My first tentative venture into crime fiction occurred many years, even decades, ago. As tends to be my way of doing things, I started writing and let the characters lead me.
Chief among them was a mild and insignificant denizen of suburban life, Garfield Parks.
Why he was called that, I have no idea; that back story had yet to be discovered and written.
Then other things intervened: work, business, life and love among them. Garfield and his troubles were set aside for another time – one that never arrived.
Fortunately I did at least transcribe this hand-written tale from exercise book to computer. But that was many PCs and laptops ago and Garfield became lost among the many updates and data transfers.
His wife, so we are told, had also disappeared. She had not returned from what Garfield maintained was a visit to her sister. By now the police have arrived … and that is where I left him, being grilled by two highly suspicious detectives.
Searches of old CDs and memory sticks failed to find him. The passwords to three external drives where he could possibly be hiding have been forgotten and cannot be reset.
Poor old Garfield, lost and gone forever with never a change of removing the taint of guilt hanging over him.
More much-needed sorting and decluttering revealed three memory sticks used for backing up files and storing pictures.
And there among them was the yet-to-be titled nascent story of Garfield and his missing wife. Well, at least the opening chapters – a total of a mere 4000 words.
In all modesty, I always thought it was a pretty good effort for a would-be author. That opinion remains unchanged after re-reading it today after the many years of tuition, study and honing my craft that have occurred in the intervening years.
All I ask for now is that Garfield does a Rip Van Winkle and soon awakes from his slumbers to lead me through whatever dilemmas, dramas, dangers and detours beset him as he fights to clear his name.
I fear there were sinister forces at work; that there was much more to the innocuous Mr Parks than has so far been revealed.
Maybe the police were right to have suspicions, especially as he seemed so unworried and vague.
And then there’s his wife’s bossy sister who has never hidden her antagonism to their marriage.
Come on, Garfield. What happened? Where to now? Where is the body – if there is a body – and who put it there?
Watch this space …..