18 January 2012

Filofax 2012 News

A side-street cafe, dusk falling rapidly. A man approached my table. His wide-brimmed felt hat was pulled down hiding his face, his dark trench-coat cinched into his waist. He turned his head left and quickly right, as if fearing somebody, or something, was following him. He hesitated, but with one more glance backwards, slid into the seat opposite me.

'Mr Philofaxy?'


'I have something for you,' he whispered.

He reached inside his coat and produced a large plain brown envelope. He glanced down at it. His hand was suspended in the air, as if reluctant to take the next step. He placed it on the table, his hand still on the envelope. The tendons on the back of his arched hand cast little shadow valleys in the subdued light. With a jerky movement, he thrust the envelope across the table.

'This envelope contains information vital to the well-being of your community. I cannot over-emphasise how important it is. But you must be careful.'

I pulled the flap open and inserted my fingers into the envelope.

'No!' he hissed at me. 'You can't read it here. You never know who's watching this cafe.' His eyes darted around and settled back to me. 'Take it home to read. But shut the curtains and bolt your door.'

I looked at him, trying to guess at what was behind his dramatic manner. What could be such a secret that it made him so frightened?

Almost to reassure him, I smiled and replied with a simple 'I understand.'

He touched the brim of his hat, looked around once more, stood up and made for the door. I followed him to the entrance, but when I looked up and down the street lit by dull orange lights, I could see nothing.

I looked at the envelope. It could only contain a few sheets of paper. I folded it and thrust it into my pocket. I finished the last of my coffee, dropped some coins in the saucer and got to my feet. I tried to act unconcerned, even throwing a quick smile at the waitress, but my hand trembled. Once out of the door, I hurried around the corner where I'd parked my car in the shadow of a warehouse. As I stood in front of the corrugated steel door, I wanted to rip the envelope open. I looked up and down. The street was deserted. But I remembered what my contact had said. After the risk he'd taken, I had to tamp down my curiosity. If I gave in now, somebody could so easily come along and snatch it out of my hand.

I only drove through one red light. My mind was so full of thoughts chasing each other that I didn't see it. The tyres screeched in protest as I braked hard on my driveway. I ran across the gravel, fumbling with my front door key, dropped it, but managed to open the lock at the second attempt. I slid my coat off and left it lying in a heap in the hallway. In my office, I locked the door, threw myself into the chair and opened the envelope.

I read the pages inside wide eyed..... the details of the new 2012 Filofax range......


  1. um, I think I missed something. Where are the details?

  2. Steve!!!

    Nothing like building suspense...

  3. Well that was just plain cruel!

  4. wow, great suspense narrative, you should write a book pronto!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Very cruel! Nice teaser, though.

  6. LOL that was great!
    Now what?


    Tomorrow gran finale? :D

  7. Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire.

  8. Oh Steve - nicely done!!! Can't wait for the sequel!

    I hope it's worth the wait!

  9. Nooooo! You can't stop there!

  10. Rene
    Thank you I think that is the key to cracking the code.......


  11. If I wasn't glued to this blog enough already!

  12. HAHAHAHAHA Steve you are so funny!!!! That really made me smile whilst trying to get out of bed this morning!!!

  13. ha ha ha! I'm several time zones behind you, so I didn't see Part 1 last night before I went to bed, but Part 2 was posted when I got up. So no cruel suspense for me. But awesome story!

  14. Fantastic. Brilliant build-up.

  15. Reminded me of a tv show, aired when I was small, based on an original radio show, called Dick Barton Special Agent. I still remember the Dick Barton music. The cliff hangers each week were just great and what made it so good!!! Those were the days!!! Thanks for the cheery reminder and the little giggle Steve. xx

  16. Thank you, everybody, for the comments about the suspense writing. It was Steve's idea, but I thoroughly enjoyed polishing the story up.

    In my books, I like writing the action bits, especially when something really, really bad is about to happen...

  17. You only drove through one red light? Clearly you don't come from Wellington, New Zealand! Running red lights seems to get more prolific every day in this town!