First Page Challenge, 3rd place winner: "Time. And Time Again"

Time. And Time again. By John A Hobson (Darling Axe's First Page Challenge 2020 3rd place winner)


By John A Hobson


One day I will wake up for the last time. But not today.

I dialled 999.

‘Which Emergency service do you require?’



A delay. No Vivaldi either. Then a female voice spoke, trained to sound interested.

‘Police. How can I help?’

‘I want to report a murder.’

‘Where’s this taken place?’ Her voice rose in pitch and speed.

‘Cornhill Road car park, London South Bank. I arrived to pick up a car and tried to put my luggage in the boot. Only there’s a corpse in it.’

‘Of whom?’

‘A man.’

‘Are you sure he’s dead?’

‘He has a bullet wound in the chest.’

‘You’ve checked for signs of life?’

‘He’s turning blue.’

‘I’ll request assistance. Can you stay on the line?’


There followed a pause, then the operator resumed.

‘Do you know who he is?’

I laughed.

‘Funny enough, I do. He’s me.’


John A Hobson, 3rd place winner of the Darling Axe 2020 First Page Challenge

John A. Hobson recently completed an MA in Crime and Thriller Writing at The City University, London.  He has previously written screenplays which have been successful in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, Red Planet, BBC and ITV competitions.  He was raised in the Shankill area of Belfast but now lives in deepest Kent amongst the bluebell woods.

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