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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

For those who enjoy a good thriller and #crimefiction check out The Picture by .@rogerbray22 #thriller #mustread #bynr .@rararesources


The Picture


Roger Bray

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter.

Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew.
A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

The Picture

Context:  Ben Davis a retired Portland, Oregon police officer volunteers in the relief effort to the areas devastated be the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. He meets a young Japanese woman cradling her baby and a picture is taken of them which becomes an iconic emblem of the disaster.  A conman, Vince Brown, decides to pretend he is the man in the picture to star in a reality TV show focusing on natural disasters.  He realises that his connection to the picture could be his undoing if the truth were to come out.  Vince and his business partner decide to kill Ben to stop him exposing them and through a contact a pair of inept junkies are paid to carry out the task.  This scene is the aftermath of that attempt when a local young couple, trail bike riding in a wood hear a crash and go to investigate. 

As Brian approach the road through the trees, he saw a man standing on the road. He had his hands on his hips and appeared to be sucking in air; he straightened and ran to the passenger side of the truck. As Brian stepped onto the road, the Tahoe accelerated with a screech of the tires and took off down the road. He knew that there was no cell coverage round here, not on this bit of road, a bit further up near old Johnston’s place you could usually get a single bar, but only on clear days, any rain or even a strong wind and the signal was gone. Even so, as was usual for teenagers anywhere, Brian always carried his cell phone with him. Not understanding what was going on he understood enough to know something was and Brian quickly pulled his cell out of pocket and pointed it at the Tahoe as it skidded slightly, straightened then headed west on the highway.

Disappointed he hadn’t been able to get a picture of the man he managed a couple of quick shots of the back of the Tahoe before it disappeared from view.

They drove off.” Alice had caught up by this time and stood next to him on the road.

Yeah, maybe they hit a deer or something,” Brian said looking around.

The trees lining both sides of the road cut down the light and as Brian peered around through the gloom expecting to see a buck or doe lying on the road dead or maybe injured but he could see nothing, so he looked toward where he had first seen Feral standing on the road trying not to vomit. Brian took a couple of steps and saw the back tire of the Harley before he realized what else he was looking at.

It was quiet now, but he realized what he could hear was the tick, tick, tick of the contracting metal of the cooling Harley engine.

Stay here, Alice,” he said.

She nodded, deciding that there was a good chance that whatever was there was something she didn’t want to see, anyway.

Brian walked across the road and he could see the marks running along the shiny railing. It hadn’t been there long, a couple of months maybe, the old damaged and often repaired railing replaced with a shiny new section. When he was standing in the same place that Feral had been, he looked up the railing and saw the same view he had, he forced himself to look to the right and saw the wreckage of the Harley and the crushed body.

Like Feral he took a deep breath as Alice called out.

What is it, Brian?”

Brian walked over to where she was standing a look of fear on her face. He took her arm and turned her away from the scene and took a step with her back into the tree line and away from the road.

Motorcycle, it looks like a hit-and-run.”

The rider?”

Brian shook his head.

He’s there but there’s nothing we can do for him.”

He’s dead?”

Brian nodded, “I’m pretty sure he is, he certainly looks it. Alice, do you think you can ride the Honda home, tell your mom what’s happened, and get the sheriff out here.”

She nodded, “What about you?”

Well, I suppose someone should stay here, I guess that it’s the right thing to do, someone should stay with him.”

Alice hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

Don’t rush, take your time, and be careful on the bike.”

She kissed him again, this time on the lips, “Don’t worry I will.”

She turned and taking hold of low branches to slow her down as she scrambled down the slope toward where Brian had left the trail bike.

Brian watched as her long blond hair disappeared through the trees before he turned and vomited his lunch on the ground. Taking another deep breath, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and looked up toward where he knew the Harley was. With a lot more bravado than he felt, he walked back to wreck and looked down at the body. He knew he was dead, he had known that from the first look before he had sent Alice for help, he knew that there was nothing he could now do except stay with the man until help showed up.

He walked up the road to well beyond the start of the marks on the rail and sat on a clear, new, and untouched piece of railing while he waited for the sheriff to show.

Author Bio –  'I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.'

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