It was the same young policeman. He made Suzanne a cup of tea and spooned in a lot of sugar. She didn’t like it particularly but knew he meant well, and it would help her to calm down.

He was as confused as she was but, of course, not frightened and shaking. She told him about the food. She told him about the bread, though she felt silly watching him write in his notebook about the missing end of a baguette. The worst bit was telling him about the bathroom. The water, running cold by the time she had pushed open the door and screamed into the empty room that she had a knife, and the police were on their way. She told him about the shredded shower curtain and the toilet. Left unflushed after someone had used it. The whole thing was degrading and terrifying.

“Have you got someone to come and stay with you?” he asked.

“No, I don’t want anyone, I don’t want to be here myself. I’m scared stiff. I won’t be able to sleep, I won’t ever be able to use that bathroom again.”

He sat beside her on the settee. “It’s horrible for you. I do understand that. But you will get over this. People do. The first thing is, we have to make sure you’re safe. I can get on to my boss and see if they’ll arrange for a car to cruise by regularly during the night. That’s if you decide to stay here.”

“Can you do that?”

“I’ll get onto it straight away. I am going to have to refer this to the detectives. I’ve already done that. I’ve sent in a report, and they’ll be coming to talk to you. I can’t tell you when, but it shouldn’t be long. Tonight probably, if not definitely in the morning.”

“Who would do this, though? Why would anyone do this?” Suzanne said.

“That’s one of the things you need to concentrate on. You need to think – is there anyone you’ve had trouble with? Neighbours you’ve had a barney with, anything like that.”

“No, I get on with my neighbours. I don’t see any of them that much, to be honest. But I’ve never had any trouble.”

“You probably don’t want to think about this but – you know your missing friends?”


“Would they do anything like this? Try to freak you out?”

“No, no of course not. Why would you even think that?”

“You have said you don’t know where they are and they haven’t been in touch, have they?”

“No, but it’s worse than that. I told you Ginny didn’t turn up for her appointment and Lucy hasn’t contacted me at all. I’m worried sick about them both. Now, this. I just don’t understand what’s going on. Everything’s going mad around me.”

At that point, she began to cry.

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Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff

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