In Hartingfold the laws which constrained society have long since altered due to the fall out from the collapse of the EU. Tax is optional, but without paying to be on the tax register people become drifters, free of societies conventions, they travel for work, living wherever they can and paying for everything. The drifters aren’t trusted notorious for being the figure heads to the wave of organised crime sweeping the English nation.
The story follows Gracie Taylor through her strugggle for survival and her desperation to cling on to what defines her as a human being, rather than being defined by her unfortunate circumstance as a drifter.
contains some expletives, not for sensitive ears


3. "indecency at desperate times"

Wind whipped against my tear stained cheeks as I ran, the rain pelting me in a curtain of stinging ice cold drops. I felt my feet blister as the gravel of the tracks to the statics at Grangeleys, loose underfoot, painfully jabbed through the soles of my cheap ballet pumps. Puddles grabbed at my feet with frozen fingers, reflecting the charcoal clouds protruding from the sky.

I could hear him bellowing after me, His feet slamming against the ground as he gained on me. It felt as if everything depended on this; getting away from him, but it didn't, life had gone on before. My breaths became raspy as I risked a glance behind, he was 4 statics from me and gaining.

I had little time to comprehend this as I ran straight into a well built, dark skinned stranger weighed down by a heavy rucksack, the trademark of a drifter. He steadied me with firm hands, studying my face alarmed. I went to carry on running but he caught me by the arm spinning me round to face Jacko. Every raindrop seemed to punish me as he got nearer, hair stuck against his scalp. His eyes were dead of everything but anger, burning into me the nearer he got.

“You fucking, ungrateful, bitch.” Jacko screamed between panting as he caught his breath. I cowered into the dark stranger, shaking violently not knowing if it was from fright or cold.

Jacko’s grey eyes never left me as he raised his hand, I knew he’d strike and closed my eyes in anticipation, shocked when his hand failed to make contact with my wind burned face, arm caught mid-smack. Only then did Jacko acknowledge the man who was holding me tight. “Problem mate?” He asked shaking his hand free.

“Don’t hit Ladies.” The man retorted in a husky accented voice.

“she ain’t no lady, she a whore a fucking low life prostitute.” Jacko yelled after us grabbing my arm, scratching it slightly with dirty fingernails as I pulled it away. "You're a whore Gracie, a fucking dirty Prossie whore and you'll god damn pay me later."

 The man squared up to him, marginally taller but considerably better built. They faced off for what seemed an eternity before the dark stranger pushed Jacko out the way and lead me down the path the way I'd came. I let him support me, making small shaky steps, refusing to look back. I hated how Jacko had reduced me to this, I was none of those things he proclaimed me to be and yet even I questioned it. Was there a difference between indecency at desperate times and indecency as a choice?

I was left to ponder this as we walked at a slow pace encapsulated by silence.

“I’m not you know.” I said to him when my home became visible.

“It’s none of my business.” He replied, looking at the floor.

“I know,” I said, “but I’m not.” I looked at him but he didn’t meet my gaze.

When we reached mine I stopped, he copied.

“You alright now then?” He asked staring at the static, not at me. He was surprisingly shy for a man with such an intimidating appearance and force.

“Yes.” I said, “Thankyou.” I squeezed his arm, lingering a few seconds to stroke it with my thumb before I let go and turned to go inside.

“I’m Connor.” He said suddenly, seemingly regretting it the moment the words had passed his lips.

“Nice to meet you Connor,” I said, smiling from my door. “I look forward to seeing you around.”

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