heatwave-in-the-city-1

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Subject: Heatwave in the City Chapter 1 This is a work of fiction. Everybody in it is entirely my own creation. Don’t even think of suing me for putting you in a story, because I haven’t. If you happen to be resident in one of the places mentioned, or to belong to any of the institutions mentioned, don’t even think about telling me I haven’t portrayed them accurately. Work of fiction. The name of the institution only occurs because it is common knowledge so I couldn’t get away with pretending it was otherwise. If I’ve borrowed your Church, school, police station, laundrette – I haven’t. I’ve merely used the name on the building because people walk past and see it every day. Work of fiction. None of the people in the story exist, so none of the things that happen in the story can have happened to them. The world, however, is the one exception to this – the world which has in it so many wonderful people that writing fiction of this sort becomes an obligation – for me; not for everybody. You’ll have found your own place in the scheme of things, and can be wonderful in your own way. This is a story of love. It isn’t a story of sex, though that might get mentioned. There is no pornography here. Some of that is cross-generational, but it isn’t about perverted love either. Some is what nowadays is termed “gay”, but the same applies. If you think you might be offended by that, the time to go and read something else is now. Still reading? Then enjoy, and remember, you don’t pay to read these stories, but it does cost Nifty money to bring them to you. Please consider donating to Nifty at fty/donate.html Heatwave in the City by Jonah Chapter 1 July is supposed to be warm. Alright maybe it’s supposed to be hot, but there should be limits. The office of Hepworth and Hepworth, in excessively sunny Watford, was certainly not designed for supporting homo-sapiens in this kind of weather. Even the boss’s office wasn’t air conditioned, and nowhere near enough of the expanse of glass overlooking Watford High Street was capable of being opened. Four standing fans had been brought in and they did a sterling job of circulating hot air around the office. I brushed off my latest layout just as Derek came out of his office and walked over to me. “I showed Turnbulls’ the pine-tree layout,” he said. “They’re going to go with it. Quite enthusiastic in fact, but I don’t think they’ll pay us any more for enthusiasm.” “Did they say whether they wanted Sue to provide photos?” “They’d prefer classic artwork,” he replied. “If you don’t fancy doing it, get Luke to have a go. We’ll just put some more into his account.” “When were they thinking of,” I said warily. “You do realise the school term doesn’t finish for another fortnight?” “Ah, now that’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” he said, sitting himself in my spare chair. “Have you got a moment or two?” “Sure. I’m struggling to concentrate on this anyway. I was thinking about an early lunch.” “A pint would be more like it,” he replied. “Come on, I’ll treat you.” That sounded like he wanted a favour. Derek Hepworth did not put his hand in his pocket lightly. Last time my boss had bought me a pint was in nineteen……. nah, I’m kidding, but it seemed like it. Over a pint in the One Crown Derek told me what was on his mind. “Phillips- Murchisson”, he began. “They’re very happy with our work on their Spring lines and Luke left some good ideas for the Christmas ones, but an American group, Strines of New York, are trying to muscle in on the action. trabzon escort This is big money and we can’t afford to lose it, but it’s big enough to attract a big firm like Strines.” “If you’re suggesting I go to America again, I’m not averse, but I don’t really see how it could help,” I told him. “Ben Murchissson is the key to it all,” he replied, “and the only thing in our favour is that he knows and likes you, and he’s impressed with Luke.” “Now wait a minute,” I said warily, “my son is not a bargaining counter in the firm’s negotiations with customers.” “You’re saying that it’s not a problem that you might be?” “I’ve got a contract with you,” I replied. “Luke isn’t old enough to have such a contract and it wouldn’t be in his interests anyway.” Derek took a sip of his ale then leaned back in his chair and surveyed my features for what seemed like an age. Finally he sighed and said, “Jonah, the Phillips Murchisson contract accounts for a whole fifty percent of our business at present, and looks like accounting for more. That whole thing currently is in your hands and totally dependent on you. You could name your price. You could write your own paychecks, up to and including fifty percent of my holding in the equity of the company. I’ve a strange feeling that none of that is going to happen, because you have a sound knowledge of what is really valuable in life. You may not be a Catholic, but you are at least a Christian, and a good one. I respect that, and so does Ben Murchisson. The day this company stops respecting those values will be the day we lose Ben’s custom, and I won’t care, because I wouldn’t want to be part of a company like that either. I’m not asking for any decisions now. I’m just giving you the heads-up that we might need it to happen. If you’re worried about Luke, don’t be. We’ve got his interests at heart too, and you seem to be forgetting something.” I was sipping ale at that moment, so I said nothing. A raised eyebrow had to suffice. “Luke isn’t old enough to enter into a contract, but his Trust has one with us, and Yori Ito is a member of that Trust.” “What does Yori have to do with it Derek?” “We used to do work for Yori. It was before your time Jonah, and it all ended when he married that woman. A lot of Ito contracts ended then, because she felt the money would be better spent on her wardrobe. She just about busted the company. He was still in Japan in those days, but he settled in America with her. Yori’s a good man, and a shrewd one, except where she was concerned. He’s well shot of her. I don’t think there is any danger of this company doing anything that concerns Luke, that is not in the boy’s interest. Same again?” I didn’t go back to the office with him. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate anyway. I headed back home to Harrow instead. The drought had lasted three weeks already and the heatwave didn’t show any signs of abating. Simon and Peter, when they came home from school, were almost naked immediately, and so, more surprisingly, was Luke. Jason and Sammy were more reticent, presumably because Sammy’s mother would be collecting them. She no longer worked for a living, but still encouraged the boys to come back with my boys. I just hoped my boys would put on some clothes if they came downstairs while Susan was here. I was throwing together a salad for dinner. I was sure nobody would be wanting hot food. It wasn’t long before the clans gathered. They were at least wearing boxer shorts. “Homework?” I queried, since tunalı escort they seemed to be back down a bit soon. “We didn’t have much,” replied Sammy. “Me and Peter did ours on the bus home.” “Is ‘me and Peter’ the same as ‘Peter and I’ then Sammy?” I queried. “Ooooh! Peter and Aay,” mimicked Sammy and then collapsed in uncontrollable laughter. The others joined in the fun. “Is one’s dinner nearly ready?” Simon giggled. I siezed him and stuffed a wet lettuce leaf down the back of his boxers. “Some sort of Cummings family ritual I presume,” said Susan, from the open doorway. I went crimson. “Er! H h hello Susan,” I stammered idiotically. “Umm…. no… more like revenge. You know what they can be like.” “Yeeeees, I must try it some time,” she murmurred, eyeing her own offspring. Suddenly she could hold back the laughter no longer, which only started the boys off again. Well Susan took her boys away and Monica turned up with Ben. “Good afternoon Jonah,” she said. “Is Rob taking evening surgery today?” “Yes, he said he would be.” “Good, because Ben says he wants to have a word with us before Rob comes back.” ” That’s handy because I’d one or two things to discuss myself, but if I were you Ben,” I said, suddenly turning to him and speaking more slowly, “I should get out of those clothes before you melt.” I grabbed his arm as he turned to go. He stopped and waited. “That doesn’t mean you don’t have to put any more clothes on,” I said. I knew these boys too well. Ben grinned then disappeared upstairs. When he reappeared he was clad like the others. He sat on the sofa and turned so that he was facing Monica and I. “Mr Webber, ” he began, ” says he can’t teach me any more speech. He says I don’t need to learn any more from him, and I’ll pick up the rest for myself. He says, after the summer holidays, that I’ll just be doing normal lessons, if Rob wants him to take those.” There wasn’t even a trace of accent in his voice. He was Australian, but didn’t sound it. That wasn’t surprising. What would have been surprising, was that there was no hesitation, no searching for words, no stumbling over sentences. It was difficult to remember to face him so that he could lip-read, because he didn’t speak as if he needed to. I smiled. “I’m not surprised Ben,” I told him slowly, “because you have worked very hard. Now I need to talk to you boys, and to Monica.” We sat on the sofa, and both armchairs in what was almost a circle. We had got into the habit of doing that lately, because it gave Ben a chance. “Boy’s,” I said, “and Monica. My boss spoke to me today, and there’s just a chance that I might have to go back to America, sometime during the Summer holidays. He was only warning me that it might happen, but he knows that I couldn’t go on my own. That would be a terrible disruption of your Summer holidays, and I appreciate how much you would hate having to go there……… ” I was suddenly buried in almost naked boys. I struggled for a minute or two and eventually managed to shake them off. “Right,” I said. ” So I’ll tell Mr. Hepworth that you’re not prepared to go.” Monica stood and deliberately placed herself in the path of another onslaught. The boys sat down again. “I’m assuming,” Monica said, “that you have some emails to send. I’ll see you on Monday morning Ben.” With that she departed. I was somewhat taken aback. I’d never known Monica to get emotional, but for some reason I’d expected a different reaction from her. It was almost as tunceli escort if she disapproved of the news. She was right about one thing though. As soon as dinner was over, I did have to email Jake. I found I’d been beaten to it. Ashfield Ma 07/05/19 Hi Jonah Don’t know what England’s like at the moment but they reckon Massachusetts is in the middle of one of the hottest spells in history. We’ve had no rain for weeks and the forestry folks are starting to worry about the risk of wildfires. That isn’t what I mailed you to tell you though. Kori and Liam are finishing school for the summer in a week or two and they get kinda restless when that happens. Truth is, so do I. If you’re going to be about, and if you don’t have other plans, I’d dearly love to visit with you for a week at the start of August. Of course, I know how busy family life can be, and we’ll understand if it isn’t convenient, but I’m also conscious that my Godson is growing up and I’d love to be there to see him. I don’t expect an answer right away, but I’d be glad if you’d think about it. Kori and Liam said Hi as well. Jake. I blinked – then read it once more. Panic started to rise in my breast. Of course I wanted to see them again, and the boys would mutiny if I said no, but we have three more people living here than we had at Christmas. How do we cope with that. I needed a plan. Common sense began to re-assert itself. If I needed a plan, there was no way it was my job to come up with one for everybody. Jake was involved too, and so, on the other front, was Derek. Time to get the troops mobilised. First job then, would be to reply to Jake’s email. Harrow 5 July 2009 Hi Jake. If you think you’re getting itchy feet sitting there in America while we’re over here, you want to see us lot. We really do miss you when we’re not with you. If you’re planning to come and see us, we will be overjoyed. There are however, one or two things that you should know. One is that my boss may be thinking of sending some of us back to New England in the near future. I don’t know any more details than that yet. The next is that we have three more people living here than there were at Christmas. I haven’t worked out a solution to that, but I’m sure there must be one – it just needs cleverer brains than mine to find it. I’ll consult Rob when he gets back from work, and ask my boss to work on it but, in the meantime, if you come up with a clever plan, I’d love to hear it. Jacob is walking now. His talking skills are still pretty rudimentary, but he’s only seven months old yet. Ben is talking too, which is a relief to some of us. He almost never uses his telepathy skills and Dave Webber thinks they’ll die off since he doesn’t need them now. He’s a smart lad and Rob thinks he’ll probably be in this country for a number of years now, since Ben might benefit from an Oxbridge education. Of course, if he goes to Oxford, I’ll never speak to him again. Neither of them is in a hurry to go back to Australia. Anyway, that’s the news from this side of the ocean. Speak again soon. Love and kisses. Jonah TO BE CONTINUED If you’ve enjoyed this story, you’ll probably enjoy other stories in this series by the same author. This is the latest in a series that includes “A letter from America”, “Stranger on a train,” “Marooned”, “the Boston Tea Party”, “Immigrant,” and “A Cantabrian Operetta”, all the foregoing are on Nifty’s Adult/Youth site. The Pen Pals” is on Young Friends. You might also like “A neglected Boy”, by Jacob Lion, also on Adult/Youth. You can find links to all these stories, as well as some illustrations on Jacob Lion’s website bly/jonah-stories.html My thanks go to Jacob for providing this facility as well as for his kind and generous support without which I would never have written any of them.

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