Would you read a novel by this man?


Reading back through the racing articles I have written over the years I have decided to have a crack at writing a novel based on the people and events that take place in the colourful microcosm that is the racecourse. My intention is to write something in the fun and adult. All similarities to people living or dead are most-likely intentional but will be strenuously denied! Here is the all-important first 1500 words. It is rough and ready and the first draft but would you be interested to find out what happens? It is a rough first draft but think I have captured the style I am after. If you think Dick Francis novels were a bit ‘racy’ you may not like what I have in mind. Comments welcomed.

 

Racing Novel the first few lines….,

Keith is a tryer, there was no doubt about that. It must have held him in good stead when he was a young lad about town. A faint heart never a fair maiden won and all that, Keith would have been the first one in to chat to the best looking bird in the bar, no doubting that he had nerves of steel in that regard. A thick skin too, but that sort of goes hand in hand with the nerves of steel, especially ‘these days’. These days Keith was the wrong side of 50, OK it has to be said in truth more like pushing 60. Of course there was no way he was going to let on how old it was so it was all down to educated guesses, but the general consensus of opinion was the pushing 60.

On the plus side he always dressed ‘well’. On race days it seemed that he owned a suit for every day of the week, well at least enough for a fortnight before the same one was used again. They were ‘nice’ suits too, more often than not pinstriped and off good cloth but to many observers always had just that tad of second hand car dealer about them. Top of the range second hand car dealer I’ll grant you, but that was the look. A navy blue suit with a sky blue or yellow pinstripe all topped off with electric something or other lining. That was his style, unintentionally ‘flash’ when words of description in his own head were ‘ Saville Row’ – well, they were from there originally but the guy that brought them to the races for sale managed to get them a bit cheaper, one and a half hundred for this brown and orange one for example, why pay a grand eh? He let that one slip when out on the patio of the hotel having what must have been the first cigarette out of his second packet that night. Keith liked a smoke, it keeps me slim he’d quip. He didn’t mention the yellowing teeth and heavily lined face in the same breath, oh of course the breath left a bit be desired too, but that goes with out saying. Despite the rather than flattering description it has to be hastily added that he is a nice bloke, a nice, ageing, wannabe lothario sort of bloke.

This particular day, the opening Tuesday of Royal Ascot, it appeared that his boat had finally come in. There were a few hours before his firm ‘Cecil Moneyman and Son’ ( not the bookies real name and he didn’t have a son but it wasn’t unusual for a bookie to have a trade name) were going to bet, but they liked to get there nice and early. I was having a coffee up in the stand when Keith came panting up to me. He wasn’t overly excited but often panted when he had just climbed a dozen or so steps as he had just done, that’ll be the cigarettes. He could hardly get the words out he was that out of breath, so he stopped, took a swallow and regained his composure, ‘Have you got one of them phones that can receive photos?’ I replied in the positive, as would have most people in this day and age but Keith was seemingly not as fashion conscious about his phone as he was his suit. I enquired what was up, that is when his excitement started to show though. ‘I’ve pulled’ he whispered out of the side of his mouth. I had a quick glance around, as I said it was still early and there were very few people about, none that would have been interested in Keith’s love life. I went along with it and whispered back, while jokingly looking around for his potential pull, asking who the lucky lady was and exactly ‘how’. He smiled in an ‘I know you are taking the piss’ sort of way and went on to explain that he had been a few sheets to the wind a few weeks ago in a pub and that he had got talking to ‘this tart’. Keith always had a way with words when describing the ladies, mind you it was normally after a stunning 21 year old on a night out with her mates had spurned his half-pissed advances that the derogatory descriptions appeared. I urged him on, all ears.

She was married and lived in the Ascot area but was up for a bit of no strings sex, not that night because that was her husband playing the fruit machine, but at a more convenient time. There would be plenty of them as he was a long distance lorry driver who did overnight runs, which of course is handy.  ‘Funny thing is, I don’t remember giving her my number’ mused Keith before explaining that she had just sent him a text, he proffered his phone to me. True enough, there was a message from a number as opposed to a name which read ‘ R U at Ascot? Bloke away tonight, gagging 4 it x’ ‘I thought it was a wind-up’ Keith admitted. I found this a little confusing as his confidence in situations where his true odds of pulling were way past those of the National Lottery was astounding. ‘Anyway, she’s going to send me some naked pictures to prove she means business’ he added, ignoring my puzzled whilst highly amused and slightly surprised expression. That was where my phone came in, he knew he could trust me to delete them after he’d had a look. I was quite touched by that because the first thing which went involuntarily into my head was of the endless hours of fun I could have telling and re-telling this story with pictures to prove the authenticity. I had no option but to agree, my curiosity and sense of schoolboy mischief was miles clear of the thought that some lorry driver might find my number as the recipient of some less that bashful pictures of his wife and that he might came looking for me with the intention of ripping my liver out.

He was off outside to call her, and have a smoke of course. I could see him pacing up and down on the terrace overlooking the still empty parade ring. Curiously he was doing his ‘pulling’ face and smiling broadly whilst gesticulating with his cigarette hand. Little smoke trails followed his hands. I could only hazard a guess but imagined that he was having to do his best to convince his lady friend that she should send pictures of her nakedness to his mate’s phone. I was right. ‘She wasn’t having it at first, but I managed to persuade her’ he explained. We waited, and waited, actually it wasn’t that long even though Keith was getting agitated, in reality it had only been a few minutes. Then my phone bleeped. I went to grab it but Keith was there first, I protested that it might not be his message but one of mine. It wasn’t, he recognised the number but couldn’t work out how to view the picture so had to hand me the phone for first look anyway. So there she was, I smiled and let out a wolf whistle whilst keeping the phone at arm’s length from Keith. ‘Come on you bastard, let me see’ he half chuckled, half moaned. I had another look, to be honest she was hardly wolf whistle material and not even naked, but she did have a fair figure for a woman of her age, estimated the same as Keith and a plain but better than I had expected face. I passed him the phone and watched for his reaction, he seemed satisfied with his catch. ‘Not very naked is she though’ he commented not un-observantly. Before I could agree, the phone bleeped again. This time he handed it straight to me urging me to hurry up and get the photo on the screen. Oh my goodness, this time a lot less was left to the imagination. There in all their proud glory was a rather ample pair of breasts. They met with Keith’s approval, so much so that he reached for his cigarettes as he ogled the vision of loveliness before him, He then took out a cigarette before cursing the smoking ban. The phone bleeped again, it was almost dropped it as being juggled with  the packet of Benson & Hedges. I managed to grab it and extract the third photo, this time a full frontal minus the head. Mind you, the lady was sporting what is known amongst the lads around my neck of the woods as ‘a 70’s’ which to the uninitiated is a full pubis of hair, this one was a full pubis as opposed to the more aesthetically, at least to my eyes, pleasing more recent fashion less is more. I passed the phone displaying its picture back to the grateful and rightful recipient, once again waiting for his response. It was a good one. ‘Handsome, that’ll do for me’ he beamed. The 70’s aesthetic was obviously not a turn off for men of a certain age.

© Simon Nott 2011

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