What scene was the hardest to write?
Sheryl Brown about Deadly Intent
Sheryl Brown about Deadly Intent
Aside from the obvious emotional scenes around the loss of their child and Daniel finally admitting to his wife, Joanne, how his own abused childhood had caused him to lock his emotions away, I think the drug scenes were really hard to write. A comment from a reviewer made me smile: “Where on earth did Miss Browne learn all about drug use!!! – very graphic. I hope she didn’t have to resort to practical experience as part of her research.” I can promise you I didn’t! I was lucky enough to have some advice from a Chief Constable and also former Senior Police Detective Stuart Gibbon at GIB Consultancy. Obviously, I did a lot of research on the effects of drugs, too, but the rest was all imagination. I’ll leave you with an excerpt and you can make up your own minds whether it paid off.
Can I take this opportunity to thank all bloggers and readers for their absolutely fantastic support? It really is tremendously appreciated. Reviews mean the world to an author and, together with posts and extracts, will help a book find its wings. THANK YOU!
‘How you doin’, Danny boy? Nice trip you havin’? Hey?’
Didn’t look as if he was having a very nice trip, actually. Shaking fit to bust something loose, the bloke was. Shame that. Charlie reckoned Danny could have used a bit of mellowing out, being so stressed, and all.
He didn’t demand an answer this time. Fairly, Charlie thought.
Daniel was hardly capable of giving one, after all.
‘Too hot, are we, sunshine?’ He ran a hand across Daniel’s forehead, trailed it slowly down his cheek, unfastened a button of his shirt, and the next, and then stopped to have a little look at the wife’s face.
Oh man, what a picture. Her cat’s eyes were about to pop right out of her head. Shocked she was, and he’d barely touched him.
‘Let’s see if we can’t cool you off a bit, hey, Daniel?’ He smirked at Jo, and then proceeded slowly through the rest of the buttons, laughing as Daniel tried to lift his head from the floor.
‘Come on, Daniel, don’t fight it.’ Charlie yanked the shirt open and ran the gun over his chest. ‘You know you want it.’
He laughed again as Daniel made a supreme effort to raise himself, and failed miserably. Charlie had been wrong. The bloke obviously wasn’t a user. Couldn’t handle it at all, poor sod, which really was a shame. Danny boy putting up a bit of a struggle might’ve been more interesting.
Still, the look in his eyes was enough. Wasn’t looking right through him any more. Oh, no. He could see him all right. See exactly what he was doing.
He trailed the gun slowly over the flat of Daniel’s stomach.
Deliberately slowly, he followed the gun with his hand to let it rest lightly on his waistband.
‘Would you like your pretty little wife to watch, Danny boy?’ He grinned as Daniel’s eyes flickered open, swam hazily, and closed. ‘Or shall we ask her to leave, hey?’
‘Stop!’ Jo screamed, jumping up on her feet.
‘Sit!’ Charlie spat, whirling around.
‘Please.’ Jo took a hesitant step forwards. ‘He’s done everything you’ve asked. Please, leave him alone now.’
‘Pack it up!’ Shawn said from the doorway. ‘Lay off, Charlie. I mean it.’
Blimey, thought Charlie, what’s this? A conspiracy? He noticed the tight set of Shawn’s jaw, and decided telling him to button it might not be prudent.
‘What?’ Charlie blinked in surprised innocence and held his hands in the air. ‘I haven’t touched him.’
‘Well, don’t.’ Shawn fixed him with a furious glare. ‘I’m warning you, Charlie. I’m out of here if you do.’
‘One more minute, and that’s it, I swear.’ Charlie did his best to look like a boy scout. ‘Just let me get him out of the shirt. Nothing else, honest.’ Dib bloody dib, he thought.
He leaned back over Daniel, making sure to hold his gaze.
Daniel watched from a faraway place, the psycho drifting in and out of his vision, undoing his shirt? The gun, not slamming down so hard he heard his bones crack this time.
Slow cold metal, caressing his skin, sliding over his stomach. Christ, he was going to throw up.
Instinctively, he heaved himself from the floor, swallowing back the nausea, trying to still the merry-go-round room. The troglodyte was behind the psycho now, mouthing something. And Jo? She’d come to the fair, too.
Daniel squinted. She didn’t like the music though. She’d clamped her hands over her mouth. Kayla was there, somewhere. Daniel could feel her. But where was … Oh, shit, no. He struggled to sitting, reached a hand to the wall and tried to stand up, but the floor tipped and tilted beneath him.
‘Can’t,’ he mumbled, and staggered, and the troglodyte caught him.
This wasn’t right. This was all wrong. This wasn’t the fair. It was a freak show, and there were too many people. And someone was missing.
‘Where’s Emma?’ he shouted, shaking his head to try to clear the fog from his mind. ‘Where is she?’ Sheer panic swept through him, fast on its heels, absolute terror. He clutched two fistfuls of the troglodyte’s shirt, bunching it at his neck.
‘Where?’ Daniel screamed, his throat tight, his head pounding.
His heart bursting.
The floor undulating.
His body shaking. Why couldn’t he stop?
Couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop shaking.
‘Please!’ Jo begged, as Daniel slid to the floor. ‘No more!’
‘Shut it!’ Charlie snapped. ‘You’re doin’ my head in!’
‘I hope you’re satisfied?’ Shawn glared at Charlie as he eased one of Daniel’s arms over his shoulder to half-carry him towards a berth.
‘Come, on, you’re all right, mate,’ he tried to reassure him, unhooking Daniel’s arm from his neck. ‘Just try to lie back. It’ll pass.’
But Daniel wouldn’t lie back. Couldn’t seem to stay still. He was twitching and gasping, his chest rattling.
Shawn held Daniel by both shoulders and studied his face. ‘He ain’t breathing right,’ he said, drawing in a terse breath of his own and turning to look Charlie over with open contempt. ‘You finished now?’
‘Serves him right.’ Charlie paced agitatedly to the door. Then back again.
He stopped. Lit up a spliff, drew back hard, and paced some more.
Sympathy for Daniel was sympathy wasted, as far as Charlie was concerned. And what’s more, it was dangerous, Shawn letting sentiment get in the way of what they were doing here. Currently, and crucially, making sure the stubborn sod did exactly as he was told, without question.
‘Not quite,’ he answered finally, crushing out his joint and striding angrily to the berth. ‘Shift,’ he said, catching hold of Shawn’s shoulder to shove the pathetic, mother-clucking hen away from Daniel. Be tucking him up under the quilt in a minute.
He stilled Shawn with a warning glance as the arrogant numbskull actually dared to look as if he was about to interfere, then caught hold of Daniel’s shirt collar and hauled him towards him.
‘This …’ Charlie snarled, his face close to Daniel’s. ‘ … comes off, Danny boy.’ He yanked the shirt over his shoulders and down over his biceps.
‘You bloody lunatic,’ Shawn muttered, his tone utter disgust. ‘The bloke’s covered in bruises. No need. Not for any of it.’ He took a step towards Charlie, but stopped as Daniel laughed. Then laughed again – out loud; and right in Charlie’s face.
‘Freak.’ Daniel smirked, unfocussed eyes swimming around in his head. ‘Pathetic little freak.’
About Sheryl Browne
Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.