Chapter 6

He stands back and looks at the scene, a young man surveying the carnage of the broken man seated before him. Something doesn’t fit here, something isn’t quite right, misplaced or forgotten, he’s not sure which and knows that it is too late for such worries. A dull moan from the chair, scarlet red lines fall from vivid wounds, slashed through flesh. Blood seeps from him in a slow gentle ooze, a dozen or more thin lines adding to the macabre vision. He looks down at the man, tortured and throbbing with dark pain, spent and pleading for his executioner to end it, pleading for release, pleading for his life. He watches as the man makes another exhaused attempt to …

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Chapter 5

As he walks towards the entrance the nerves swell in his stomach. He remembers a phrase his Dad used for such occasions, “healthy fear” he used to called it, uttering it before every football game, exam and even on the night of his first date. He reaches for the doorknob just as the door swings open, and a tall dark haired girl totters past him, heels clicking on concrete. He turns his head to catch a final glimpse of her as he steps forward through the open door. The dull light of the corridor mirrors the smell of age and he wonders again why he is here, why he said yes after all those strange questions, why he found himself …

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Chapter 4

‘Why not’, he thinks as he circles the advert in bold red ink, ‘I’ve tried everything else’. Wanted: People who can find lost things. He’d always been pretty good at figuring things out, liked reading detective novels when he was younger, and he never failed to find his Christmas presents no matter how ingeniously his parents hid them. Yeah, this might finally be the job for him. God knows he’d tried just about everything else, and had the scars to prove it. With nothing else catching his eye, he scoffs down the last bite of his pastry, washes it down with the last of his coffee and hustles over to the payphone in the corner. “Yes?” a brusque voice answers. …

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Chapter 3

Hands sore from the cold, she carefully places the carry-basket on the counter and murmurs quietly, soothing her old friend inside. A paw reaches out through the bars, and she reassures with soft strokes of the dark fur. She feels suddenly sad and old, but knows that it was always going to come to this moment. Life always does. The soft face of the young girl behind the counter tries to reassure her, but she is beyond that, has been beyond that for a long time. She knows death, understands it better than most and knows too that she must go. She says one final goodbye, turns away and walks to the door, her eyes brimming with silent tears. She …

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Chapter 2

Her hair ruffles gently in his breath, deep and slow. Waking from slumber he dares not move his arm for fear of waking her, instead he lies there quietly holding her safe from harm. He savours moments like these, the gentle companionship of sleep holding her there with him and he feels the soft glow lighting inside. Slowly he gazes over her, taking in the sweep of her neck, the curve of her hips, the silk sheen of downy hairs that catch the light. She snuffles and pulls his arm tighter, wrapping herself in him like a blanket, so content she almost purrs, and in that instant his heart explodes all over again. A yawn now and pale eyes turn …

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Chapter 1

From a darkened doorway she peers through the drizzle to the steamy window of the cafe across the street, eyes flickering nervously from table to table, idle patrons chatting in their booths. A couple laughing at a shared joke, an old man staring out at the dull sky as steam spirals from the chipped mug clasped between wizened hands, a lone woman chewing her pen in contemplation, her notepad empty. Nothing of suspect. No-one of note. She reaches into her pocket once more to check the cold steel in her pocket and, glancing sideways, she starts across the street. She is wary of movement, wondering if he is watching her whilst she searches for him. She wonders if they are …

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