The Directive

The Directive coverWhen Vidocq Verone, PI, routinely goes about his search for answers to a puzzling event earlier in his career as DCI Verone, and discovers high strangeness.

He is soon drawn into a local investigation in his hometown of Middlesbrough with former colleague, Senior Sergeant Appleby.  Some puzzling events have begun to occur and all seem to link back to the high strangeness that visited him ten odd years ago.

Verone gathers about him a bunch of eclectics to solve the puzzling events, but he soon goes beyond investigating possible crimes to fighting for his sanity, if not his very life.

Read an excerpt below:

A dark, short, shadow suddenly dashed across the space in front of them and then up the stairs.

Appleby charged passed Verone to give chase. He was sure he’d seen a burglar and was intent on making an arrest.

Verone, however, had been ahead of Appleby by at least two steps and had gotten a clearer view of the dark, short, shadow as it sped past him. He thought he’d recognised it. He was also sure it wasn’t a burglar. He followed Appleby up the stairs.

As they got to the top of the stairs, they were shocked to see the house suddenly take on a green glow. Appleby, however, was still convinced he was in pursuit of a burglar and let the dark shadow know who was in pursuit. ‘Police! Police! Stop and identify yourself!’

Verone, however, stood still, amazed at what he was seeing. The green glow, he was sure, he had seen several hours earlier, the same one he was now convinced Mrs. Butler had seen, had returned. He wondered if he shouldn’t say ‘We come in peace! We only want to talk!’ but had second thoughts, just in case it was a burglar, after all. He also didn’t want to give Appleby an excuse to look at him sideways wearing an ‘I told you so’ smirk after having taken a burglar into custody.

Verone heard a scuffle in the nearby room and dashed in to assist Appleby. What he saw when he shone his torch on the sound of a scuffle, wasn’t anything like what he had expected to see at that instant. Appleby had shuffled back into a low boy and things had fallen over. The Sergeant’s mouth agape, his torch squarely planted on the face of an out-of-this-world sight. The creature’s big dark eyes blinked in the wash of the white light.

Appleby was stunned, speechless. Although frozen to the spot, his hand was shaking and caused the torch to strobe a little.

Verone tried to say something like ‘Nice to meet you! Where are you from?’, but it didn’t come out that way. What came out was: ‘N … N … N … Wh … Wh … Wh …’ – and with that, the creature turned to look at him, probably wondering what language the strange human was speaking. It tilted its head to the side and blinked again, and then suddenly disappeared in a beam of light. He stood silently in the room staring at the spot where the creature had stood, not another sound was heard except for Appleby’s irregular, heavy breathing.

Verone was about to speak to Appleby when he heard the faint sound of a woman’s voice calling to him from outside the house. ‘Appleby! Come on! Pull yourself together man, it’s gone!’

Verone stepped toward Appleby and grabbed his arm. He tried to get Appleby to move, but Appleby shook Verone’s hand free and swung his torch on Verone’s face and said: ‘If you ever tell anyone I was here, I’ll arrest you for trespassing; got it?’ And with that he stepped around Verone wearing a frown and headed downstairs and out of the house.

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