It’s been a while but my blog is back, this time as part of my brand new website, jasonrybak.com, which is the perfect place to peruse my books, check out this blog and keep up-to-date with my latest news and releases. There’ll be the occasional freebie as well! More on that below.
You can sign up to the blog and receive email alerts when the latest edition is published. As well as new releases and descriptions of books already on the market, the focus of the blog will be continuing my fictional story, The Diary of the Writer on the Run.
The Diary of the Writer (Part One) is free to read on jasonrybak.com as a PDF. It’s part diary, part thriller, part fantasy. You’ll get the chance to meet my alter-ego as well!
Here’s a brief description:
Stalked by someone who leaves no evidence of their presence, a writer (me) gets caught up in the dangerous world he’s written about in his books – which he thought were just made up and imaginary.
Part Two begins on Friday.
PS Happy Halloween everybody!
I got comfortable. That was my mistake. After moving from place to place and surviving more attempts on my life than I want to remember, I guess it was bound to happen. I mean, I’m a writer, not a spy.
The fact we were still in the same house that Six found for us weeks ago had given me the chance to catch up on some work and actually be a writer – rather than someone who calls himself a writer but pretty much spends all his time trying not to die.
I was also supposed to be investigating the death of retired detective Robert Gentry and trying to find a file he’d hidden somewhere. A hitman from a parallel land had appeared and said he’d kill me if I didn’t. Then there was the young woman with the long auburn hair. She’d spied on us and followed us. She’d also saved my life. I just wished I knew what she saved it for.
I had a spreadsheet in my head. It had three columns:
Whoever this woman was, she was firmly in the “Don’t Know” column. She wasn’t the only person there either.
I put the mental spreadsheet to one side. Our safehouse in a chocolate box little town on the edge of the quaint English countryside was starting to feel like home. I was getting some work done and I was tired of constantly moving around.
We were starting to relax and venture out more. We used the local shops. We’d even drive into town sometimes. I knew I was taking less care about staying hidden, that more people were seeing my face. But surely no one would find me there.
But then an instinct crawled out of the depths of my brain. Wondering if someone had found me. Wanting something to happen – to be part of a story again. To see new stories happen as they unfolded.
I began to convince myself that I could feel someone watching me.
Or it was just that I wanted someone to find us?
At night, when I finished writing, I turned off the lights and opened the curtain. I stared out into the night, waiting for my eyes to catch something, to spot someone lurking outside.
I did it every night.
I could tell Six had noticed. He didn’t say anything. He was only twelve, but an experienced spy and a killer. Of the two of us, he was the patient one. But I couldn’t help thinking he was becoming restless. That he wanted something to happen. He spent a lot of time pouring over the evidence Silas had left us. He’d studied the conversation ShadowAspect had overheard between two arch criminals. But he didn’t know who either man was.
He kept referring to the safehouse as “his” – but never revealed how a twelve-year-old could own a house. But then, Six was no ordinary twelve-year-old.
Night came again. I finished work, shut down my computer, turned off the lights and opened the curtain.
I realised I’d been looking forward to this portion of the evening. I was too comfortable to leave safety and run into more danger. But somehow, I was willing danger to come to me.
Then something happened.
I almost missed it.
I locked the front door behind me and stepped out into the cold night air, then ventured through the trees around the back of the house. I’d wandered through there so many times I could do it in the dark no problem at all.
Every slasher horror film I’d ever seen flashed before my mind’s eye – where some idiot gets a call or hears a noise outside or wonders where their mate Weenus went. Instead of waiting inside where it’s safe, they step outside the safety of their home to see if they can see anything, usually leaving the front door open for any psycho to creep in unseen. Every time I see one of these films, I always shout at the screen:
“Stay inside, you idiot.”
Then the idiot gets stabbed to death and their body is found in a pool of blood.
So here I was, creeping outside the safety of the house to see if I could see anyone.
Wolsingham nodded to the bartender. A file rose in the air from behind the bar. It flew through the air and dropped on the table in front of Hoyer.
“What is this?” Hoyer asked – without touching it.
“A retired detective who was asking a lot of questions.”
“About your people or mine?”
“Mine. They took care of him before he could cause any lasting damage. But there are rumours.”
“A file of evidence that he collected before his death. It has never been found. It is said to contain proof of my organisation’s activities and an accurate assessment of our goals.” “This sounds like your problem,” Hoyer shrugged.
“If what I have heard is correct, it also contains evidence supporting his theory of an underground criminal organisation, which employs professionally trained teenagers.”
Hoyer’s expression changed. He flicked through the file, then cleared his throat. “I’ll look into it.”
“You should,” Wolsingham stated. “Jason Rybak is. And you do not want him locating the file before you do.” He moved towards a door behind him, then turned. “You can tell your snipers and armed response unit to stand down. Not that they would have been much use here anyway.”
I slammed my laptop shut and bowed over in my chair, trying to suppress the urge to vomit. Two of the most dangerous men in the world, never mind just the UK, and I was their next topic of discussion.
I took a deep breath and read on.
“Jason Rybak,” Wolsingham said. “The second people start taking the content of his work more seriously, we will both be in trouble.”
“I attempted to have him killed,” Hoyer replied. “As I know you did.”
“But he has help,” Hoyer continued. “I know nothing about this helper. None of my people have even seen his face. But their accounts suggest he belongs more to your world than mine.”
The man at the table gazed at Hoyer with contempt.
“I know you Gromas love to linger behind the scenes where no one can see you and revel in your genetic superiority,” Hoyer said calmly. “But it makes you lazy and sloppy. I would take a well-trained ordinary, but talented human being any day of the week. You should spend more time in the real world, Mister Wolsingham.”
“You would not be in your position without people like us. I would hate to see you lose everything you have built by starting a war with me.”
“I would like to see you try. So far, your people have been as much use as your bartender’s little parlour trick. Our secret weapon in our war against Ciprian’s criminal cooperative failed in spectacular fashion.” Hoyer leaned forward. His jaw clenched. “And worst of all, your deficiencies and our defeat are soon to be made public – by a writer.”
The iron gate was floor to ceiling, stretching across the entrance and exit. There was no way of climbing over or breaking in.
“Now what?” Six demanded.
I stared helplessly at the gate. Did Silas think it would be open – or did he have some way to get us in?
My phone vibrated. A text from Silas.
“You’ll be needing this.”
His next text was a ten-digit number.
What was that for?
Then Six pointed to a keypad set in the wall. I typed in the number Silas had sent and the iron gate slid back.
I led the way inside the carpark, suddenly realising I had no idea what I was looking for. The text came.
“You’re looking for a grey Audi S3.”
As we neared our next destination, our pace quickened. It felt like we were being followed again. I shot a glance over my shoulder and caught sight of a silhouette on a rooftop. I didn’t know who it was, but someone must have found the carnage I’d left behind by now.
“We can’t stay,” Six said. “We need to go – now.”
Once the hotel we were supposed to be staying in was just a hundred metes away, I texted Silas.
“They found us. We need to get out – now.”
A text came back in seconds.
“Hotel carpark. Round the back. Lower ground floor.”
We hurried around the back of the hotel Silas had booked us in for the night, then down the ramp to the carpark.
An iron gate was shut across it. We were locked out.
“So it wasn’t you who pulled me out of the van?” I asked Six.
“I was on a rooftop,” Six replied. “It must have been the same person I’d shot at before.
One of them got mixed up in our first shootout. Didn’t end well for him. But I knew then that they were coming for you.” Six shook his head. “I saw him from the rooftop. So quick.” He shot me another look. “He could do things – things that should’ve been impossible. I tried shooting at him anyway and I still couldn’t hit him. He pulled you from the van without touching you.”
“Did you get a look at him?” I asked.
“Wouldn’t know him if he passed us on the street right now.”