Questioning Lesbians – KD Williamson

KD is a Southerner and a former nomad, taking up residence in the Mid-West, east coast, and New Orleans over the years. She was a Hurricane Katrina survivor displaced to the mountains of North Carolina but has since found her way back to Louisiana where she lives with her wife and the most horribly spoiled pets in history.

She enjoys all things geek from video games to super heroes. KD is a veteran in the mental health field where she works with children and their families. She discovered writing as a teenager with the help of her English teacher, whom she had a huge crush on. With her teacher’s help, KD wrote her first short story but afterwards, had a hard time finding inspiration. Years later, writing fanfic became her gateway into lesbian fiction. Now, she has released her sixth book through Dirt Road Books.

So, you have a new book out, excitings. What’s it all about, KD?

While Big Girl Pill is a book that features protagonists in their early twenties it is very much a book about coming into self; realising what’s important, and those small unexpected moments that are filled with laughter. Also, it’s about listening to your body and your heart.

Mostly when I listen to my body it’s saying “I’m hungry”. Tell me, do you have a favourite sandwich?

Muffuletta. It’s a sandwich born and bred in New Orleans. It’s a little spicy and a little salty.

Don’t tease me! OK, I took that to food way too quickly, and as we all know, I’m a serious journo, so tell me, who inspires you?

The lesfic community. I aspire to push it forward toward more diversity and acceptance and to tinker outside the box.

How is it that whenever I do one of these interviews it always comes back around to boxes? Wait, no, don’t answer that. Let’s talk pets, cats or dogs?

I have three pugs and two cats.

And of course, pugs are the perfect size for outfits, am I right?!


Nooo. The most we do is collars, beds and toys.

Sigh. OK… Tell me, as this is the point of the interview, what are your fictional lesbians questioning, if anything?

Themselves. Such as, their choices and their hearts.

And what about non lesbians? Do they have questions?

All people do and good characters straight or gay are flawed so of course they do.

OK, so you’ve covered straight or gay, but what about bisexuals? Do they have twice the questions?


We’re all people. I don’t think bisexuals question things any more or less than anyone else does. I think people assume and question them more than anything which is unfortunate.

I find that if you loudly say (shout) “it’s because I’m bisexual” across a mall, the questions stop, at least temporarily… or at least I heard that somewhere… eh hem… anyway, what were we talking about? Right, yes, your book. What inspired that, then?

I wanted to try my hand at the friends to lovers and second chance romance trope all in one and do it my way. It’s a simple story on the surface that’s nuanced and complicated at the core.

That sounds great! So, tell me, if it was an animal, what would it be?

One of those strange looking South American tree frogs. They seem simple but there’s a hell of a lot going on underneath because you don’t know what you’re getting.

I love frogs, I rescued one from a bag of knitting once. Anyway, if you could question any lesbian, who would you choose?

Alice Walker. I’d want to know how she made her protagonists so powerful after going through so much in The Colour Purple.

Excellent question! OK, hit me up with your top 3 lesfic reads!

Wild by Meghan O’Brien, Anything book by Jae, Truth and Measure by Roslyn Sinclair (Telanu)

Fabulous. And finally, where can we find you on the interwebs?

Twitter @Rizzleslovr72
FB: facebook.com/kdwauthor

https://kdwilliamson.org/
Website

Questioning Lesbians: Barbara Winkes

Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the centre. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings.

Discover a variety of genres, serial and standalone. Women loving women always take the lead.

Whilst the more cunning of my readers may be able to work it out from the picture I stole from your website to run with this interview, I’m still gunna ask. What book are we gunna talk about today?

#10 of my Carpenter/Harding series will be out in February 2020. The gang is spending some time together at a weekend getaway, and…things aren’t going as planned.

Ooo… teasery and suspensy… I actually bought book 1 in this series last week, so don’t give too much away, but tell me, what, if anything are your fictional lesbians questioning?

My first book publish book was a coming out story, so that’s where the questioning came in. In later books, characters question themselves in other areas…being good enough, as a partner and on the job, is one of the issues. But it will all work out in the end – I make it so.

OMG, you get mega props for the Picard reference there. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows he’s my go to gif… But this interview isn’t about my issues… Tell me, do you think non lesbians (like Picard) have questions too?

I think everyone has questions… I was a psychologist before I became a writer, and I’m curious, so the answer is yes.

A psychologist you say? So, what do we do if… no, wait, wrong interview. What about bisexuals? Half the questions? Twice the questions? I was never great at maths…

Depends on personality more than on sexual orientation, I believe.

My world may be over if I can’t pigeon hole people… no, it’s fine… let’s move onto sandwiches. Do you have a favourite?

Grilled cheese with jam.

Like, together? In one sandwich…? Fine, dogs or cats (as pets, not sandwich fillers)?

Both. I used to be a dog person only until I moved in with my wife. If we ever have a pet again (the cat she had then passed away), it will be a cat, but we’re not sure when or if that will be. We were too sad the last time.

Losing a pet is horrible, I sympathise. I had a lovely boxer pointer cross who used to love dressing up and had a multitude of outfits. She looked fabulous whatever the occasion. I now have a wonky ninja kitten I have yet to introduce to fashion. So, where do you stand on the great pet couture debate?

It gets very cold here, so you’ll see a lot of dogs with little boots and coats. If it helps…

I mean… yes? Speaking of animals, if your book was an animal which would it be?

A cat curled up under a blanket (because it’s warm and cosy).

Aw, so cutes! So what inspired your cute and cosy book?

Hallmark Christmas movies, which is timely and also strange, because I usually write about women hunting serial killer and similar tales…but around the holidays, I like something light. So I wrote it with lesbians.

Hallmark with lesbians? Hope you don’t get complaints… Anyway, speaking of lesbians, give me your top 3 lesfic reads.

Katherine V. Forrest: Daughters of A Coral Dawn (because it’s provocative and would make a great movie) *** RA LaShea: 21 Weeks (I’ve enjoyed all of her works, but I love to see more thrillers in lesfic *** CL Hart: Facing Evil (more thrillers!) I must mention J.M. Redmann and Penny Mickelbury as well. They created some of my all-time favourite serial characters.

Awesome. That question is literally just to expand my TBR pile… anyway, if you could question any lesbians, any at all, who would you choose?

Val McDermid. Her books are also among the first lesbian fiction books I read, and I’d love to chat about the publishing industry in general, and writing lesfic and mainstream.

And, speaking of questioning lesbians (which, let’s face it, we are…) who would you like to see next on Questioning Lesbians?

Riley LaShea

So far they are not one of the respondents, but if anyone knows them, send them my way, after all, questioning lesbians is in the business of making dreams come true…

Thanks so much for popping in and taking me seriously. Let us know where we can cyberstalk you!

Twitter

Faceboook

Amazon

Questioning Lesbians: A L Lester

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favourite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.

She has two and a half degrees, a BA in Archaeology and History; a MSc in Geographical Information Systems; and a few half-arsed courses as part of a Science and Science Fiction undergrad. In galaxies long ago and far away she has coded GIS, taught computing skills in the community, was a very expensive secretary and worked as an audio-visual technician. It came as a great surprise when health and safety got upset about pregnant people climbing ladders to do rigging; and so she gave all that up to breed poultry, bees, plants and children.

Now she has a chaotic family life and has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She has stress-related seizures and lives in a small village in rural Somerset with Mr AL, two not-quite-teenage children and various animals and birds. She is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft and struggles to find time to write, but manages anyway, because it’s what keeps her going.

In today’s “Questioning Lesbians”, A L Lester has popped in to chat about her forthcoming novel, The Flowers of Time.

Welcome, please tell me a bit about the book.

Edie, a lady botanist, and Jones, a non-binary explorer, travel over the Himalayas in the 1780’s.

Jones is determined to find out what caused the unexpected death of her father whilst they were exploring ancient ruins in the Himalayas. She’s never been interested in the idea of the marriage bed, but along with a stack of books and coded journals he’s left her with the promise she’ll travel back to England for the first time since childhood and try being the lady she’s never been.

Edie and her brother are leaving soon on a journey to the Himalayas to document and collect plants for the new Kew Gardens when she befriends Miss Jones in London. She’s never left England before and is delighted to learn that the lady will be returning to the mountains she calls home at the same time they are planning their travels. When they meet again in Srinagar, Edie is surprised to find that here the Miss Jones of the London salons is ‘just Jones’ the explorer, clad in breeches and boots and unconcerned with the proprieties Edie has been brought up to respect.

A non-binary explorer and a determined botanist make the long journey over the high mountains passes to Little Tibet, collecting flowers and exploring ruins on the way. Will Jones discover the root of the mysterious deaths of her parents? Will she confide in Edie and allow her to help in the quest? It’s a trip fraught with dangers for both of them, not least those of the heart.

Sounds Exciting! And I am thrilled there will be lesbians, as people Googling “Lesbians” or even “Questioning Lesbians” may well find this interview, and we wouldn’t want them to be disappointed. But tell me, are your fictional lesbians questioning anything?

Gosh, yes. Edie isn’t really a questioning type person, she’s very practical and pragmatic. Jones questions everything though. Her gender, her sexuality, her intellect, her life’s work following her father’s studies.

And what about non lesbians, do you think they too have questions?

Yeah, I should think so. So long as they do it quietly, that’s fine.

Yeah, that’s fair. I mean, most non lesbians are men, anyway, and no one likes it when they get loud. What about bisexuals, though? Do they by default have twice the questions? Or only half?

I think that depends entirely on the bisexual in question. And if you have two bisexuals in a relationship, does that quadruple the uncertainty?

Crikey, my mind is utterly blown. Let’s move onto something simpler, dogs or cats?

We have one of each, but I definitely prefer the cat at the moment because he isn’t peeing on our bed.

Er, on that charming note I feel like I need to ask your views on pet couture. Nappies aren’t couture, but you can get them, FYI, but you’re cheaper buying tena pants and cutting a hole in for the tail. We had to do that for our boxer/pointer x when she became incontinent, bless her.

No. Absolutely not. Why do you need any explanation for someone rejecting this abomination?

I mean… judgemental, much? What about sandwiches? Do you have strong views on them?

Has to be toasted cheese-and-something. Gluten free for preference, which I accept isn’t ACTUALLY BREAD, but it’s the next best thing.

OK… I mean, cheese is always worth the pain in my view, anyway. So, tell me, other than cheese, who or what inspires you?

I’m not sure these days. Mostly the desire to have a nice fantasy life, maybe? I seem to like writing characters with emotional repression and subject them to lots of angst. Plus I think writing The Flowers of Time allowed me to work out some of my own gender/sexuality stuff.

So, is that what inspired you to write this one, then?

I started off writing it with two side characters from a previous novel and it was going to be set in the 1920s. I read an article about plant collectors from Kew and other botanical gardens and it seemed really interesting. Plus my Mama is a professional horticulturalist who went to a Crazy Lady’s Horticultural College ™ in the 1950s and I grew up in a botanical sort of household.

When I began writing though, it turned out that the characters really didn’t sit in the 1920s so I changed the location and time to one I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. This seemed a super idea the time, but it actually meant I spent ages diving down research rabbit holes and the whole thing took aeons to write.

I never spend more than an hour writing a book. So far no one’s noticed. So, tell me, if this book was an animal, what would it be?

Ferret. Twisty, pretty looking but with vicious teeth.

It’s like you’ve met me… and speaking of books, gimme your top 3 lesfic reads. Do it right now!

I’m pretty keen on Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff. It has MENOPAUSAL WEREWOLVES. I felt very seen.

Deadline by Stephanie Ahn has a witch on the outs with the witching community, who’s dating a demon. I particularly like the alligator-moles and the BDSM.

The Ninepenny Element by Kristen Noone… a paranormal with a witch, a lawyer, a hexed earring, and a ghost puppy. Loved this. It was gentle, lovely, just perfect.

Alligator moles?! What’s not to love, I guess… Tell me, if you could question absolutely any lesbian(s), who would it be?!

I’d probably want to ask the Ladies of Llangollen about their garden!

You want to ask about their lady garden…? I knew if I kept you here long enough the entire tone of my website would be lowered. Moving on… Who would you like to see questioned next on Questioning Lesbians?

I’m just interested to read my way through whoever is brave enough to answer

Well, I’m thrilled to announce that I can exclusively reveal (who am I kidding, it’s only exclusive because no one cares) that the next person being interviewed on Questioning Lesbians is Barbara Winkes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank A L Lester for popping by and being such a good sport. If you loved this (and why wouldn’t you?) you can track her down on her website, allester.co.uk, and across her various social medias as follows:

I haven’t got a pre-order link for The Flowers of Time, but if you sign up for my Very Infrequent Newsletter (once a month, usually) it’ll keep you posted. https://www.subscribepage.com/allester

You can catch me on Twitter & Instagram as @CogentHippo and FB at https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/. I interact most on Twitter.

Chapter 7: Secrets

If you haven’t read Chapter 6, you can by clicking here.

“So, I was thinking,” Georgia began awkwardly as they walked towards the carpark after another training session. “Maybe we could meet one time when we’re not kicking the crap out of each other, like in the pub or something?”

“Whatever for?” Helen laughed as she took her car keys from the pocket of her gym bag and moved towards her car.

“Never mind,” Georgia crinkled her brow; she wasn’t usually this bad at reading the signs. “Just to be social, but I guess spies don’t do social.”

“Wouldn’t be very covert, would it?” Helen laughed.

Georgia shrugged and turned away. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

“Don’t you want a lift?” 

“No, I’ll take the air.”

“Alright.” 

***

She stood watching Georgia walk away, wondering if she would turn back, but she didn’t. She sighed.

When Georgia was out of sight, Helen turned back towards her car to be met with a knife in her face.

“Gimme the keys,” the rather scruffy man with sallow jowls, bloodshot eyes and the twitch of someone going through withdrawal trembled slightly as he pointed the blade.

“Really?” Helen raised a curious eyebrow. “You chose this carpark to try this in? How did you even find it?”

The man edged closer still pointing the trembling knife in her face. A smile twitched at the corners of Helen’s mouth as she made a cursory review of his presence, estimating his threat level to be very low.

“Stop!” A cry caused both her and her assailant to glance around. Two young women, dressed as though they were heading out for the evening were standing on the other side of the carpark. They both had their phones out and were pointing them at the man. “We’re filming you, it’s going live on social media so there’s no point trying to get our phones, leave her alone!”

Helen rolled her eyes as the man faltered. Now he was trying to decide whether to attack the women or Helen.

“For god’s sake,” Helen tossed her car keys at him, they landed on the floor on the side away from the women. “It’s only a bloody machine, just take it.”

His decision made for him, he scrambled to get the keys from the floor and unlocked the car. Helen moved calmly towards the two women. 

“Thank you, that was very brave,” she said as she tried to usher them out of the carpark. 

“We need to call the police!” One of them said. “All the evidence is posted. We’ll get your car back!” 

“Thank you,” Helen smiled charmingly. “I will. Give me your numbers and I’ll be in touch.”

Just then an explosion sent them flying through the air. Helen rolled upon hitting the concrete, as she had been trained to do, but the impact, combined with the ringing in her ears disoriented her. What was going on? What just happened?

Looking across she saw one of the women she had just been talking to leaning against a car.  She was at least unconscious, as she wasn’t moving. Helen tried to shake herself out of it and find the other woman, but something was stopping her from moving. What was it? She was trapped under something. Something heavy. It looked like, concrete, or some sort of building material. She reached out to touch it, hard, like concrete. It was crushing her legs. First she tried to pull them free, but this didn’t work. Then she tried pushing at the object, but she was at the wrong angle to get any real power behind it.  Then someone was lifting it off. Helen squinted against the flames which were behind the silhouette. It heaved at the object, then when it was lifted enough for Helen to free herself it dropped it unceremoniously away from her.

“Are you alright?” It was Georgia. Helen nodded. “Can you stand?” She was barely audible against the ringing in Helen’s ears but the gesture was clear, she held out her hand. 

Helen allowed herself to be pulled to her feet just as ambulances and fire engines descended on the carpark. The power of social media, Helen thought.

“Can you walk?” Georgia was asking.

“Yes,” Helen examined herself. She was cut and bleeding, but she couldn’t feel anything. Must be the adrenaline. “We should get inside.”
“And find out who put a bomb in your car,” Georgia agreed as she helped her back towards the building.

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.

Chapter 6: Training

If you haven’t read Chapter 5, you can by clicking here.

“I thought you were going to be gone a couple of months?” Georgia asked as she returned with two cups of water, offering one to Helen.

“Job was quicker than we thought,” Helen took the cup and took a swig. “Raj has stayed behind to tidy things up, but it didn’t need two of us.”

“So, you thought you’d come to my rescue again!” Georgia laughed, took off her glasses and began to clean them.

“I was in the neighbourhood,” Helen winked. “Really, I’ve been waiting for an excuse to squash Martin. Sadistic little prick. You do need to be able to defend yourself, though,” she stood up and offered Georgia her hand. “It’s important, even if you are only in the office.”

“What about Colin?” Georgia asked as she put her cup down on the edge of the ring and allowed herself to be led to some mats.

“What about him?”

“He can’t really defend himself. Not in the traditional way.”

“All the more reason to get you trained, then.” 

She straightened the mat with her foot and clicked her neck.

“I don’t want to focus on what you can’t do. I want to focus on what you can,” Helen said confidently. “I would never have known you couldn’t see if you hadn’t said, you cover that extremely well.”

“It’s a defense,” Georgia said. “People can’t see you as vulnerable. But it does limit me. More so because I don’t *look* disabled. People don’t think I need help, so they don’t offer, or they don’t believe me when I try to explain. Getting places to socialise is really hard, especially when it’s somewhere new. I don’t really get invited anymore.” She smiled awkwardly. “I mean it doesn’t matter. I hate people anyway!” She grinned.

“Me too,” Helen bounced on her toes as though preparing to pounce, then stopped. “Do you have a white stick?”

“Yes, but I don’t use it,” Georgia admitted. “When I do people look at me like ‘what do you need a stick for’ or sometimes they deliberately get in my way to prove I’m not blind.”

“You should walk straight into them,” Helen said firmly. “Those people don’t deserve manners. Get your stick, I’ll teach you to fight with it.

***

“No one said you should train her,” Raj said as he refilled Helen’s glass.

“They said I should protect her,” Helen responded without hesitation. “There’s no better way to do that than to teach her to defend herself.”

“As long as that’s all it is,” Raj observed as he studied her.

“What else would it be?”

“You can’t get attached to them, you know.”

“Oh please, how long have I been doing this?” Helen rolled her eyes.

“This is different and you know it.”

“At least I’ll always have you to tell me if my judgement’s been compromised.”

“Yes, you will. There’s the target.” 

The conversation was over, he was out of the car and moving on the tall smartly dressed man as he made his way into the garage.

Helen sighed, pulled a handgun from the glove compartment, checked the clip and followed him.

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.

July

Chapter 5: Learning the Ropes

If you haven’t read Chapter 4 you can here.

“I’ll show you the office first,” Martin said brusquely as he led Georgia down the corridor.  She had completed her initial training, and induction, and it was officially her first day on the job. 

She still had a slight limp from the injury to her ankle. “Then you can settle in,” his tone implied he resented the time he was having to spend talking to her, but she managed a cheerful smile.

“Thanks, I’m excited to get stuck in.”

“That’s nice,” he rolled his eyes and barged through into an office, not holding the door for her. As she caught it to stop it hitting her face she dropped her bag, which was not properly zipped, scattering sanitary products and pens all about the corridor.  Georgia hurried to sweep them back into her bag and join him.

“This is Collin,” he indicated a man sitting at one of the desks. Upon hearing his name the man reversed his electric wheelchair and pulled a semi-circle so he was facing her. He had a smartphone on his lap and started laboriously tapping it with his finger.

“Hi,” Georgia was flushed, her mouth was dry and she was not at all enjoying Martin.

“Hello,” a mechanical voice came out of the smartphone.

“Oh, that’s clever!” Georgia smiled.

“Yes, very interesting,” Martin said dismissively. “That’s your desk. Get unpacked and then go and get changed and meet me in the gym, I want to analyse your training. It might be my last day in this department but I don’t want who ever’s taking over to think I left it sub-par.”

“Um, where’s the gym?” Georgia asked awkwardly.

“Ground floor. Take the lift, turn left and it’s at the bottom of the corridor, you can’t miss it.” And with that, he walked out.

Georgia felt pretty sure she could miss it, but decided it was best not to ask any more questions. Martin didn’t seem the type to respond well to “I’m visually impaired”.

As the door shut behind him Collin’s phone spoke again. “Martin’s an arse hole. Don’t worry, he’ll be gone tomorrow.”

Georgia laughed as she dropped her bag on her chair and began to unpack her things.

“What’s this gym thing about?” she asked without looking up. “Some sort of hazing.”

“He just needs to show he’s more powerful than you. It boosts his ego. I think he has a tiny penis,” the voice entoned.

Georgia laughed again. “Well, I’m blind so he stands no chance in that department!” She grinned. “Right, better get the humiliation over with!”

She headed to her locker, which was in the locker room, only getting lost twice along the way. She changed quickly into her sports gear and caught up with two other women who were leaving the locker room at the same time.

“Are you heading to the gym?”

“Yes.”

“Can I tag along? I have a hazing to get to!”

“Martin?”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Prick broke my finger on my first day. Told me I had to be prepared for anything. Still doesn’t bend properly,” one of the women showed her finger.

“He’s compensating for something,” her companion said. “My advice is to lose quickly, then he’ll lose interest and move on. Couple of bruises.”

“Thanks,” Georgia swallowed hard. “I’m only admin.”

“No such thing here, we all need to be field ready, s’how he gets away with it. Come on, may as well get it over with.”

The gym was vast, and the smell of gym mats and sweat hung in the air. Martin was in a boxing ring wearing those sort of satin style highly flammable joggers that were popular in the late nineties, and a grey sports vest. He was springing about on his toes, sparring with the air and making a great show of it.

Georgia had only received basic self defense training, and knew this would be a whitewash, but she rolled her eyes and wandered over to the edge of the ring.

“Ah, there you are. Good.” Martin smiled and offered her a hand up. “Don’t worry, it’s not a proper fight, I just want to see what training you’ve come in with, then I’ll know what we need to work on.”

“Alright,” Georgia shrugged. “How do you want to…” but she was cut off by the palm of his hand striking her chest, hard. She coughed and staggered backwards against the ropes. She was winded and disoriented. 

Martin seemed to be saying something. “Rule number one, always be prepared…” he had her wrist and suddenly she was in the air and striking the mat hard. Her ears were ringing and she scrambled to get back to her feet, but a foot to her stomach sent her sprawling against the corner pole. “Come on, I know they trained you better than that!” he snapped. “You haven’t struck a blow yet!”

“I’m blind, you prick!” Georgia managed though she felt like she had no air in her lungs. “Put on a fucking blindfold, see how you stand up then.”

“Do you think the enemy will take excuses?” Martin snapped. “But that shouldn’t hold you back. To prove it, I’ll take your challenge! Does anyone have a scarf?”  A scarf forcibly struck him in the face from one of the other gym users. “Thank you.” He blind folded himself whilst Georgia struggled back to her feet. 

She had a point to prove now. She felt shaky and weak but she was not going to let this sadistic bastard win. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. Glancing in its direction she saw Helen, who winked, raised one finger to her lips and silently slipped into the ring under the ropes.

“Right,” Martin turned. He was posturing for the crowd, springing on his toes again. “I’ll prove to you that not being able to see is no impediment to winning a fight.

“What if you’re fighting someone who is much better trained and prepared than you?” Georgia asked.

“No such thing,” Martin said confidently, moving towards the sound of her voice.

As he went to punch her, Helen caught his wrist and twisted it. It made a cracking sound, but she continued to twist until Martin was on his knees. The noise he made was akin to a cow’s moo, as he expressed his pain and ripped off his blindfold. 

“I think we’ve just disproved your point,” Helen smiled charmingly at him as she released his wrist. “Would you like to get up and have a fair fight, or has the demonstration ended?”

“I… um… I…” he staggared to his feet.

“I thought so, better put some ice on that.”

He nodded, clutching his wrist.

“Oh, and Martin? These hazings stop now. If I hear of one happening again, it’ll be the last thing you do,” she continued to smile charmingly as he scurried from the gym.

“Right,” Helen turned to Georgia. “So, combat 101, play to your strengths. Grab a drink and come straight back, we’ll do some training.”

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.

Protected: July

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

This entry was posted on November 4, 2019, in Stories. Enter your password to view comments.

The Duplicate Affair – Chapter 4

If you haven’t read Chapter 3, you can by clicking here.

Chapter 4: Consequences

“What did you do?” Leonard’s voice was at fever pitch as Helen and Raj wandered into the office.

“Cleaned up after your f*** up,” Helen said without looking at him. She made a beeline for Georgia, who was clutching a brandy and sitting with her ankle elevated and iced.

“My….” Leonard began, but Helen ignored him.

“How’s the ankle,” she asked in her brisk tone that flustered Georgia.

“Don’t, mate,” Raj patted Leonard on the shoulder in what appeared to be a show of support, but was probably an act of peacekeeping.

“It… I… “ Georgia began.

“Need to get you in a position to defend yourself, really,” Helen spoke thoughtfully to no one in particular as she poured herself a brandy. “Of course, we were too late to get the damn phone,” she continued to Leonard now. “So, what’s your wonderful plan to fix that?”

“We’d already remote wiped it,” he gritted his teeth as he spoke to her. “All your little escapade did was draw unnecessary attention to our presence here.”

“My god! If I didn’t genuinely believe the only reason you got your bloody job was your tiny shrivelled white penis I’d question the existence of your thinking organ at all, Leonard!” Helen exploded. “They know you’re here, you stupid bastard! Why else would they steal her f***ing phone? Christ!” 

“I… um… How dare you speak to me like that!” Leonard stuttered.

“Enough, Leonard!” A tall, well dressed woman walked into the room. “I was dubious about your ‘recruitment app’ before it was compromised. Now I need you to shut it down immediately. Please go and make sure it happens. Hand off all your other projects to 3 for distribution. The next time I want to see you will be because you’ve made it so this shit never happened, and I hope that’s soon. Clear?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Leonard murmured and walked out. 

“Don’t think you’re off the hook, Helen,” the woman continued. “You can’t keep going off half cocked all the time!”

“That’s half a cock more than Leonard’s using…” Helen responded without missing a beat.

The woman rolled her eyes. “Well, he’s off project management now, and I’ll be looking into retirement for him. But in the meantime, I’m going to need you and Raj to clean this up properly, I’m afraid. Pack a bag, wheels up in thirty minutes.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Helen moved towards the door, but paused at Georgia. “Chin up, it’s a rough first day, but the pay and benefits are excellent, and you won’t have to see me for at least a couple of months, what’s not to like?” She winked and moved on. 

Georgia found herself blushing.

“Watch it,” Raj grinned as he followed. “She’ll break your heart soon as look at ya.”

“Well,” the tall woman seated herself next to Georgia. “That was rather trial by fire, I’m afraid. Leonard was piloting a new recruitment scheme. It wasn’t designed to put potential applicants in danger, that was an unfortunate side effect, but it does mean you know a lot more than you should, which means if you didn’t want the job…”

“I want the job!” Georgia cut her off.

“Oh, good. May I ask why?”

“I was attacked. I want to know why, and I want to stop the people who attacked me from hurting anyone else.” She said firmly. She did not add that she wanted to see Helen again.

“Excellent. We’ll get you some training, self defence, role play, general stuff, but you’ll be entirely office based. I’ll have Margo start the paperwork. You’ll be better staying here tonight whilst we get you relocated. I already have people at your flat.”

She smiled and walked out. Georgia swallowed hard. What was she getting herself into?

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.

The Duplicate Affair: Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Retrieval

If you haven’t read Chapter 2, you can by clicking here.

Helen parked slightly up the road from the entrance to the bar and walked confidently in. There was no evidence of the violent scene Georgia had described. It was probably designed to frighten her and get her to leave her phone. She didn’t know what was going on, but she knew that if these people wanted Georgia’s phone, they mustn’t have it.
“What’ll it be, love?” the barman asked pleasantly as he leaned on the bar and studied her.
“Oh, hello, yes. My friend was in here earlier and she thinks she left her phone behind. I said I’d drive past on my way back from work and check. Have you seen it?”
“Your friend, you say?”
“Yes, about so high, average build. She had on a nice suit, with pockets. I always notice a pocket, they’re so important.”
“Sorry, love, haven’t seen her.”
“Are you really going to make me ask again?”
“I’m not gunna make you do anything,” he pulled out a baseball bat from under the bar and tapped it on the palm of his hand.
“Oh, I’m very afraid you are.” Helen carefully removed her suit jacket and placed it purposefully over the back of a chair. She reached behind her head, tying her hair back into a ponytail and turned back to the barman, who had come out from behind the bar. “Couldn’t you just give me the phone back?” She asked.
He swung the bat. She ducked and punched him directly in the groin. He dropped the bat in an instant, his eyes tearing up. “Amateurs,” Helen observed as she ducked a chair being swung at her and replied with a kidney punch. “Lots of you, though…”
As a third man swung a punch she neatly dodged, grabbing his wrist and twisting into him, taking full advantage of the fact that he was now off balance to fling him over her head and into the barman, who seemed to be on the verge of regaining some composure, before being struck with a human missile. 
She dived under a table, avoiding another attacker, and grabbed the baseball bat, taking out two pairs of knees before springing back to her feet and twirling the bat. An unexpected blow to the side of the head sent her staggering sideways, but before she could regain her composure her assailant was knocked unconscious – crumpling to his knees to reveal a tall, handsome man in suit trousers and a shirt undone at the neck. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbow, and his oiled hair was slightly out of place where he had been exerting himself.
“Took your sweet time,” Helen said without missing a beat.

“Oh, I’m sorry, darling,” the man responded as he ducked a punch and reacted with an elbow to the face of his assailant. “I just dropped everything to respond to your cryptic message. Least you could have done is wait for me before you started! But you never were very good at that!”
“If I waited for you I’d never get off the blocks!” Helen responded drily as she leapt from a table top, driving a punch downwards into a man’s jaw.
“I knew it was too much to hope that you just wanted a shag,” the man laughed lightly as he drew a gun from the back of his trousers and shot his opponent point blank in the skull as they ran in to meet the barrel.
“Eh, the evening’s young,” Helen quipped as between them they shot their now disabled attackers. “See how long this takes.”
“Righto,” the man said cheerily, placing his gun on the bar and pulling the barman to his feet. “So,” he said calmly as he sat him on a barstool and brushed him down. “I bet you wish you’d been more polite to my friend now, don’t you?”
The man nodded weakly.
“Well, it’s not too late to make amends,” he smiled. “Just give her the phone.”
“I can’t…” he snivelled. “It’s been collected.”
“Collected by whom?” the man pushed his hair out of his face as he spoke.
“I can’t! They’ll kill me!”
“What do you think we’ll do?” Helen demanded. “Was this all a bit subtle for you? I mean, honestly! Where’s the f***ing phone?”
“I don’t know!” The man wailed. “We’re just the meet. I mean, it’s need to know, innit?”
“Oh for God’s sake!” Helen shot him and looked around. “Now what.”
“Well, bloody hell, Helen!” her companion surveyed the room. “What a f***ing mess. I don’t know how we’ll explain this to HQ.”
“Especially without the damn phone,” Helen agreed.
“Shall I call it in?”
“Better had. Drink?” 
“Please.”
“Whiskey?”
“Thanks.”

You can find Chapter 4 here.

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.

The Duplicate Affair: Chapter 2

If you haven’t read Chapter 1, you can by clicking here.

Chapter 2: Decisions

Georgia didn’t go home. She was rather concerned that this company, whatever it was had been able to find all of her details, and contact her from an app she had installed on her phone. She sat in a bar in the centre of town, staring at the screen. A notification from the app popped up.

BEAT YOUR HIGH SCORE! PLAY NOW! It said.

She swiped it away. Should she disable it? Uninstall it? Was it too late now? Was the damage already done? What if she already knew too much now? What would happen if she didn’t go back tomorrow? Would her phone explode and kill her? Don’t be silly. That wouldn’t happen, would it? Would it?

“You alright, love?” A man had joined her and she hadn’t noticed.

“What? Um… yes. Thank you.”

“In your own little world there, you was.”

“Yes, I was thinking.”

“Well, s’long as you’re alright,” he smiled pleasantly and stood up to leave, but the barman put his hand on his wrist.

“Without the lady’s handbag, if you don’t mind, mate?”

“Dunno what yer on about,” he returned.

“I didn’t have a handbag,” Georgia added. She never carried one. It’s what pockets were for.

The barman stabbed the man in the hand with something sharp, and he yelped and crumpled to the floor. 

“What?” Georgia staggered backwards, and looked around. No one had even noticed what had just happened. They were all going about their business. 

“Leave your phone, love,” the barman said. “And you can go.” 

Georgia nodded, and continued to back away. Then she turned and bolted out of the bar and ran down the street, back in the direction she had come. She didn’t want to go home. What if they were waiting for her? She needed to go to the last place they would think to look for her? But where would that be? Her adrenaline had spiked too high to notice how breathless she was, and that she was running in blind panic back towards the office where she had had her interview.

“Woah, there!” Helen caught her as they nearly crashed. “Oh… it’s you. Do you often jog in a business suit?”

“Stay away!” Georgia shrieked, shoving her, hard and trying to run again.

“What’s happened?” Helen asked, matching her pace easily and not needing to catch her breath when she spoke.

“Leave me…” Georgia panicked, tripped on a paving stone, her ankle turned and she felt a wrench and a shooting pain. She squealed and clasped her ankle, clinging to it and panting. She couldn’t stand. Was this it?

“Relax,” Helen crouched calmly next to her. “Look at me. We’re going to focus on your breathing for a minute. Just look at me and breath. In. Out. That’s it. Breathe. Now, let me see your ankle. Just let go of it a minute. That’s right, I’m just going to feel it, see if there are any breaks.”

Georgia sighed and gave in, releasing the throbbing area and watching Helen as she examined it.

“I don’t think it’s broken,” Helen concluded. “You’ve probably done the ligaments, and that’s worse in someways. We’ll get you home, get it elevated and put some ice on it. Come on,” she helped her up. “Rest on me, my car’s not far, I’ll drop you home. Where do you live?”

“Don’t you know?”

“Ha! Why would I know?”

“The app…”

“What app?”

Helen gazed at her. “Tell me what happened,” she said finally.

“I was in a bar…” Georgia began. “This man was nice to me… but the barman stabbed him, and told me to leave my phone… and I’m sure it had something to do with the interview, and I don’t know where’s safe now!”

“I’m sure it did, too.” Helen agreed. “But not for the reasons you think. I’m going to get you back into the office, they’ll take care of you, then I’m going to get your phone. Tell me what the bar was called, please.”

You can read Chapter 3 here.

If you would like to support me whilst I write this story, you can by buying me a coffee!

The Duplicate Affair

Written by C H Clepitt

Copyright Claire Evans 2019. 

This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.