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Carruthers' Demise, chapters four & five (standard:drama, 3766 words) [3/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Apr 23 2011Views/Reads: 1410/927Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
After Chelsey Carruthers' latest novel is rejected, her husband suggests a short break, which does not go according to plan...

Chapter Four 

Carruthers wasted no time getting changed. He'd cut fifteen minutes down
to ten, not wanting their break ruined by Chelsey's insatiable desire 
to flirt. He knew that Chelsey never took things further, she wouldn't 
do that, but her tendencies irked him just the same. 

Now as he returned downstairs he'd almost reached the bar before the
chatting couple became aware of his presence; he felt like an uninvited 
arrival at a private party. Finally made aware by Noades' sideways 
glance Chelsey swung round, her laughter rapidly dying away. ‘Oh, 
Martin – you were quick.' 

Disappointed are you? Carruthers came so close to uttering what he was
thinking but let the moment ride. Instead, he slapped his hand on the 
bar with a show of cheerfulness he didn't feel. ‘Right then, are we 
off?' And then with a flick of the head towards Noades, ‘See you 

‘Yeah, catch you later, Robin.' Chelsey tilted her head and gave her
dazzling smile before casting eyes over Carruthers maroon vest and 
matching shorts. ‘Nice and sporty I see. Let's see if you match up to 
the gear you're wearing, shall we? Now then, where do we get the cycles 

‘A place called Evans' Hire, just off the High Street according to the
hotel receptionist,' Carruthers replied as they descended the steep 
hotel steps onto the bustling village street. 

‘Nice guy, that Robin, I must say,' Chelsey said glancing back at the
hotel lounge windows. ‘Helpful too, and that's good. Just goes to show 
there's more to a decent bartender than pulling pints.' 

If you'd spend as much time on your writing as you do eyeing up men. But
Carruthers merely gestured as they reached a junction from which the 
car park lay to the right. ‘There it is - that hut to the right, by all 

‘Yep. Let's go for it, hubby.' Chelsey brushed against him and he felt
the pressure of her sublime figure. Carruthers responded by placing an 
arm around her waist and drawing her tight to him. There were times 
like this, all too rare these days, when they must have seemed the 
epitome of the perfect couple, in contented bliss. And in early days 
they were – before – 

He stopped, blinked, brought back to earth by the tug of Chelsey's arm.
They were at the hut and the attendant had asked a question which 
Carruthers, deep in reminiscence, hadn't heard. He'd have been happy to 
have kept on walking, to have savoured their togetherness. 

They were provided with mountain bikes which were fully serviced and
handed maps detailing routes through the forest ranging from 
undemanding to the most rigorous. 

But Chelsey was having none of it. She'd heard from Robin Noades about a
reptile centre close by the Ornamental Drive area he'd described and it 
seemed to him that anything Noades recommended would take precedence 
over everything else. He hoped this wouldn't blight their stay. 

The attendant provided them with bottled water and cycle kits, and with
Chelsey already abandoning the maps to the holdall he'd given them, 
they set out along the route Noades had suggested. His diagram, 
Carruthers noticed with an air of resentment, was in her hand. 

Despite the air of proficiency his cycling attire gave him, Carruthers
would concede that Chelsey was the better cyclist, and it was he who 
felt the heat more, as, after not much more than ten minutes, they 
reached the turn-off highlighted on Noades' map. 

They were soon in the heart of the Forest. Carruthers was surprised how
quickly it closed in on them, the foliage of the big trees seemed to 
rear up at them, seemed about to burst across their paths spurred on by 
the breeze, before they found and turned into the narrow Ornamental 
Drive, flagged on both sides by the giant Douglas and Redwood trees to 
which Noades had referred. Their height and density afforded some shade 

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This is part 3 of a total of 24 parts.
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