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This is the first short story that I ever wrote.‭

It took a long time‭ ‬-‭ ‬and I’m talking years.‭

But I never gave up on it.‭

Looking at it now,‭ ‬I can see that it didn’t come as easily as the stories do these days‭ (‬and they still come hard‭)‬,‭ ‬but it came in the end.

The Collector

There was an evil chill in the air and the old man felt it deep in his bones as he stood and watched the big,‭ ‬black bike charge down the hill.‭

In the damp evening air he could hear the muted rumble of the bike’s exhaust echoing mournfully across the empty farmland.‭ ‬‘An alien sound‭’‬,‭ ‬he thought,‭ ‬’strange in this lonely,‭ ‬desolate place.‭’‬

A fine drizzle began to fall and,‭ ‬in the granite strewn field,‭ ‬the old man turned and started to walk back to his cottage.‭ ‬He would have to make a phonecall and suddenly he had great need of the warmth of his fire and the comfort of his pipe.‭

As the bike continued on its way,‭ ‬the old man called out softly,‭ ‬too quiet to be heard by anyone save himself,‭ ‬“Go gentle me handsome,‭ ‬there be the devil’s work about tonight.‭”

Unaware that it was being watched,‭ ‬the bike sped on.

To find out what happened next you’ll need to buy a copy of Different Roads – available from from 1st August 2011.