Flank Street - a thriller by A.J. Sendall

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I didn’t set out to write about Micky, or Carol, come to that. The rain was falling steadily, running down the small, below ground-level window, which is the only source of natural light in the boiler-room where I write. For some obscure reason it reminded me of a rain-soaked street in Sydney, Australia; a street I’ve walked down many times, both wet and dry.

As I held that image in the back of my eyelids, a man appeared. Yellow streetlights reflected in the wet tarmac; he walked in the shadow of the plane trees, pulling his hood up against the unrelenting rain. As I watched, he stopped, leaned against a tree, and waited.

Right at that moment, I knew what I had to do.

I didn’t know Micky, but I’ve known guys like him, and so his character was soon defined; a grifter that could never amount to much without living in the shadows.

You meet Micky when he arrives in Sydney on a rundown yacht, broke and on the lookout for opportunity. He’d no CV, and no skills other than those earned by any dedicated career criminal. His twisted inertia drew him to the only place where he could survive; the red-light district of Kings Cross.

He took a job as barman, continued to live on his boat, and kept his head low. After a month, he was approached by a woman, a regular at the bar, who needed something stolen. He reluctantly agreed.

Nothing is what it seems, as Micky falls into a honey trap that spins his life out of control and pushes him to the edge of sanity.

I had fun writing Flank Street, and when it was done, I missed spending my days with Micky and Carol. I missed Carol’s feistiness, her sultry take me to bed eyes that could so quickly turn to cunning. And Micky, for all his faults, was a good guy to hang out with. I’d like to sit and have another drink with him one day… one day.

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