Shadows In Darknes

Shadows In Darkness is the second book in the series with Dynamic Skull.
Bert now has an assistant who isn't quite normal...

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9. The Man With A Bloody Face

     The man took her outside and led her away behind a destroyed car.

     “What’s your name?” Marlena demanded.

     “Elstree Stranger.” He replied, “You will wait here for the Boss to arrive.”

     Marlena had only just noticed Elstree’s foreign accent and was opening her mouth to speak when he disappeared into the night.  Marlena had suddenly become aware of her senses.  She realised how tired and scared she was.  The darkness wrapped around her, blocking off the smell of champagne and tequila.  She couldn’t even see her hand in front of her face.

   Marlena heard footsteps crunching along the gravel pathway.  She took up a protective guard, a position learnt at a self-defense class.  The footsteps grew louder and Marlena started to feel jumpy.  Too jumpy.  The footsteps stopped, Marlena spun round on her heels and came face to face with what she would call horror.  She swayed on her feet but steadied herself, just as she thought she was about to faint.

     The man in front of her had obviously been in some kind of awful accident.  The bottom half of his face was torn off, leaving red squishy flesh behind.  His lips were shriveled and blackened, like a vegetable that had been left in the oven for too long.  His ears were deformed and his forehead was scratched and cut so badly, you wouldn’t even recognise it as a forehead.  There was a great big gash across his stomach that looked like the work of strange sword.  The Torments...  Maybe he tried to break in?

     The Boss raised his stumps of hands in the air and said in a slurred voice, “I meanph nuh harmgh.”

     Marlena put on a puzzled frown. “What?”

     “I meanph nuh harmgh.” He said, getting a little agitated at the fact that he needed to say it twice. “Followgh mwe.”

     Marlena obeyed and straggled away behind The Boss. “Where are you taking me?”

     “You’llth seeh.”

     The forest was dark and held all sorts of strange noises at this time of night.  There were high pitched wails and deep, rumbling growls that echoed through the gloomy wood, each one of them giving Marlena a fright.  A spitting monkey swung through the trees above.  If a spitting monkey spits in your eye, you will go blind instantly, at least that’s what Marlena had heard.

     The Boss had disappeared.  She spun round.  Nothing.  She heard a rustling in the trees and sprinted.  He was good.  There!  She could see him.  Marlena dived.

     “Missed!” She exclaimed, but suddenly fell into a sea of awe as she stared up at a huge building made of a dull, grey concrete.

     There was some sort of playground – also concrete – filled with ten to twelve year-old kids wearing rags.  She walked out into the open, gazing round in wonder.  Two men wearing white, padded suits jumped up and grabbed her from each side.  And there, looking at her, smiling, was ‘The Boss’.

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