary doctor. His father had been a scientist, working for the government for many years and was a professor of Human Biology. He had resigned from hispost when he realised that no good could be gained from his skills in his position at the time, especially employed by the employer he had chosen, and his works could be used not for the good of mankind as he had intended when studying for his degree in his particular science.
Sadly, he was later to discover that once you had worked for the secret services and had been encumbered by the demands outlined within the Official Secrets Act, you never really could resign. Although you thought you were a free spirit, you would always be a spare tool in the toolbox of the hierarchy of the secret service government officials. The best you could hope is that a situation would never arise requiring the need for the particular tool you may be.
There were benefits however. Not everybody in the service was an enemy. In fact Dr Gregory Dimple made several very good friends with many influences in different areas within the secret service and was wise enough not to burn bridges between him and his potentially helpful pals. He realised however, that it would work both ways and that his friends would be expected by the service to keep an eye on him, so to speak.
Dr Gregory had persuaded one of his influential friends, Stephen Aspen, head of recruitment and close friend of the PM, to grease the wheels of motion and put in a good word to help push through an application for government funding, a large sum, several million pounds, to open a research laboratory where he would carry on the work he had begun whilst under the wing of the British secret services, but now under his control.
Degenerative bone disease had been the area in which Dr Gregory had made such progress, although his research results had been impressive and the powers that were, were more than disappointed to lose him, they decided to let Doctor Gregory move on. All worked in favour of both parties without conflict. The doctor had his own research centre, fully equipped and funded by the government and in return the government would share the benefit of the research carried out by Dr Gregory’s team. The only difference was that the good doctor could look deeper into areas of DBG that he would not have been granted the time for whilst under the employof the mighty Queens government.
His many years of experience and knowledge made him unique in his field and his results were astounding and all of this was to be passed to his only son, Doctor Alan Dimple.
Doctor Alan, now head of the Dimple research centre, had taken the research a little further. Alan had moved into areas that had only been dreamt about in the minds of science fiction writers, the designers of modern life.
Working with some of Americas top scientists he had ventured into the fields of Bionics and later, NanoTechnology.
His research had been the reason for meeting many influential people and had made him many friends, but the most important of all, was his wife, Dolly.
His life was now devoted to keeping Dolly comfortable and moving, which isn’t easy at times as Dolly lives an active life, she makes the most of life itself and the demands on her aching bones can be immense at times, but Doctor Alan keeps her going with the love and affection that he had promised her when making their wedding vows and a little secret they share.
Dolly’s tea sat in front of her waiting to be consumed without burning her lipsand the 2 digestives, still whole, were preparing themselves to be dunked in order to absorb the brew and combine to make a delightful sloppy treat that Dolly enjoyed this time most days. Dolly had perfected the dunking process, never did her digestive break before it was entrapped in her mouth and never was the biscuit under dunked. Softened to perfection.
She stared at the shed abutted tightly to the grass bank at the end of the garden, looking for movement through its only window on the top right hand side, only to see the reflection of the grey cloudy sky shining brightly on the glazed surface.
Testing the tea with a weary sip and one eye still on the shed window, Dolly decided the temperature was right, so she would begin sustain herself with the mid-morning treat and then, after she would investigate the paper bundle that remained on her doormat with intrigue. Maybe a bill? No, not in a white envelope, so maybe an advert,enticing potential clients to relieve themselves of a small amount of their hard earned cash in return for something they do not really need but would probably like, or just a letter form a friend, that would be nice! But that’ll wait until after elevenses.
Jamie had been working hard for 16 hours solid. He had no deadline to keep, or any urgent requirement for the results of the project he was working on. Jamie just loved his work and when things were going well he did not feel the need to stop. Not noticing his tiredness or hunger, the artificial light with which he worked in the laboratory had started to give him a slight headache. It was this that made him realise how fatigued he was and it was time for a break, maybe even some sleep.He had no idea of the time. He checked his watch, eleven twenty two, “AM” he thought.
The vast area that was an annexe to the nearby Dimple research centre, had only one small window, right at the front of the building in a lobby of sorts and main entrance to the lab. Hidden from view, the annexe was 4 feet below a football pitch in the local recreation area. The pitch, surrounded by picnic areas, a children’s play area and 2 tennis courts to the north had been used for the past 40 years, 20 of which, it had played it’s part in the disguisingof the Dimple research centre annexe. Previous to it’s occupancy it had been a storeroom for rail equipment, only about 20ft square.
As a child Dr Alan had played in the abandoned store area to the front of the annexe and many adventures were acted out by him and his mates.
One eventful Saturday afternoon young Alan was sheltering from the rain in the store which had become known as the Den. All 4 of the gang were sworn to secrecy about the Den, frightened that if discovered it would be taken from them. Alan had lit a series of oil lamps that the boys had found in a cupboard in the store area and Alan had restored these lamps for use.
It was time to satisfy a curiosity. It had always intrigued Alan why there would be a recess in the brickwork, the shape of a door, as if there had once been an entrance there, but it would not be feasible as surely with your back to the entrance and the recess facing you, it would be backed up by earth! This particular afternoon, Alan, on his own, decided to scrape out and remove a brick from the recess. Holding a lit match he passed his arm through the hole and then squinted through a gap to the left of it to see what had made him so curious in the first place. He was not surprised to see the void behind the hole where the brick once was, although he should have been. What he saw was a vast area, the size of a football pitch, clad with stone, dank and smelly. An amazing array of columns in lines supported Vault ceilings and the floor on the other side, much lower than the Den. Alan dropped the match with a start, not because it burned him, but because, leaning against the first column in his line of view, was the skeleton of a human, obviously an inhabitant for many years.
Alan was spooked by the discovery. He quickly replaced the brick that had previously been bedded in soft lime mortar, using some of the damp mortar dust to hold it in place.
He wanted it to be his secret. He feared that if the other boys learned of the area they would knock down the brickwork in the recess to add the extension of this spooky area to the Den. The discovery of the skeleton would harvest a dilemma, of which young Alan did not want to face.
That night, Alan told his father about how the gang used the Den. His father told him of the dangers of such hideouts and told Alan that he would report it to the rail services office in the morning and have it closed securely. The plan had worked. Alan had manipulated his father to have the Den closed which is what he wanted, because after discovering the hidden area behind the Den, the whole place would give him nightmares. He wanted to wipe it from his mindseye, totally forget about it. He would never have to go there again and his pals would never know the reason why. To them it would seem unfortunate that the Rail services had discovered the building was insecure and decided to replace the door and locking system to keep trespassers out.
Who would have known that this boy would grow to find himself in need of such a secretive area as part of his work, fate had brought them together!
Now, the owner of the Den and associated areas, Dr Alan often thinks back to when he was a child and say’s out loud to himself “whoever would have thought”.
The skeleton was dealt with discreetly. A friend in the service handed it to a specialist forensic team that work on a need to know basis. A male, died at theage of around 35 from cholera! It was thought to be over 200 years old. Nobody had any idea why or how it ended up bricked into the underground room. The skeleton was disposed of thoughtfully by the team and no questions were ever asked.
Dolly, having finished her elevenses caught a glimpse of a change in light in the reflection of the shed window, caused by the movement of a something solid behind it. She knew that it was what she had been anticipating, it was time to get up and leave her break behind.
Dolly opened the fridge. Inside she had nothing but the best products, fresh and wholesome, a reflection of herself in many ways. Yesterday, she had visited the local supermarket. A small parade of shops accompanied the supermarket. Amongst them was the local butcher. His fine meats and meat products have been his pride and joy as long as Dolly can remember. Her mother used the same butcher shop when Billy King, the butchers father owned this fine establishment and employed the same passion that his son, Danny has now.
She purchased 1lb of his finest pork sausages and 1lb of his own sweet cured back bacon. Green. He had some local farm eggs on display too, so Dolly had purchased a dozen.
From the fridge, Dolly removed these items and placed them beside the oven on the marble work surface she had recently had installed along with a complete range of modern units and appliances of which she proudly polished each day.She removed a large frying pan from the cupboard under the microwave and proceeded to cook an English breakfast for one. In between frying the sausage, bacon and 2 eggs, Dolly refilled the kettle and switched it to boil, buttered some bread and warmed a plate in preparation to carry the morning feast.
Dolly picked up a tray that was stored in a rack, housed between two kitchen units, utilising surplus space within the modular design. With the full English breakfast, tea and bread and butter positioned carefully on the tray, Dolly placed the tray in a securing slot designed for just that purpose in the centre of her trolley and headed out into the garden towards the shed on the right hand side, following the path laid out by hexagon shaped yellow concrete flagstones, bedded among a layer of fine white stonechippings.
All of the gardens in this row of terraced houses benefited from the gift bestowed upon them from the rail authorities. Just over 20 years ago these gardens had all been 10ft shorter. The 10ft area behind was a service walkway to the back gardens, owned by British Railtrack. It was decided that the alleyway was surplus to requirement and British Railtrack wanted to admonish all responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of this alleyway which was also a legal right of way for the owners of the properties adjoining it. At a meeting with homeowners and Rail officials the homeowners were offered the alleyway, but had to decide whether to keep the area as an alleyway, offering rear access to their properties, or have the land as an extension to their gardens. The homeowners voted unanimously to take the garden extensions not only for the luxury of having a larger garden, but in this day and age security was an issue and the less access for intruders, the better, and so it was.
The cost of fencing and garden refurbishment was to be undertaken by the new owners as well of course as their own legal fees, but it was worth it. An appreciated gift. The existing boundary fence, dividing the gardens from the rail track sits at the top of the embankment of which the shed was built into. It looked almost asthough the shed had grown out of the embankment.
Dolly removed the tray from the securing slots in her trolley and balanced it on her left hand and opened the door with her right.The shed was totally empty. Facing Dolly at the back of the shed was a door. A digital lock with numeric display shone with a backlight waiting for a code to be entered before allowing entrance. Again balancing the tray on her left hand, after entering a 5 digit code she opened the door. What lay behind this door was astonishing. The word Tardis springs to mind! An artificially lit area the size of a football pitch revealed itself to her. Lines of columns filled the area, all supporting vault ceilings, flashing led lights shone, identifying the location of sophisticated electrical equipment, the type used in laboratories. Benches and computer screens lined aisles and partitioned areas concealed rooms of unknown quantities. Cool ventilated air made breathing easy and quite exhilarating.
Dolly’s eyes adjusted to the light, after coming in from the natural daylight of the outside world.
Looking exhausted from working too many hours Jamie holds his hands out to take the tray. The offering looked delightful, just what he needed, sustenance. He places the tray on a bench in front of him and seats himself in front of it. He looks up at Dolly and says “you always know what people need and when they need it. Thanks Mum!”

Dolly smiled.


Chapter 2

The Hornsby's


There was no routine to meals or mealtimes with the Dimples.
Jamie would eat when it suited him. He did not like to let menial things like eating affect his work. Sometimes, if Dolly let him, he would go a full 36 hours with no more than a sandwich and a couple of glasses of milk, and no sleep! but,when he was relaxing, like weekends off, he could pack it away. He certainly made up for it.
Dr Alan would eat most evenings around 7.30. He liked to bath or shower after his days work and he would rather be in a relaxed state of mind before sitting down to his evening meal so he may enjoy the fruits of Dolly’s efforts.

Dolly would always eat with Alan.

She liked to vary the meals they ate and she liked to make sure that their nutrition was catered for as well as their tastes. With Alan this was easy, as he ate and enjoyed most of what Dolly put in front of him.

Sometimes, they would eat out and many Fridays, they would enjoy a take out meal, often Chinese, sometimes Indian and now and again Traditional Fish & Chips.
Tonight Dr Alan and Dolly sat at the table and feasted upon a Steak and kidney pie that Dolly prepared in the afternoon with meat she had purchased along with the eggs, bacon and sausage from the butchers the day before. The pie was delicious, accompanied by boiled potatoes, carrots and fresh garden peas and of course a boat of Dolly’s fine gravy.

Still sleeping, Jamie would be able to heat the food covered by a ceramic bowl in the kitchen, later. It was more important to Dolly that he sleep, than eat at the moment, having eaten breakfast after working all night.
Jamie had made some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs while on one of his 36 hour stints.

The combination of the great work Dr Alan had carried out with artificial flexible bone and tendon replacement and the bionic system that Jamie had designed, controlled the tensioning of the mechanical muscle which replaced the need for ball and socket joints had been the result of many hours of no food or sleep for either of the men of the family, then the operations and treatments administered to their test pilot and human guinea pig, also the most precious item in their lives, Dolly, who without the treatments would now be wheelchair bound at best, had to be kept secret until such a time they knew the results and implications of their work.

Outside their home and when hosting in the home, Dolly had maintain her suffering persona, play at being crippled by pain, at which she had an abundance of experience. Fortunately for her, she had never made too much fuss when suffering, so the role was easy, mainly she had to remember to always use her trolley in front of people and one of the good things for her was that she could feign tiredness when she had had enough of her company if she needed, which was rare with Dolly!

Only a handful of people could know of the work that had been successfully carried out on Dolly, until the science could be sanctioned by the authorities and released for testing. This could be many years yet.

Still, this was no problem for Dolly; in fact it had opened many doors for her, a new outlook on life.

Usually after dinner, whilst letting their food go down Dr Alan would move from the dining table to his favourite comfy chair and scan the newspaper quickly for anything he found remotely interesting outside his very interesting life and then read any mail delivered that day.
Dolly passed Alan the white envelope that she had collected after elevenses from their doormat. It was addressed to Alan and looked extremely official. A coat of arms in the right hand corner where the stamp would usually be.

Alan fondled the letter with curiosity, mmmmd  a little and placed it on the coffee table beside him. Picking up his letter opener in his right hand and the letter in his left he strategically slit the top of the envelope taking care not to damage the contents. He removed one carefully folded sheet of A4 paper and carefully unfolded it. After studying the contents of the letter for about a minute Alan stood up from his chair without taking his eyes from the print. Still gazing at the page he said to Dolly, “we are invited to dine at the Hornsby’s Thursday evening, casual dress.”
Dolly smiled as she really enjoyed these evenings out at the homes of those that are of the upper classes. Most of the service people could not understand why the Dimples lived such a simple life when they could have most anything they wanted, what they didn’t realise was they had everything they desired. They were brought up working class and were happy and also proud of it, and Dr Alan would often say “we have nothing to prove”.  All agreed.
The last time they were invited to the Hornsby’s was thought to be their last. The very well spoken and behaved wife of Trevor Hornsby had taken to Dolly and Dolly to her. Chalk and Cheese, so to speak.
The women had left the men to talk business in the lounge with a glass of very expensive brandy and an extremely large cigar each and retreated to the dining room.
Ruth Hornsby was an occasional drinker, strictly social occasions where she would indulge in a glass of sherry or port, but only one. In her wonderful cockney accent, Dolly had taught the good lady a few new tricks, to the delight of her husband who complained a week later to Alan.
“I’m just glad nobody was there to witness it Alan. She held out her finger and asked me to pull it, I obliged! As I tugged the wretched thing she blew off out so loud it rattled the chair! And shouted “more tea vicar!” at the top of her voice. I asked her what she had been drinking with Dolly and she told me they had indulged in something called Tequila Slammers! Whatever the devil they are, but she spent the rest of the night with her head stuck firmly down the toilet shouting “HUUUUEEEY” whilst throwing up and killing herself laughing afterwards. I’ve never seen anything so disgraceful in my life.

Alan, a week later we were at the Savoy for afternoon tea with the Major and his wife and after dipping biscuits in her Earl Grey! She proceeded to pour it gradually from the cup into the saucer and slurp it! Another little tippet that she picked up from just a couple of hours with Dolly”.
Dr Alan chuckled to himself, knowing how distraught Trevor was and how Dolly had brought a special moment into the humdrum life of a Hampstead wife.
For the Hornsby’s to invite the Dimples back, it must be something of importance! 

Although the official looking invitation required a minimal “casual dress” code, Dolly liked to take the opportunity to dress up a little. It wasn’t often that she could “put on ‘er glad rags” as she put it.

Neither she nor Alan had eaten more than a few nibbles during the day, knowing that the Hornsby’s would put on a majestic spread. They couldn’t help it! And Dolly loved it.
Alan checked his watch. Trevor was a stickler for punctuality a minute or two, late or early would wind him up 10 minutes would be unbearable and he would be on the phone to check that they hadn’t forgotten the engagement.
Alan brought the car round and for the benefit of the neighbours, helped Dolly into the front of the car and then put her trolley into the back. The Dimples had purchased an estate car so that they can stow Dolly’s Trolley upright so as not to risk the contents of the storage compartment emptying into the back of the car.
The 15 minute drive, which could on a bad day be an hour, was eventless and there was very little traffic. The roads were dry and fair and the evening was chilly but not cold enough for there to be any fear of black ice.
The Dimples pulled outside at exactly 7.30 the desired arrival time, but sat for a minute just so as not to seem too keen.
The Hornsby’s doorbell was electric but had the sound of a loud gong which you could easily hear all over the 4 bed roomed detached property and halfway up the street too.
Trevor Hornsby answered the door in a smart looking black suit, white shirt and black tie, his black brogues polished so highly the light from the hallway reflected into Alan’s eyes. Dolly had warned Alan that this would be the case. “They will invite us to be casual, but dress up to the nines!” she had told him. As usual, Alan didn’t listen, he claimed he knew what he was doing and would not feel out of place in his jeans and black T-shirt with a picture of Jim Morrison etched on the front. Dolly wondered if he wore this stuff on purpose, he loved to watch faces for reaction and his mates in the service were the best. Alan had a theory that Trevor would invite them to be casual and then dress formally to make them feel inferior, to give him the edge, but with the way Alan dressed, it seemed to backfire. Trevor looked gob smacked at Alan’s attire as he ushered him past, without his usual “good evening old chap” routine as Alan slapped a 6 pack of Asda Lager in his hand knowing that he would be drinking Trevors finest liquor, and a smart looking Dolly clambered her Trolley over the threshold looked Trevor in the eye and exclaimed “you awright darlin’, look like you’ve seen a ghost” followed by a high pitched “ha ha ha “ then promptly ran over his shiny brogue with the right front wheel of her trolley swiftly followed by the rear! Trevor just smiled! Hiding his disgust!
Ruth sat waiting for their guests on a beautiful Queen Ann style armchair, sort of side saddle with legs crossed to the side holding a half finished cup of tea with the saucer in one hand and the cup in the other with, of course, her pinkie outstretched. “Oh good evening darlings” It was like a well rehearsed routine but the Dimples had seen it too many times to be impressed. Alan said “hi”, sat in a chair slipped out of his white Adidas trainers, not until after did he ask if anyone would mind. Dolly was convinced; however much Alan protested his innocence that he knew he had a hole in his left sock!! Right above the big toe!
As the night unfolded, Trevor maintained his supreme stance, albeit rather crumpled, but Ruth began to relax under the watchful eye of her husband, dreading what scars the evening would engrave on his wife’s mannerisms.
After a magnificent feast, of which the star of the show was a giant whole poached salmon, of which Dolly couldn’t get enough, she ended up grabbing a handful of the stunning fish and squeezing it between two slices of bread, the fish oozing out of all sides of the table made sandwich, and forcing as much into her mouth as she could at once so as not to drop any of it on the table as the Hornsby’s watched with mouths agape and Alan oblivious to the whole routine continued taking a slurp of wine with every mouthful of food and swilling it together before swallowing.
After dinner, they all retired to the lounge for brandy and sherry for the ladies. It was time to get down to business

Once relaxed, Trevor opened the lid of a wooden box of Havana Cigars and offered it across to Dr Alan. Alan declined the offer. He was not a fan of this masculine ceremony that accompanied the fine VSOP he clasped in his right hand; he preferred the taste of the Brandy alone.
”I couldn’t think of anyone I could trust to talk to over you Dimple. You are a down to earth person who speaks his mind, but when necessary, Mum’s the word” Dolly coughed as if clearing her throat. She wasn’t uncomfortable with the situation; neither did her throat hinder her in any way. She had managed to get the attention of all 3 others in the room who all looked round at her at the same time. “Ruth. Dolly seems to be thirsty. Could you please replenish her glass, or get her a larger one!” Dolly could now stop holding her crystal Sherry glass aloft and avert her gaze elsewhere.
Ruth took the glass from Dolly, secretly smiling at her in a cheeky way with her back turned to Trevor. It tickled her when Dolly got to him. Dolly smiled and shrugged her shoulders in response.

Trevor leaned forward in his leather Chesterfield and reached for a small plastic box, black and the size of 2 matchboxes stacked. He held it so that Alan could see it exposed between his forefinger and thumb. “If anybody knew I was showing you this Alan……” Alan sat forward in his chair. Trevor had his full attention and he couldn’t wait to hear about the contents of the small packet, but midstream in sentence, the doorbell cut Trevor short! “Damn. Who could that be at this godly hour?” Trevor snarled.
Trevor asked to be excused and passed Dr Alan to exit the room through a large oak panelled door, through which you could enter the hallway and access the front door of the property through which the Dimples had entered earlier.
In a soft low naughty schoolgirl voice Dolly said to Ruth and Dr Alan “Trevor needs to take a chill pill or sumfing! My word, ee’s always so serious” Ruth and Alan giggled with their hands covering their mouths so as not to be heard by Trevor. Ruth said “I’ll make some coffee, it calms him when he’s this way” and collected the spent bottles, soiled ashtray and empty glasses as she made her way to the kitchen, she wasn’t OCD but Trevor would love her to be and she wanted to please him, or maybe it was an “anything for an easy life” scenario. Who knows? Whatever, the room was tidy awaiting the masters return.
As Ruth left the lounge for the kitchen and the door closed behind her, Alan sidled over to Dolly, and whispered to her “I wouldn’t have minded tea. Do you think I should ask?” To which Dolly replied “No. You’d probably get one of those fancy Errol Gray thingies that taste like Channel 5” “Channel 5?” said Alan, inquisitively, " yeah you know, that ‘orrible perfume that Ruth wears” “Oh!” said Alan, realising what she had meant, “’ere” Dolly whispered, Alan gazed at her wondering what gem she would come out with now, “Maybe she sticks that Errol Gray behind ‘er ears and it’s not Channel 5 after all!”  Alan smiled politely and nodded in agreement.
The sound of 2 men talking at the front door could be heard as a murmur in the background. A conversation that seemed to be going on for a while, maybe Trevor couldn’t get away, maybe a religious caller and Trevor being Trevor would be too polite to turn them away before finishing. Maybe the Vicar!
Alan stood from his chair and stretched. He’d been so comfortable in the leather armchair that he didn’t realise how his body had accustomed itself to the shape of it, but now it protested at being formed into upright standing position that demanded it to function! He walked to the hallway door and pressed his ear to it. There was something strange about the conversation taking place, continuous patter, but that wasn’t it! He couldn’t put his finger on what was bugging him.
All of a sudden, making Dolly jump out of her skin, Alan grabbed the door handle and flung open the door, he realised what was bothering him and felt the need to act promptly. He was right. The conversation he heard did not involve Trevor. The conversation they could hear in the background was taking place between 2 other men , but not here or now.
The front door lay wide open and on the Indian coconut style doormat designed to clean debris from the bottom of shoes of persons entering the home, sat a small machine. A digital voice recorder playing a conversation between 2 men, 1 not Trevor but sounding like Trevor, the conversation mundane and irrelevant.
The hallway felt empty although it contained 2 people. One of them Dr Alan Dimple, the other Trevor Hornsby.
Dr Alan knew a corpse when he saw one and Trevor, mouth gaping, lay on his side with his left arm flung backwards, staring blankly into space. His right arm stretching out from under him allowed his hand to open. In the palm lay the small black box, open and empty! Alan needed Dolly.


Chapter 3

Men in Black


Dr Alan moved to the living room door and carefully opened it enough to put his head through, trying to mask the scene in the hallway, hoping that Ruth was still in the kitchen he slid his head through the gap.
Dolly glared at Alan wondering why he looked so pale and worried!
She walked to the door and peered over Dr Alan’s head. She gasped at the sight of Trevor on the floor. She put her hand to her mouth!
”Dolly, keep Ruth in the kitchen”
Dr Alan reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a tiny mobile phone. He preferred a small mobile without too many gadgets attached, no camera, no MP3 player and no fancy games installed, a simple good quality phone that fits neatly into the pocket.
Stored on the phone was a number that he hoped he would never have to use. Alan dialled a 5 digit number. The dialling tone was different to any tone for a standard call, long low pitched sounds, more of a buzz intermittently sounding until finally a connection.
The recipient was silent. Dr Alan opened with “Codename Billy Beetroot”
a woman’s voice replied “code type”
Alan said “code 3 plus 3”
The woman enquired “concerning”
Alan answered “Black Fox”
Then the woman asked “Location”
Alan replied “one”
            There was a click and the call had been terminated. Alan had given the secretary of the director of Special branch all she needed, she had all the information that she required to file the report, what had happened, to whom and where!
Alan put his phone back in his pocket and made his way to the kitchen to find Dolly but before passing through the hall doorway he hesitated and looked at the body on the floor. No pools of blood and no marks upon any part of the visible side of the body.
Maybe a taser! But unlikely to be fatal! No sign of pain or constriction from shock or poison.
He didn’t want to move the body, obviously didn’t want to interfere with anything, leave it all to forensics.
The door to the lounge opened slowly. Alan looked up at the light at the top of the door and Dolly squeezing through it. She looked horrified! Alan said “you alright?”
Dolly’s eye’s peered upward gesturing behind her without saying a word, She moved into the hallway followed by a man in a suit! His right arm raised slightly pointing at Dolly, obviously holding a gun.
Alan held out his hands to show his actions were not threatening and raised himself to his feet. The guy holding the gun was wearing a trilby hat tilted Frank Sinatra style, shadowing one eye. He moved to the left and dragged Dolly by her left arm to one side exposing the open door carefully covering Dolly with the gun.
He made an arm waving action, side to side with the hand holding the gun gesturing to Alan to pass them and move into the lounge which Alan promptly did still holding his hands in the air where they could be seen. He prompted Dolly to follow Alan and of course she was closely followed by the man with the gun! At this point not a word had been said by anyone. All understood. No words were needed. The guy with the gun then motioned with the same arm waving gesture for all to move into the kitchen. Alan pushed the door open and made his way through.
Standing by the counter top where the kettle was kept was another guy in a similar suit to the one carrying the gun, though he had no pretentious Trilby hat balanced on the top of his head. He had his back to them as they entered the large modern kitchen area. The guy with the gun said in broken English "I found him. He was in the hall" The accent sounded Russian or eastern European at least, but neither Alan Nor Dolly could put a finger on it.
The guy at the kettle turned. The first thing they noticed was his pockmarked face and a long scar running along his jaw line to the left of his face. As he spoke the other guy passed Dolly to the left and made his way to the left side of the kitchen covering both Dolly and Alan all the time.
Alan waited for a moment until he thought that the time was right and then said "What is this all about?" The guy with the scar said "Where is the item?" Alan looked confused and he had every right to look confused! He was!
He replied "What item?" The scarred guy said "If you want this to be painless just tell us where the item is. We know who you are and why you are here tonight"
Alan thought about it and wondered if the place had been bugged. He would say nothing to incriminate himself or Dolly to these thugs.
He said "we just came to dinner with our friends, we have no idea what is happening or what you are looking for". Dolly piped up "I need to sit down, I have a problem with my legs and can't stand for long"
The scarred guy said, "Just stand there until I tell you different"
Dolly said " OK! but if I collapse please don't shoot me like a horse will you" He said "Just stand there" rather abruptly!
Dolly said "Well that's all well and good but my knees won't stand this for long. If you want me to stand for long period please let me have my trolley to lean on"
The guy with the gun slid over a chair from the dining table set with his foot without dropping the aim of his gun. He said "lean on that woman and stop moaning"
Dolly grabbed the high back of the chair and held on to it.
"Now just shut up and stand still".
Both Dolly and Dr Alan stood quietly in the kitchen, neither of them wanting to ask about Ruth as she may have had the initiative to run or maybe hide. They didn't want these guys to search for her. She maybe their only hope.
The guy at the kettle with the scar said to the other "what are we going to do with these two? they know too much! and are we supposed to believe that they know nothing about the item?"
The guy with the gun said "If they know something they live, if not!!!!"
Dr Alan looked at Dolly and Dolly looked back at him. Alan looked at her, then at the floor suggestively. Dolly took the hint.
With a swooning motion she pushed her eyes behind her eyelids so that only the whites were showing, passed her left hand across her brow, made a fainting noise and then allowed herself to collapse in a bundle on the floor.
Dr Alan jumped over to assist her as the guy with the gun jerked forward squeezing the pistol as if he was preparing to fire. The guy at the kettle yelled "Don't shoot" at the top of his voice!
Alan sat next to Dolly on the floor wiping her brow with his hand. "I'm a Doctor" he proclaimed as he held his hand up aiming the palm at the guy with the gun. "She has a serious bone disease and standing for long periods of time stress her body and this is the result".
"What should be done?" asked the guy by the kettle. Dr Alan said" she has medication in her trolley. It is also fitted with a seat so when she feels weak she can sit upon it"
The guy at the kettle was obviously outranking the other as he said to him " go get the trolley but leave the gun with me"
Dr Alan started to wonder. He thought about who these guys could be, what organisation are they from if any? what nationality were they?
The kettle guy, now the guy with the gun pointed the weapon at Dr Alan. Alan could see that this guy was not comfortable with the weapon and he held it cumbersomely. The other chap disappeared into the lounge to collect Dolly's Trolley. Dr Alan shouted "please hurry, she could go into shock and die and then you would have a another murder on your hands!"
The guy holding the gun just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.
The other guy wheeled the trolley into the kitchen catching the right front wheel on the door frame as he passed it through hastily.
The guy with the gun moved back out of the doctors reach, the other moved the trolley close to Alan, as he did so Dolly opened her eyes and tried to look dazed and confused, she didn't want these guys seeing the contents of the storage compartment of the trolley. Alan said to her "are you OK" she replied "yes. Did I pass out again?" Alan said "Yes, you did. Are you feeling dizzy." as he pulled her eyelids up to examine her eyes one at a time. Alan said "I need my bag" Dolly said "no I'm ok, just get me some water and sit me down".
Alan helped her to her feet and sat her on the trolley seat which was also the  lid to the compartment. It could not be opened while she sat on it.
The guy without the gun poured Dolly a glass of water and passed it to her. She drank slowly from the glass with Alan crouched in front of her. They both knew that the situation would become dangerous especially if the kettle guy passed the gun back to the other one who obviously had killed Trevor so had no hang ups with murder.
The two guys were talking quietly together. Neither Dolly or Alan could hear what they were saying but the whispering looked heated.
The thing the Dimples feared the most happened. In the space of a couple of seconds the whole ballgame had changed. The kettle guy had handed the gun back to the guy with the hat and the guy with the hat moved back to his position to the left of the kitchen again pointing the gun in the direction of the Dimples.
The kettle guy said "unfortunately, we have no choice. If you do not tell us where the item is then my friend will have to dispose of you" Dr Alan said "even if we did know what you were on about and where this item is and we told you, I don't suppose we would be in any better position would we. I mean, you can't let us go can you?"
The kettle guy nodded to the gun guy and started to move toward the kitchen door. This was it!
Dolly shouted "Wait! I'll show you where it is" Dr Alan said "what are you playing at Dolly" She said " we have to try to cooperate Alan, I'm going to show them". Dolly slid off her seat and again the guy with the gun leaned forward and pointed the gun at her. She said "calm down, I can't show you sitting down can I and anyway, what do you think I'm gonna do ? Run!!"
She lifted herself behind the handles of the trolley and placed both hands on them. She then grabbed the right hand brake lever and gently twisted it to the right. This action released not only the brake but the whole handle. Dolly quickly extracted the handle from the bars of the frame and pointed the brake at the man with the gun. Dolly aimed and pulled the trigger. Before he realised what was happening a 9mm bullet propelled from the Beretta Px4 Storm, that was skilfully disguised as the trolleys brake lever  that Dolly held and hit him between the eyes.
The gun that Jamie had concealed in Dolly's trolley handle and the hours of shooting practice that Dolly had been through with Jamie had saved both their lives. Dolly put the barrel of the adapted gun to her lips and blew down the barrel cowboy style! she then said in a deep gruff voice to the kettle guy who was wincing in the corner "Now get on the floor with your hands behind your head or you're next!