Three Mile Drove

Three Mile Drove Three Mile Drove

Status: Finished

Genre: Horror

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Horror

Summary

A faded rock musician inherits a smallholding in the English fens and finds himself plunged into a hidden world of kidnap, inbreeding and ultimately murder.

Summary

A faded rock musician inherits a smallholding in the English fens and finds himself plunged into a hidden world of kidnap, inbreeding and ultimately murder.

Chapter2 (v.1)

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 22, 2007

Reads: 382

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: May 22, 2007

A A A

A A A

Three Mile Drove

Chapter Two

Darren Goldwater leapt into his Cherokee Jeep and headed for home, the last guitar chords of “Sultans of Swing” still ringing in his head. It was as if he had a private stereo system installed in the backwaters of his mind, blasting out music that he couldn’t switch off, and it seemed to be getting louder by the gig.

He wondered why his band never played their own music anymore, then cursed himself for raising a question to which he already knew the answer.

Nobody wanted to hear it anymore.

The heady days of “refugee” were long gone, if they could ever have been called heady that was. A few moderate hits in the mid eighties, struggling to impress amidst the lower regions of the charts and that was about it. By the time the decade had ended they had all but slid into obscurity, redeemed only by their re-workings of old classics, dependent on instrumental virtuosos such as “Hotel California” and “Sultans of Swing.”

But it was a competitive field, and along with the increasing number of bands doing the same thing, age was beginning to extend its withered fingers like worn frets on a fingerboard. It was a gruelling six nights a week, bottle of vodka a day string of gigs that sent them up and down the country like chickens in a run.

Internal squabbles hadn’t helped either. The five-member band had suffered more downs than ups of late, degenerating into petty disputes and casting clouds which threatened its very existence.

And to cap it all, he wasn’t immune on that score. His turbulent, long running affair with Goldie Dixon was probably the most disruptive influence of all, though now it was drawing to its inevitable conclusion. Perhaps that wasn’t an apt description, because hurtling into a brick wall at sixty miles an hour seemed more apt. Darren glanced in his mirror and slid the Cherokee out of the slip road and onto the motorway, heading home to Leicester. Shaking his mind free from the final chords of “Sultans of Swing” he found himself considering his ten-year roller-coaster relationship with the group’s vocalist.

She was vehement, vindictive, violent, a living three-pronged “V” sign in fact, though her outrageous antics had been a turn on in their earlier years. Their love making might have taken place within the volcano that seemed to encompass her, and the explosion of life and vigour, of power and hate that surged within her had seemed to suck him in like a speck of dust in a vacuum. He could put up with her turbulence in those days, seeming to draw on the very strength that was her life force.

But a decade of self-abuse had take toll of her, extracting piece by piece that which attracted him to her. Goldie’s body, once strong and shapely was now thin and puny, she seemed to have a lost a couple of inches in height and her stature was pathetic. Her spine now seemed to curve in an arc and the voice he’d once so admired had lost all its raunchiness.

Her explosions of temper were now little more than pathetic, childish tantrums and there was no longer any force behind the blows when she lashed out. He could meet them with derisive laughter, which just about summed up their shambles of an affair. In fact the whole sorry group was in a shambles. He felt with complete certainty that the death knell was about to sound.

Thirty minutes ago he’d left her cursing him after a performance that had been every inch a flop. She’d picked on him of course, his guitar work had been sloppy, off key and downright lousy.

It hadn’t been of course, at least not in his book, even if he couldn’t be sure of a disgruntled band’s backing on that, because he knew if nobody else did, that Goldie’s voice had been weak and slurred, and as thin as her stature had become. In trying to strain it she’d wandered off key. But try telling her that.It had begun to rain as he turned the Cherokee into his street, tiny droplets at first but in the short time it took him to pull up outside his house they had increased in size and intensity. As he hopped out Darren believed they might be forerunners of an unwelcome storm.

He had a reasonably sized four bedroomed house and a reasonably sized driveway leading into it, which he never used, preferring to leave the jeep out on the narrow tree-lined street where it often caused obstruction, much to the chagrin of his neighbours.

His house had been paid for not by the meagre earnings of the band, but by courtesy of a successful investment on a horse he’d been persuaded to back by a tipster who claimed to be “in the know.” Probably out of his head through dope or booze, possibly both, Darren couldn’t remember now, he’d forked out a hundred quid on a no-hoper called “Ragged Runner” and laughed all the way to the bookies. A fifty to one shot and it had romped home, providing him with a small fortune, which had bolstered him these past few years.

The phone was ringing when he entered the house, tripping over the hallway mat and disregarding a formal looking white envelope, which lay upon it. Unbalanced by his encounter with the mat he stumbled across the rectangular hall, before snatching the receiver from its housing by the door of the main reception room.

‘Darren it’s Jeff, I’m calling to tell you that Craig and me have had enough of the antics, the band’s sinking like the Titanic and we’re not going down with it. We’re pulling out here and now.’

Darren felt Jeff Foreman’s words lodge sharply in the pit of his stomach. So that was it, just like that. A ten-year association split, and by way of a bloody phone call. Well he didn’t really mind, he’d known it was coming in any case. What really riled him was that they hadn’t had the guts to tell him face to face. He felt his anger rising like acid from his gut, ‘So why tell me now Jeff, why didn’t you tell me up front, after the show. Guess you didn’t have the nerve eh?’

‘You were too quickly off the mark Darren,’ Jeff Foreman said with quiet sarcasm, ‘running away from Goldie I suppose.’

‘Go to hell!’ Darren slammed the receiver into its cradle with a force that rocket the wall socket. Was that what they really thought – that he was scared of her, was that what they had been thinking all these years?

Well it was total crap, he just needed space, that was all. He needed eternal space from her ranting and raving.

Darren stormed into the lounge and yanked a bottle from the mahogany drinks cabinet. They could all go to hell if they thought the split was going to bother him. The writing had been on the wall longer than the graffiti in Gladstone Street subway. He would be glad to be free of the lot of them. He could find a job as a lead guitarist with any band he chose, they would be glad to have him, he’d been holding this motley little crew together for too long. He’d earn more than enough money to keep himself and his place ticking over.

Except that he couldn’t. He knew it with all the bitterness he tried to hide. Bitterness that threatened to erupt from the core of his head like discharge from a crater.

His fingers were too shaky, too slow on the fingerboard these days no matter how much he tried to hide it, sometimes he felt himself struggling to hold a G-chord. Why, even at this moment he was struggling to remove the top from the whisky bottle. The top eventually fell to the floor; he didn’t bother retrieving it. His mind felt like a network of lines, none of which met. Face facts old friend, one and only self-effacing friend, you’re finished, fucking washed up, a has-been at thirty nine, a potential vagrant in a smart, four bedroomed house. Darren took a big swig from the bottle, clasped his hand around its neck and crossed to the gilt edged mirror, which dominated the room. He examined his black curly hair, matted with sweat from the performance, saw his blood rimmed blue eyes and ran his fingers around the hollows beneath them. He could swear that the normally thin lines had doubled into folds since the last time he’d looked.

He turned away in disgust, switched the stereo on full blast, and then headed through the hall towards the downstairs toilet.

Then he remembered the envelope lying on the mat.


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