April Indie Book Spotlight: What Happened to Neil Frost? By E. R. Wills
Life was bleak and pointless. That was according to Neil Frost. He was the wrong side of fifty, with nothing to show for himself but a catalogue of disappointments, mistakes and failed relationships.
Then he found himself to be at the heart of an extarodinary turn of events. But will they be enough to make him change his mind?
God, he needed a cigarette. Reaching out towards his bedside table, he pulled one from the packet and placed it into his mouth.
A sudden loud knock at the door startled him. It certainly didn't do his headache any good either. Who the hell was that? he thought, with annoyance. Determined to smoke his cigarette though, he reached for his lighter, flicked the small wheel and placed the orange flame against its end.
Again, three impatient thuds on the door. "Hang on, for Christ's sake!" Neil shouted, irritably. He climbed to his feet as quickly as he could and reached for his dressing gown,
grappling with it as he staggered down the hallway.
He flung open the front door to be met with two official looking men. They were smartly dressed, in identical black suits and matching black trilby hats. Neil noticed how strikingly pale their complexions were and that their skin was unusually smooth, unlike Neil with his two-day-old stubble. But it was their identical facial features that bewildered him so. Perhaps they were twins, with a rare genetic disorder. You heard about these things from time to time.
The man on the left explained, in an odd mechanical tone, that they worked for the government and that they had come to talk about last night's incident.
"Well, you'd better make it quick, I've got a stinking hangover," Neil snapped, impatiently. He watched, with annoyance, as the men strode past him audaciously and headed towards the living room. "Come in, why don't ya?" he muttered, followed by comments of obscenity which had been obscured by the cigarette in his mouth.
His muffled words increased in severity when one of the men occupied his chair. The other man was just as surly, taking it upon himself to scoop the mountain of old newspapers, flyers and dirty clothes onto the carpet so that he could sit on the sofa. But it was when he picked up a pair of Neil's dirty boxer shorts between his index finger and thumb with a look of distaste that Neil managed to raise an inward smile of vengeance.
Neil was parched and in need of a cup of tea. But he wasn't going to make them one. They could sod off. Besides, there weren't any clean mugs.
"So. If we can clarify lasts night's sightings, with you..." one of the men began. He then proceeded to ask for Neil's version of events, to which he recounted what had happened in the park and what he had seen, late that previous night. Throughout the bizarre interrogation, both men asked Neil to remember and disclose every single detail. These people were worse than coppers.
Eventually, the questioning ceased. "OK, this is the way it is," the man in the armchair began,
"You must completely forget about last night. You mustn't talk to anyone about it, ever. You mustn't even think about it, anymore. As far as you're concerned, it never happened." Neil opened his mouth to protest but was cut off by the second man. "Listen, it never happened. Got it? If, however, you go against us and tell anybody, even just one person in confidence... Well, let's just say that the consequences, for you, will be severe." Both men stared
menacingly at the older man, as if to terrorise him.
But an indifferent Neil positively howled with laughter, causing the officials to look at him with surprise. "Oh, my God. That's priceless. You clowns are having a laugh. You mistake me for someone who gives a shit." Neil's laughter positively roared through the flat. He hadn't been this amused in years.
Eventually, however, it died and he wiped the tears from his merry eyes, before continuing in a more serious tone, "Look, I don't have any money, I don't have a job, I don't have a partner and I don't have any family. I have nothing to live for. So why on Earth would I want to keep your little secret? "
"Mr Frost, I'm warning you, the outcome of you not obeying us will not be pleasant."
"Yes, but you don't get it, do you? I don't care. If you do your worst, who's going to miss me? I wake up, alone, I go to the pub, alone. And I come home, again, alone. That is my life. Every day, the same. Like a stuck record. I'm constantly bored shitless. So, if anything, it sounds like you might have more to lose from this than me. "
Simultaneously, the men sprang from their seats. "Well, Mr Frost, it's been a pleasure talking to you but now we have to go. But if I were you, I'd think seriously about our conversation," the man by the sofa said, sternly. Neil merely shrugged.
About the Author
ER Wills is a multi genre author. What Happened To Neil Frost is her first book, which is a sci-fi. Her second novel, When God Worked For The Council is up and coming.
She lives in the UK, and when she’s not writing she’s growing plants and cooking for pleasure. She’s married, a mother to two humans and three fur babies.