As part of my ongoing battle to write more, I’ve
forced persuaded my lovely friend, and extremely talented and prolific writer, Suzanne Rogerson to take part in a writing tag-team. One of us writes a section of this spy/crime/thriller/Killing Eve rip off, then emails it to the other to continue the story. I’m really enjoying it and it’s making me write because I don’t want to let Suzanne down. Suzanne is usually a fantasy writer and certainly doesn’t need the practice but is humouring me because she’s such a nice person!
It’s not been edited, the point of view jumps around (which is a literary no-no, apparently, although I personally think most people are intelligent enough to still follow what’s happening. But then I’m not a best-selling author so what do I know?) and I’ve no idea what the big twist will be but here are first few instalments:
Day of the Badger [working title…]
‘Oh bollocks,’ said Moira, looking at the dark, forbidding entrance to the alley. She really needed to buy some milk before the shop shut at ten but bloody Alfie wouldn’t stop banging on about the Miller project, even when she’d turned her computer off, put her coat on and started jiggling her keys in her pocket.
‘Well, I must go, Alfie. See you tomorrow.’ She headed towards the lifts, lifting her hand in a weak farewell.
Alfie followed her. ‘Yeah, see you tomorrow. So should I call Frank about the overspend or send another email, do you think?’
Despite her best efforts, it had been another ten minutes before she’d finally got out of the office and now she had less than five minutes before Tesco shut. She peered into the shadows. She could either walk the long way around, which Usain Bolt would struggle to make in under five minutes, or she went through the alley. She hesitated before making a decision and, putting her bag over her head and across her chest, ran into the alleyway. What was the worst that could happen?
Amber ducked into the alley, listening out for the sounds of footsteps behind her. It was almost completely dark between the rows of buildings and she clung to the shadows, creeping further into the darkness. The opening to the alley was small and she prayed George would run straight past it.
He’d had a knife. She’d seen the glint of it when he approached her across Tesco’s carpark. She’d panicked and rammed him with her shopping trolley, crushing him against a parked car. Then she’d fled while he was on the ground. If he caught her down here she was dead.
Amber frantically searched her pockets for a weapon, nothing. Even her handbag had been on the trolley with her abandoned shopping.
‘Shit,’ she hissed into the darkness. Then stopped dead as she heard footsteps coming from the other end of the alley…
Had George phoned for back-up already? Surely they couldn’t have got there this quickly? The footsteps were approaching fast, actually running towards her. It had to be them. Amber pulled the flash-drive from her pocket. There was no way they were going to get it from her; she’d worked too hard, sacrificed too much for this information. She frantically scanned the wall in the faint light, feeling with her fingertips for a gap or missing brick where she could hide the flash-drive. The footsteps were almost upon her, along with the sound of loud, laboured breathing, as she felt a loose piece of plaster and pulled it away from the wall, shoving the flash-drive into the tiny space left behind. Before she could replace the plaster, the owner of the footsteps almost crashed into her, stopping abruptly and letting out a loud scream.
‘Oh my god! Shit! You scared me! Christ, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Um, sorry, I need to…can I just get past?’
Amber could just make out a young woman (well, young to her, but it seemed like everyone was younger than her nowadays), with curly hair, glasses and a panicked look on her face.
‘Did George send you?’
‘What? I don’t…George? I just need to get by. Can I please…?’ The young woman’s voice faltered as she tried to move past Amber towards the end of the alley.
A figure stood outlined in the light at the end of the alley. Amber reacted like lightening grabbing the woman and pinning her arms to her sides, while her other hand pressed against her mouth muffling her scream. ‘If you want to live, stay quiet.’ She hissed in the woman’s ear and pulled her back into the shadows.
The woman struggled feebly and Amber tightened her grip, glad for the gruelling sessions in the gym and with her personal trainer.
‘Amber, I know you’re down there.’ George lumbered further into the alley, moving with a pronounced limp. He used his phone as a torch and she glimpsed the knife shining in the glare of light.
The woman must have spotted it too as she stopped struggling, her whole body tensed. They were backed against the wall. Amber calculated her chances. She could throw the woman at George and make a run for it, but this woman was an innocent; the reason she’d joined the firm was to protect people like her.
‘Hand it over,’ George called. ‘Hand it over and you can walk away.’
She backed away, shuffling and stumbling, dragging the woman with her.
To be continued…