We are all familiar with the concept of strangers on the net, right?
If you have been on any social media site or even just read an online article and slipped onto the comments, chances are you have come across a complainer, a trouble maker or a down right nut bag straight out of their mother’s basement.
I spend a majority of my time online because that has become a big part of an author’s life nowadays and it helps spread awareness of the RAGDOLLS UK FOUNDATION. In doing this I have been in contact with some of the strangest of people. I’m not here to name and shame but – and that’s a big but – I will tell you some of the nonsense that has come my way.
The first one that comes to mind is a random stranger who contacted me via FACEBOOK MESSENGER asking me to be their mistress. Now I have never spoken to this person before in my life but I’m going to guess that they assume because of my generally gothy nature that I am into that sort of thing. Whether I am or not is irrelevant. When this amorous gentlemen was blocked he started following all twitter, facebook and whatever else feeds. My block button was almost broken that day let me tell you.
Another absolute cracker (to use a Scots turn of phrase) was an individual who decided that I was evil because I write thriller and must have evil thoughts. No honey, I just happen to write about the darker side of the human experience because believe it or not some of the most horrifying themes I have used (rape, murder, human trafficking etc.) do occur in the real world. I just exaggerate most of it for dramatic affect. I like to shock my readers, I like to unsettle them. Now that I think about it maybe I am a little evil after all …
Anyway, the net is full of the craziest people. You just have to look at the comments section on any online forum and in between someone clearly missing the point and someone else trying to sell viagra you have the cry someone who has completely lost the plot.
The internet can be an amazing place of connection, learning and expression but on the flip side it is also a place where people think a screen keeps them protected and gives licence to say some of the things that really should stay buried deep and never uttered out loud. But hey, can’t complain, it does give us writers plenty of material to work with.
Vivika Widow is author of best selling author of the KNOCK KNOCK graphic novel series and other Shady City Thrillers.
Her latest novel, MUSE, is available now for just 99p to download or free on KINDLE UNLIMITED.
RAGDOLLS UK is at the heart of everything I do and I couldn’t be prouder and more grateful to the team at On The Merch for their support. Together we will help Turner’s Syndrome girls achieve their full potential.
Normally I am one for travelling via train but some malevolent spirit must have looked down on me this morning and thought ‘I really need to shake things up’ because that can be the only explanation for my decision to travel by bus.
Of course, I have to get two buses to visit family in Uddingston because having one that ran straight through would be far too easy. However, I know what I am getting myself into… An all day ticket it is… I will be travelling back again after all.
So bus no.1 takes me to Glasgow City Centre … so far so good. With business concluded there I prepare myself for bus no.2 which will take me on to Uddingston. I wasn’t waiting for long when a red monstrosity shudders along. The driver zooms past just staring at me with that vacant expression that tells me I would get a better response from an amoeba. ‘Argggh!’ I yell. The old lady behind me agrees. ‘Ba***rd’ she mutters. I wait another 20 minutes and another comes along. Does he stop? no, of course he doesn’t. It is only then that I realize what the problem is. A Tree Removal Service truck complete with his trailer is parked in the stop and obviously parking in behind him would be too difficult for our conscientious bus drivers. Seriously? Of all the spots in the Glasgow City Centre to need tree removal! So I plod along to another stop and a bus no.2 finally stops and I’m on my way.
Is that the end of my nightmare? Of course it isn’t… I still have to get back home again.
After my visit I bid farewell to the family and hop onto bus no.3. The driver of which decides to tell me that my ticket is invalid because I crossed the boundary. None of the previous drivers thought to mention this little fact? It lucky that I am able to pay another fare because I hadn’t been to the ATM and had just left the shop where my niece was eyeing up a huge dinosaur toy. Luckily she had settled for sweets.
Back in the City Centre I need to change to bus no.4. I see the bus hurtling round the corner. I’m never one for speed but I could have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. I caught that bad boy. I relaxed in my chair. On my way home now? Nope! I’m heading along Pollockshaws road and it occurs to me… ‘I don’t live here’ . I finally reach Queen’s Park and I think again ‘I had better ask the driver’ ….”Are you going into the West End?” of course he wasn’t … he had already been to the west end before I got on and was now on his way to East Kilbride! I had been so busy running to catch it I hadn’t seen where he was going.
So off again and on bus no.5. I was reaching the end of my tether when two lovely young men sit beside me to keep me company. Then they asked me that question that even the most spiritual of us dreads to hear when we are trying to get home. “Have you found Jesus?”
I tried to explain that I was Catholic and happy with my path but they were having none of it. Got to admire their enthusiasm. Short of removing the biggest set of Rosary Beads from my bag they would not give up. Even the man in front swigging his cider was putting his opinion in. I’m not one to debate Theology. Maybe they knew better, maybe they didn’t…. All I knew was… next time… I was getting the bloody train!
Vivika Widow is the author of various thriller and horror books.
The Knock, Knock series is free to read HERE at Vivika Widow Online. Click HERE to check out other titles.
This is sound advice, normally, but when there is someone so toxic in your life you should not feel guilty for cutting them out. Being blood related is no excuse to bring negativity and poison to you. For the sake of your mental health and that of those closest to you it is important that you keep these toxic people at bay.
We have all met them. Those who go out of their way to make you feel bad about yourself or who belittle what you are doing or what you are trying to achieve. Mostly this is because there is something so unsatisfying about their own lives that it makes them insecure to be around positive people who are making a difference. It might not be in outwardly cruel words or violent actions, it may also be in more subtle suggestions or manipulative tactics.
I realise that I sound quite bitter now in writing this so I am going to take a little step down from my proverbial high horse for a moment and try to explain my reasoning.
Firstly, I absolutely and completely hate bullying. For me, toxic people make natural bullies. Their hunger is only satisfied by the upset of others and they will go out of their way to get it. They are also natural narcissists and if you call them on their bullshit they will work it as best you can to make it seem like you are the one being unreasonable or that it is your own fault for feeling upset.
Secondly, the reason I would like to take some time to draw attention to this is because we all, unfortunately, will encounter toxic people at some point in your lives. If you are lucky enough to have only been surrounded by positive, supportive people then I am so happy to hear that and that there is some like you in the world. I hope you take something from this then and gain an understand of toxic people and what that means.
For most the toxicity comes from family. It is said that, ‘those closest to us can hurt us the most,’ which is true. Seems a little nihilistic for my tastes but it can’t be denied that those closest to you have easier access to your emotional triggers. Therefore, when the toxic person in your life is a family member and they are making you completely and utterly miserable, you are well within your right to cut them out. You will be made to feel guilty by other family members for having done so but this will likely be because the toxic person will already be making it seem like your reaction to their behaviour is disproportional. It is not.
Life is too short to not have people in your life who are behind you 100%. You deserve to be supported in reaching for your dreams and you are worth the time of those closest to you. Never have anyone make you feel otherwise. Also, family is more than blood. Family is about being there for each other, helping one another and bringing out the best in each other. Toxicity is harmful to your health.
It is important to open the discussion on these matters. My DMs are always available for those who are struggling and wish to talk (no penis pictures please 😉 ). If you have any thoughts on toxic people feel free to comment below.
Vivika has some thoughts on controversial subjects. Check out HERE.
Her latest thriller novel MUSE is available now. Click HERE to read.
We all have our hang ups. We all have our days when we don’t feel much like interacting with other human beings. I get it, I really do. I have those days myself. I might argue more than most. However, this morning I opened up my emails to a note from a group calling themselves THE TRUTH BRINGERS asking if I would read their literature and spread the word. I’m an open minded person so I thought, I’ll read what it is they have to say.
What was sent to me was the biggest lot of hatred spouting, uneducated, misogynistic nonsense I have ever had the misfortune to read. And someone thought that I would pass this message on!?
Let’s just get one thing straight. I treat everyone in this world with an equal acceptance. When I meet people for the first time I will always approach them with politeness and kindness. I base my judgements of people on how they respond to me and to others around them. How they treat other’s as an individual is a far more accurate measure of a person than gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation ever will be.
In an age where there is so much information available to people we have a responsibility to ourselves and our fellow human beings to embrace that information and appreciate the differences around us whilst still recognising that we are all human after all.
I will not link the pieces I was sent in this article because I will not participate in sharing such filth and nonsense. It is suffice to say I was not impressed with the world views that unless you were a white Christian you were less than human. This was a ridiculously narrow view on what a Christian should be, I might add.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and views. That is the beauty of the world in which we live. There are so many exciting cultures and worldly teachings out there. It is a great age to be alive. Treat others with respect. What more can one ask?
When you embrace a hateful ideology (no matter how well intentioned), the only thing it will achieve is making the world a little darker and more isolated because then another responds with hatred because they disagree. Then another and another and so on until before we know it we have a cancerous spread of bile across the world and people fighting over something that makes absolutely no difference in the first place.
I will no doubt have more hateful responses to this by people trying to convince me that I’m wrong but do you know what? I have acceptance in my life and I am happier for it.
Check out the latest thriller titles from Vivika Widow HERE
I have heard this phrase many times. Most of the time its a condemnation of the behaviour of a few kids but sometimes it seems like an excuse. Yes children can be cruel to each other but does that mean we should accept it? Children are learning a lot of things for the first time. They are flooded with new sights, sounds and experiences. It can be scary. Some of them react to this out of fear of the unknown. I think most people experienced bullying as a child. Perhaps something about you was different. Maybe you weren’t wearing the proper attire. Whatever it was you may have heard it dismissed as ‘part of growing up’. I bet it didn’t comfort you much then though.
In my humble opinion the problem lies with focus being placed on a child’s academic pursuits. More focus is put into grading and lessons and these are important but maybe we should be looking to developing a child’s manners and social skills. There have always been bullies. There always will be bullies but taking the time on a child’s personal development could go some way to breaking this cycle. As a child I had my moments of cruelty towards others too. It’s not something I am proud of and as I grew older I realised that just how wrong it was. I make a point of treating everyone I meet with respect but I can’t help but think that this was a lesson that I should have learned sooner. My parents taught me manners, my teachers taught me respect but even with that bullies taught me to lash out. What are your thoughts?
Firstly, what is a bully? To me a bully is someone who deliberately targets those they deem weaker than themselves to give a sense of empowerment. In my experience – from the play grounds to the work place – a bully is masking insecurities of their own and looking for a target to vent their frustrations.
It was always understood to be a childhood ailment like the chickenpox. ‘Every child goes through a bit of teasing’ it is said. Is that dismissal good enough? Is a child coming home after having suffered a day of physical and mental torment simply a rite of passage? It shouldn’t be. Children can be cruel to each other, especially teenagers. At a time of life where they are at their most vulnerable and most insecure is when these bullies tend to surface (being vulnerable and insecure teens themselves). So who is to blame for this distinctly inhumane way of behaving? After all, no child is born bad. Television, magazines and mass media not only fuel these insecurities by displaying glossed over images of what they should aspire to be but they also make violent images and videos more accessible. This is likely to be a contributing factor but I don’t think it is wholly responsible. After all, bullying has been present in our society long before the age of social media. The home life of the child can also be a huge influence on how they behave with their peers. If bullying is witnessed at home it will follow them into the rest of their lives. This isn’t always the case either. I have met many children from difficult backgrounds and they still approach life with the most pleasant natures. The issue of bullying isn’t something that one solitary person/scenario can be blamed for. It is a problem which we as a society need to take collective responsibility for. Some where along the line the younger generation have been given the impression that it is okay to treat those ‘weaker’ or ‘different’ with hostility.This isn’t a new phenomena. Bullying has been around since society was first established. An alpha instinct is deeply embedded within our psyche but as civilised people we should be moving past that.
Bullying doesn’t stop in child hood. It is becoming evident that more and more adults are experiencing bullying in the work place. Let’s be clear… This means that grown men and women are subjecting colleagues to taunts, slurs and sometimes even physical abuse. Someone once said to me, “I’d rather be the bully than the victim.” This was a man in his twenties.
I have always had a special resentment against bullies. It is likely to come across in this article. Having been the victim of taunting because I was a ‘different’ child and because I would rather read than spend time with my classmates. The advice I received at the time was to make myself more like the other children my age. That was not helping. I am thankful that it made me a stronger adult for others this doesn’t ring true.
The problem with bullying is that it becomes more acceptable by people dismissing it as ‘a way of life’ or in adulthood by making the victim feel like they have done wrong by not ‘taking it’.
To quote a much beloved character penned by writer and friend Leo St Paul, ‘Bullying is the worst kind of cowardice’ I wholeheartedly agree.
The other day In town and passing some time at a local coffee shop. From a nearby store came an older woman with a small child of toddler age. The woman – obviously the little girl’s gran – was busy trying to usher the child on. The toddler was having none of it. At first it began with a whining complaint. When the gran continued to try and usher her on the whining complaint became a louder cry. As the gran tried to reach out the child the cry finally became a full throated scream.
The wayward toddler screamed as best she could. She cried and gripped onto the railings and refused to move. With the noise the little girl was making as her tantrum erupted those surrounding began to crane their necks. Most shook their heads with disapproval (including myself and my coffee companion).
The poor gran was embarrassed at the scene the child was making. Each time she tried to reach out to the toddler it just made matters worse. Then the most miraculous thing happened. Out of the blue a woman approached the gran and helped her put the toddler back into her buggy. She communicated with the little girl and even made her laugh. Immediately the tantrum dissolved. I have never seen such relief as that that was on the face of the struggling gran. The toddler was calmed and they could continue about their business. The gran thanked the woman profusely. She was a stranger to them but with such a simple act she had given so much.
For the rest of the day I was angry with myself. I was angry because rather than becoming frustrated at having to listen to the screams of a toddler I could have helped much like that woman did. Toddlers throw tantrums, that much is obvious. There could be a great many reasons why that little boy or girl is upset and it isn’t always because they are not getting their own way. Imagine what life would be like if more people thought like that woman how helped. Rather than grumping and groaning at the failings of others take the time to raise others up. This doesn’t just apply to child care. It is relevant in many aspects of life. Don’t sit back and watch others struggle. Be an enabler. This is definitely something I want to do more of.
To that woman who helped a stranger – you are a star madam and an inspiration!
Vivika Widow is the author of various thriller and fantasy horror books.
Across the city, detective Hicks of the Coldford City Police Department was surveying his case. Excitement was building around the station. Never had so much time and resources been spent on one case but finally it was proving fruitful. They had been chasing this for a long time.
“It’s been a while agent,” he said. “You’ve been to Hell and back for this but it looks like we’ve finally done it.”
Hell doesn’t even begin to describe it,” replied Lydia Lowe of the Inter City Task Force. “All that time undercover and it was that reporter who did the heavy lifting in the end.”
Hicks patted her shoulder affectionately. “I’m glad you got to him. He would probably have been dead now otherwise and we never would have gotten to her. When he was taken from here I thought for sure he was a goner.”
Lydia smiled. Hicks was pleased to see working undercover at the Knock Knock Club hadn’t dulled her humour.
“The last time I saw him he was leaving with Lisa’s girl. He was delivering her back to her home and then coming here. I look forward to chatting to him when he comes in. I had to let him go. I couldn’t risk the kid getting hurt,” Lydia explained.
Lisa, the bubbly Knock Knock bar maid would arrive at the club later that afternoon to learn of the tragedy that had occurred.
“She’s ran amok in this city for far too long,” Hicks said bitterly. Lydia wholeheartedly agreed. “I’ll call Judge Doyle at the Court House and let her know there is some solid evidence coming her way.”
Meanwhile, after divulging his story to me Dennis decided he was no longer safe at the Knock, Knock club. Either I was coming for him with everything I had or Tabitha was. He had backed himself into a corner leaving himself with few options. Men like Dennis have a way of working out of tight spots though.
He came to a familiar door. He knocked twice in an almost musical rhythm. A gaunt, skinny young girl answered.
“Chloe!” Dennis cheered. “I am so glad to see you.”
Chloe lowered her head. Her eyes fixed pitifully on the ground. “I can’t let you in,” she said meekly. “Please go away.”
She tried to close the door but Dennis stopped her.
“What do you mean? Come on, you have to let me in.”
He flashed a handsome, charming smile.
Chloe shook her head, still not looking him in the eye. It seemed like tears were close.
“Come on kid,” Dennis pressed. “Please let me in. I’m in a lot of trouble here. People are going to be after me. Do you want me to get hurt?”
Chloe finally looked up. “I can’t Dennis,” she insisted. “Just go away.”
“Don’t you love me anymore?” he asked. His large, brown eyes pleaded with her.
Tears did spill from Chloe then.
“Of course I do,” she sobbed. “More than the whole world.”
Dennis kept his expression soft. “Then let me in.”
He reached out to push the door open but someone else did it for him.
Dennis was greeted by the tall, imposing frame of Marcus.
“By all means Dennis,” he said. “Come in.”
Dennis dropped his head. He had no choice. Running would be no use. If Marcus was waiting on him chances were the other triplets would be somewhere nearby. The door locked behind him.
Over at the Knock, Knock club I was beginning to regain consciousness.
“You’re not a morning person are you?” Tabitha teased. “You look like shit.”
Everything that had happened came flooding back. The little girl lying dead in the street with a bullet wound in her head.
“What did you do to that kid!?” I roared
Tabitha raised an eyebrow. “What did I do?” she returned. “I was keeping her safe you stupid prick and you delivered her straight to the enemy.”
My stomach lurched. My vision was still a little blurry from the knock to the head I had received.
“There I was, standing there, carrying a bowl of ice cream, looking like a total fucking amateur and she was gone.”
“I thought …” I began but Tabitha didn’t let me finish.
“I know what you thought,” she said. “You know for a reporter you have no fucking clue. How long have you been in this city? Open your eyes to what is going on around you. Speaking of fuck wit reporters … “
“A friend of yours came looking for you.”
“You remember Madeline, right? Sure you do. All the men like Madeline,” Tabitha said.
Madeline growled. I hadn’t even noticed her being so focused on Tabitha, bleary eyed and possibly concussed.
“Would you listen to yourself?” Maddy snarled. “Do you ever shut up?”
Tabitha ignored her.
“Let us out of here you crazy bitch!” I yelled.
“I’m actually hurt that you still think I’m the bad guy here,” Tabitha laughed. I couldn’t tell if she was being ironic or if she truly meant what she said. “There are much worse things in this city than little old me. I do what I can to fight against it. Do you have any idea what would go down if I didn’t keep a check on things? I’m like a fucking super hero. Some might even be grateful.”
She kicked a knife at her feet between her captives.
“Here’s a little lesson for you. I’m going to close that door and you are both going to fight it out. Let’s see how moral you are when your lives are on the line. Maybe then you will have some idea of the shit I’ve had to deal with.”
Either of us could have grabbed that knife and killed her then but we wouldn’t have gotten much farther after that. Tabitha strode with confidence. Inside the Knock, Knock club she had nothing to fear.
“That’s why you’re both in your undies by the way,” she said as a matter of fact. “It’s less of a mess to clean up that way. It would be even easier if you were naked but I’m not that sick.” She laughed at her own joke. “When one of you are dead I pinky promise to open back up again. One less God damn reporter in the world. In the meantime, I have a little kid to bury and it’s not even noon. Thanks for that by the way. Toodles!”
At that she was out of the door. Maddy and I were sealed inside the Knock, Knock club’s hold. I ran to the door and cried through it.
“Let us out!” I called hammering my fists against the door as though it would do any good.
“It’s no use,” Madeline said behind me.
“We’ll get out of here,” I insisted.
“It’s over Sam,” Madeline said. “I’m sorry.”
#amreading the #thriller #graphicnovel #knockknock by @VivikaWidow
It was a blazing warm day in the Shady City. Sarah came to the north side of Coldridge park with her dad, Kev. Since the sun shone brightly she was promised they would have some fun together then go for ice cream but when they reached the park some of Kev’s friends called him over. Whenever Kev suggested they go to the park there were always friends waiting for them.
“I thought we were going to kick the ball?” Sarah protested.
The friends Kev met always held him up until it was too late and they had to go home again.
“I won’t be long,” Kev said.
Sarah patted Ricky. The dog panted appreciatively. She tried not to pout. Her dad always got mad when she pouted. He would go off with his friends regardless. Maybe they would still get ice cream when he was done if she kept quiet.
“Stay here,” he warned.
“Kev!” one of the men called to him.
Kev smiled and raised two fingers to them before wandering off and leaving his daughter behind.
Sarah smiled at Ricky and kicked the ball for him to chase but the dog chased its owner instead. Sarah grumbled and sat on concrete steps that led to a supply shed.
As she watched her father exchange with his friends she realised he wouldn’t be returning any time soon. She picked up the shining red ball she had brought with her and started to play around with it.
She hadn’t made any team in school that year but the coach, Mrs Watson, told her that she showed promise and if she practised maybe she could the following year. Sarah kicked the ball. She flipped it up, trying to a move a Coldford City player had made famous. Unlike him it didn’t land at her feet. It rolled away. She chased after it. It was stopped by a woman.
The woman picked it up. She was pretty but not like Sarah’s mum. The woman had a movie star quality with long blonde hair and designer sunglasses.
“You ought to be careful,” she said. She had a warm voice, smooth like honey. “You wouldn’t want to lose your ball now would you?”
Sarah smiled at her. “Thanks lady,” she said.
“Is that your dad over there?” the woman nodded towards Kev. He was still engaged in conversation. He hadn’t noticed the woman approach his daughter.
“Yeah the bald one is dad,” Sarah giggled. “That’s my dog too.”
“We’re going to get some ice cream,” Sarah divulged.
“He looks busy,” the woman replied. “Perhaps you and I can go get some while you are waiting.”
Sarah’s face lit up. She had been warned not to talk to strangers but the woman wasn’t at all like the strangers she imagined. She smelled of sweet perfume instead of alcohol. She was glamorous and pleasant. She was not at all like the rough looking, gin soaked men she had been warned of. The way she passed Sarah’s ball back to her was engaging and fun. She really did want that ice cream. It was still early morning but the temperature was soaring.
“I’m not supposed to leave the park.”
The woman ignored her statement. “You know, I don’t even have a favourite flavour. Maybe you could help me pick one out. We could get some for your dad too. His name is Kev right?”
Sarah was surprised. “You know him?”
“Of course I do,” said the woman. “I know you too, Sarah.”
Sarah beamed. “Yeah, that’s right.”
The woman pulled her sunglasses down and smiled at the child. She had a prominent gap between her front teeth that gave her a girlish, almost whimsical appearance.
“How do you know my dad?” Sarah asked.
The woman put her arms around the child’s shoulder and the started towards the Shanties exit.
“Let’s get that ice cream and I’ll tell you all about it.”
“What’s your name?” Sarah asked.
“Tabitha,” was the reply.
When Kev finished talking to his friends – one of whom he sold Ricky to – he returned to the steps to find his daughter was gone and all that was left behind was a shiny red ball.
I had been so angered by Dennis’ story of how Tabitha had come to own the Knock, Knock club and how he came to be involved I didn’t sleep at all that night. I locked the door of the room I had been given and lay on the bed to rest. I gathered my strength and waited for the morning when I could take the evidence I had to CPD. I gave myself some time to shake off any suspicion or watch the club had over me. It was early morning when I emerged again. I was glad to find none of the staff were there yet. Dennis would be nursing his wounds. I didn’t have to worry about him. He wouldn’t admit he had been talking to a reporter anyway. Tabitha on the other hand could make things very difficult for me.
It was when I reached the main part of the club I saw little Sarah sat at a table. She was completely unaware of the danger she was in.
‘Damn it,’ I thought to myself. I couldn’t leave her there.
“Hey,” I said.
She looked up and smiled back at me. She was cute kid, with blonde hair and warm eyes. She seemed familiar somehow.
“Hey,” Sarah replied.
“What brings you here?” I took a breath and tried to sound as casual as possible.
“The lady told me I was to wait here,” Sarah explained. “She’s getting ice cream.”
I kept my distance, not wanting to scare her but I had a feeling I knew the lady she referred to. I was running out of time.
“Ice cream for breakfast? That’ll give you a stomach ache.”
Sarah shrugged with a smile.
“The lady that told you to wait here, was she tall, slim, gap in her teeth, kinda goofy looking?”
Sarah laughed. “Yeah, Tabitha,” she said.
Time was definitely running out.
“Listen to me kid,” I said, trying not to frighten her with my sudden seriousness. “My name is Sam. That lady is not your friend,” I said.
Sarah seemed confused. “I should wait here.”
I was filthy, unshaven and still stank of last night’s booze. I could see why the girl wouldn’t trust me over Tabitha.
“Where are your parents?” I asked.
“I was at the park with my dad,” she said. “Tabitha brought me here and told me to wait for her.”
“You can’t stay here,” I urged. Tabitha would be back any moment. “You are going to get hurt here. I’ll take you back to your dad but we have to leave now.”
Sarah blinked. She must have read something on my face because her instincts told her to believe me. She hadn’t felt quite right coming to the club without her dad knowing. She stood and followed me.
“Don’t worry,” I told her. “I’ll look out for you.”
We got to the exit of the club where we met Lydia.
“Going somewhere?” she asked. Her eyes locked on Sarah.
“I’m getting out of this place and I’m not leaving without this kid,” I said to the dancer.
Lydia remained calm. “You have to be careful, Sam,” she said.
I was exhausted and in no mood to argue. “You can’t keep us here,” I said referring to myself and the little girl.
“I’m not trying to,” Lydia replied. “I’m saying you need to be careful. When you get to the alley turn left. If you go right they will see you.”
I thanked her. My first priority was getting Sarah back to her dad and then I was going to CPD with everything I knew.
What I didn’t know was that as I made my way from the club, relishing daylight again, the pocket I had kept the evidence phone in was now empty. Lydia had retrieved it.
“Where do you stay?” I asked Sarah as we got onto the street.
She pointed to the park entrance.
“Just at the other side of Coldridge,” she explained.
I took a firm hold of her arm.
“We better hurry,” I urged her and we made our way to the park at a run.
We crossed the park to the south west entrance where a row of rundown buildings lay.
“There he is. That’s my dad,” Sarah cheered.
Kev was on the phone I stopped her before she could run to him. I started looking around. I couldn’t see anything amiss.
“Okay, go to him,” I pushed.
I watched as Sarah and Kev were reunited. He lowered the phone.
“Where did you run off to?” he growled angrily. “I was trying to phone your fucking mother.”
“The lady was going to get us some ice cream but the man brought me back,” Sarah explained.
Before Sarah could point me out, a shot cracked from somewhere in one of the buildings.
Kev cried out. Before he could catch his daughter another shot rang out.
It had come from what seemed like nowhere. My knees weakened. I had the strongest urge to vomit. My attempts to protect the little girl had brought her straight into the line of sight of a gun man with pin point accuracy.
When I left the Knock, Knock club I swore I would never let another kid get hurt. Creeps, murderers, degenerates. The Shady City had them all and she didn’t like that I was trying to fight back.
I will never forgive myself for what happened to that little girl that day. I was so overwhelmed with the sight of Sarah and her father being gunned down I didn’t hear steps approach me. I turned but before I could register the person behind me I was punched. Solid knuckle dusters caught me on the side of the head knocking me out cold.
#amreading the #thriller #graphicnovel #knockknock by @VivikaWidow