THREE, TWO, ONE

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Short Story by

L.V. Waterman

Light, Speed, Time Prequel, The Photon Lock Series

© 2016 L.V. Waterman. All rights reserved.

Cover © Lpixel

Editing by Victory Editing

Special thanks to James Hartley

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places and events are either the products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


*

'I'm telling you guys, I really heard it this time. Listen!' the blond girl said, her eyes wide with unease.

'Becca, how many times? It's an old house. It's windy outside. There's always been weird noises.'

'I know, I know. But it was different. Like someone moaning or breathing funny. Not heard that before.'

The girl with big brown eyes only grunted in reply.

Large snowflakes raced round in a frenzy outside, tapping on the cracked glass of a small dormer window. The derelict Victorian attic was freezing in the semi-dark, with only a handful of candles scattered about the wooden floor. Their portable heater struggled, pumping air that was barely warm.

Whack!

The brown-eyed girl gave the heater a hearty smack.

'Sani! You made me jump,' Becca said, panting.

'It's knackered.'

'No, it's not. It just can't cope in this cold. Poor thing.' She looked round at the metal bucket that they normally used to catch leaks with in the rainy season. A couple of faintly charred timber logs lay miserably inside it. 'Maybe we should try the fire again?'

'Pointless. Like I said, nothing to keep it going with,' Sani insisted, then focused on the third girl instead. 'You're quiet. What are you doing?'

Vicky had been listening to the other two bickering, mostly about the strange noises in the house. Like they usually did. It had become an annoying déjà vu.

Her dark auburn hair falling to her face, Vicky slowly rummaged in her coat pocket. She glanced from one to the other before reluctantly pulling out the two things she was poking around for.

'Don't judge,' she said in a low voice. She then put the cigarette between her lips and held the lighter in front of her face. Her hand trembled.

'What the heck?'

'Are you insane?'

The two spoke at the same time.

Vicky was silent, continuing to stare at the lighter.

'You're fourteen,' Becca pleaded. 'They'll put you in prison!'

'Don't be stupid,' Sani said and looked back at Vicky. 'How did you get one, by the way?'

'How'd you think, genius? Nicked it off my brother, of course. He won't notice.'

'Yep,' Sani said to Becca. 'She's rebelling. Said the other day it's only a matter of time before she'll do something crazy.'

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