Having moved house only four days ago, I am planning to have a break from unpacking boxes tomorrow - at least until I have read through several chapters of Mine to Avenge. The publishers are patiently waiting on me to go through the proofs and then return the manuscript to them ready for publishing. I hope that now I am living only 3 ks from my new job (no more than 5-10 minutes travel time) that I will have a lot more time in the evening after work to fine-tune the manuscript. Living in the city I used to leave home at 7am for a 9am start and arrive home at 6.30pm after finishing at 5pm. It’s going to be wonderful leaving for work at 8.45 and arriving home before 5.30!
Please enjoy the following extract from chapter 35 of Mine to Avenge:
Spyridon took a deep breath. It was time, time to leave his house and venture into the outside world—the first occasion in eight years. He pressed the intercom button by the door.
‘Yes, sir?’ came the voice of the relief gatekeeper.
‘I’m about to head out for the day,’ Spyridon answered. ‘Can you open the side gate ready for me when I come out? No one is to be admitted at all until I return. Is that clear?’
‘But I only want you to open the gate when the street is totally clear,’ Spyridon said. ‘There’s to be no one out there when I leave … no cars, no people … nothing. Understand?’
‘I plan to be back around five o’clock this afternoon, so watch out for me.’
Spyridon switched off the intercom, and stepped out of his front door. He walked over to the dusty bike leaning against the wall, and wheeled it around to face the gravel driveway. He cautiously lifted his leg over the bar, as he hadn’t ridden a bike for many years. He pushed his weight into the pedals and found himself balancing shakily. He rode carefully around to the far side of the house out of view of the gatehouse, and felt his confidence rise as he realised he hadn’t lost the skill. He had thought about practising on the bike over the past few weeks but hadn’t wanted to be seen by anyone. He turned the bike towards the front of the house again, heading towards the driveway and the gatehouse.
He stopped suddenly, skidding in the gravel of the driveway as he saw that the side gate was still closed. He couldn’t see the relief gatekeeper inside the booth, but he saw that the street door was open. He realised then that the man was outside surveying the street as he had been directed, to make sure that all was clear.
As he watched and waited by the edge of the driveway, two cars drove by. He heard voices, and a woman and child walked past the gate. He heard them as they greeted the gatekeeper in passing. Then he heard and saw another car. Then nothing.
The gatekeeper returned to the booth and closed the door, and Spyridon saw the small side gate begin to open. He looked to see if the man was watching him at all. ‘It doesn’t matter if he’s watching anyway,’ Spyridon reassured himself, ‘He doesn’t know me. I might do this every day of the week.’
Spyridon pedalled towards the gate, keeping his head down. He didn’t look at the gatekeeper as he rode past, but waved his arm in a casual greeting. He pedalled up to the gate, looked quickly to the right and the left and rode out into the street. Exhilarated by the sudden freedom, he headed towards the inner western suburbs, and his spirits began to soar as he contemplated the true freedom that would come when his father’s enemies were dead.