An adventure that will take him on an historical journey across Europe. A father trying to protect his son. Relic collectors all in pursuit of a holy relic. A killer Cardinal hell bent on stopping them. Shoot outs, car chases and close escapes. A coffee shop girl completes the romance.
The Ring is the first book of a trilogy series. And it all begins with the discovery of an ancient ring and Arthur, an unlikely lad from the east end of London who wished an adventure.
A sunny autumn morning broke upon Watford Terrace. The cold breeze blew from the north-west. And a postman cycled along whistling an unrecognizable tune to himself. Much to the annoyance of Arthur McGee waiting at the mailbox, who thought no one should whistle unless it was in tune. And preferably a tune one could recognize.
“No mail today Arthur!” The Postman called out as he cycled passed by the gate and continued on his annoyingly whistling way.
Arthur returned inside the terraced homestead. Closing the door in time to keep the cold breeze from following him inside.
“Any mail today Arthur?” His Aunt enquired.
“Not today Aunty.” Not that he was expecting any, other than the gas bill.
Arthur was twenty-nine years old and successfully unemployed. Having been be laid off from the local council after another global recession had sent shock waves around the world. To pass his day he would read. He read about brave new worlds of courage and adventures of sailing to distant lands. Rounding the Horn in a fierce gale. Facing danger and living tell of the story. When not reading, he would go on walks around the streets of Watford and day-dream of the places he had read about in his books. The only adventure Arthur would face for now would be to the corner pub to watch football games with Phil over a pint. And a packet of Walkers crisps. Phil was Arthur’s best mate, and he had also been laid off from the Council.
His father, Alistair McGee, was a travelling salesman for an international Supply Chain Group. Selling stationary and tissue paper. He would often away for weeks travelling around Europe peddling the company’s wares. On his return he would tell Arthur tales of exotic places, exotic foods and equally exotic people.
Arthur’s mother had died of cancer when he was young. Old photographs reminded him of her beauty. And vague memories of her love. Everything happens for a reason. But what that reason was, was beyond him. But he believed she was with him in spirit. Watching over him.
Arthur lived with his Aunt. Or should it be said, his Aunt lived with him. Having moved in after his mother’s death. Someone to look after him while his father travelled. And she was the closest thing he had to a mother. After so many years of being around she had become a part of furniture. And something one could not throw out. She was a lovely lady as anyone who did not live with her would attest. Taking a daily supply of medication that would kill a small horse. He thought there were more drugs in her medical cabinet than there were on the streets. It would not have surprised him if she turned out to be head of a drug cartel in the East End of London. Expecting a dawn raid by the drug squad any day. She had a habit of taking in stray cats and giving them names like Dizzy, Lizzy, or Cuddles.
Often she could be heard humming an unrecognizable tune. For as much as Arthur detested whistling. Humming was second on his list of objectionable reverberations. He called this her fairy tune, for he was sure she was humming along with the fairies that only she could hear. On occasion she could be heard making an involuntary ‘Hmm!’ Unsure whether it was pleasure or pain, Arthur did not enquire. Despite the stray cats, the humming and the involuntary grunts, Arthur could not begrudge her these few comforts.
When not reading, day-dreaming, or at local with Phil, Arthur could be found drinking incalculable cups of tea and watching re-runs on the television with his Aunt. He felt he was slowly slipping into his Auntie’s silent world. And he wondered how long it would be before he too would be making involuntary grunts and humming a fairy tune to himself.
Sitting in his father’s large comfy arm chair and Arthur took stock of Watford Terrace and the world around him. It might have been the chill in the late autumn air that had unsettled Arthur that day. It could have been the postman’s annoying whistle. But something did not feel right. As if something was about to happen. But could not put his finger on it.
In the evenings Arthur would retire to his bed room to continue reading. Aunt would stop by and wish him sweet dreams and turn off his light. He would say a quiet prayer giving thanks for the day and asked to be dealt a decent card soon. Arthur would cross himself, not knowing why he did. He considered himself more spiritual than religious. In that God believed in him, more than he believed in God. And that was a typical day for Arthur. As it had been since being laid off from the Council.
But the cogs of Arthur’s universe were turning. And cards were about to be dealt.