Silent, The Missing Memories

Two Years Earlier, Lucy

When she finally got to sleep, she dreamt she was standing at the edge of a shopping mall in an unfamiliar seaside town, crying for Mum and Dad who'd vanished without a word. Pushing into a crowd of holidaymakers, she called for Mum and Dad, but instead of seeing them, she ended up further away as the tide of shoppers swept her along, towards the main road and an unfamiliar coast. The scene changed, and she found herself in the middle of the countryside, stumbling along a muddy trail, down a hill, towards a solitary grey house with smoke coming from a tall chimney. Just as she reached the front of the grey house, she woke up, panting for air, frightened suddenly as images danced before her eyes.

A tall beautiful woman with long dark hair, like a model from a fashion magazine.

A man in a balaclava, watching silently from a garden hedge.

Laughter, like clinking china.  

Dad and the woman.  Laughing, laughing, laughing.

Laughing at, or about, Mum.  

The images continued. A man in a balaclava. So vivid, even after she woke. The man watching her from the trees in the dark on the night of the fire. A van revving up nearby; she'd totally forgotten that until now. The man momentarily looking away, to the sound of the van. And then the scene changed, and the man was peering at her through the bedroom window at Lyme House.

Shush, Lucy, he'd whispered then. He'd been smiling at her, a sign of affection. It's all right. Dont be frightened. Everything's going to be all right.
Dad - not the man.  

She got out of bed and switched on the bedroom light. What really happened that night?  Did I remember it all incorrectly?  Was it really Dad, or did the arsonist rescue me? Where's the man now?  

It was five thirty in the morning.  She'd had less than three hours sleep. She took a deep breath.  Dad.  A raw ache, ten years on.  He'd planned to leave her and Mum. Desert them. Booked a single plane ticket in a different name.  Had an affair with one of Mum's friends, and the police appeared not to know.  The Harlesden family must know, though. They must have kept it a secret, to avoid a scandal.  She must pay a visit to Terence Harlesden's ex-wife today and get the truth.  
She got out of bed, sat on the edge, trying to calm her breathing, to forget about Dad's betrayal.  It had happened a decade ago, a long time ago.

Leaning over, she saw the typewritten note on the bedside cabinet. I KNOW YOUR SECRET, LUCY.  BE CAREFUL.

This as well. She'd used a different name for her employment here, but someone had guessed.  Agnes Harlesden. Whatever.  She wasn't going to worry about the Ogre.

She spent a while staring at her tired reflection in the mirror, wondering if she could invent a convincing excuse for not attending her shift.  Her cheeks reddened.

Oh, no!  The lad in the Remembrance Garden with the raven black hair and posh accent. Gavin. She'd found him attractive, even though she was going out with Ash, her best friend's brother.  

Only one thing to do.  Avoid the lad. Also, ignore the anonymous note. After all, the Ogre was an old lady and extremely ill, and an old lady like that couldn't do much harm.
Written by Lozzamus
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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