Another first sentence…
Continuing with my project. I’ve been really enjoying writing in different styles of fiction. This one continues from a first sentence by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s novel ‘Paul Clifford’.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
He looked out of his window at the shadows flickering under the street lamps. The road on which he lived was almost completely deserted and yet there was an unnerving presence that someone was about and watching him. He walked over to a small table that stood next to his ageing leather armchair and clicked it off. The room was now in complete darkness. Only a slither of light could be seen from under the door that led away to the rest of the flat. He moved calmly back to the window. Yes, there was certainly someone there, standing beneath a butcher’s awning on the other side of the street. He was suddenly roused from his contemplative trance when the phone rang. ‘Burt, that you?’, the voice at the end of the line hesitated, waiting nervously for a response. ‘Yes Charlie, of course it’s me. Have you any news?’ A tense moment of silence followed. It hung in the air palpably before Charlie had the courage to continue. ‘Yes, they’ve found the body.’ ‘Scotland Yard issued a press conference saying they had more clues and an idea of who it might have been.’ Charlie’s voice slipped from Burt’s mind, becoming background noise. Then Charlie spoke up, louder, ‘the body was found hidden under the tracks of the tube line at Green Park Station. The police are worried that it’s just the beginning of a string of murders. But who knows…’
I interrupted, ‘I better go now.’ ‘We’ll speak again tomorrow morning.’ Before I could place the phone down Charlie spoke, ‘I’m sorry for your loss Burt. I know how much you loved her.’ Then he was gone. Burt placed the phone down and looked back out the window, but there was no-one there. Whoever had been there had given up but Burt knew he would be back. The body might have been found but it didn’t mean they knew.