The bus turns left off Langworthy Road and onto the approach to the A6. Just before it goes under the overpass, past the old Jewish cemetery at the top of Brindleheath Road and on past Pendleton Church, it stops and Dermot gets on.
He gets a few funny looks, does Dermot, as he climbs aboard, but then he always does. It’s hard for people to put their fingers on it. Maybe it’s the way his bald head looks a bit too big. Or the fishy largeness of his eyes behind the jar-thick spectacles. The nervous quiver of his pale lips, perhaps.
Or perhaps it’s just how pale he is. How smooth. His skin- his face, his hands- are baby-smooth and baby-soft. Like they’ve never known work, and hardly ever known light.
All that and he’s in a suit, too. Quite an old suit, and it’s not a perfect fit- maybe a size too large- but it’s neat and clean and well-maintained. Pressed. Smooth.
And of course, there’s the briefcase.
It’s old-fashioned, like something out of the ‘seventies, made out of plain brown leather. He doesn’t carry it by the handle. He hugs it close against his chest. Like a child.
About the Author
‘Simon Bestwick is brilliant,’ the Guardian says; he thinks they’re probably wrong, but being British, also thinks it would be very impolite to disagree with them. Originally from Manchester, he now lives on the Wirral with his long-suffering wife, the author Cate Gardner. By now he’s responsible for five novels, four short story collections, and a chapbook, Angels Of The Silences. A new collection is in the works.
He has two new novels out in December: The Feast Of All Souls, a supernatural/urban fantasy novel from Solaris Books, and Devil’s Highway, the second book in the post-apocalyptic Black Road quartet. It and the first book, Hell’s Ditch, are both available from Snowbooks.
About the Narrator
He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.
Alasdair co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror show, PseudoPod. His most recent publication is The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, the second collection of expanded essays from the show.
His short stories can be found in the Fox Pockets anthology series from Fox Spirit, among other places.
He lives in the UK with the love of his life and their ever expanding herd of microphones. Follow him on Twitter as @AlasdairStuart, sign up for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid, or check out his reviews and blog, The Man of Words.