Dark harvest



I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house.

You see, they hadn’t believed me when I said I would wreak my revenge. Dr Fernandez just told me I was attention-seeking and waved his hand at me in that Spanish way of his, dismissing me from his rooms like a naughty child. In fact, that’s exactly what he said I was ‘”A reediculous niña”‘ as he pushed me out into the reception area so hard that I tripped over that damned stupid rug and ended up sprawled on the floor, nose pressed against his receptionist’s Malono Blahnik’s. She is paid far too much.

Anyway, on the following Friday, we packed our bags and planned our escape. When I say ‘we’, I mean me and Vincent, my loyal English Bull Terrier and only friend. And when I say ‘planned’, well, that’s a rather grand description for chucking my holdall in the boot and gunning the poor old Morris Minor’s engine to within an inch of its life. Vincent doesn’t like the car, pretty much because there’s a hole in the passenger seat’s footwell, so if you stare at it too long, the rushing tarmac makes you feel sick. Or, makes you sick, in Vincent’s case. He’s since learned to hunker down on the back seat and close his eyes, pretty much.

You see, I’d never have done that thing with the tulips if it wasn’t for Fred. I’ll never forget the time that he went to the garden centre and never came back. Seventeen, I was. He was Mum’s new bloke, really nice and all, not like some of the other men she’d hooked up with since Dad high-tailed it to Spain – trouble with the Vice Squad, so Mum told me. ‘”Just off to Greengage’s!”‘ Fred had sung out as he stepped out the front door, and I knew he’d come back with those beautiful purple tulips that he knew I loved. I’d almost hugged myself with the pleasure of it all. It was like having a new dad all over again.

Only, he didn’t come back. It was like he’d been wiped off the face of the earth.

But Mum didn’t seem all that surprised, or even bothered.

And then, quick as you like, Nigel moved in. Barely out of his teens and a cocky so-and-so. Fancied himself. And unfortunately, me as well.

No damned way.

Shame about the house though.



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