Tallie has always been normal. Just a girl at school living with her mum.
But that's all changing now.
After her mother was murdered, and the murderer never charged, she took matters of law into her own young hands. But it all went wrong. She's got to escape before everyone realises the crime she's commited. Living in a hut on a deserted moorland is her only option. Until David arrives.
He can help her; he's a police man, the only one on her side. Soon Tallie is deeply in love with David, but is he all he says to be? Or is he in fact the very man she is running from?


6. Journey


The train is unusually quiet, with only a few people in my carriage. I sit next to my bags, and survey my company. An elderly man sits opposite me, an Agatha Christie novel in his wrinkled hand. I’ve never been  a fan of Christie, but her Murder On The Orient Express was exceptionally clever. He looks up at me when I stretch my legs out.

“You goin’ far?” His accent is northern, and strongly so.

“Oh, um, yeah, to Manchester” I stutter back. I sort of didn’t know whether to lie or not, but he’d probably see me get off the train, so I went for the truth.

“Eee! Tha’s not that far! I’m off ‘a Durham!” He sounded pretty surprised at my judgement of what far meant.

“Well, um, wow that’s quite far. Do you, er, live there?” Stupid question. He just raised his eyebrows at me, and returned to his book. It was only then that I realised he had it upside down.

“Excuse me sir, but you’ve got your book upside down…I just thought you might want to know.” I say, rather awkwardly.

“Oh, er, yeah, so I have,” He coughed, “I’ll, er, just get that sorted.” He seemed to struggle for words. I wonder if he can even read. Poor guy, I feel quite guilty.

In the seat behind him is a glamorous young lady, with a shiny waterfall of chestnut hair, cascading over her skinny shoulder. Her bright green eyes, ringed with feathery lashes are fixated on her laptop. Her nimble fingers tap furiously at the keys, the sound is the only noise in the carriage.

At the other end, a small boy, who can’t be older than ten, is sitting with headphones in. His hand reaches up to brush away his mousy-blond fringe. Freckles cover his pale face, and his watery-blue eyes are just like my Auntie Saya’s.

I’m the only girl my age here. It feels strange. I feel a bit left out without anything to do, so I pull out my map and scan over it. There it is, the River Derwent. Next to that is just pure space, full of beauty and the sounds of freedom.

It will be perfect to hide in because it is so vast, it would be difficult to search every nook and cranny. Unless the police were really desperate to find me, that is. I push that rather frightening thought to the back of my mind, and think back through the plan I made earlier. Get to Manchester, then the train to Kendal. I'd go to Cockermouth straight away, but it would be harder to track me the more transport I use. I've got plenty of cash for the bus, so it should be fine.

Anyway, once I'm in Cockermouth, I can just walk right out into the wild, happy and alive, with my heart bouncing along to the rhythm of life. Okay, so maybe it won't be that great, but it is always good to have dreams.

I feel silly saying this, but I'm scared. Scared of being alone, scared of the police, scared of never being able to live my life properly. I know I'm seventeen and all that, but I wish I could see my mum again, giver her a big hug and just tell her about my day, tell her how much I love her. Tell her how scared I am; She would know what to do. Just tell her everything, all the little details that make life worth living.

If I'm not careful, I'll start to cry in a second, so I had better start toughening up. It is going to be a rough ride.

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