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The Scarlet Web (standard:drama, 1237 words) [1/3] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossUpdated: Jun 12 2005Views/Reads: 2741/1534Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An extract from a manuscript soon to be transformed into a novel. It is a psychological thriller set in the south eastern part of the United Kingdom, and begins with a serious assault on a sixteen year old girl in a subway in West London. The effects of t


Brentford, West London 

Shadows shimmered around the subway walls like dying flames from a
candle as she hurried into the faltering light. The other end of the 
underpass was scarcely visible and seemed a quarter mile away, though 
she knew it could be no more than a hundred metres. 

She’d known there was somebody behind her because she could hear the
rat-tat-tat of footsteps on stone as she’d headed down the ramp. She 
didn’t pay them too much attention, it was perfectly normal, though she 
hadn’t seen a soul as she approached the subway. She just wished there 
was more than one miserly bulb working in the subway roof, and that 
they checked them occasionally. She was cold and soaked through because 
her father hadn’t been able to collect her from the club. Well, he was 
a doctor, these things happened. 

Rat-tat-tat. She heard the footsteps quicken behind her, squelching
through the dampness and she increased her own pace. Nearly mid way 
now. Ten minutes and she’d be home. 

There was relief in that. 

There was a puddle up ahead, one always formed where the subway dipped.
She might have ploughed right through it, but these were new shoes 
bought by her mother only yesterday, so she slowed as she edged around 


The footsteps behind her slowed too. 

Now her heart started to race a little. She fought to stop her mind
playing tricks. She walked faster, the footsteps behind quickened too. 
Along with her heartbeat. 

It wasn’t her mind playing tricks. There was somebody following. This
just wasn’t normal. She resisted the urge to turn about as the 
footsteps continued relentlessly. 

Rat tat tat 

Who could it be ? All the while her mind was spinning to find an answer,
before settling on one person. 

Boots Taylor, the biggest bully in the school. She’d felt his eyes on
her all evening at the club, and it wasn’t the normal sign a boy gave a 
girl. There had been anger, perhaps hate in that look. 

And she knew why. He’d approached her in the playground that morning,
blocking her way, he’d leered at her, made a pass if you could call it 
that. He wasn’t her type and she’d left him in no doubt of that, and 
his cronies had found what she said, funny. Some kids could shrug it 
off, but not Boots Taylor. She’d known as soon as she’d said what she 
had, that it wasn’t wise. 

But she was nearly at the end of the subway now, in a few seconds she’d
be up the ramp and out in the open. There were shops and houses, she’d 
be safe. 

Then she stopped. Frozen rigid. A figure came towards her and she felt
her heart pound. She knew this youth, it was the bully’s friend. Symes, 
his name was. She could tell his spotted face, even in this light. 

She went to brush past him, to take those few steps into open air, but
he blocked her. She felt his hand on her chest. It made her cringe. 

‘That’s right, Symes, keep her there,’ she heard a voice say. Her heart
which had been pounding so furiously now seemed to stop dead, and then 
beat all over the place. 

If she knew Sykes’ face, she knew Taylor’s voice, and even though he was
behind her she could feel his eyes burning into her back. 

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