Thea Hartley

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A big “Thank You” to our reviewer Thea Hartley who has ploughed through six entries!

Thea lives in Bridgend, South Wales. She has been writing since a child, from the time she could hold a pen. However, apart from a few stories published in magazines over the years, and academic papers, she only became a serious, full time writer, when in the last few years she had to give up her career as a Psychology Lecturer due to a degenerative eye disease.

Her interest in Criminal Psychology arises from her profession, and she has used her knowledge, to help create the heroine, in her series of psychological crime mystery thrillers.

The ‘Resa James criminal psychologist’ series of books comprises, ‘Kith And Kill’, ‘Sticks And Bones’, ‘Kill And Cure’, ‘Tooth And Claw’, and ‘Gone And Forgotten’.

Thea has also written several other books, including a three book biography about her Grandfather, her Father and their business – Vol 1 ‘The French Letter King’; Vol 2 ‘Secrets of the French Letter King’. Vol 3 ‘Fall of The French Letter King’ will be published in 2017.

Her latest fiction book ‘Wear Bright Colours For Me’ is a story about reincarnation, Karmic destiny and ‘Soul Mates’.

2017 has also seen the publication of ‘Fractured Lives – Living With Psychosis’ a book about Bipolar Disorder as observed by Thea in over 30 years of working as a psychologist and psychology lecturer.

You can check out all Thea’s books published through Ex-L-Ence here:

January- February Challenge

The challenge was to use the lyrics of a song to write a story. Here are some, the others will be posted as soon as I get responses from the entrants who may choose to work on their stories based on the feedback they’ve received from Thea.

It Had to Be You – by Mike Rollins

It had to be you

It had to be you

I wandered around

And finally found

The somebody who

Could make me be true…

Two men stand together in the shadows of a moonlit street. It is a silent night, broken only by the hushed conversation of this rather ragged pair.

‘No. Please don’t ask me. I can’t…I won’t do it.

‘Why the hell not? Just think about it. We both have everything to gain and nothing to lose.’

‘Lose? They’ll kill you.’

‘I’m depending on it.’

‘Jesus, you’re insane.’

‘Look. It’s what I want. And it had to be you.’

‘Why me?’

‘Aw, come on, you know I can’t trust any of the others. They’re stupid: dumb sheep. You’re the one. It’s always been you. I didn’t cook this up overnight, and you know it.’

‘What about Big Pete?’

‘Oh, yeah, sure, my right hand man. As steady as a rock, and just as thick.’

‘If I turn you in, I’m a dead man.’

‘No. They’ll be too worried about saving their own necks to bother with you. Anyway, you’ve seen the reward, it’s up to thirty now: Change your name and disappear.’

‘They’re offering thirty now? What a joke. If they only knew.’

‘That’s the point. You and I are the only ones that do know. You saw through me right from the start, through every trick I pulled, and you never said a word. I trust you with my life…and my death. Turn me in. Tonight.’

‘Well…if I can’t talk you out of it, I might as well go along. It’s a lot of money.’

‘Great, that’s great. You won’t regret it.’

Silence.

And then:

‘I don’t want to see you die.’

‘Hey, don’t worry about it. Listen, it’s all set up; I’m going live for ever.’

‘And so will I. You and me. The martyr and the monster.’

Their eyes meet, and in that moment there is a kiss.

‘Where will you be, tonight?’

‘In the garden.’

‘And the others?’

‘I’ll take care of them. Now go. And Judas? Thank you, my friend.’

They leave the street in opposite directions.

It had to be you

It had to be you

I wandered around

And finally found

The somebody who

Could make me be true…

Where Do You Go? – by Rohini Sunderam

“…where do you go to my lovely

When you’re alone in your bed

Tell me the thoughts that surround you

I want to look inside your head”

8th January 2017. A small news item caught her eye. “Peter Sarstedt the singer whose intriguing song, ‘Where do you go to my lovely’, had been a number one hit back in 1969 died aged 75.”

The song had haunted her for years. Who had told Peter Sarstedt about her? She didn’t know Peter, she had never known Peter, but the details, ‘the devil is in the details’ that’s what had scratched away at her heart and soul all those years ago.

How could she ever forget the effect those words had on her when she first heard them. She was, in fact, on a dance floor. Perhaps she did dance like Zizi Jeanmaire after all she had styled even her ballroom dance movements on the famous ballet dancer. The plaintive gritty voice of the singer sliced across the floor catching her in the stomach like a chainsaw.

She almost doubled over in shock and pain. “Take me home, please.” She’d said to her companion of the evening. “I’m suddenly not feeling well.”

“You’ve gone white!” he exclaimed, “Shall I take you to the hospital? Was it something you ate?”

“Non!” she assured him in French, forgetting momentarily that they were in London. “I’m just suddenly feeling a little wobbly.” She continued in English.

When they reached her Mayfair hotel, she thanked him, assuring him yet again that the moment had passed and went up to her room.

“That song! Where did it come from?” she hadn’t heard all the words yet. She switched on the radio in the hotel room fiddling with the knobs perhaps there’d be something there and she could listen to it in the privacy of her room. Tomorrow, she promised herself, she’d return to Paris, to her home. She’d be safe there in her apartment on Boulevard Saint-Michel.

Why did she think she was in danger? She hadn’t done anything wrong to earn her place among the rich and famous of Europe. She had earned it. Yes, she’d used her beauty and her brains. Yes, she had slept with some of the influential men of the time. But she had worked and studied at the Sorbonne and earned a double degree.

Finally the popular music channel! Perhaps there’d be something here. She undressed as song after song played through, Sugar, Sugar followed by Lay Lady Lay, I’m leaving on a jet plane… ‘I certainly am’, she had thought.

There was a short commercial break, “And now,” the radio disc jockey said, “the song that is capturing young people’s imagination around the world, Peter Sarstedt’s Where do you go to, my lovely?”

“Peter Sarstedt?” she said aloud, “who on earth is that?”

As she listened to the words a tight knot began to form in her stomach.

You talk like Marlene Dietrich

And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire

Your clothes are all made by Balmain

And there`s diamonds and pearls in your hair

You live in a fancy apartment

Of the Boulevard of St. Michel

Where you keep your Rolling Stones records

And a friend of Sacha Distel

But where do you go to my lovely

When you’re alone in your bed…”

She had rushed into the bathroom, the bile churning up bitter and acrid in her throat and the salt of her tears mingled with it on her tongue. She couldn’t remember how long she’d been in the bathroom. But she still remembered how she had rushed out and shouted at the radio, “Who are you?!” And then had flung herself on the bed weeping mindlessly.

Those years, with her brother, begging, dancing, singing to keep them fed and somewhat clothed. The stink of garbage bins as they rummaged inside looking for decent clothes. Every now and then, these images did come back to haunt her. What if someone found out?

Today, 48 years later she had no need to fear the song. She had since then listened to all the words, Peter Sarstedt had either not known the details of her life or had cleverly disguised them. She had not grown up on the streets of Naples and had never received a horse as a gift from the Aga Khan. But so much else was a little too close for comfort, skiing in St. Moritz, enjoying Napoleon Brandy, yes, begging in rags, and the scar, the scar deep inside her head.

The scar of that liaison with an old man, a rich man, the man who she’d used to climb out of the degradation they had endured.

She lit a cigarette and drew deeply, exhaling smoke and looked across at her brother, “Did you see this?” she said holding out the newspaper. “That singer Peter Sarstedt died. He never did have a number one seller after that one, did he?”

“No, Maria,” he replied, “We made sure about that, didn’t we?”

“But he was talented, non?”

“That he was. But any chance of an expose was put to rest a long time ago.”

Her mobile phone rang. It was an unknown number but she took it, perhaps even today there were some who needed her advice or connections.

“Allo? Who is that?”

There was no reply, just the closing lines of the song, “I know the thoughts that surround you, `Cause I can look inside your head

Identity Theft  – by Rifat Najam

Have you ever wondered of your true identity? Two ways to look at it, first our whole life we are labelled by outsiders with shades of different colors as they perceive us and second the choices we follow. To portray my thoughts in more clear manner if talking about me I am born a female into a very conservative surrounding that restricts my reach and limits from flying too high. This statement could have been true if I had chosen to chain up myself. Our surrounding can only influence but choice in the end is always ours to make.  

Talking about a choice which hangs on our concern of being correct or not, on what tomorrow will bring, best way to deal with a choice in such case is to do case study of history related to similar situation while refreshing your mathematical skill to be able to analyze the situation from each angle and science in case a more logical explanation and result is required . Initially it might seem hectic but gradually you will master how to make and fly a rocket. Next step for all serious readers you really need to take it light and others may continue as you are adventurous enough to jump off a cliff ; )

A day if broken down into frames then every single frame with every passing breath gets engraved with a story with the choices we make. Concept of life is simple like crystal clear water which we turn to cocktail for fun. And realization comes only after contamination stage is over. Being born with identity of innocence we rob our self with every unwanted need. To keep these frames free from contamination and our inner self at peace, simple rule is to  avoid associating self with matters that do not concern us as stupidity rises when instead of correcting our errors and doing something good to make the world a better place we get too engrossed in pulling out threads of things that do not concern us or we don’t understand at all.

We humans are born with freedom to choose but have you ever wondered why the choice was kept there in the first place? Right or wrong choice doesn’t matter as doors of unseen have been kept closed for a reason. What matters is with what effort, thought, intention the work was handled. If the decision being taken humbles your inner self then just go for it.

Lyrics of the song:

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

This ya music race

Commercial race

Political race

This ya music race

Commercial race

Political race

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

My identity, my identity

Jah work must be done

Jah work must be done

Jah work must be done

Jah work must be done

Work in the East

Work in the West

Work in the North

Work in the South

Work over there

We work over here

Work everywhere

Work over there

We work over here

Work everywhere

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

My identity, my identity

Who will stand up for the people

Musically, musically, musically

Who will stand up for the people

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

My identity, my identity

Musically, musically, musically

The people is for the music

The music is for the people

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

So they want I to change my identity

Musically, musically, musically

My identity, my identity

Burning Spear – Identity Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

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