By Helen Black
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Extra resources for A Place of Safety
Lilly pretended not to hear but saw a few Manor Park parents smirk. Why did these people have to be so bloody self-important? Why did they have to look down on others just because they had less cash? ‘The ball wasn’t that bad,’ said Jack. ’ It was a blatant attempt to divert her. Lilly laughed and pressed her cheek against Jack’s shoulder. At the far side of the grounds some parents were walking towards the pitch. They were late and would get it in the neck from their son after the match. As they came nearer, Lilly could see that they were both in overalls.
Artan leaned towards her, his voice dropping. ’ Artan closed his eyes, his breathing slow and heavy. Lilly shivered. ’ His voice was barely above a whisper. ’ When he opened his eyes they seemed even more desolate than before. ‘I’m sorry,’ said Lilly. She thought she saw a flash of anger skitter across his face. ‘We are not animals,’ he said. ’ * * * Twenty-four pounds. It was daylight robbery. Still, it was the best organic beef from cows allowed to roam freely around their farm in Sussex. Mr Simms even had photos of ‘the girls’ above his counter, all doe eyes and bell collars.
The redhead is in charge. His voice is the loudest and he punches his friend on the arm just a little too hard. When the other cries out, he laughs in his face and calls him ‘gay’. ‘He reminds me of Gabi,’ says Anna. ’ Anna leans against him. ’ He pushes her away and wraps his hand around the handle of the gun. Its feel is familiar, like an old friend. Jack pounded forward, the rhythm of his feet beating in his head. One, two, three, four. It was relentless. Yet oddly comforting. He’d taken up running six months ago, when the doc told him his blood pressure was borderline dangerous.
A Place of Safety by Helen Black