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  Story Index arrow Story Index arrow Title Index arrow Cycle, The Sunday, 29 November 2015

Cycle, The E-mail
By John Connolly

John Connolly's The CycleJoh Connolly


John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London.

He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

His first novel, Every Dead Thing, was published in 1999, and introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. He has since written five more Parker novels, the last of which - The Unquiet will be released in early 2007.
In 2004 John released his first stand-alone book - Bad Men, followed by a collection of novellas and short stories - Nocturnes.
John’s seventh novel, The Book of Lost Things, was released in October 2006.

This is John’s first story for Something Wicked.

extract from The Cycle

The pain began almost as soon as she boarded the train. Usually, she planned these things so well. How could she not, after all these years? Today, though, had just been one of those bloody awful days, when nothing went according to plan. She had planned to get the five o’clock train, which would have seen her safely tucked up at home with the doors closed and a whole weekend of privacy and quiet to get over the curse. Instead, a crisis in the office meant that Dominic, her boss, had been forced to call an emergency meeting. Two days before a deadline, one of the agency’s most important clients had decided that elements of the new ad campaign were ‘inappropriate’ and needed to be re-examined. That meant a brainstorming session which lasted until after seven, the beautiful autumn day outside slowly descending into shadows by the time she left.
She could feel it approaching, even as she left the building and headed for the station: a sense of unease, of dislocation, and a tenderness to her belly and her breasts. Her already short temper contracted even further, so that she almost bit off the head of the lazy clerk behind the ticket counter, the idiot apparently more concerned with picking his lottery numbers than ensuring that she made her train, the closing of unseen doors already signalling its imminent departure. She was forced to sprint to make it, and that had not helped matters at all. Running, fretting and snapping at morons seemed only to accelerate the pain.
She took a seat in the next-to-last carriage. The toilet was in the final carriage, right at the end, but the lights in the carriage were malfunctioning, flickering off and on with an angry buzzing sound, as though masses of bees were trapped within the fluorescent bulbs, so she had been forced to sit a little further forward than she would have liked. Still, perhaps it would be all right. It hadn’t started yet, although it was close.

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