Officially Dead 2 chapter The Business

Richard Prescott

It was a cold, wet Monday morning in late October, two weeks after Colin had taught the training course at Sutton Chemicals. The trees that lined the streets of Bath were bare. Dead leaves lay on the pavements. Colin shivered as he got into his car. He picked a cassette from a pile on the passenger's seat, put it into the player, and started the car engine. A moment later, an old blues song was coming from the stereo. Colin and Julie always went to, work in separate cars. They left home at different times in the mornings and arrived home at different times in the evenings. During the day, they hardly saw each other. They were busy with their own jobs. Both of them regularly travelled to see clients - Julie to sort out3 their technical problems, Colin to sell the software and teach training courses. But they rarely travelled together.

Today was one of the rare days when they were both going to be in Bath all day. But before he went to the office, Colin had an appointment that he wasn't looking forward to.

He drove to the eastern side of the city, parked his BMW, and hurried through the rain to a low office block. Outside one of the ground floor offices was a brass sign with the words,

D.S.T. Booker - Accountant.

Colin opened the door and walked in. A girl was working at a desk with six filing trays, a computer and two telephones on it. 'Mr Booker's expecting me,' Colin told her.

'Yes, that's fine,' the girl replied. 'Please go through.' Colin went through a door into another room. Mr Booker was bent over his desk, reading some papers. He wore very thick glasses and he held the papers close to his pale face. He looked like a man in pain.

Colin sat down and pushed a folder of financial documents across the desk. Booker slowly raised his head, opened the fold' er and glanced briefly through the documents.

'You're going to lose money for the second year running4, Mr Fenton,' he said. 'You've got to do something about this quickly or you'll go out of business1.'

'I know the situation isn't good at the moment,' Colin replied. 'We're short of cash. But the situation's only temporary.'