A Matter of Fiction: Volume 2 Minus 1

A Matter of Fiction – Volume 2 Minus 1, a comic adventure, tells the story of William Harke, a shy bachelor, who is stuck in the rat race of modern society. After William meets Melinda, an unpredictable woman, and Theodore, an aging hippy scientist, he is shown that adventure isn't all fun and games. Through time, literally, William gets caught up in a conspiracy that only the three of them together can bring to an end. As the three get separated, one chasing one clue while another chases another, they find that their lives are somewhat linked together. As one character disappears to here and then, they reappear to there and now. It is not until Teddy gets kidnapped that things start to get really strange. Eventually when they are hired by a company that has its sights set on world domination, we think, it seems that their fate is a short one. Who owns this company? What is their big plan? Who are The Disciples? And who is making the next cup of tea?

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The fires burnt with the fury of hell. Demons surrounded them, teeth glaring, eyes penetrating, growls thundering through their bones. There seemed to be no escape and darkness was all that could be seen in the tunnel beyond the flames. Now, this might seem like an exciting and adventurous start to any story but sadly this is not the beginning to the story you are about to read. I might save this start for another story, for another day. The one you are about to read, which I shall begin in a moment starts in a very dull, uninteresting kind of way. This story begins with a man named William Harke.

William Harke is an ordinary man. I would not say he is average as with the 6 billion plus people around the globe, trying to find an average would be a very difficult thing indeed. If everyone is completely unique in their own way, which I am told is the case then an average could be seen as an impossible sum to find. If you are sat thinking to yourself that this actually wouldn’t be a difficult task then I would just say that it is one that would take a very, very long time and time that could be better spent doing absolutely anything else. In this case, William Harke is ordinary. William is man with a 9-5 job, in an office and does office based activities. Just in case you are unfamiliar with an office based job then some examples of these activities can range from reorganising the ball point pens in your pen holder by colour or the amount of ink left in each one, topping up your printers paper tray so that it never has any less than 100 sheets, counting the paper in your printers’ paper tray to see if it requires topping up, through to actually carrying out what ever paper based task you were hired to do by your employer. The latter is one that most people these days seem to feel is the lowest of priorities so spend as little time as possible conducting the required activity. One very important part of office life, or one that most people see as a high priority is the organisation of office events that do not involve work related activities. This includes other colleague’s birthdays, smaller events such as the first morning coffee break and, of course, the usual Christmas party, the biggest annual event of any office. An event as big as an office Christmas party also has its own minor activities for employees to carry out; whether they wish to or not. William seems to always take part in these Christmas activities. These include the usual happenings that only take place after at least 4 pints of Bitchworth Battering Ale. Yes, William Harke has indeed photocopied his lower rear end on top of the office copier many-a-time. Only ever after having 4 pints of Bitchworth Battering Ale of course, never attempting this activity on any amount less than 4 pints. Outside of the office he is also ordinary. He also has a home, a standard home in the sense that it has an upstairs and a downstairs; 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen and a living room. It also has the added value of a small garden. Within the garden is a washing line, a rubbish bin, a small tree and a chicken run. I should point out that there are no chickens within this area though; the run is just for show. Occasionally if William’s next door neighbours keep him up late by playing very loud music at one of their swinger’s gatherings then he normally takes it upon himself to threaten them with the thought of buying a cockerel and placing it in this run to make sure that they are awoken nice and early every morning by its cock-a-doodle-doo. William Harke also owns a car, it’s blue and gets him to and from work, and luckily at this moment in time you do not need to know anything further about this vehicle but later I may pleasure you with further details, as his car is very special.

The story begins, for a second time. William Harke, an ordinary man, goes to work and he arrives at his place of work at around 8:45am on a bleak Monday morning. As with William himself, his job is also ordinary. The company in question is called ‘Funshock Holdings’ and the slogan on the bottom of all their stationary reads ‘Products to bring your life together’. William has often thought that their slogan should read ‘Products you don’t want or need but products that will cost you an arm and a leg to purchase’. Now research into this indicates that an arm and a leg never seem to sell on the black market that well. Further research into this also indicates that the black market is also not black, it’s white. Lots of stalls covered in white bed sheets. The fact that bed sheets are used may sound a little cliché but one cannot argue with proven scientific research. This however we will come back to later or at least William Harke will come back to it later. The point, if there is one (which generally there isn’t) is that Funshock Holdings manufactures and sells pretty much worthless items that no one really wants or needs. The job that William Harke undertakes each day can be rounded up quite simply. William receives phone calls from people ordering products that they don’t really want or need and also have more money than what their arms and legs are worth. Once William receives these calls he then has to enter them into his computer terminal and politely say thank you to the calling individual and move on to the next call. You could call this job boring rather than ordinary but to someone that maybe cleans sewers for a living may say this is a rather pleasant job to have. Then again to someone that answers telephone calls from people ordering things they don’t really want or need may say that cleaning sewers would be a daily adventure into the unknown. Perspective it seems is truly one of the only things in the universe that is completely random and one that can never be worked out before hand. Well unless you travelled forward through time by 4500 years where Dr Peter Moulish invents his world famous Perspective Calculator. Sadly though you would not want to travel 4500 years into the future as you would be able to calculate everyone’s views on life without even talking to them and therefore find it a rather quiet time in which to live. William Harke worked until 5pm and went home.

The journey from the Funshock Holdings offices to the second road on the left after entering the village of Litchwurst takes approximately 32 minutes when travelling at a reasonable 40mph. As traffic was heavily built up by temporary traffic lights in a location where road resurfacing was trying to take place means that William did not arrive home until 6:15pm. Upon entering his home it occurred to William that in the last 2 weeks he had not once seen any men in high visibility jackets even so much as to attempt to resurface the road where the temporary traffic lights were located but this seemed to be the common occurrence when he found a location with temporary traffic lights. Work men could never be seen and if on the off chance that one was spotted, they would simply be sipping coffee from a chipped mug with the words ‘I work for no man’ printed on the side. William Harke went to bed at 10:30pm that Monday evening; what he did between 6:15pm and 10:30pm really is of no interest.

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