Salisbury Square

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Thursday: afternoon

Jan Nowak sat at a wooden bench, leaning his elbow on the sun bleached table. To his left the faded elegance of Brockwell House created a deep shadow over the steps which led to the café.

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A couple of women waited at the top while a third struggled through the door with a tray, smiling her thanks. Ahead, the view of central London, with its mishmash of towers, was fractured by the trees that dotted the centre of the park. He felt nervous even though he could see all the paths leading to where he sat. No one could sneak up on him here. Shit, he thought, I’m getting paranoid.

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Despite the heat, he pulled the lapels on his coat over his chin, wishing he had brought a cap. The two women reappeared followed by a gaggle of five young children who noisily cascaded down the steps and skipped and ran to the grassy slope.

A line of sweat tickled down his spine. Everything was conspiring to keep him on edge. Jan studied everyone carefully. A man in a green jerkin and brown shorts whistled his dog to follow him and disappeared towards the meadow. A pair of joggers with matching blonde ponytails bobbed across the slope and increased their pace as they dropped towards the ornate gate by Herne Hill station. His eyes felt tired and scratchy as his gaze followed the two women. The one on the left had a good arse. Much more his sort than the scrawny one on the right. He could watch that arse all day, he thought.

About half way down the slope they ran past a lone woman in a leather jacket and skinny jeans striding towards him. She paused once to shade her eyes and look up but showed no sign she had noticed him.

Jan glanced at his watch. Olga was always on time. He smiled. When he looked back for the joggers they had disappeared. Oh well, another time.

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Having passed between two trees Olga stopped once again and stared at him. He waved but she didn’t respond other than to push her fingers through her spiky dark hair, briefly covering her eyes with her hand. It brought back a sharp memory when he had got her in trouble with her father, his uncle, when they were about seven. She had made him suffer for that betrayal.

Olga stopped right in front of him, studying him for a moment before she put her bag on the table and bent to kiss his cheek. “Cześć. You want another?”

This is a extract from my forthcoming novel ‘Salisbury Square’ which is due for release in the autumn. Set in central and south London, it follows the disintegrating lives of two already troubled people, Suzie and Jerzy over a few days one hot sweaty summer. The images are taken recently in Brockwell Park rather that the summer setting of the novel but I hope give a little of the sense of the place.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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12 Responses to Salisbury Square

  1. willowdot21 says:

    you crafty dog you , you have piqued my interest! Loved the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AJ says:

    Sounds intriguing. I wonder what has made him become so paranoid and what he did to poor Suzy as children. Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    The photos give a great sense of place but your words create a sharper picture of a good story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sacha Black says:

    Love a man (or woman) that loves curves!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sacha Black says:

    p.s. it’s well unfair to give sneak previews!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It may be only a brief extract, but it certainly got me asking questions about what is going on and what happened in the past. I look forward to finding out, when the book comes out.

    Wonderful to have a story in a setting I know. I walked and drove pass Brockwell park many a time. My first memory of the park was Gay Pride, way back in the late 80’s early 90’s.

    Hope you are on the mend, Geoff. How are things?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I’m at a frustrating point where I’d rather like to start doing something effort ful but I’m told to behave. Still France for a few days with friends from Saturday and then – hold your breath Hugh and sit down – it’s the Pond Reconstruction team with Nathan and the Lawyer. I promise photos!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Lets hope and prey that Easter weekend is hot and sunny 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great time in France and, yes, take it easy and do as the Doctor says.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Captivating. Brilliant adding the pictures. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Autism Mom says:

    Love the photos! Lots of atmosphere… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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