Hi everyone, I have been writing this book for a while now and am thoughly enjoying it. I hope you all like it as much as I do. If you have any questions or find any mistakes that I need to fix private message me and I will respond asap.


Chapter One


"Nora, que hora es?" María asks me in a confident but polite voice. She is sitting in the back seat of our old, silver Volkswagen Gol, leaning against the cold, glass window. Every time she breathes a small, round circle of moisture appears on the glass.

I look to the clock installed on the car's front console, "4 o'clock María, and we're almost there."

Her nine year old face lights up with anticipation of the destination we're approaching. I had promised her we would go out for dinner at a local restaurant. It was the first time I had allowed us to go anywhere for years. I know that if anything goes wrong tonight, I will never be able to forgive myself.

María squirms in her seat. Her green eyes are bright with excitement and are fixed on the colourful lights of Lima. Her dark brown curls fall onto her face. She lifts her hand to brush them away and catches me looking at her in the mirror. She smiles at me, her full lips shining a bright pink from the makeup she had begged me to apply earlier. I smile back, with a glint in my own green eyes that hold a promise for a brilliant night.

I pull the car into the parking zone of the restaurant. I park between a white sedan and a beat-up silver Ute. Despite the brown dirt covering our car, it still somehow shows our reflection in the non-tinted windows. María is first out of the car, and is soon knocking on my window telling me to hurry up. I fiddle around in my handbag making sure everything is packed. I have two days' worth of food, a knife, a water bottle and a packet of sugar cubes stuffed into it. I gaze to my left at the space where I know my gun is concealed and decide that you can never be too careful. I lean over and pull it free from the cloth it is wrapped in and add it to the bottom of my bag. I step out of the car and follow the same procedure for the backpack I gave María whispering to her my favourite motto; 'Plan for the worst, hope for the best and remember, never, never get caught'. She smiles and repeats it out loud with confidence. She then grabs my hand and begins leading me inside the diner.

The restaurant is an old building. Slight signs of mould show in the 1970's wallpaper. The seats are somewhat worn, but look as though they have just been polished. The tables are finished off with white cloths, cutlery and fancy candles held up by painted gold candle holders. María picks a table and leads me to it. As soon as we take a seat a waitress begins heading over to us, her hands clasped around a small black notebook.

She greets us with a kind expression, introduces herself and asks for our order. We both ask for the same thing; "Just a fruit platter and some lemon water please."

The waitress gives us a strange look, but shrugs it off as nothing. She then asks if we want anything else. We both shake our heads and politely decline. The waitress walks away towards the kitchen at the back of the restaurant and she soon returns with the water, two lemon slices sitting in the bottom of each. María looks to my bag and I can almost read her thoughts. I pull out two sugar cubes from the packet and drop one into each of our drinks. She smiles and begins stirring it in with her straw. We both have a sweet tooth.

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The fruit arrives quickly. It is diced up in little, tan, ceramic bowls. Inside the bowls are many kinds of fruit. Most of them I have never even seen or heard of before, even throughout all my travels. It tastes wonderful. I look to María. She stares back at me grinning, and leans over towards me as if to share some great, secret.

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