Today I wanted to share one of my stories from my book, ‘Second Glance’. It is my Christmas story with a difference, about a journalist sent to Switzerland to meet a guy claiming to be a messenger from God. I intend to share the rest of the story over time.
I woke up to find my phone ringing repeatedly. Without my contact lenses, I couldn’t even manage to press the right button to silence the damn thing. Last night’s festivities were taking their toll. I could taste the foul onions which must have partnered the kebab we had before grabbing taxis home. I felt happy that I had finally got my own place, otherwise by now my mum would’ve been on my case, giving me grief about drinking too much, and chasing me around, making me clean up and shoving me into the shower.
My flat felt empty and still. When I went to feed the puppy, it wasn’t in its bed. Instead it was sat, diligently looking out of the window, no doubt eyeing up the pooch that walked by every day at about this time. This puppy had better love prospects than I ever did. He turned his head to me and stuck out his tongue. I patted him gently and filled his bowl with meat. I knew that as soon as the posh neighbour’s fancy dog had walked past, he would be lapping up the treats.
Returning to my phone, I could see there was a message waiting for me. It was from my boss, Lauren. She needed me to ring her back urgently. The TV had just come on, loudly blurting out Christmas music while trying to sell me a compilation of holiday tunes. I pressed mute and rang work. The conversation was weird. Lauren picked up and told me that I had an assignment. She was sending me to Switzerland straight away. It was a very quirky challenge. Literally every job I was given by Lauren was full of weirdness. After all, I was working for a small media firm which specialised in documentaries and investigative journalism. They tended to sell stories which were out of the ordinary and often went beyond the realms of believability.
I rang my brother and asked him to look after the pup. He agreed, thankfully, knowing he owed me a favour after I acted as his alibi when he had a random one night stand with his body pump coach. My bags were always partly packed and it didn’t take me long to add a few woolly hats, a scarf and an emergency supply of Pringles. Half a bottle of Jack Daniels was the finishing touch before I closed the case and parked it by the door. My brother picked up the dog and gave me a lift to the train station.
“So where you going this time?” he asked as he drove at high speed through the empty streets of my sleepy little city.
“Well. I didn’t get all the facts. But apparently a guy has declared himself the new Jesus and started a Christmas commune in the middle of the Swiss Alps,” I said, chuckling to myself.
“That is one hell of a story!” he jeered.
“Hey! It pays the bills,” I sniggered. “I reckon he’ll give a great interview.”
“You can say that again. I’ll have some of what he is having. I bet he is surrounded by hot women and everyone is high as kites.”
“Let’s hope so,” I laughed as I unpacked my case from the boot and patted the dog farewell.
AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.
For another extract from one of my books, click here.