22st August 2010

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22st August 2010

Dear Jemma,

If you wonder why I haven't given you my parents names or told you much about them, it's because I don't want them to seem real to you or anyone else who happens to read this. I don't want anyone to experience the cruelty that they inflict upon me. You see Jemma; I escape to you whenever I am in need of comfort for you listen to everything I say.

For a few seconds after my eyes had snapped open I forgot where I was. Rain had leaked through the drafty roof and I was sopping wet. The same voices as last night drifted to my sore ears sounding just as forbidding. Without any hesitation I started thumping the door again hoping that the storm might have weakened the hinges. Suddenly it blew open but not for the reasons I had expected. The three men stood over me- scowling. My father, a tall, thin man with a penetrating glare (who reminded me of an insect) and a huge burly man with a shaved head and metal-studded wristbands who looked more giant than human. Light streamed into the shed, nearly blinding my bloodshot eyes. However, rain still miserably drizzled down behind the men. They advanced upon me threateningly; causing me to scuttle backwards into the depths of the shed. I never took my eyes of them. Not once. 

"Girl" hissed my father menacingly while pointing a finger at me, "We have a special job for you." Uh oh. This could not be good. "Follow the instructions on the card. When accomplished, bring the package to us." With that he dropped an envelope at my feet and he and the men swept out snickering, leaving the reek of beer in my presence. Where were they sending me? What package? I picked up the envelope and opened it warily as if it were going to explode. Knowing my father and his evil cronies- it was possible. Attached to the card was a pouch filled to the brim with coins, I had never seen that much money in my life before! I scanned the card, not missing any details. I could do this. Here's what it read:

To Girl,

Go to the following address:

1 Stalgate House,

Talbrook Lane,

Lockville,

RL38 2GO

It is down the alley to the left of the newsagents. When you get there ask for Mr Juldon. Tell him that you're my daughter and ask for the package that he and me agreed on. He will know what you're talking about. After he's given it to you hand him the £50 attached to this card. ON NO CIRCUMSTANCES give him the cash before he gives you the package. Then come straight home. Make sure nobody sees you.

Be back well before 12:00 am otherwise you'll regret that you ever lived.

From Me

P.S. If you tell anyone I'll kill you.

The last sentence hung in the air like a deadly mist. If you tell anyone I'll kill you. What should I do then? I've been to the newsagents a couple of times before to get a newspaper for my father or the latest fashion magazine for my mother but I'd never been asked to do something as dangerous as that! Panic rose up through my body; emitting out of my open mouth as vomit. As the vile stuff splattered onto the floor I realized how much I hated my parents. But I had to do this. I had to. I was going to. I'm not a coward. Tucking the card back into the envelope I sprinted outside past the flower patch, past the house and onto the street. Nobody tried to stop me. People stared as I rushed down the road and up to the newsagents. Hang on- I skidded to a stop. There were two newsagents. I am not allowed to go out much but I treasure the times when I am. Sometimes when I'm in a rebellious mood I sneak out while my parents are at the pub eating lunch. I try to remember every little detail about the outside world, and it's paid off. I seemed to recall that two newsagents faced each other on opposite sides of the town. I couldn't be mistaken. I stood still for a moment panting heavily and nursing the painful stitch in my side, While doing so- drank my views in. Children clasped their mothers hands tightly while pointing at me. Their parents would smile at me pitifully, probably mistaking me for some kid who's been in a fight. The adults were actually smiling! Not an evil, twisted grin but a joyful beam that conjured up visions of happy families and laughing boys and girls. Oh how I wished I could have had parents like that, I would've given anything to swap places with one of those children. But right then I had bigger fish to fry. 

I decided to try the newsagents on the left of the town first. If I was wrong- well, I would think about it when I got there. I didn't run in fear of another stitch but quickened my pace briskly. I passed rows and rows of  houses identical to my own except these ones had a cheery air about them. As I neared the newsagents I checked my card to remind me of the address; Talbrook Lane. I peered to the left of the newsagents. There was no sign of any Talbrook Lane. This. Couldn't. Be. Happening. I jogged into the newsagents and the guy and the desk smiled at me while raising his eyebrows expectantly. 

"Good morning, may I be of any assistance?" He asked in a fake polite voice. I could tell he was annoyed with me for running into his shop without any interest in buying anything and I wasn't doing very well at hiding it.

"Um yeah hi." I said loudly "C-could you tell me where Talbrook Lane is?"

He laughed "Sweetheart Talbrook Lane's at the other side of the town!" 

Without any word of thanks I legged it outside of the shop. The cool air helped me steady my nerves, slightly. Panic then drowned out every other emotion, what was I to do? I saw tears splashing down on the pavement like rain; only later did I realize that they belonged to me. I needed to think. Trying to keep a clear head I forced thoughts to flood into my mind, each one more sillier than the last. I gazed around for inspiration. Two things registered in my muddled mind: A person waving and a speeding car, I put the two pieces together like a jigsaw. That was it! I could hitch a lift! People do it often enough. I stumbled over to a green patch of grass and started to wave my arms wildly. The majority of people looked me like I was a lunatic but finally- when I was just about to give up- someone stopped. A van screeched to a halt next to me and opened his door to let me in. His hair was flaming red and his face dusted with a light sprinkling of freckles.

"Hey!" His voice was bright and cheerful. "Where do you wanna go?" So I replied and he told me to hop in. I could not express my thanks enough. All the way to the second newsagents we chatted like we were best friends. When we got to there I was reluctant to leave. Struggling to find some way to thank him, I dropped and pound coin from the money pouch into is hand. I hoped nobody would notice if one pound went missing, he gratefully, excepted it and grinned at me. Despite the circumstances; I couldn't help beaming back. As his van drove of my smile dropped as I remembered my task. There it was! A mold-covered sign read the words Talbrook Lane! I almost passed out with relief. I skipped down the lane trying as hard as I could to forget about giving the coin to the boy. As I reached One Stalgate House my heartbeat quickened as did my shallow breathing. Stalgate House was massive. Almost like a mansion but more crooked and twisted, the type of place you want to run away screaming from. Cautiously I rapped on the door double-checking the address to confirm that I was at the right place. Unexpectedly it burst open and a tall man with rippling muscles and a black mustache appeared. Feeling more than a little apprehensive I stuttered my orders. 

"P-P-Please may I speak to Mr Juldon?"

"Speaking" The man growled. 

"I-I think you know my father, he would like his package a-and I've got cash!"

"Gimme it, otherwise no package." I had to get that package!

"W-would it be possible f-for me to get the package first?" I pleaded. Without warning he lunged forward knocking me to the ground. I started to scream but a piece of cloth was stuffed into my mouth causing me to retch. Mr Juldon kept me pinned down while he dug his spare hand into my pocket and triumphantly raised the money pouch. I tried in vain to grab it while he released me and sauntered back inside. I spat the cloth out while running towards the door but a millisecond before I could sneak inside, it slammed shut. I froze in shock for a few moments- unable to move. A mocking laughter jolted me back to my senses. It came from a window where Mr Juldon's head stared at me holding a square parcel. My father's parcel! He dropped it but after years of practice, my reflexes were amazing. I caught it and sprinted back to my house without a second thought, feeling extremely proud of myself. Only when I'd escaped into the garden did I realize how light the parcel felt, much too light. My father was waiting there for me as if he was a lion and I was his prey. He put his hand out and I placed the package into it. He opened it eagerly...

It was empty, all that hard work had been for nothing. His face contorted with anger as if it was my fault and he charged at me like a bull, steam was actually coming out of his ears. After about two whacks, I fell to the ground. I'd had enough.

The lesson I have learnt today is that when life gives you lemons don't take them to some creepy house on the other side of town.

Help me please,

Girl

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