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,
“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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