Chapter 11-Nobody

They stopped on Wandsworth Common for a rest, staying there for about half an hour. Joshua had fun playing with some children in the playground and Jessica lay under a weeping willow, her eyes closed and half asleep.

All at once Josh came running up. "Jessie, Jessie," He gasped, "Can we go now, it's boring here and everyone has gone and it's getting dark," Jessica looked up, yawning, her eyes dark with sleep. Then abruptly she jumped up, wide-awake. "How the hell did it get so dark?" she asked, "I was only asleep for a minute or two. Shit," She muttered angrily, "We are never going to get there before proper dark now," Joshua frowned, "We should start then, shouldn't we?" Together they hurried from the common and in the direction of the 319-bus route. 

They got to Tooting Bec's Athletic Track within the hour, roughly 45minutes. Although Joshua wasn't complaining the way he was lagging behind told about his fatigue. Jessica slowed down and held his hand, helping him along.

"Joshua, you fine with sleeping on the common?" asked Jessie, Joshua looked into the dark expanse of trees, towering high above them. At the ghostly shadows, the swirling mist and the impending gloom. Then he nodded, though he tightened his grip on her hands. Then they entered the woods. Twigs crackled and snapped underfoot, there was a loud bang as a rotten branch fell off an old oak.  Joshua screamed. Startled and scared. "Hush, it's just a branch," comforted Jessica, but her voice was hesitant. The wind howled and decaying and withered leaves swirled around their feet.

Before long they came to a ring of trees, which made a sort of shelter." We'll sleep here tonight then in the morning I'll get some sort of job so that we can have accommodation and money. Everything will be all right, you'll see." Jessica soothed the frightened boy. They lay down close together, for warmth.

Thunder clashed and lightning flashed, waltzing across the indigo violet sky. Stars sparkled in the heavens and rain swirled on its long journey downwards, glittering in the moons shine. At first the water didn't come through the huge trees, but, as it got heavier and heavier it began to drip in and then to pour in, as if nothing had been stopping it in the first place. Though Joshua whimpered and twisted about in his sleep he didn't wake, Jessica, however, did. She looked beautiful and free, with rain streaking her face and the moon sending a pale glow over her. She twirled about, sparks flashing in her deep blue eyes. Her movements were smooth and graceful. The thunder was her drummer and the lightning her conductor. She swayed in the wind, head held high, facing into the rain. She danced for what seemed like a lifetime, as if she was never going to stop. Her energy seemed infinite. Then the rain lessened. Her actions slowed and her breathing deepened and evened out. Before long she was standing, motionless, in the trickling water. Not a torrent anymore but water running out of a tap.

Joshua was lying wake watching her. She walked over to the boy. The grass under where he had been lying wasn't wet, and also where she had been lying was dry because she had put a waterproof over it. She removed the now soaked waterproof and got back onto the floor, and then she cuddled up to the freezing child. Joshua was shivering in the cold, and soaked to the skin. Jessica moved closer, using her body heat to warm him up. He clung to her like a limpet to a rock. Wet and freezing they both dropped off into uneasy sleep.

'His mother had his arm twisted behind his back; he was struggling, but not much. He didn't know what lay in store for him, all he knew was that when he struggled his arm, hurt a lot, and it annoyed his mummy. He never meant to annoy mummy, he just missed daddy. When he didn't react to mummy that made her madder, but when he was responsive he could see the anger in her gaze. It was anger that had been there since she lost daddy. But there was also hate, hate for him. A miniature replica of the one she had loved, the one who had been taken in such a cruel way. However, he was barely a child, just out of toddler stage. How could he know?

It was the bathroom they were heading for, it wasn't strange because he hadn't had a bath yet so he needed one. It was the way he was being dragged towards it as if there was something worse than just a bath in there.

And when his mummy opened the bathroom door he saw a strange man lying in the bath…'

Jessica's arm tightened over Joshua's shoulder and, in her sleep, her body tensed.

'They were all dressed in black. She was wearing black trousers and a black blouse. Her mother had been angry, saying that trousers weren't appropriate and that she should be wearing a skirt or a dress. She knew her daddy preferred her to wear trousers. So she ignored her mother's wishes and didn't wear the skirt.

The funeral itself was long and by the end of it people were in tears. When they went to the graveyard and the coffin was placed deep under the ground the tears she had been holding in overflowed. She lay, pressed against the gravestone, her tears seeping into the ground above where her daddy lay at rest. It began to pour, a lightning storm signifying the letting-go of a great man. Her mother, who had gone on ahead to the car had to come back to the grave. "Come on," she snapped. Jessie just looked up, her eyes bottomless pools of sadness. "Come on," her mother said again, soaking and infuriated. "I lost him too, you know," When Jessie hung on even tighter to the gravestone her mother backhanded her across the mouth. "You do as you're told, when you're told," she hissed, annoyance sliding from her mouth. Roughly she grabbed Jessica by the arm and pulled her up, hauling her off to the waiting car.'          



Review Replies

Horseriding-muso: Thanks for the review.There will probably be quite a few more memories/flashbacks, so im glad you liked it. It's also quite cool that you noticed the J. Erne. Alist thing, I don't think many people did.

Morbid Mind: Thanks, glad you like the suspense. You'll have to wait and see what happens and if they're spotted.

Kitty McGonagall: Thanks for reading this. Most likely it'll be hard for them to keep out of there but I don't know yet, myself.

 In my next update I'll probably add more about a job for Jessie or something.  There might not be an update for a while as I have lots of work/revision to do.