The Real Fantasy

Kitty has always dreamed of her fantasies coming true . . .

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7. Two Dark Figures

Hey Kittz I’ll be working late again tonight and probably wont get back till nine. Really sorry. How bout I take u to the cinema at the weekend to make up for it?? Tea’s in the fridge. We’re running low on bread, milk, kitchen roll and toothpaste. Could you be awesome and pop to the shops to get some more? Thnx. Theres some money on the table. Buy yourself something with the extras. Dad xx

I throw my phone onto my bed. This is the third time in the last fortnight! Why is he always working late? What is he doing there? Why does he have to leave me on my own? I didn’t mind the first time. In fact, I thought it was kind of fun – I had the TV to myself and I could do whatever I wanted. But now the novelty has worn off, it’s just hours and hours of time spent on my own.

I pick up my phone and read the message again. So he’s trying to make it up to me now? I’d much rather he came home early once in a while, than be on my own practically every night. And now he wants me to run errands as well?

I go downstairs, into the kitchen. He’s right – there’s only one soggy crust of bread and trickle of milk left in the carton. On closer inspection, I realise that we’ve almost ran out of eggs and there is no sign of any type of fruit or vegetable whatsoever. I grab the money dad left on the table and go outside, thinking what would that man do without me?

 

Ten minutes later, I’m walking out the corner shop carrying two bags bulging with a week’s worth of food. They’re so heavy, I think they’re going to pull my arms right out of their sockets. Just the thought of the long trek home fills me with dread, so I decide to take a shortcut – even if it is through the rough part of town.

As I pass through the run down houses and filthy streets, I have the horrible feeling that someone is watching me. It’s like there are eyes glued to my back. I swing round, the shopping bags clattering against my legs, but there’s no one in sight. I quicken my pace, uneasiness sweeping over me.

‘And just what are you doing here, Turlough?’ The voice is cold and familiar. It’s the boy from last night – I just know it. I look around, but he’s nowhere to be seen.

‘You bloody well know why I’m here,’ spits a new voice. I follow the sound and manage to locate two dark figures down a narrow alleyway to my right. My instincts tell me to run, but curiosity tells me to stay. Somehow I find myself crouching behind a wall, listening to their every word.

‘Nope, don’t have a clue,’ the first voice says.

‘Don’t play dumb with me, boy,’ the second voice says. There’s a rustling noise and a small whimper of pain. I peek round the wall and see that the taller figure – Turlough, I think – has pinned the other against a wall. ‘Listen, Nolan’ – his voice is full of spite and hate – ‘you were almost killed last night and, unless you pick up your game, it will happen again. But next time I won’t be able to save you. So I suggest you stop skulking around like some idle Observer and start acting like a true Scavenger.’

‘But that’s the point,’ mutters the first voice. ‘I’ve spent all my life learning to be an Observer. I can’t suddenly switch to being a Scavenger.’

‘That’s your problem, isn’t it? Not mine. You’re a Scavenger now – you made that very clear. So there is to be no more of these excuses and Observer rubbish. Here in the Scavenger Unit, we aim to get things done straight away. There is no sitting around, waiting for the grass to grow. Understand?’

‘Yes.’

‘Do you want a repeat of last night?’

‘No.’ He sounds utterly helpless.

‘Good. Now, you’ve been given your orders, haven’t you, Nolan? This is your final chance. If you wait any longer, the Observers will have made contact with her. By tomorrow night, you will have brought Kitty Lewis to the Scavenger building. Do I make myself clear?’

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