Scene from one of my books: the Sierra Blanca, Costa del Sol, Spain.

The foothills of the Sierra Blanca were dotted with outcrops of woodland, though mostly it was deserted and rocky – white rocks, hence its name.  Janie knew the area well. She had travelled up the road to Ronda several times, and had frequently picnicked amid the spring flowers in the hills beyond San Pedro.

Her unexpected journey, however, took her well beyond any of the ranges she had come to know and love over the years.  She had no idea where she was.  Only good sense told her that she could not be so very far from Ronda, or perhaps even somewhere off the road to Cordoba.  But that in itself covered many square miles …

She kept looking out for landmarks, but there were none.  Hills and rocks and trees and the endless dirt tracks.  It was amazing how the van stood up to the road which was, in parts, barely passable.  For a while she could tell she was travelling west, but as darkness fell and the tracks twisted this way and that, she rapidly lost any sense of direction.  Indeed, even her sense of time went.  And certainly all sense of reality …

Extract from Saying Nothing, a novel by Catherine Broughton set in Spain:-

Her book sat on the white wicker chair, a historical novel she’d bought from Amazon, where she had left it, the little piece of torn-off newspaper to mark her page.  He slammed the French doors shut and went back into the room.

With more paper he wrote another note:

“Janie, baby.  Can’t find you! Wait here – back in a sec. Paul xx”

He underlined the word ‘here’ several times, and added a few more kisses after his name.  He re-read the note times, wanting to add something special, but didn’t.

Back in the reception, he stood for some moments, trying to work it out.  There was quite clearly some obvious solution to this.  He looked around him constantly, half-expecting to see her at any moment and then, making up his mind, he strode systematically round the hotel grounds, down to the tennis courts, the lawns, the car park, round the pool and terraces, and then back into the hotel.  The slick young men assured him they hadn’t seen her.

He went out again, to the Irishman’s bar, to the bar where he’d last seen her – the smoky scene still hadn’t changed – round the pedestrianized shopping area and then back to their room.

Finally, sometime between midnight and three in the morning, Paul reported her missing.  The two young  men at reception were unhelpful and even slightly amused.  The guardia said that nothing could be done till morning and that anyway wives were always running off.  The man was short and fat and smelt strongly of unwashed body; he wrote down Paul’s name and the name of the hotel very slowly, using his best handwriting.

Back in his room, Paul lay down on the bed.  His head ached.  He felt afraid and he frowned into the darkness, wakeful and wary.  Dawn started to break, a grey-white mist to the east, and Paul at last dozed.

cover for Saying Nothing 001 cover for “Saying Nothing”    “A Call from France”    ”French Sand”    “The Man with Green Fingers”    “Saying Nothing”

Buy Catherine Broughton’s books as e-books (click above) or order from Amazon/Kindle (click below).  They can also be ordered as e-books or paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.

Posted on 16/08/2013 by Catherine
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