Jack Holliday Saga - The Long Road To Revenge - Book One

When someone you love is torn away from you...
When something you believe in is threatened...
When your life depends on one decision...

What would you do?

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3. Frozen Memories

Jack stood in a sort of horrified trance for several seconds before Valerie came tap-tapping into the room, her heels clicking on the wooden floor.

'My word... Jack. Are you alright? What happened? Jack?'

Valerie's hand had almost closed around Jack's arm when he drew it sharply away and dropped it to his side. 

'That woman,' he spat, 'is never to set foot in my house again.' When Valerie didn't reply he almost shouted at her. 'Is that understood?' 

'Y-yes... Of course, sir.' 

Jack didn't reply and Valerie, worried and nervous, left just as hurriedly as she had come.

Jack looked down at his hand. The cigar was crushed and tobacco was oozing from it. He flung it in the to the fireplace. He hated the damn things anyway.

 

 

That night Jack was sat in the smaller of his two offices. The larger one, located on the ground floor, was where he did his work relating to the running of his retirement home. This one was the only room in the house where no one else was allowed to enter. It was small, dark and broody. Smoke from his cigarette curled upwards merging into the shadows that were untouched by the light let out by the small lamp on the desk. 

His Mac sat on the desktop proudly displaying its background; a photo of Jack and one of the first ever residents of Anchor Lodge, Arnold. Jack had never found out who had taken the photo. It had appeared on his camera and he had fallen in love with it instantly. He and Arnold were sitting in deck chairs on the lawn laughing to each other. Jack had tried on Arnold's hat and it had flopped over his eyes. Instinctively Jack reached out to touch the screen. A smile playing on his lips. 

 

Jack swivelled his chair around to face the bookcase just behind him. His smile grew wider. Photographs adorned the edge of the wooden structure, stuck on with blu-tack. Hundreds of them. Only a few of Arnold...he hadn't like his photo being taken... 

One of Valerie at the last year's Christmas party where she had got drunk and kissed the waiter. A low chuckle escaped from Jack and he scanned the memories in front of him eagerly.

George, feeding the birds, Bertram's five great grandchildren - they had been there at the time of the alligator incident and had found it "super cool" and "so wicked". 

A photo of all the hired staff. Gary, the gardener digging in the flowerbeds making a normal rude hand gesture towards the camera, Jackie, the cook pretending to sing into a ladle and Mary a quiet care assistant sitting under the willow by the river. 

Seven gap year students that had all come over together and livened the place, and the oldies, up massively. Jack had been surprised about the amount of interest the retirement home got from students and travellers. People seemed so eager to help. It gave him a warm glow inside.

There was Valerie again. This was one of his favourite photos. The students had taken an instant like to his straight laced secretary and saw her as an excellent practical joke recipient.

Aware of her snake phobia they had acquired a surprisingly real looking toy and hidden it in her make up bag. The photo was timed perfectly. Valerie's face was twisted in fear, her eyes almost bulging from her face, her mouth opened in the loudest scream Jack thought he had ever heard. Her makeup had come flying from her bag and scattered all over the floor as she had spotted what she believed to be a real snake in the bag (Jack always wondered how she thought the snake had got in. It's not like they could undo zips and then, even more impressively, close the zip from the inside). The students had very sportingly bought her a new mascara to replace the one that Jackie had stepped on as she rushed out of the kitchen, wielding a knife, believing someone was being murdered. 

Jack soaked up the atmosphere that these photos created. He laid back in his chair, closed his eyes and revelled in it. 

Peace. That was all he sort. 

His eyes flew open as he remembered the woman in his sitting room. She, too, was searching for peace. But a peace of different, and ultimately more brutal kind.

Jack gave the photos one last look before he swung his chair round again and clicked an icon on his Mac. The internet loaded up. Into the search bar he typed three words. 

Emma Hardcliffe's Sister

 

 

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