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Josh slouched lower on the bench seat and moodily surveyed his scuffed trainers at the end of his stretched his legs. He went over again the lead up to his world crashing down…

He’d been sauntering along, whistling through his teeth, a plastic carrier bag swinging from his hand when a voice spoke behind him.“Just a momento, pal. Haven’t you forgotten something?”

His heart leapt and raced. Beads of sweat popped up on his brow.

He’d turned to find a skinny girl at his elbow, who strongly resembled his daughter.

“Mind your own!” he snarled. His free hand curled into a fist. “Clear off!”

“I’m trying to help you, here…”

His fist had automatically shot out to smack her in the mouth, shut her up.

The next few seconds were a blur…

The next he knew, somehow, he was face down on the pavement, arm twisted up behind him with the girl kneeling on the small of his back, yelling for help as blood dripped from her nose onto his brand new Leeds United tee shirt.

He should be the one shouting for help, he had thought groggily. “HELP!”

His thoughts were interrupted by the court usher. “Joshua Templer, Court 2.”

Josh wearily got to his feet. A charge of Assaulting a Police Officer, was bad enough. Would the unpaid for goods found in his pockets be added on? He’d go down for sure…He’d certainly chosen the wrong day to shop…

Copyright ©2015  Betty Woodcock.

Photo by courtesy of hisks rgbstock.com



ebooks only. <>THE COTTAGE <> MAN IN THE MIRROR <> FEAR  {NEW}



red roses johnnyberg


I  hurried out of the Chinese Takeaway, carrier bags swinging from my fingers. I was planning to propose to Steph tonight, so what better than a meal a deux?  Okay, maybe a posh restaurant, I conceded, but it was the month end and cash was short. However, I hadn’t skimped on the romantic bits. Red roses and chocs were on the backseat of the car.

Better get a move on. I mustn’t begin the Night To Remember by turning up late.

I zapped my car’s locks and the lights flashed a welcome—followed by a loud wailing siren. I froze in shock. This had never happened before.  Then I realised that a red light was flashing on the front of the nearby Betting Shop. Hell! Had I done that as well?

Would another zap turn everything off? I was still dithering when three men wearing black woollen ski masks ran out of the Betting Shop. As they scrambled into the car in front of mine the shop door swung open again. The young man in the doorway had a trickle of blood above his left eye.

“Police! Stop!” he yelled. Then he saw me.  “Police!” He flashed a warrant card and snatched my keys “I’m commandeering your car.”

Open-mouthed, hand held up in protest, I watched the brake lights of my car disappear at speed.

“It’s always happening on TV,” said one of the gathering crowd.  “Never thought I’d see it in real life. A night to remember, eh? Something to tell your family.”

I nodded. I’d never forget the night my car was legally stolen. The Night All Hell Broke Loose.

No car, no red roses, no chocs…and I’d be late arriving at Steph’s with a cooling meal a deux …not the best ingredients for a proposal.

Copyright © 2015 Betty Woodock.

Photo by courtesy of johnnyberg  rgbstock.com







cocktails greekgod


Sheila had been surprised when her unassuming new boyfriend admitted to being a police officer. On the smallish side and thin, he didn’t look the type. However, she was proud of his dedication to putting the wrong ‘uns behind bars, as he put it.

However, she wasn’t quite as in tune with Adam’s career when they married a few years later.

He worked unsocial hours, and was often called out, which made a mockery of her plans. She’d lost count of the times she’d sat at home alone, all dressed up in going out finery, waiting for him to show.

It was on one of the it’s-too-late-to-go-out-now nights that they watched the reality TV show Who Do You Think You Are?

“Honestly!” Adam said tetchily. “Why do they always trace a celebrity’s ancestors? Folks who can afford to pay the cost of gallivanting here there and everywhere themselves. Should be ordinary folk like me and you.”

“You can trace your family tree online,” Shelia said. “You don’t have to move from your chair.”

“Not half as much fun, though. I fancy travelling, meeting long-lost cousins and such I didn’t know I had.”

Later, she wished she’d never made the suggestion. He said he was honing his detective skills and spent most of his free time hunched over the computer, jabbing at the keys, working his way back through time.

Occasionally she coaxed him away from his obsession for a night on the town, but he was poor company. He never stopped talking about the ancestors he had found, and how many had been in the police force. He proudly told anyone who listen that policing was in his genes, in his blood.

Sheila couldn’t help wishing that Adam would uncover an ancestor who was a villain. There would still be the link to the police if he had been arrested and shipped to Australia as a convict.

Maybe that would damp down his annoying enthusiasm, especially if she told him about her friend’s friend, who had almost died of shame when she unearthed a serial killer in her family tree.

Sheila finally cracked the day that Adam discovered he was a direct descendent of one of the original Bow Street Runners. He couldn’t wait to have a night out and share his exciting news.

“They were the first professional Police Force,” he proudly told his audience in the local pub. “Founded way back in 1742. Just six men and, guess what? My great-great-something uncle was one of them.”

He accepted the ‘well, I never’ comments as his due, and beamed round at his listeners.

“Policing is in my blood, like I’ve always said. Let me tell you about my Great-Uncle Edwin… but first, drinks all round. Barman? Set ‘em up, please.”

Sheila winced. Who did he think he was? Throwing their hard-earned cash away. She nudged him, about to hiss that famous ancestors didn’t make him a celebrity, when she had a better idea.

“What, darling?” he asked in response to her elbow-jab in his ribs.

“I never told you that I was tracing my own family tree, did I? W—ell, guess what?” She paused a moment then added her gold-plated-million-dollar lie. “Nell Gwnne is, or should I say was, my many-great-great-grandmother. You must all know that she was the mistress of Charles II, so…humble me has royal blood running through my veins.”

The silence was absolute.

Adam was gaping at her, open-mouthed with shock.

She lowered her eyes modestly and sipped her Pimms cocktail.

She’d managed to shut him up, at last.

Copyright © 2015 Betty Woodcock
Photo by courtesy of greekgod rgbstock.com
ebooks only <>THE COTTAGE <> MAN IN THE MIRROR <>

Granddad’s Legacy…

jaz1111  misty wood

Granddad’s Legacy was written as an exercise for my Writing Group…It may turn into a novel…


Finn got out of the car and stretched his taught muscles. Rotated his shoulders. He eased the door closed, no good would come of alerting the perp…who he hoped was long gone.

Early morning mist still clung to the lane leading off to the right.

He knew what waited ahead—

Bodies in a blood spattered clearing—exactly the same as last time.

His stomach stirred uneasily. Would he ever get used to this?

The call had come through at exactly the same time too, too.  Five-twenty.  Another half hour and he would have been off-shift and on his way home to catch up on his sleep.

The anonymous caller with the husky, whispery voice had asked specifically for the message to be passed to him. But why? The PSO who took the call had said the man, or it could have been a woman, had spooked her out.

Finn, arm on car roof, stared down the lane with its grass verge heavy with dew leading to grey shrouded trees. He briefly ran through his list of friends and relations. None, that he was aware of, was involved with criminals. Except his Granddad.

His mind slipped back down the years.

Saw a twelve-year old him, tiptoeing into the front room of their small terraced house, to say goodbye to Granddad. The curtains drawn across the window in respect, shut out the sun. His mother’s best white tablecloth covered the dining table. No crockery, just a coffin of dark wood. Granddad was inside. Not the Granddad he knew.

His face was the colour of beef dripping, his wayward hair neat and tidy. Best navy-pinstriped suit, white hanky peeping from the top pocket, and a matching white carnation in the buttonhole.  The collar of his white shirt was pulled high up his throat to hide the ugly slash he knew was there.  Finn’s eyes had settled on the familiar regimental tie and the heavy gold watch chain looped across the jacket.  He remembered how he had reached out to touch as he backed away…

Granddad’s gruff voice had seemed to fill his head. ‘Get the buggers, our Finn.’

The police radio chuntering to itself brought him back to the present.

“I will, Granddad. I will,” he said, stepping away from the car towards the waiting horror.


Photo by courtesy of jaz1111 rgbstock.com