Chapter 1

Chapter 1


It was a windy evening in February. The cherry 

blossoms bloomed and covered the streets of Troon.

A few streetlights flickered, casting shadows in 

the alleys where anything might be hidden.


Monica MacKenzie ignored the wind. She was staring ahead 

at the checkpoint. Monica held on to her hat tight 

as the wind swept the sand down Golden Trout Alley.


She could see the soldiers checking people’s passes, 

turning most of them back from the border between 

Troon and Arran, where the snow stayed.


“Next in line please” exclaimed the guard, waiting 

patiently for the next person. He held out a black 

gloved hand and Monica handed over her pass. 

“Where are you headed, young lady?” he snapped, 

with anger.


“I’m taking a cake round to a customer for 

my mum,” Monica replied, smiling firmly. The guard 

checked the pass and curtly nodded his head. 

Monica went past the guard and got on the ferry.


A while later, Monica had jumped off the ferry. 

Here the streets are cleaner, shop lights shimmers

the displays and the people chattered as if they 

didn’t mind about the people around them. How 

Monica wished that she was like them and not a 

foreigner in her own land.


Taking a short cut down melody lane, Monica 

lowered her head, minding her own business. Head 

down, keep out of trouble. Her mum always 

drummed that into her head.


She swung round as a man that she hadn’t noticed

before, quickly approached, pulling her arm and tugging

her into the shadows at the side of the alley.


“I’ll be taking that,” he murmured, grabbing Monica’s 

parcel. There was a pause. “Plus any cash that you have!” 

Monica had ducked down and stomped on the man’s shoe 

and ran down up the alley, squeezing through a 

small gap. But the end was blocked by an enormous brick 

wall, making Monica cornered.


The man’s shadow cast through the gap towards Monica. 

It had seemed to stretch out and hold him in his coat of 

arms. Monica gasped. She could see the man’s eyes full 

of greediness, as he shuffled forwards towards Monica. 

Then noticed a small window tucked behind a bunch of 

barrels and a moment later he was inside.

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