I compare poetry to painting, believing that I lack any drawing/painting skills but believing my imagination and training in writing has enabled me to transfer my love of visual art to the written word
Weird atmosphere everywhere. I'd already seen Agnes Harlesden in passing. I thought she looked like Princess Anne, an older version, with a walking stick, hair piled high in a knot. Just my opinion, though.
Dinner took place in another formal room, all polished flooring and high ceilings, with steps leading down to the outside patio and the tiered gardens beyond with their statues and water fountains. I followed Philippa to one end of a long table with a white tablecloth. The afternoon was sticky and close, with dark grey-black clouds pinched...
The torch lamp casts a sickly glow in the darkened room. She tenses. Recoils, picks up again on a hidden threat. Who is this man? Someone very disturbed. Physically strong. Able to lift Gavin from a van, bring him in and carry him down an unlit corridor while holding a torch.
'What's the matter, Lucy?' the Angel of Mercy says.
In captivity, in this damp place, drugged up from the chloroform, glimpsing around in the dark to see if there's a way of escaping. There isn't, apart from physically attacking the Angel of Mercy - and to do that, I would need free legs and arms. He's tied them.
I don't know where he's gone. I've tried calling out to Lucy in the next room, my voice tiny in this vast space. But she hasn't heard me.
Or, maybe, she's heard me but chosen not to answer. Our relationship is complicated. Always has been.
She'd heard the news about Agnes Harlesden. From what she'd picked up, Agnes had returned unannounced, taking the rest of the staff by surprise.
But she alone knew the real reason for Agnes Harlesden's return. And the reason for the intrusion in her room earlier. Someone in the town must have recognised her and contacted Agnes, who'd obviously decided to fly back. And Agnes had gone through her bag searching for information.
Why else would Agnes have returned?
Agnes Harlesden in her room, searching in her personal...
'So this was really a school?' I was standing in a grand entrance hallway. To my left, leather sofas surrounded a glass coffee table and fake fireplace, and there was a unusual smell too, like wild flowers.
'A long time ago, yes,' Veronica said, glaring at a computer screen. 'Dinner will be served in the student dining room at quarter to six. There's an opening performance at the Grand Theatre. Eight o'clock this evening. If you wish to share a taxi there, please put your name on the list.'
Philippa. Rich, posh accent, dressed all in black, long matching hair, loads of jewellery. I liked her straightaway. Thought she was seriously gorgeous. On our first afternoon in town, we spent a while watching the two guys in army clothes, Jace and Steve, climbing the pylon-structure pier before searching around for a taxi.
'Lyme House used to be a Prep School for child prodigies run by Agnes Harlesden,' Philippa said during the ride. She spoke in an all-very-important voice, similar to One mustn't do that, must one? 'But someone set it...
In the field, she lit another cigarette. Her shift would begin in about twenty minutes and she wasn't looking forward to it. Serving a three course meal to a bunch of music students, the type that had ignored her when she'd been a pupil at the former Prep School ten years ago. Dad had taught violin and viola at the school, but she hadn't played an instrument and she'd never fitted in or made friends.
An outsider. Lonely, then and now. She longed for Ash and Maxine. And Bruce, Ash's dog,...
So how did I first come to Lyme House? It's simple, really. Believe it or not, I was a child prodigy. My family were poor, so all my piano tuition came free. Have you heard of the expression:"be careful what you wish for, because it might come true"? That's what happened.
Throughout my childhood I wanted to be a famous concert pianist. Then, at the age of eleven, I got discovered. I was like a cherub, though. Innocent. And lonely. The journey to stardom isolated me from others my age. They saw me as a type of freak. In time, I rebelled....
I take a different route to Lyme House. Across the main coastal road and down a tree-lined lane with a spring breeze and the smell of sun. Another crossing. Past an arty bookstore and a café-restaurant with umbrella-type covering. Bungalows and cottages and a village-like church with a water well. Broken twigs and pebbles and stones. Fields going further inland. This part of the town isn't bad at all, if you can forget the rest of the area.
Clearer air, although I can't stop shaking. I keep looking over my shoulder in case Jace's...
9.15am. Need a plan. Put aside thoughts of running. Only cowards do that. We have to rescue Lucy.
Me and someone else. Jace lives near Lyme House. He's my age and likes wearing army gear and acting tough, but he's really intelligent and could have gone to Uni if he'd wanted. I haven't seen him for about a year. He texts me occasionally. He'll probably be in bed, but once or twice a month he gets up early to play football.
Gavin, Saturday May 2019, 7.30am,Leeds city centre.
Go to the police and hope for the best. I linger by a set of traffic lights and start to panic again, aware of how weird my story will sound to strangers, like I've done somrthing to Lucy but want to pin the blame on a fictitious man who calls himself The Angel of Mercy. He's real, though.
I turn round and leg it to the coach station, shaking all over. I'm cracking up, just as I did that summer nearly two years ago. Can't go through any more intense police interviews. The way they played with my head last time. ...