Confronting The Hostile: Book Four of The Hostile series
Best Book Bit:
‘Good morning. You’re speaking to Nigel. How can I help you?’
For about twenty seconds, all he can hear is deep, ominous breathing.
‘How can I help you?’ Gaining no response, he thinks, Oh, God … not another nutter on the line. A great way to start the day. If they don’t hurry up, they’re going to screw up my call times. The insurance company he works for insists on an average call times of under five minutes.
He can hear Barbara speaking quietly and professionally down the line to her customer. Hearing nothing coming from her colleague, she glances over at him. He raises his eyebrows, points at the headset and mouths, ‘Wanker.’ Barbara smiles understandingly at him. Then she sees the expression on Nigel’s face change to one of alarm.
‘Die, kiddie fiddler,’ says a deep, unearthly voice into Nigel’s ear.
Before Nigel can escape, the long, black cord of his headset winds around his pale neck, pulling so tightly his eyes seem about to pop. He tries to stand up, but the cord has oddly shortened, preventing his attempts. His hands claw desperately at his neck, trying to end the painful choking. Startled, Barbara springs to her feet and tries to unwind the cord from his neck, but it’s immovable and pulling ever-tighter, until Nigel is purple in the face, his tongue lolling from the side of his mouth. Hearing the commotion, call workers swoop from all corners of the office to help.
All attempts to free Nigel are proving futile. Panic hits the office with full force. Blood trickles out of his mouth from where he’s bitten his tongue. He’s making the strangest gurgling noises as he thrashes about in desperation. His neck is cut and streaming blood down his beige shirt from where Mia, the office’s young first aider, has tried to cut the cord of the headset with a scalpel.
Mia shouts, ‘This headset must be made of steel. Hurry up … pull the end of it out of the computer and unwind the bloody thing from his neck. He’s gonna die if we don’t.’
‘Shut your noise! I’m trying to … it won’t budge,’ shouts Brian, the strongest man in the building. As he struggles to do what should be easy, he thinks, I’ll never live this down if I fail to dislodge the end. What kind of force is holding it in there? Makes no sense.
When tugging does no good, he resorts to bashing the plastic connector linking the headset to the computer, to no avail. He stands back in disgust and puzzlement, watching scores of other workers noisily lining up to attempt to succeed where Brian has failed. Everyone has an opinion on how best to free the man, whose eyes are in danger of popping out of their sockets. While too many well-intentioned cooks are spoiling the broth, Nigel Thompson is busy dying.