Snippet from my novel ‘The Vanishing’

OK, so here is the first 600 words from my novel ‘The Vanishing’. Hope you enjoy. It’s rough second re-write.

Chapter 1

He weaved his BMW in and out of traffic. Cars honked their horn at his lack of care. He knew he was driving dangerously. The speedometer bounced above what was considered legal in the streets of Sydney but he ignored his internal common sense. Lights aligning the roadside flashed by him as he sped. He hadn’t seen a cops so he reckoned lady luck was with him. ‘Just as well,’ he thought, his blood alcohol level would surely place him in the back seat of a patrol car.

His mind didn’t dwell on this predicament long, his thoughts turned towards the acuity of the trouble he was in. He had developed a habit lately of burning the candle at both ends as an taxation lawyer by day then letting off steam in the local bar at night. He wasn’t alone as he always had willing drinking buddies to join him but unlike his buddies he was always the last one to leave.

“And why shouldn’t I,” he declared to nobody but himself, while checking his image in the rear view mirror, seeing how disheveled looking one can appear after several hours of post work drinking.
“I’ve had a fucked up year too, God damn it!”

John Saunders was a man lost. He knew it, but dared not accept it. He knew the exact moment, the very second when he lost his way in life. He had become a drifter without purpose. Alcohol had become a sought after friend over the last year. It gave him a reason to continue his numb day to day existence, knowing that he could anesthetize himself eventually. John Saunders had fallen into the murky depths of a functional drunk but he cared little for what opinion anybody had of him, all except one.

“Okay, okay not looking too shabby,” John said checking himself in the mirror once more as he pulled into the driveway of his prestigious home in the affluent suburb of Double Bay, Sydney.

He smelled his clothes. A faint scent of cigar smoke clung to them but it cold be hidden with a spray of deodorant. Breathing into the palm of his hand gave him a tangy whiff of alcohol. He supposed she didn’t need to smell his breath to know he had been driving under the influence though. He reached over to the glove compartment, opened it and rummaged around searched for some breath mints. Anything to help his cause. He grabbed a packet of fisherman’s friends and his briefcase from the floor. He popped the mind into his mouth and rested his briefcase onto his lap. John rolled the mint around his mouth while placing both hands on the steering wheel. He wrapped his finger around the wheel tight, tightening them further until the whites of his knuckle could be seen in the dim light of the cars interior. John silently repeated the words in his head that he had thought of countless times before, ‘I’m not doing anything wrong.’

He received no appeasement from the words of a guilty conscience. With his attempt at placating his conscience over he got out of the car and made his way to his front door. The internal battle raged on inside him. One side sat his need for distraction while the other side wanted him to be the good family man he once was. One choice allowed him to cope while the other made him face his demons.

He turned the key and braced himself for whatever lay beyond.


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