Little Miss Riding Hood

A Fourth Doctor Who story: There's wolves abroad in Stockby. Can Sinead save the day or will she need help from Mr Smith and his journalist friend Sarah Jane ?

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1. Down the Alley

Sinead's footsteps echoed around the houses as she headed for home. Although it was only seven o'clock, the setting sun was creating long shadows on the streets. Darkness would soon fall in the town and Sinead wanted to be in the safety of her home before that happened. She glanced anxiously down the alley before deciding that it would be quicker to use the alley than go the long way round.The alley was notorious for having the lowlifes of the town congregate in it, drinking smoking weed and engaging in activities that Sinead didn't even want to think about. However these days even the lowlifes were keeping off the streets. Stockby was becoming a ghost time when the lights went on.  

She pulled the hood of her red hoodie further down over her head. Her heart rate increased as she nearly ran down the alley. She could hear the blood pounding in her ears as she tried to not look into the shadows. A few empty beer cans littered the sides of the path, a used condom hung limply from one of the bushes. The stench of urine was overwhelming. Sinead glanced in disgust as she went past, shaking her head. She didn't even want to imagine which poor girl had been lured down here for sex. Luckily tonight the lowlifes were already in doors, tonight at least she was safe from them.  

She reached the end of the ally and turned right, passing the new Police Box that had been there for the last few days. She wondered if that had been the cause of the lowlifes leaving this area. She was opening the front door of her house just as she heard the first of the howls. Mournful and primitive, it sounded like a canine foghorn warning the people of Stockby that they should keep off the streets. She shut the door behind her and collapsed against it. It felt like her heart was bounding the way out of her chest. 

'That you Sinead?' her mum shouted, 'I was getting really worried. Where the hell have you been until now ?' 

'Oh mum, I'm sorry I got talking to Mai about Sarah. She's still missing you know. I don't know what we're going to do' 

Sineads mum came quickly into the hall and with flailing arms gathered Sinead into her arms, holding her so close, Sinead thought that she'd take away her breath. 

'Why didn't you ring, I don't want you to go the same way as Sarah' 

'Sorry Mum, we were talking to a journalist about what had happened, she seemed very interested in the whole story' 

'A journalist', her mum said drawing away from her and looking down at her, 'where did she meet you ?' 

'At school, she's a friend of our new librarian, she's called Sarah Jane. She was telling us our local MP, Harriet Jones, was going to get questions asked in parliament about all the disappearances. Anyway I'm going to have a bath before I do my homework.' 

'Ok, waters hot, I'll make you a sandwich when you come out' Sinead's mum said as she turned towards the kitchen. 'and for goodness sake, pull your hoodie top down Red' 

Red, she'd been given that name years ago on account of her long red hair. She didn't really like her hair. A few years ago she'd tried to dye it black but it'd gone wrong. A nice shade of green was how her mum had described it. After that she'd got used to it, but the nickname of Red was still used by most of her family as an affectionate name. Once a boy had school had tried to taunt Sinead with the nickname. He'd learned fast that wasn't the right thing to do. Sinead's legendary temper got the better of her and she'd laid into the boy almost breaking his nose before Sarah and Mai had pulled her off him. 

She turned on the light in the family bathroom. Warm light filled the room reflecting off the bright yellow walls. Turning on the taps, she looked through the window. Why her family didn't have frosted glass like everyone else was a mystery to her, Although it was so high and not overlooked it didn't concern her that much, just made her uncomfortable about undressing in front of it. She heard another howling in the distance. It send a shiver down her spine and she shivered inwardly. It was an un-natural sound that somehow wasn't earthly. She quickly pulled the blind down, but the howling came again this time appearing to be much closer. She shut her eyes trying to push the sound from her brain. She suspected that the sounds were something to do with Sarah disappearing. Poor Sarah, a feisty girl but a good true friend. She shook her head, her eyes misting over for a second as she remembered all the good times they'd had together. 

Turning off the taps she put her hand in the water swirling it around to ascertain whether it was at the correct temperature. A little warm, but she felt chilled so probably OK. She stripped off her clothes quickly and stepped into the bath. She sank down into the water , her long red hair floating on the surface. Steam rose off the surface and soon the room was filled with that deliciously hot steam. She closed her eyes and tried to remember what had happened during the day. 

 

 

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