Podcast Coming Soon

Hello everyone! This will be a very short blog, but I thought you might want to know what I’m actually up to, now I’ve graduated from University.

This coming week I’ll be recording my brand new podcast that will be called AUTISTIC WRITER PODCAST. Each week I’ll hopefully have three episodes;

Episode one will be about how I survive through life with Asperger Syndrome.

Episode two will be writing tips, so if you have any questions about writing scripts or novels let me know and I’ll try to answer them all.

Episode three will be short stories I have written, so you will get a different one each week.

I’ve got a Soundcloud account up right now on Autistic Writer Podcast so feel free to tune in and see what I’m up to next! Hope you’re all well and I wish you luck in your writing endeavours,

Love,

Abbie Allen

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SNEAK PEAK 01

This is a little sneak peak at what I’m working on. If you want to read more after the excerpt, I would love to hear from you! Love, Abbie Allen

With my foot on full throttle of the car I seriously hoped I wasn’t going to crash. I kept a tight grip on the steering wheel, my hands at the three and nine position. I had no time for indicating, not when I was trying to chase a madman behind the wheel of a bulky four-by-four. My Mercedes’ engine started to roar, so without looking I switched up to the next gear. The madman’s car was hurtling down the road, but I was getting closer to him, the sirens and lights on the top of my car piercing any tranquillity the streets had on a sunny, warm March lunchtime. He turned off, going the wrong way round a roundabout, so I followed him.

‘Charlie Tango 5, are you receiving, over?’ My radio kicked into life.

I had no time to try and tear it from my belt. My radio was in the worst position and I was alone in the car. The madman kept driving, but was slowing at the traffic lights. I took the chance and yanked my radio off my belt.

‘Charlie Tango from 5, I’m at the traffic lights on Robert Lane. Suspect is driving in a black four-by-four, registration Whiskey-Alpha-09-Tango-Pappa-Bravo. Assistance required to bring him in.’ I called in.

‘Received, Charlie Tango 5.’ My radio buzzed again.

The madman then floored it through the red lights. I matched him and followed. We both swerved through the traffic and kept hurtling down Robert Lane. He wasn’t slowing down. He was speeding up. I stepped on it and we were in a mad dash down the road. I was sure I heard tires squeal, but I wasn’t sure if it was my tyres or his.

‘Charlie Tango 5, what is your location?’ My radio buzzed.

‘Charlie Tango from 5, I’m still heading down Robert Lane, the suspect ahead of me. We’re coming up to the Snow Island and will need urgent backup.’ I tried to call it in and drive at the same time.

The madman took to the island, driving round it and swerving all over the shop. I kept following, my radio cradled in my lap. I breathed a sigh of relief. Two marked police cars joined in my pursuit, stopping the four-by-four on one of the turn-offs.

‘Charlie Tango from 5, we’ve got him, it’s a stop, stop, stop.’ I called in, pulling in behind them.

I killed the engine and got out the car. The uniform coppers had him out the car. I was a metre away and I could smell drugs and alcohol on him.

‘Get him down to the nick.’ I ordered.

The coppers responded, nodding and dragging him off to one of their vehicles in cuffs. I tried to steady my breathing and my heart that was drumming intensely in my chest.

‘Gov, you alright?’ One of the PCs asked me.

‘Fine. Bit of adrenaline not quite ready to settle down yet.’ I smiled weakly.

I sat on the bonnet of my car for a minute, trying to gather myself. I watched the sunlight dance through shadows of a nearby tree on the road surface. It was gentle, unlike this whole fiasco. My view was then blocked by a pair of boots. I looked up and found one of mine watching me. He was stocky, but he softened seeing me watching him. He had that look in his eyes that told me he’d seen more than I would as a copper.

‘Heroics?’ He asked, a gravelly voice coming out his mouth.

‘He’s been avoiding us for weeks. I wasn’t about to let him get away.’ I pointed out.

‘Gov, you could’ve got hurt.’

‘Leon. I’m fine.’

‘Are you?’

‘Yes. I am. I’ll meet you back at the station.’

I got up off the bonnet and checked the traffic was away from my car for me to get in. I heard Leon walk away, but he stopped suddenly.

‘Who is she?’ One of the PCs asked.

‘Who is she? That’s Mystery.’

When Wanting To Murder Your Series Plotting

Welcome back to another blog! It’s getting all a little scary right now, only a month away from the end of my time at University. Final year has gone so quickly and now I’m in the mad dash to get all my work done for the looming deadlines. So, whilst I’m in the mindset of my Major Final Project (dissertation equivalent) that is a 3-part Crime Drama for TV I’ll pass on a little bit of help and guidance I picked up from how to plot stuff into the series, but it’s mainly stuff like thrillers or mystery.

PLOTTING:

So, when you’ve got certain things that need to be found out in certain places, this is what you should do.

Figure out how many episodes you have content for. From there, you make a list of points you need to uncover. Once you have that, figure out which ones go together. Once you have that, choose which points come in what order and choose which episodes which points come into the series. Once you’ve got that, then make sure it’s evenly done and you don’t give the whole chain of events away before the end of the series. That would definitely kill the series in its tracks.

I hope that helps and you can make your own series the best it can be. I wish you luck in your writing endeavours.

Love,

Abbie Allen

Short Story: Running Into The Unknown

My feet crashed through a puddle, spraying the water around my feet. I kept running forward, not looking back. I tried to take deep breaths when I could just to keep me moving forward, but it wasn’t helping as much as I’d hoped. The sound of electricity being charged up roared in my ears. I managed to dive to the side by a wall as the shot of electricity whizzed past where I had been standing. I stumbled to my feet and ran the new direction in front of me. I could hear feet getting closer to me, but I couldn’t look back. The entrance to an old train subway was ahead of me.

Taking one quick glance behind me, I saw they weren’t nearby yet. I pegged it down the flight of stairs into the subway. I hid away from the staircase, not hearing a thing. Taking a deep breath, I stepped down onto the tracks. I kept walking through the tunnel until I found another staircase protected by two guys that looked like they were bouncers or something. I climbed onto the platform and walked towards them.

‘You’re not permitted here. Get lost.’ The guy on the left snarled.

‘What’s up there anyway? Golden toilet?’ I raised an eyebrow.

‘Let him know we’ve got a bitch at the door.’ The guy on the left looked to his colleague.

‘You have a name?’ The guy on the right asked.

‘Carlie.’ I was wary.

The guy on the right went up the stairs they had been protecting. The guy left behind checked me out, but tried to hide his grin. The other guy returned, gesturing with his head for me to follow him up. I walked up the stairs and found myself in a dance floor space. Music was playing loud. The guy from the door led me through the space, parting the crowds to get me towards a throne. It was a golden thing. I was waiting for the fur seat to lift up and be a golden toilet. A guy was slouched over the throne. The guy clocked me and held a hand up. The music screeched to a halt and stopped, allowing silence to blanket over the entire room.

‘Who the hell is this?’ The guy on the throne scowled at me.

The guy from the door stepped back, leaving me unprotected. The guy from the throne got up from his seat and stood in front of the throne. He had a fur train like the royalty of the old times used to wear on coronation. He also had a crown on his head, but it was tilted so it sat at an angle on his head.

‘Name.’ The crowned dude demanded.

‘Carlie London.’ I nearly spat at him.

The whole room froze and stared at me. The crowned dude looked petrified. Like a Mexican wave, they all started kneeling around me.

‘Your Majesty.’ The crowned dude bowed his head, making the crown roll off his head.

The crown rolled across the floor and tapped my feet as it stopped. I bent down and picked up the crown. I held it in my hand and placed it on my head. I walked through the crowds of people and stood by the throne. I could see they were terrified of me, but I knew what was outside the subway system scared them more.

Short Story: Going, going, gone

Drumming my fingers against the table started to get on Edward’s nerves. He glared at me, giving the hint I had to stop. I held my hands up in surrender.

‘Are you that bored?’ Edward raised an eyebrow.

‘We’re on an OBBO.’ I pointed out.

‘It’s not that bad.’

‘Yeah it is. It’s worse than getting babysat.’

‘Were we that bad?’

‘Harriet left me to play with a pot of chocolate. I got it everywhere.’

‘You just enjoyed playing with your food.’

‘I got your clothes. You had to throw out half of them.’

‘We had to do the same with a lot of yours. You kept growing out of them.’

‘I was a kid.’

‘That’s why I didn’t get mad.’

‘You are such an annoying brother.’

‘I do my best.’

‘They’re on the move.’

We both looked out the window and saw on the ground floor two hooded figures sauntering down the road.

‘Better call it in.’

‘To who? Base or home?’

‘Both. They’ll both want to know.’

Edward pulled out his phone and dashed out the door. I grabbed the camera from the table and took images of the two figures leaving down the street. I caught sight of Edward on the street, running after the two figures. Edward drew his gun. I froze, seeing the figures turn to face him. I took a picture of the figures, hoping to get their faces. The gun went off and I ran out the door. I flew down the stairs at speed and pegged it out the building. I ran down the street and found it was completely empty. No one was nearby. I looked both ways and saw nothing. Edward was gone.

The Dreaded Series Outline

Welcome back to another blog! It’s been WAY too long. Since I’ve just finished writing a draft for an assignment/showcase due in May, thought the best way to try and recover is write a blog. Why not? So this blog is about Series Outlines. They’re horrible to try and write, but if you get the structure down, you might get through unscathed. Let’s get right into it.

START IT OFF PROPERLY

So, the first bit you need to know about putting the first words on this one page only document is to ensure you make it clear what is being told. This is the example I will give so you know what I mean.

Locksford by Abbie Allen – Crime Drama TV Series of 3 episodes

Logline: Not everything a new PC sees in a Birmingham suburbs police station is the truth

So the title and the name of the writer are in bold. Then you explain what genre the series is and how many episodes you intend the series to be. It’s also a great idea, no matter how horrible the process may be, to get some kind of logline on there, just so they know what your piece is about.

SECTION ONE- THE WORLD

This is the first bit you need to put in next. You need to give a little bit of info about the world you want to tell them about. It is likely to be a bigger paragraph or more if you’re doing a Sci-Fi or Dystopian. Then you have to explain what happened to the world and how it got into its current state. Luckily, mine was just about a police station in Birmingham. This is the example I’ll give.

“Lizzy Reading, the youngest of her family, makes the decision to join Locksford Police Station against her family’s wishes. With determination to follow in her dead brother, Sergeant Neil Reading’s, steps it pushes Lizzy to believe in the impossible. The four year anniversary of Neil’s death gets closer and Lizzy is confused why her family turned their backs on Lizzy and Neil. Emotions bubble to the surface as Lizzy starts to behave like Neil and their mother, Elizabeth Hendy-Reading, tries to persuade Lizzy to change career.”

So this would set the world up for the reader to understand what is going on.

SECTION TWO- CHARACTERS/PROTAGONIST EMOTIONS/OBSTACLES/RESOLUTION

The gloriously long but narrative-led section. This is where you try to introduce your characters whilst also move the narrative on to reveal the bumpy journey your characters go on. It may be a long section, but it can be worth it if you can get it done well. This is the one from my project, LOCKSFORD.

“Ignoring the threats from her own family to leave the force, Lizzy turns up for work to discover her father, Superintendent Michael Reading, has been creating a reputation on brute force and deception. Unsure what to believe, Lizzy starts to put her trust in Inspector Dale ‘Becker’ Beckett and PC Nicky Penn. Whispers and looks of disgust are pointing in Lizzy’s direction, but are put to bed by intervention from DI Melissa Hemming, DC Leon Boulder and DC Natalie ‘Tash’ Price. Whilst a new team is formed, tensions rise from Tash about Lizzy, worried what Neil told Lizzy about her, his girlfriend at the time of his death.

As Lizzy tries to settle into her new environment, she finds not everyone plays by the rules. Coming across her supervising officer, Sergeant Max Strong, Lizzy must decide who she puts her trust in and what she will do to stay alive. During her first week as a probationary PC, Lizzy is paired with Nicky, known as the ‘Master Puppy-walker’ due to his career spanning close to thirty years and puppy-walking all the new recruits. Tash and Leon stumble across an armed robbery, leading them straight to a drug dealer. With trouble brewing round the case Lizzy, Nicky and Melissa are pulled in for assistance. Just when they think it can’t get any worse, Lizzy recognises the drug dealer as an associate of Michael’s. Becker is drafted in and all officers in the inner circle are on red alert for danger pointing straight at Lizzy. After a raid on the drug dealer’s house goes wrong, questions emerge of who is involved and what parts they have to play in the events circling Locksford.

Whilst Lizzy battles with her new job, Elizabeth battles with her conscience on what the family is up to behind Lizzy’s back. Through Elizabeth’s leisure centre, Michael has been using it for a front to cover his dealings away from the nick. Their remaining son, Dan, is also up to his neck in it, not giving Elizabeth a way out or a way to keep Lizzy safe.

Returning home to gather herself after her first day at work, Lizzy finds a letter in one of Neil’s books. With new information Neil had left her before he died, she starts to doubt Neil is actually dead. Taking a week to contemplate the new information before talking to the team, Lizzy starts to get letters and notes at work in the same hand as Neil. Finally caving and confiding in the team, they try to figure out whether the rumours Neil’s death had been fake or not. As Tash starts to receive threats putting Leon in danger, she struggles to decide what to do between keeping quiet about what she knows or putting Lizzy out of her misery and telling her the truth.

Just when the case looks hopeless, Lizzy and Tash catch onto a new lead after another associate of Michael’s is found murdered in his flat. The duo check out a flagged up warehouse full of bags shoved full of white powder. Just when they think they have found the jackpot of evidence both of them are caught in an explosion, knocking them off course from finding out the truth.

As Elizabeth’s conscience starts to take over, she makes the choice to tell Lizzy what has been going on and what she knew about Neil’s death. Elizabeth and Michael butt heads about their daughter, but Michael’s approach petrifies Elizabeth enough to stand up for their daughter in her hour of need. Michael’s dealings come to light and his reputation is torn to shreds as the facts surface. Distraught at the shambles her family have become, Lizzy goes home to find Neil waiting for her, asking her for help before collapsing into her arms.”

So you see, this is an example, but different series need structure in a different way.

So I wish you luck in writing your own and maybe, you never know, it may just be a help to pin down the main points of your series.

Love,

Abbie Allen

Short Story: Bella aged 10

The sound of a pen scratching against the page filled the kitchen/dining room space. Bella sat at the table, writing in a notebook. She couldn’t tear her focus away from it, even when Jonathan entered the room.

‘Hey Bella.’ Jonathan walked to Bella and gently kissed her head.

‘Hey Dad.’ Bella looked up for a second and then returned to her notebook.

Jonathan sat next to Bella and watched her writing.

‘How was school?’

‘Fine.’

‘Really?’

Bella stopped writing. She put the pen down on the table carefully, stopping it from rolling away.

‘I just stand out a little.’

‘Are they bullying you?’

‘A little.’

‘Bella, do you need me to have a word with the school?’

‘I dunno. I don’t want to get in more trouble.’

‘Bella, what they’re doing is wrong. You know that, right?’

‘Like Mum?’

‘Yeah. Yeah, like Mum.’

‘She doesn’t want me, does she?’

‘I’m sure she does, sweetheart.’

‘But if she did she would have stayed or taken me with her.’

‘Your Mum can be a little bit selfish, I’m afraid.’

‘What’s for dinner?’

‘Whatever you like.’

‘Chicken nuggets?’

‘Yeah. Veg too?’

‘Balanced diet, Dad.’

‘School teaching you that?’

‘They ought to before I get the size of a house.’

Jonathan chuckled a little.

‘You mean you don’t want to get big?’

‘No. I wanna get through doors and not end up waddling everywhere.’

‘Okay. I’ll put dinner on. Have you got homework?’

‘Got to write a story for English. It’s preparing us for the book we have to write in that we take with us to secondary school for them to see what our English is like.’

‘You doing it in your notebook to practice?’

‘Yeah. It’s part of a story I’m writing anyway.’

‘Okay. How about you write it to where it could end and we go through it if there are any spellings you may have missed?’

‘Thanks, Dad.’

Jonathan stood up from the table and gently kissed Bella’s head again. He walked into the kitchen and started to cook the dinner, watching Bella pour her heart out into a notebook.

Short Story: Amelia Thomas

Slamming the door behind her was the only way she could get her family to look at her. Amelia ‘Amy’ Thomas slammed the door with all her strength, making the slam as loud as possible. Her remaining family, Harriet, Edward, Cameron, John and Finley, looked at her rather confused.

‘What was that for?’ Edward asked.

‘You’re not listening, are you?’ Amy snapped.

‘What are we meant to be listening to?’ John raised an eyebrow.

‘Ever heard of a thing called reason? That’s what you’ve been failing to listen to.’ Amy was furious.

‘What kind of reason have we been ignoring?’ John wasn’t impressed.

‘You’re willing to let a bomb go off to protect your own egos!’ Amy yelled.

‘Why do you care so much, Amy? You’ve barely been to the centre of Kingswell. Why do you care if it gets blown up?’ John snarled.

‘Because two police officers that have been protecting our home area are about to get caught in it. One of them is Lizzy Reading.’ Amy glared at John.

‘Lizzy Reading again. You went to school with her, didn’t you?’ John didn’t like it.

‘That’s not the point, John. You’re meant to care someone could get caught in the middle. I’m gonna go down there and I’m gonna call for help if I get there too late. So if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go do my job!’ Amy stood her ground.

Amy stormed away from the main room and headed up the steps that took her to a gigantic car park. She got into one of the parked Jeeps and ignited the engine. The engine roared into life. The door into the passenger seat opened and closed behind Cameron.

‘What are you doing?’ Amy was confused.

‘You’re right. I should have seen how much this would upset you. I’ll go with you and help those officers. Just wait a minute, yeah?’ Cameron hoped.

‘I’ll do it, only because you happen to be my Gramps.’ Amy gave in.

The back left seat door was opened and shut, Finley sitting in the back.

‘Got some kit we might need.’ Finley smiled weakly at Amy.

‘Okay. Let’s go.’ Amy nodded.

Amy backed the Jeep out the space and drove out the car park. She glanced at Cameron. He got the message. Cameron pushed one of the buttons in the dashboard, just above a CD player. Immediately sirens and blue and red lights went off. The siren sounded nothing like the Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade sirens. It got cars parting like the red sea for them though.

‘Fin, get me an ETA for Kingswell Industrial Estate. Gramps, try and get hold of Lizzy.’ Amy took command.

Both of them did as she asked. Finley typed furiously and Cameron held his phone to his ear.

‘ETA should be about six minutes from our current location.’ Finley called.

‘Lizzy’s not picking up.’ Cameron was worried.

Amy stepped on it and sped faster through the traffic. Cameron and Finley hung onto the bars in their doors, just to make sure they didn’t get flung far through the Jeep. The Jeep came to a stop outside a warehouse. It was shedding ash and dust. Amy ran inside without thinking. She climbed over debris and found a PC in her uniform on the ground. Amy checked her output, but there was nothing. Amy started CPR. Cameron and Finley came in and found someone else in the warehouse with the PC. They checked her over.

‘We’ve got DC Natalie Price here. She’s just unconscious.’ Cameron called.

Amy kept giving CPR. There was no response, but she wasn’t going to give up. Cameron came over and helped her. Amy kept pumping her heart and Cameron tried to push air into her lungs. The PC coughed awake and seemed a little bit dazed.

‘Hey Lizzy. Take it easy. You’ve just been caught in an explosion.’ Amy told her.

Lizzy looked at Amy and they both smiled a little at each other.

‘We need to get you both out of here. We can sit you on the curb until emergency services get here.’ Cameron helped Lizzy sit up.

They got Lizzy onto her feet and Amy helped Lizzy walk outside. Lizzy sat on the curb, trying to recover. Amy pulled out her phone and made a call.

‘We need all emergency services. An explosion has just happened in a warehouse in the Kingswell Industrial Estate. Two cops, PC Reading and DC Price from Locksford were caught inside. They’ll be outside the warehouse when you get here. You don’t need my name and if you play this for their case, let them know there’s more to this case than they think. We’ll be back sooner than they think too. And no, we didn’t plant the bomb.’ Amy hung up.

‘They’ll suspect you from that.’ Lizzy coughed.

‘I doubt it. Not on your system. Kept completely off it for assignment purposes. Besides, I’m sure we’ll meet again. Espionage is everywhere these days. Bring on the life of a spy, eh?’ Amy shrugged.

Cameron and Finley helped the DC sit next to Lizzy.

‘You okay, Tash?’ Lizzy asked.

Tash nodded, a little out of it.

‘We’d better go. Good luck and I hope you can catch whoever did this.’ Amy smiled weakly.

The three of them got back in the Jeep and drove off, not quite forgetting they just saved the Police from dealing with a double Police murder.

Short Story: Crossover

Their steps down the corridor echoed as they got closer and closer to their fate. Megan Adara kept looking straight ahead, but Kai Adara looked round, unable to take it all in.

‘How are you not petrified?’ Kai asked.

‘Dad, I’ve met her before. She doesn’t scare me anymore. She trusts me.’ Megan said.

‘You want me to trust her too?’

‘Yup.’

‘Great. That’s really not what I wanted to hear.’

‘What would you prefer me to say? She’s gonna bite your head off if you speak out of turn?’

‘She won’t…will she?’

Megan rolled her eyes and led Kai further down the corridor. They reached the main room and Kai was shocked. The room was open and there was a central controls command in the middle of the room. Megan led him up to the controls. They waited, Kai not quite sure what he had walked into. Footsteps walked towards them. Megan straightened her clothes and her posture. Edward Thomas walked into the room and stopped when he saw them.

‘Were we expecting you?’ Edward checked.

‘AT2 was expecting us.’ Megan tried to tread carefully.

‘That explains a lot. You’d better follow me.’ Edward caught sight of Kai’s worry.

Megan led Kai round to follow Edward back the way he had just come. The corridor was long and they finally got to a room on the right side. They walked in and Edward shut the door behind them. Amy Thomas was standing at the table, examining a map. Cameron Thomas was standing on her right, pointing at a place on the map.

‘Amy, next time you want someone to come down here, at least give the rest of courtesy of knowing you’ve done so.’ Edward complained.

Amy and Cameron looked up and stood straight at the sight of Megan and Kai.

‘You made it?’ Amy was a little shocked.

‘Got here as quickly as we could.’ Megan shrugged.

‘Amy, what’s going on?’ Edward asked.

‘You remember the Adara family?’ Amy said.

‘They’re Adaras?’ Cameron was shocked.

‘Someone attacked their house in the UK. Megan was the only one who got out. Kai was already in the States. Whoever is after them killed Megan’s Mum and kidnapped her brother Jeb. We have to do something to get them back.’ Amy explained.

‘How are we gonna do that exactly? Our numbers are dwindled as it is.’ Cameron said.

‘We just need to give them as much information as possible and give them any equipment they need. We won’t go too far.’ Amy looked up at Cameron.

‘You really enjoy messing with my head, don’t you?’ Cameron groaned.

‘It’s my speciality.’ Amy grinned.

Cameron rolled his eyes and nudged Amy.

‘Tell us everything.’ Amy looked at Megan and Kai.

Neither of them knew how to start, their lives crumbling in front of them.

Short Story: Neil’s Farewell

Sat at his desk, nothing seemed to be happening. Filling in the paperwork, Sergeant Neil Reading tried to get ahead of it so he could go on the beat he so loved. He looked up at the photo frame on his desk. The picture was Neil and his seventeen year old sister, Lizzy. He couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he saw the two of them mucking about in the picture. Lizzy was in Neil’s arms, him making it hard for Lizzy to get away from him. His smile started to fade as he saw who was calling his mobile phone. MICHAEL was printed on the screen, draining any joy out of Neil’s face. He picked up his phone and clicked decline. He put the phone back down and tried to get on with his work. His desk phone rang and he saw the time was 3:45pm. He picked up the receiver and held it to his ear.

‘Sergeant Reading.’ Neil was a little lost in the papers.

‘I’m home and I’m ok.’ Lizzy had phoned in.

‘Hey trouble.’ Neil started to grin.

‘You looked in the mirror?’

‘How’s college been?’

‘Well, I accidentally showed up a teacher on the knowledge I had of crime. You’re rubbing off on me.’

‘It happens. You got homework?’

‘Yeah. Thought I’d do dinner first and then move onto it.’

‘Don’t be up later than nine. You have a lecture tomorrow.’

‘I know. I know. I should be fine.’

‘You’ll be a fine copper, you know.’

‘Not as good as you though.’

‘I think you’ll be way better than me.’

PC Tash Price knocked on the office door. Neil looked at her, taking in her whole body.

‘Sarge, we got a lead. Warehouse on the outskirts of Kingswell.’ Tash spoke quietly.

‘Have you got to go?’ Lizzy hoped not.

‘Sorry, trouble. I’ll try not to be too late tonight. If I think I’m gonna be too late, I’ll make sure Mum comes to check on you.’ Neil promised.

‘I love you.’ Lizzy seemed nervous.

‘I love you too. I always will.’ Neil hung up the phone.

‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have interrupted.’ Tash apologised.

‘It’s ok. Let’s go.’ Neil pulled his extra bits of uniform on.

Tash and Neil walked with speed through the corridors. They made it out to the yard and into an area car. Tash drove them there, knowing exactly where to go.

‘She can’t know what we’re about to do, not yet.’ Neil broke the silence.

‘She’s your sister. You do know she’ll be taken back to your parents due to her being seventeen?’ Tash was worried.

‘She’s got the flat in her name as well as mine. She can make her own decisions now she’s seventeen. She won’t choose to go back, not with him after last time.’

‘You think she’s gonna be ok?’

‘No idea. I hope so. She’s tougher than she looks. Just look after her for me. Lizzy may still be a kid, but she’s becoming a great cop through college. She wants to go to Tally Ho when she’s old enough. I won’t stop her and hopefully they’ll take her on.’

‘They know what kind of copper you are. They’ll know right away from meeting her what kind she is.’

The area car pulled up at an industrial estate. A warehouse stuck out with clear enough clues something was wrong.

‘Stay in the car. If something goes wrong, call it in and get backup.’

Neil got out the passenger seat and headed into the warehouse. It looked like it had been an old bakery of some kind. Boxes were stacked high all over the ground floor. Neil opened one of the boxes. He found it was full of packets of flour.

‘What do you want flour for?’ Neil spoke out loud.

A loud ticking started to fill the room. Neil spun on the spot, looking round the room to try and locate the source. He stepped closer to the centre of the room. A package was addressed to him. He opened it with force and found ticking compartments starting inside the box and then spreading out to the edges of the building. Neil grabbed his radio and clicked the transmit button.

‘Charlie Yankee from 10, urgent assistance to a warehouse in the Kingswell Industrial Estate. Charlie Yankee 2’s vehicle is in the location to give our exact location. You need to send an officer to 24 Canley Hill and make sure Lizzy Reading is alright. Something-‘

The device inside the package exploded into fire. Neil was caught in the centre of the explosion. The building was torched. Whoever wanted to get Neil out the way was making a good go of making it happen. He found a body lying in the dust. They were completely obliterated. There was no skin or teeth left for identification, but bits of uniform were left. Neil pulled off his nametag and stuck it on the body. He pulled all his belongings out his pockets and scattered them round the body. He stumbled out the back door of the warehouse and staggered away, sirens and vehicles speeding onto the scene to discover Sergeant Neil Reading was dead.