Jason Sinks to a New Low ….

13 Apr

Another release in the Jason series from Violetta Antcliff on the Wee Folk GSP Promo.


Lost in a maze of underground tunnels, Jason and his friend Wayne are not only in danger of freezing to death or dying slowly of starvation, they are also at risk of being murdered by two dangerous criminals if they are caught. Danger lurks around every dark, dank corner and Jason needs all his wits about him to keep one step ahead.


Chapter One

A notice the waste ground had been acquired by the council and was up for redevelopment was big enough for anyone to see, but the boys chose to ignore it. They knew where a section of the fence surrounding the ground was in need of repair, and it wouldn’t be the first time they’d taken advantage of the fact.

After first making sure no one was about, they pushed one of the lose panels to one side, scrambled through and pulled it back into position behind them.

Once inside they stood, hands shading their eyes from the fading sun, and looked around.

“They’ve done nowt,” cried Wayne in disgust, and throwing his arms in the air, spun them round like a windmill.

“What did you expect?” returned Jason, equally disappointed at finding nothing had changed since the last time they’d sneaked inside.

“I thought at least there’d have been a workman’s hut or summat,” Wayne plonked down heavily on a fallen log and pushed his hair back out of his eyes.” Shall we go home, then?” Jason joined him on the log and rested back against the trunk of a tree.

“You can if you want; I’m staying here for a bit,” mumbled Wayne. “There must be something round here worth looking at.”

Jason thought about the homework in his duffle-bag and how he should have been at home doing it, instead of sitting there wasting time. He knew Wayne was in no rush to get home, because for the second time in a month, he’d smashed a pane of glass in the next door neighbour’s cold frame. His spends were already being stopped for the last time it had happened, and he knew he’d be in for another ticking off when his dad got home from work.

Jason closed his eyes, his thoughts drifting slowly back to the hard day he’d had at school and how unfairly he believed he’d been treated. Mr Cox, his teacher, had told him off in front of the class, twice. Once for daydreaming when he hadn’t been; he’d only been thinking how he could get his dad to fork out for a new pair of football boots, as the studs on his old ones needed replacing. Then again for talking in class, when he’d only asked Richard Bates what time it was because he was ready to go home; and for this he’d been given fifty lines to write.

The sun had gone in, and it had turned cold, cold enough for Jason to stir himself. He opened his eyes, scratched his head and rubbed his hands together to warm them up. “Way-n-e,” he drawled and waited for him to answer. When he didn’t, he looked around to find out why, but Wayne was no longer sitting where he’d been only a short time earlier; he was nowhere to be seen. Jason was puzzled, couldn’t believe his friend would creep off without saying anything to him first.

“Wayne where are you?” he called sharply. But apart from the sound of wind rustling through leaves on the tree, and the pitter-patter of a mouse scurrying from behind an upturned rubbish bin, there was neither sight nor sound of Wayne or anything else; it was creepy.

Jason gave a shrill whistle, but there was no reply, nothing. He tried again, still no response. He was fuming, and muttering under his breath what he would do the next time he saw him. He stomped over to the loose piece of fencing they’d come in by and pushed it roughly to one side. He was just about to step through, when he heard someone calling his name. He stopped and listened. He didn’t think the voice sounded like Wayne’s; it was too croaky, but in spite of that, he knew it couldn’t possibly be anybody else’s as nobody else knew he was there.

He returned to the spot under the tree where he’d last seen Wayne, but nothing had changed. A mouse vigorously sorted through the rubbish looking for titbits, and the tree still shook its leaves.

Jason stood, arms folded, listening; “I know I’m not hearing things,” he said to himself. “I definitely heard someone calling me.”

He raised his voice, “Wayne, you’d better show yourself, or I’ll go home and leave you to it. And,” he threatened, “I won’t come and visit you if you get caught and thrown into prison for trespassing.”

“I’m down here; come and get me out.” A voice weak and hardly audible trailed thinly in the air. It was followed by a violent bout of coughing and sneezing.

“Speak up, I can’t hear you. Where’s down here? How can I get you out if I don’t know where you are?”

“I don’t know where I am. It’s dark and I’m scared, come and get me out pl-e-a-se.”

Wayne sounded terrified, and Jason knew he wasn’t pretending. “Are you sure you can’t see anything?” he asked.

“I told you I couldn’t, didn’t I?”

“Okay, don’t panic. If you can’t tell me where you are, can you tell me how you got there in the first place?”

“I went looking for conkers, tripped over, banged my head, and the next thing I knew I was down here where I am now; so come and get me out.”

It was starting to get dark and Jason knew if he wasn’t home soon he’d be in trouble. His sister Alison had only just started talking to him after being sent to the rec to look for him the last time he’d been late home from school. All the same, he knew he couldn’t leave without first finding Wayne.

“Stay where you are, I’m coming to find you.” Jason looked wildly around. He had no idea where to start looking. The waste ground covered a large area, big enough to build a supermarket on, if the rumours were true.

He wandered aimlessly back and forth, returning time and time again to the place where he’d last heard Wayne’s voice. He peered into ditches half full of muddy water, tore his trousers, got his legs stung with nettles, tripped over fallen branches, grazed his knees, but he knew he couldn’t stop looking until he’d found his friend.

In the distance, he heard the town hall clock strike the hour; he’d been searching since the clock last struck fifteen minutes ago, and he was still no nearer to finding Wayne. He’d run out of ideas, was at a loss as what to do next, and it was time they were home. Cupping his hands round his mouth he yelled, “Where are you?” so loud, he scared the tiny mouse off.

“I’m down here,” echoed mournfully back from directly below where Jason was standing. He dropped to his knees and pressed his ear to the ground.

“Wayne, listen I want you talk, sing, make a noise—anything, while I try and pinpoint exactly where you are. I think you must be in a cave or something because your voice’s got a funny echo to it. You didn’t crawl into a drain pipe, did you?” Jason thought that was a likely explanation as there were all kinds of rubble littered around.

“No I didn’t, now stop asking me daft questions and just come and get me out of here. And if you want me to start singing, I only know one song; ‘All things bright and beautiful,’ will that do?”

“Just sing, and I’ll follow where the sound’s coming from.”

“Hurry up then, because I’m starving.”

Jason grinned; he knew if Wayne was complaining he was hungry it could only mean he wasn’t hurt, and getting him to sing would take his mind off things.

On all fours, Jason crawled around following Wayne’s shaky voice, sometimes loosing it altogether and having to backtrack. Finally a bout of coughing, louder than any he had heard before, convinced him Wayne really was directly beneath where he was kneeling.

He stood up. He needed to stretch his legs because they were aching from so much crawling around and he had the beginnings of cramp. He stamped his foot, hoping it would loosen the knotted muscles in his calf, but it didn’t. If anything, it made them worse, but as stamping had cured his cramp once before, he tried again, only this time he stamped much harder.

The earth shook and a noise like the rumble of thunder filled the air. Jason thought it was an earthquake; he wanted to run, but his legs refused to move. He watched in horror as the ground beneath him began to crumble away. He screamed, afraid he was falling to his death. Grappling, snatching, clawing, he tried to save himself but it was no use. Sliding, rolling, tumbling, he plummeted ever deeper into the jaws of a yawning black hole.

About the author

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.





2 Responses to “Jason Sinks to a New Low ….”

  1. chalaedra April 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Reblogged this on Chalaedra's Weblog and commented:

    Can Jason and Wayne possibly survive against all the odds? Jason Sinks to a New Low, a short story by Violetta Antcliff. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#NewLow

  2. Dawn Colclasure April 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Loved this book! Nice to see it featured. 🙂

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