When her daughter announces her intentions to marry her childhood sweetheart, Jess Gordon is far from happy with this wonderful news, and boy does she let the village know about it.
This is a disaster in her eyes, and there is no way she's going to let her daughter make the biggest mistake in her life by marrying beneath her.
Drastic actions are needed, that is without a doubt. But what will happen when the ball starts to roll, and the fall out from these terrible actions takes its hold? What is Jess thinking? Is she only thinking of her daughter's happiness, or is she only thinking of herself, and the secret she desperately needs to keep?
Or, is she only thinking of murder?
What The seeds of Lies is about.
The Seeds of lies tells the story of what happened to Jess, who happens to be a very rich lady of the village of Boswell in Cornwall. After her daughter, Paula announces she is going to marry local builder, Kirk,Jess starts to panic as she is very much against this marriage for reasons only known to herself. However, a very unpopular man of the village has worked out why Jess does not want her daughter to wed. When he confronts her about his findings, the blackmail starts. The story moves on telling the tale how Jess tries to bring a halt to the blackmail as well as trying to stop the wedding of the young couple who are determined to tie the knot.
Old Man Bronson picked up his violin in his left hand before steadying the body of the instrument under his chin. His bow, already in his right, instantly settled on the fine set of strings. Slowly, and carefully, he drew it back, creating the first note of the C minor scale for the count of two. Moving his fingers to make the notes vibrato, he moved the bow again, telling the locals in the pub the music was about to start.
He played gently at first, as he always did, but only for a few bars. He raised his eyes up and looked along the stem of his instrument to observe the folk looking directly back at him. Knowing he had their full attention, he flicked his wrist to swiftly change the tempo, bringing the bow rapidly dancing backwards and forwards, sending an old, but lively Cornish melody around the confines of the lounge with a crescendo of noise.
At a loud count of four his partner, Jim Devlin sprang to life by pressing the bellows of his squeezebox in exactly the same way he had done for the last fifty years since he moved into the small seaside village of Boswell. A whoop of delight came from someone in the bar. It didn’t matter who, as no one cared. Others tapped their feet. Some gently drummed with their hands on the small round tables in front of them, but they all had one thing in common. Each and everyone of them were more than happy to be here on this cold Saturday evening, taking in the wonderful atmosphere of this delightful little pub by the sea. Also, no one cared if the sea shanties being played seemed to be as old as the hills around them. As a matter of fact, most of the village folk sitting drinking ale had heard these tunes hundreds of times before, and no doubt will hear them all again in the coming months.
But that’s what they treasured, week in and week out. To them it was all part of village life, a life they loved, and thought of no good reason to change.Likewise, the village itself, nobody ever thought to change it too. Apart from the odd lick of paint, a few road signs and double yellow lines, the council decided to vandalise the road with the village probably looked the same this evening as it had done a hundred years ago.
Beautiful, without a doubt, and, if anyone looked down from one of the two small cliff edges above it, they might have been left with a memory of admiration of how the small stone cottages sat nestled into the quayside, along with two quaint fishing boats, softly bobbing about on the water. And that is why, very few of those who were lucky to live in the village would disagree; if it were to be said, that Boswell is one of the most charming of all the villages in this part of Cornwall.
However, tonight no one would have thought to call the village quaint, not with the weather they were experiencing. It was a terrible night. Even for the month of April, when rain was expected, it was harsh. This evening, it was more than rain; it was a full-blown storm blowing off the Atlantic Ocean. The wind whipped and whistled through the rocky crags, and the torrential rain that came with it, had already caused the turbulence of the wild waterfall which sat to the side of the village to growl and thunder, as the extra water pounded hard on the rocks below. Nevertheless, tonight, no one cared about the weather. Or the cold for that matter, as half the village folk were enjoying the warmth, as well as the rustic smell of smoke from the log fire, creating a wonderful ambiance which came naturally to this somewhat historic public house.
Paul Jones, who lived in the village, and the local bobby, was propping up the bar as usual. He came from London many years ago after a whirlwind romance with a girl from the village called Julie. It was said this romance started in Benidorm when the two of them met on holiday. Anyway, Julie found herself pregnant a few months after her return, and the next thing she knew; she was walking down the aisle, with him waiting at the altar.
At the time no one said it would work out, simply because they were so miss-matched. She was the quiet type, and he was a big-headed so and so by always shouting his mouth off about how good a policeman he was. That hadn’t changed from the day of his wedding to this. To prove it, tonight was no exception. This was because, he was telling anyone who cared to listen, about how he was just about to catch a group of poachers, who had been hunting deer from the woods outside the village.
Of course, he had been saying this for some time, and if he were honest with himself, he would admit, he was nowhere near to catching the poachers tonight, as he was on the first night he started his quest. ' 'So, how exactly are you going to catch them?’ Brian Bronson, the son of Old Man Bronson, asked the policeman.
‘I’ve noticed they never seem to lay their traps in the same place twice,’ he answered the young lad. ‘With that, I’ve been working out where they’ve been, and where they’re likely to strike next. I would take it at a calculated guess the woods at the back of The Posh House seems to be the most likely place, so I’ll keep an eye out there,’
‘That’s good thinking,’ Bill said with a bit of a smile on his face, more than happy that the policeman had a big mouth. He was happier still, and more confident that he, as well as most of the villagers, would have a nice cut of venison on their dinner plates later that week.
As the two men were talking, the noise in the bar stepped up a notch or two, where in the far corner, two women started to sing happily along to the music, but stopped suddenly as a young lad of about twenty stumbled into a table knocking over some drinks, followed by a bellowing voice.
‘Oi, you stupid drunken idiot, can’t you watch where you’re going.’ Harold Abbot protested loudly, angry at the lad who had been in the pub for the best part of the day, knocking back as many lagers as he could manage.
‘Sorry Harold. I’m a bit pissed tonight,’ Legless Don as he was known, slurred out his words.
‘You deserve the back of my hand, and you’re going to get it if you don’t put your hand in your pocket and buy me another, and I’ll have a whisky chaser for my troubles.’
Old Man Bronson, feeling the atmosphere change, stopped playing his instrument, as did his partner, Jim. The tapping feet and hands drumming in time to the music ceased as those in the bar sensed, not for the first time in his life, Harold Abbot was going to ruin what was becoming a good night in the pub
.‘I’ll have to get you one some other time,’ Legless Don said to the big man in front of him as he put his hand in his pocket to retrieve his wallet. He opened it to show him it was devoid of any cash. ‘I’ve no money left Harold. I’ve spent it all on drink, sorry.’
‘Then why don’t you piss off home,’ Harold chided the lad who tried once again to apologise.
‘I said I was sorry. When I get paid on Thursday, I’ll buy you another pint.’
‘Aye, I can see that happening,’ Harold replied before carrying on. ‘You’re nothing but a drunken disgrace. Just like your father was, and your going to end up like him. Too pissed to even walk home, he was; fell off the quay, and too drunk to climb out.’
‘Leave him alone Harold. Do you not think the lad already knows that?’ the voice of Old Man Bronson stepped in to protect the youngster from another verbal onslaught, and one he could do well without, as everyone knew Don wasn’t coping very well with the recent death of his father.
Harold wasn’t bothered. He had never liked Don’s father, and it looked like he had the same feelings for his son too. He never replied to Old Bronson’s comments. Instead, he turned back to the very upset young lad and gave him one hell of a look of distaste.
‘Well, as I said, why don’t you piss off home?’
‘Well, why don’t you piss off back; you fat git?’ the lad replied, trying to show some defiance to the man who had just insulted his dead father.
‘What did you call me?’ Harold snarled.
'A fat git, but not just that, you’re a deaf, fat git if you didn’t hear me the first time'.
‘Right, that’s it,’ Harold growled even louder as he stood up and grabbed the young lad by the collar.
‘Okay, that’s enough you two,’ another voice shouted from behind the bar belonging to Jimmy Keller, the pub landlord. ‘I’ll not be having any trouble in my pub, that’s the rule, and you should know it by now. Let him go Harold, or you’ll be barred for a week.’
‘What! You’re going to bar me? That prick has knocked my pint over the floor. You should bar him, not me.’
'You’re right Harold, I can see that, but what’s done is done, and I’ll talk to him when he’s sober. But I’ll not tell you again, I won’t be having any fighting in my bar, you hear me?’ Harold let him go, but as he did, he pushed the lad to the feet of Paul Jones, the policeman.
‘Right you, out,’ the policeman commanded the young lad as he pulled him up back up to his feet, and frog-marched him towards the door. Much to Jimmy’s annoyance, as it’s his pub, and he’s the one who makes the decisions on who gets thrown out, and who gets to stay. As it happened, he was about to give him his marching orders anyway, as he always did about this time on a Saturday night.
'Right, that’s that then,’ Harold said annoyed he will have to buy himself another beer.
‘Here, have this one on the house,’ Jimmy said as he went to pull the pint. ‘But, be warned Harold, I mean what I say. If I have any trouble from you, or anyone else for that matter, you will be out that door, no matter how big you are.’
Harold took the pint without a thank you, but let out some inaudible grumble as he moved away from the bar and back to his seat. As he did, Old Man Bronson started on his violin again, and if by magic, the foot tapping started, and the conversations once again lifted; even though most of them were back on the subject of how, once again, Harold Abbot always seemed to have the knack of ruining a good time for everyone he met.
It didn’t take long before the ambiance in the pub completed a U-turn to the jovial atmosphere it was before Harold Abbot’s outburst. Old Man Bronson and Jim were once again playing merrily along. Archie Dobson, as predicted, started to dance his version of the Highland Fling, but in reality he was only prancing around with his hands in the air, making himself look like an idiot. That was until Jimmy rang the brass bell behind the bar and cried out in a very broad West Country accent.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ he shouted in a cheerful tone. ‘I’ve got an announcement to make. Actually it’s not me, but my good friend sitting by the fire has something to tell you all. Over to you Kirk.’
All eyes turned towards the log fire as a young man of twenty-nine years, with a big mop of blond curly hair who everyone knew, stood up notably nervous.
‘Err, I don’t know how to say this,’ he said as he looked around the room scanning those in the bar until his eyes met those of his father sitting next to one of his friends.
‘What is it Kirk?’ he said with a concerned look as if he already had an idea what he was going to say. ' 'Well, I’ve got a bit of news to tell you all,’ Kirk carried on. As he did, he motioned to a tall and attractive lady sitting next to him to stand. Of course, everyone in the pub knew her too. She was Paula, the daughter of one of the locals, Robbie Gordon, a very well-to-do resident of the village. She smiled coyly when she stood up, and Kirk put his arm around her slender waist pulling her close, telling everyone she was his new girlfriend. But the announcement he was about to make was going to tell them more than that.
‘Okay, I’ll keep this short. Most of you know Paula has recently come back from working abroad for the best part of the last two years. Anyway, during this time she was away, I’ve really missed her. So to stop this happening again…’ he said with an uneasy laugh. ‘I’ve asked Paula to marry me, and she has agreed.
’As soon as those words left his mouth, the whole bar in a sort of mistimed unison all said, ‘That’s nice,’ or other similar statements, followed by many words of congratulations. However, as Kirk smiled, he had noticed there were also a few negative murmurings from some folk, as well one man calling him an idiot under his breath. Others commented that they would give it no more than a year. Naturally these unhelpful comments upset him, as well as Paula, but they both knew they would be ignored, and proved wrong. With this in mind, they both carried on smiling as Kirk looked towards his father, who wasn’t.
This puzzled Kirk, as he could not see any reason why his father looked saddened by this news. His first thoughts were; it might have been that he hadn’t told him before announcing it to the whole pub. He immediately felt guilty. The thing was, he only asked Paula to marry him only a few moments before, so he never really had the chance. However, he knew he would talk to him and sort it out later. Once again, Jimmy pulled on the bell, and with the same bellowing sound as before, shouted,
‘Ladies and Gentlemen. Would you all raise your glasses with me and wish the future bride and groom, all the best of luck for what lies ahead, on what I can only describe as great news,’ he laughed as he carried on. ‘Even if it has come as a great shock to all of us.’
The big man raised his glass, as did the others in the bar, and all said in unison, ‘To Paula and Kirk.’
The words of Jimmy rang true, as it was a shock to all in the bar, including the young couple to some extent. If you were to have asked Paula; as well as Kirk, both would have said something like, they were somewhat shocked themselves at what had just happened. Especially Kirk. Even when he walked through the door of the pub that evening, the thought hadn’t crossed his mind about popping the question. But something must have pulled at his heartstrings, as the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ somehow came out without him thinking. Paula’s heart melted, and without even thinking herself, the answer came back as a loud, ‘Yes, of course I will.’
However, stunned as they were, the pair found it amusing as they listened to the various comments going around the bar. The comment of a whirlwind romance was heard more than once and in this case; it would have been a correct description. It was less than two weeks since they started dating. However, Cupid shot his arrow, and as a result the young couple were head over heels in love at the consequence of the shot. Nevertheless, for those who described this as a whirlwind romance, there would have been no way any of them could have said it was love at first sight. If anyone had thought about it, Paula and Kirk had known each other for probably as long as they could remember. In a way, you could just about say they grew up together, even if Paula had spent a great deal of time away from the village in boarding school.
However, come Christmas and the holidays in the summer, Paula always returned to the village to spend time with her parents up at what was known in the village as the, Posh house. A grand place it was, this Posh House. Owned by her family for generations, so it seemed. Like the village, it was a picturesque place to live. Not quite a castle, but it did have a few ramparts along the roof and as a small square tower. If you stood at the top of this tower, you could see for miles out to sea. On the other side, looking inland, you would have an excellent view of a beautiful river. But the best part was the view of the waterfall. Paula loved this, especially in the autumn when the trees were turning into different shades of brown. ‘Paradise,’ she often called it, and she certainly had happy memories of where she grew up.
Without a doubt, amongst her favourite memories would have been when she was a child playing with the other children of the village. Kirk and Jimmy were her two favourites, as well as another boy called Norton, who unfortunately moved away after he joined the police force a few years back.
This saddened Paula when he left, as she desperately needed her friends with her at the time. The reason being, even though she grew up in the village, she rarely felt a big part of it. For all others who were born and bred here, this should have come naturally to them, but it didn’t for her. This troubled Paula a great deal, but she knew exactly why she felt this way, and it was because of her parent’s attitude to the other village folk. They were rich, and the others weren’t. Sadly, they somehow had a great knack of telling them this was the case. Of course an arrogance like this made them unpopular to say the least. Unfortunately, from time to time, this unpopularity rubbed off on Paula too. However, she still had her three best friends with her most of the time as she grew from a child to the young lady she is today. But, out of the three of them, it was Kirk she had the extra special bond with, and soon she would strengthen this bond with a ring.
‘Come on guys, make room for the good-looking fella,’ Jimmy said jokingly as he made his way through the bar with a bottle of whisky in one hand and three small glasses in the other. He put them on the table in front of the happy couple.‘Here you are you two. Get those down your neck,’ he said as he poured out three very generous measures. ‘Not every night we have something like this to celebrate.’
‘Thank you Jimmy,’ Paula said taking a glass, and all three made a toast to friendship.
‘By the way, what have your parents got to say about it all?’ Jimmy asked Paula.
‘They don’t know yet. I’m going to nip outside and call them on my mobile, before anyone else does.’
‘As you know you can only get a signal from the car park, and if you’re in luck, it might have stopped raining.’
‘Let’s hope so,’ she replied smiling and quickly give Kirk a quick peck on his cheek before making her way outside. Doing so she had no option but to pass Harold Abbot. She didn’t want to say anything to him, but unfortunately he stood right in front of her before she got to the door. He didn’t say anything, but instead started to sing an old song by Fred Astaire in a mocking kind of way. The one about facing the music while there is trouble ahead. At first Paula wanted to ignore the man, but somehow she took the bait.
‘What the hell do you mean by that?’
‘Me, I’m only singing a song that’s all,’ he carried on mocking her as she simply replied. ‘Idiot,’ and walked out of the door to the car park.
Harold ignored the insult, picked up his pint and walked over to where Kirk was sitting, being congratulated by his father, Gerd.
‘That was a surprise Son,’ Gerd said with a faint German accent, which was really Austrian, but no one around here could tell the difference.
‘You don’t look very happy about it Dad,’ Kirk replied concerned.
‘I’m happy that you’ve picked Paula to be your bride. She’s a lovely, attractive girl without a doubt, and I think she’ll be great for you. But, I’ll be honest with you Kirk, I’m worried you’ve bitten off more than you can chew that’s all.’
‘What do you mean?’ Kirk asked, but it was Harold who gave the answer.
‘Because you are being stupid by getting married into that family, you dickhead, that’s what he means.’
‘Do you mind Harold! I’m trying to talk to my son.’ Gerd replied somewhat annoyed with him interrupting their conversation, even though he thought he was correct in what he had said about Paula’s family.
‘Don’t you worry, Harold,’ Kirk said, also annoyed with the intrusion. ‘I’m a big boy now, so I know what I’m doing,’
‘Well, don’t blame me if your marriage goes tits up after a year.’
‘It won’t come to that, I’m sure,’ Kirk answered wanting him to go away. ‘So, if you don’t mind, I would like to talk to my father, if that’s okay.’
‘I’m only trying to do you a favour,’ Harold replied. ‘You’re from different worlds, you and Paula. You should stick to your own and not get involved with some rich family. Trust me Kirk, her father is nothing but a bastard who couldn’t give a fuck about anyone around here, apart from himself.’
‘I’m sure he’s not like that Harold,’ Gerd said in a way to show his patience was wearing thin.
‘I heard he’s thinking about putting himself up to be our next member of parliament in London. No doubt that will only be for his own good, and nobody else’s. Obviously I don’t need to tell you, he won’t be getting my vote.’
‘Yes, and he won’t be getting mine either,’ Gerd replied, this time with a very strong tone now his patience was gone.
‘That’s because Krauts can’t vote over here, can they!’ Harold laughed.
‘Okay, I think you’ve said enough Harold,’ Gerd replied raising his voice and as all heads turned towards where he was sitting.‘I only wanted to congratulate your son on his engagement, that’s all. So I’ll be on my way,’ Harold grinned before walking off.
The two men waited until he was out of earshot before they carried on talking.‘Christ, he knows how to spoil a good time doesn’t he?’ Gerd said to his son through gritted teeth. ‘But, one thing I will say for him, he’s right in some respect. Just be very careful of her parents, that all I’m saying. Her father’s as dodgy as they come, and his wife Jess, can be just as bad.’
‘Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll be fine,’ Kirk replied, not quite believing it himself.
Outside, in the car park, Paula was thankful the rain had stopped. All the same, she took a deep breath before pressing the buttons on her mobile phone, which connected her to her house. She knew her father was away on a business trip somewhere in London, so she was fairly certain it would be her mother who would be picking up the phone. The phone rang three times before Paula pressed the red disconnect button.
Holding the phone to her chest, she let out a sigh. She knew she had to make the call; after all, it was the right thing to do. But she knew this was going to be so difficult. It shouldn’t be, Paula thought. This should be a happy phone call, one I should be eager to make and give out the good news. But Paula was far from convinced this would be good news for her mother. As a matter of fact, she knew deep down this would be terrible news. The reason being, Paula knew, as much as everyone else in the village, her parents had very high hopes that she would marry into a family of substance, and not a local builder.
Very old fashioned, most would say nowadays, but unfortunately that’s how her parents were when Paula thought about it. Not so much her father, he might be very disappointed at her choice. Probably stating something like he thought she could do much better than someone who works on a building site. Nevertheless, knowing her father, he’ll come around to the idea, once she convinces him they will be happy together. Only time would tell on that one. However, she knew it would take a massive amount of convincing her mother.
‘Oh God! Well, I have no choice. I have to do it eventually,’ she muttered to herself as she pressed the redial button. This time she waited, and even though it seemed her mother was taking ages, the ringing tone stopped and was replaced with a quick, ‘Hello.’
‘Hi Mother, it’s me. Guess what; I’m getting married,’ she said quickly, and trying to sound enthusiastic.
‘What!’ came a sharp reply.
‘That’s right. You would never believe it, but Kirk Müller has asked me to marry him, and I’ve said yes.’ There was a silence from the other end.
‘Mother, are you still there?’
‘Yes, of course I’m still here. What did you say?’ her mother asked, somewhat bewildered at what she had just heard.
‘Kirk; he’s asked me to be his wife. We’re going to get married.’ Again there was a silence. ‘Mother, you’ve gone quiet again,’ Paula said as she winced trying to imagine what her mother was thinking.
‘I don’t know what to say,’ her mother replied in a shaky voice.
‘Well, say something like you’re happy for us, everyone else is.’
‘What do you mean, everyone else?’
‘Yes, I know we should have told you first, but Kirk wanted to announce it as soon as I agreed to marry him.’
‘But, you can’t marry him.’
‘Please Mother, don’t make it difficult for me. I know you had plans, but Kirk is right for me, I know it.’
‘You hardly know him.’
‘Of course I do. I’ve known him since we were children.’
‘Yes I know that, but you still don’t know him really. As a matter of fact, young lady, I didn’t even know he was your boyfriend.’
‘I know it’s all happened quickly, but we’ll be good together. I just know it.’
‘No Paula, you will not,’ she replied, this time with a bit of anger in her voice. ‘I won’t allow it, and I don’t believe for one second your father will too. He won’t have it, and neither will I.’
‘Mother, I’m twenty-nine years old, and I think I can make my own decisions.’
‘It’s not that, it’s just…’
‘Just what Mother?’
‘Nothing, it’s just you can’t get married to that man, and that’s the end of it. Where are you anyway?’
‘We’re down in the pub.’
‘Just as I thought. Stay there, I’m coming down to sort this once and for all.’ With that, she slammed the phone down, clearly finishing the conversation.It started to rain again as Paula groaned inwardly. She knew her mother was going to take the news badly, and she didn’t know what to do. Then, as she thought about it, a certain apprehension came over her. Oh my God. What have I done?
She turned back to look into the bar through the windows. It was getting dark around the village and the lights were already lit inside the pub, making it easy to see what was happening inside. She looked towards the flames of the fire and saw Kirk standing shaking hands with one of his friends who was congratulating him on his future. She watched him take a big shot of whisky and then he smiled. He looked the picture of happiness and contentment standing next to the fire, and somehow he looked as if he fitted right in with village life. This was his home, he loved this village. He loved the people around him and they obviously loved him back. But what about her? Yes, she loved the village too, and most of the people who lived here. Whether they loved her back; that might be something else. But one thing was for sure, she was certain she did not want to stay here for the rest of her life. And what’s more, she still had something very important to tell Kirk. This something was what she had been working on for a long time and was determined to see through to the end.
The problem was, to do this meant she would have to live many miles away from the village of Boswell. This something was not only a great difference in miles, but a great difference in cultures too. Because, what she was determined to do, meant living in the great metropolis itself, the great metropolis of New York City. USA. And right now, Paula realised she had a problem; a big problem.
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