Touch and Go by Dave Moores

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The grassy pathway before me descended into an empty valley. Pretty summer clouds graced the sky, the day was bright, and the air carried the scent of fresh-cut hay. I had no notion of my purpose here and strangely this did not concern me.

An odd little man appeared at my side. His face displayed the lines and papery pallor of advanced age. He was formally clad in black, a cloth jacket over a white shirt and black tie. On his head,  a bowler hat. When he spoke his voice was surprisingly clear, the accent and diction refined. “Come along, we have to get below right away.” He beckoned to me and set off down the path with a nimble gait. I felt compelled to follow.

A single-track railway line came into view. Strange again, that I had not observed it sooner. My guide pressed on and our path turned left beside the track. Around a bend we came upon a small structure having the appearance of a shed. I recognized it as what used to be called ‘a halt,’ not exactly a station but a place where a local train might pause for passengers to alight or embark. We drew near and climbed weathered wooden steps to a sheltered platform.

The man consulted a timetable displayed in a glass-fronted case. He checked a pocket-watch and gave a satisfied nod. “You won’t have to wait long. Five minutes, it’s always on time.” For reasons I can’t explain, I still felt no curiosity, merely a sense of anticipation. I have always enjoyed train-rides. We seated ourselves on a bench.

The hoot of a train-whistle was followed by followed by the rumble of wheels. A small steam locomotive puffed into sight pulling a couple of carriages. The image recalled childhood day trips to the seaside with my parents. The train pulled in with a hiss of steam and gentle grinding of brakes.

We got to our feet. The man reached for a door handle. “Farewell, the train will take you where you need to go.” He handed me a business card which I pocketed as I boarded. There were no other passengers.

As the train moved off, a nagging sense of unmet obligations replaced anticipation. Had I failed to make a payment, or missed a crucial appointment? I searched my memory in vain.

Miles went by and the day darkened. Landscape passing the windows turned to wild moorland and sombre woods. My unease deepened to fear, but fear of what, I still had no idea. Who was this person who’d put me here, anyway? I reached into my pocket and withdrew the business card. The name read “Sebastian Angelo D’Eath.”

Angel of . . ? 

I awoke to a beeping sound. Two paramedics stood over me. One held something against my chest. He let out a breath and gave me a smile.  “Touch and go for a minute there. Thought we’d lost you.”

***

Dave Moores

Raised in Bristol, UK, Dave Moores secured  a place at Cambridge University where he took a degree in Philosophy. Since prospects for a lucrative career as a philosopher were non-existent, Dave’s interests quickly took a hard turn away from liberal arts to technology, resulting in a Diploma in Electronic Engineering from British Aerospace College. His inclination to write was sparked soon after by a short story contest in the industry journal Airframe. The entry, a science-fiction piece, didn’t win but received publication.

Marriage, the arrival of offspring and, in due course, migration to Canada, took writing off the table. Along the way, Dave’s career spanned the domain of information technology, culminating in the position of Chief Systems Architect in a major high-Tech corporation.

Dave has long enjoyed a passion for competitive sailboat racing. One evening after a race, his crew of spirited ladies suggested he write a story based on their adventures and personal anecdotes. The writing gene was reactivated and the result was Windward Legs, Dave’s first novel, set in the sailing milieu of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe and much enjoyed by the sailing crowd.

Dave’s preference, both in reading and writing, favours narratives that keep the pages turning. He’s a big believer in one of Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules for Writers: If it sounds like “Writing,” rewrite it.

Attitude is Dave’s second novel, published in November 2020 was inspired by a telling comment from his cherished granddaughter Natalie. His third, Sparkles and Karim, set in Iraq during the ISIS incursions, is coming along.

Several of Dave’s Short pieces will be fond on the online journal Commuterlit http://commuterlit.com/

Dave lives in Oakville, Ontario with his wife Chris who is dearly loved and keeps him on his toes.

Previous Publications

Attitude is published by Middleroad publishers. find it on Amazon and Kindle

Fourteen-year-old Lyle Prince is a cynical near-dropout with a severe case of attitude. His mother can’t stand him, his father is in jail and he knows perfectly well that Laura, the girl of his dreams, will never give him a second look. Life in the struggling small town of Southmead fourteen  with a with a severe case of attitude with Lyle realizes that attitude. Lyleis a burden relieved only by Lyle’s wingman Garth, borderline autistic son of the town’s funeral director.

It’s dead of winter and an outbreak of weird stuff is unsettling the citizens of Southmead. Lyle becomes involved, unintentionally, by foiling a holdup at the local corner store. Passing he door, Laura spots the commotion and calls for help. An improbable attraction kindles but then everything changes. Laura disappears and Lyle’s mom is implicated in a murder.

With Dad behind bars and elder brother Kenny dead five years since, Lyle realizes that attitude and cynicism will have to take a back seat. As events unfold, Lyle, Garth, and Laura, abetted by local reporter Marigold Wallace, a feisty young woman of colour, face perils and challenges beyond anything they could have imagined in their crappy little town.

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