Juliet and her Romeo

A sneak peak of my upcoming novel Juliet and her Romeo

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Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
Christmas Eve

It was a night of strange happenings.

The local police station had been plagued all night by calls of hooligans and rev-heads disturbing the peace.  And when Sergeant Smithers peeked his head out of the station’s window, he fully expected to be greeted by the sight of the full moon.  Instead, he found that there was no moon at all.  A shiver raised the hairs on his arm and he shut the window with enough force to make the panes rattle, catching the attention of the bespectacled young constable manning the front desk.  The station phone began to trill behind them again.  ‘Better put the kettle on,’ he sighed.  ‘It’s going to be a long night.’

While the town’s teenagers kept Sergeant Smithers occupied, strange happenings continued to weave their way through every home that lay within the ancient borders of the old market town.

Old Bob Treadwell’s faithful 1984 station wagon gave up and died 100 metres from his front door, coughing and spluttering in her final death throes, doing everything she could to deliver him home one last time.  The Singh family’s golden retriever went into labour—delivering a squeaking, slick pup right into the shocked arms of Anu Singh—who had been scolding her husband for overfeeding their dog for the past four months. Nathan Sheehan  and his ex-wife Sophia both found themselves at Golden Lilly Thai on what would have been their wedding anniversary..and then subsequently found themselves in their old marriage bed consummating their reunion.  The computer systems at the petrol station malfunctioned and simply refused to charge customers for fuel for a full hour.  Scarlett Mulligan—who was always fastidious and sure-handed—waxed off half of her eyebrow during a livestream beauty tutorial.  And Owen Darlington, who hadn’t allowed himself a single thought about his ex-girlfriend for years, found himself crafting a cocktail that tasted just like her…sweet with a hard kick.

But no one would be talking about any of this in the morning.  By the time news spread across town, their own troubles would have been long forgotten.  Because in an old pub on the bank of the Avon River, the strangest happenings of all were taking place.

Two rivals stood face to face, their teeth bared, old grudges laying unearthed between them.  One wanted answers, one wanted to keep his secrets.  One wanted vengeance, the other wanted forgiveness.  For ten years, they hadn’t breathed a word to each other, had not mentioned the grief that had turned their friendship into a deep, unrelenting resentment.  Yet tonight, without knowing truly why, they had found one another again and, in a moment, the past had become the present and the future balanced on a breath.

They believed themselves to be alone, unobserved.  But a pair of eyes—some four hundred years old—was looking on with mischievous fascination.  The stage was set.  The players had taken their places.  The games were afoot.

[Enter JULIET, stage left]