Me. A simple girl from Suffolk, East Anglia. A tractor girl as we say here. I lived with my family in a small village called Framlingham. Nothing special. Nothing big. Went to school. Came home. All the stuff everyone else does. Until one day.
A day like any other. A Wednesday if I remember correctly. It seems so long ago. I was coming back from school with my friends. We usually sat down near Framlingham Castle to talk and have a laugh. You know, the hill where little kids like to play? What am I talking about. You probably never heard of Framlingham. Anyways, we usually sat down there until it got dark or we got hungry. But this day was different. I had...a strange feeling. Its really hard to explain. Its like something or someone was in your head telling you what to do, kind of controlling you. After a lot of explaining myself to my friends, they finally let me go. The story with your poor old nan in hospital always works. I half walked- half ran home. When I finally reached it, everyone apart from my mum was gone. Which was quite strange, as the Clark household was usually really busy. My younger sister,Tanya, usually ran around the house with her dolls whilst my older brother, Howard, sat in his room playing his guitar. Meanwhile, my mum was busy in the kitchen, pots crashing everywhere, trying to calm Tanya down. As I said. Busy.
This day everything was silent. I came in and closed the door, calling my mum as I searched the house. Suddenly, she ran down the stairs holding my old school bag. I must say I was surprised to see it as I was sure it was lost or stolen by Howard, which would be very typical of him. But here she was, holding it.
"Mum?" I said, surprise evident in my voice.
"No time to explain, Darling" She then ran to the kitchen, opening all possible cupboards. She threw in some apples and oranges as well as a whole tube of pringles. She then threw open the fridge door and rummaged through it, taking out what seemed to be made in advance sandwiches and a roll.
"Mum?" I repeated, fear creeping into my voice."Um, what are you doing? Are you going somewhere?"
"No, I'm not going anywhere. You are," She said still busy shoving everything she could find into a small Vans bag that was previously used for carrying a couple of books.
"Me?" I said, raising my eye-brow. And then I remembered that the house was so empty quiet. "Where's Tanya and Howard?"
Not stopping, she ran to the living room and put a book into the bag. It was so full it seemed as though it was about to rip. She then put her arms on her hips and looked around. Slowly, she breathed in and out and then came over to me.
"Look Ashley. There isn't any time. You are special-"
"Oh cheers," I said laughing
"This really isn't time for laughter. You are special, different. And some people... They want to take advantage of it. And you can't let that happen. You have to run. I know this may seem strange, or like I'm making all of this up. I'm not. You must believe me. Everyone is safe, and I soon will be as well. But you must run. They will be here soon. There is an address in the book that I have put in this bag. Just reach it. They will help you. I promise.
"Mum! What are you talking about-"
"Darling, please. Just believe me. All I can give you is this single promise, nothing else. You must trust me," With this she looked into my eyes and I knew she meant it. This wasn't a joke. She guided me to the door and gave me the bag.
" I have to stay here. They expect someone to be in the house. But you- you must run. They will be waiting, I promise you. They will help."
"What do you mean? Who are they? Whats going on?" I felt like a small vulnerable puppy, with the world oh so big around me.
"Tanya, just run. There is some money in the bag. Use it for the bus and when you run out of food or drink, but there should be enough until you get to London..."
"LONDON?" I gaped at her. London? That was far. I've never been to London by myself, a couple times with family and friends... but by myself? What was all this?
"No more time. Take the bag. Get out of Framlingham before you get onto any kind of bus or coach. And trust me. You will be alright. I promise."
I looked at her. At our house. I took the bag and put it on my shoulders. I had no idea what I was doing or where in London I was going to but I turned and ran. Just kept running, the promise still fresh in my mind. But there is a lie behind every promise.