Three days to go. Molly was a timid young girl who lived with her mum, Debbie and her dad, Brian. She didn’t find it easy making new friends which is why she was so worried about the move. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad for her if she didn’t have to move schools as well, but her mum couldn’t afford it anymore. Ever since her dad died there had been trouble. Bills after bills after bills, he didn’t leave them anything, not a penny to live with, only debts followed by the incessant banging on the door of numerous debt collectors.
I didn’t know much about her father’s business affairs but she once told me that he managed to squander over half the family fortune in less than a year. “Molly, be a gem and fetch down the rest of your things, we haven’t got all day you know,” Molly’s mother called. “Yes mother I know,” replied Molly “but do we really have to go? ” “Look Molly I’ve explained all of this before, you know why we have to go so don’t make things more difficult than they already are,” pleaded Molly’s mother. “Okay mother, I’ll be down in a minute,” yelled Molly.
That was it. It was time for her to go, 12 years of her life spent in that house and now she had to leave it all because of her father. All the happy memories of her childhood seemed to smile at her and wave as if to say “goodbye and good luck”. She couldn’t believe she was really going, she obviously didn’t think things had got so bad. She hated her father from that day on, why did he have to go and ruin things for her again? He should have learnt his lesson from the last time but it seemed he hadn’t, and now it had taken him to the grave.
Someone ought to have told him you can’t live like a 20 year old all your life; your true age will always catch up with you in the end, no matter what you do to stop it. One particular incident which proved fatal to Brian happened on the night of Molly’s tenth birthday party two years ago. What seemed like a happy day for Molly and her mother could only end in tragedy. “Hurry up Brian, Molly’s friends will be here any minute now and you haven’t even cleared up yet. I thought I told you not to invite those people to our house again, you know they only cause trouble. ”
“Don’t worry, I can handle it. ” So you keep saying, but the day you actually do manage to handle it, well, you’ll probably end up getting yourself killed. ” “Debbie, I know you worry but please try to… ” There was a knock at the door; the first of Molly’s friends had begun to arrive at her house for the party and not long after they were sitting down playing pass the parcel and musical chairs. Molly was happy for once; her dad had found time to come to her party. He usually didn’t stay much longer than greeting the guests, but this time he managed to sit through pass the parcel, two games of musical chairs and a game of musical statues, but Molly’s luck didn’t last.
It wasn’t long before he got a call saying he had to go. Brian was into every dodgy deal going down this side of London. Scams, robberies, illegal gambling you name it. He even owed several gangsters a couple of thousand pounds each not to mention all the other people who wanted to get their hands on him. His wife would have left him years ago if it wasn’t for their daughter Molly. Brian took up his coat and hat and stepped out of the door unaware of the terrible fate which would later befall him.
The night was strangely silent, not a sound or murmur could be heard for miles and even through the street lights the darkness around seemed stifling. He must have walked for miles before he got to where he was going and when he did his heart seemed to sink even further into his chest than usual. He looked up at the tall, dark, abandoned warehouse and couldn’t even begin to imagine what would happen to him once he stepped inside, all he knew was that it wouldn’t be good. He opened the gate and followed the severely cracked and weed infested path along the outside of the building.
He heard a noise that sounded strangely like a witch’s cackle, but when he spun round to investigate it was only an owl telling him to get away from her nest. By now his heart was racing and he hadn’t even got into the warehouse yet. He didn’t know who wanted to meet him but he had an idea that it would be Dangerous Dave; he had borrowed money from him six months ago and hadn’t yet repaid it. Usually people who owed Dave money didn’t last that long so Brian assumed his generosity had worn out and was calling in the debt.
He got to the entrance, pulled open the heavy wooden door which creaked on its rusty hinges and he stepped inside. It was pitch black, he looked around and couldn’t see anyone or anything. He walked into the middle of the room and stared into the darkness, he thought he had seen something move, he was right. Suddenly all around him spotlights were turning on, he put his hands up to shield his eyes from the light and after a short pause he looked up and saw Dave. He was sitting on a chair at the far end of the room surrounded by his usual bodyguards Graham and Bruce. “Well, well, well if it isn’t Brian Upton.
Long time no see, and talking of seeing things I haven’t appeared to have seen any of my money of late. You couldn’t tell me why you haven’t given it back yet could you, only the missus has been nagging me for a holiday home in Portugal for quite some time now. And as you can imagine, I don’t like being nagged. Bruce, Graham, grab him. ” Dave’s bodyguards grabbed Brian and forced him to his knees and locked his arms behind his back. Brian felt sick, his stomach wouldn’t stop churning and all he could think about was his daughter at home and how he should be there with her at her party.
He wished he hadn’t got into this mess, if only he had paid attention to his family or listened to his wife then maybe he wouldn’t be in this position now. “So, do you have my money or not? ” Brian reluctantly shook his head. “And why not? You’ve had more than enough time to get it, I’m very disappointed in you. ” “I don’t have the money to give to you ’cause I’m broke, I have been for quite some time now. ” “That is a shame, you know, I really did like you, you were one of my favourites, such a tragedy that I have to kill you now. ”
“Wait! I can get you the money, really I can. “Sorry, just not interested, you’ve had your time and now your time is up. ” “What about my family? ” “We’ll send them our condolences. ” There was a deafening bang followed by a long pause of silence. Brian felt a short, sharp searing pain through his chest and as he collapsed to the floor it seemed as if a bright white light, so pure, so innocent was blinding him. He looked up and saw the grinning faces of Bruce, Graham and Dave staring back down at him and as the light began to fade, he drew in his last breath and let out a half choked cry “Molly I’m sorry. The last of the packing was nearly done.
Molly’s mother was just sifting through a few boxes she had found in the attic. The larger ones were mostly full of cheap ornaments which had been given to her every Christmas by her husband’s dodgy mates at an attempt to apologise for stealing her husband away from her; it never worked. The next smaller boxes were full of family photos; pictures of her wedding, Molly’s birth, Christmas’s, various birthday’s and a paper cut-out from a newspaper with the heading ‘Local Husband and Father Shot Dead in Abandoned Warehouse’.
Thinking of her husband brought a tear to her eye. She picked up the box of photos and was just about to leave when out of the corner of her eye she noticed a small black box in the corner of the room; she picked it up and opened it. Inside was a black rose, the plastic kind, she thought back to when she must have got it, but she couldn’t remember ever seeing it before. She picked it out of the box and scrawled on a piece of paper underneath was a note saying “we are very sorry for your loss, our condolences are with you at this difficult time. She stared at it hard, she didn’t have a clue who it came from.
There was a knock on the attic door; it was Molly. “Mother the taxi’s here, are you ready? ” “Yes darling, I’ll be down in a minute. ” She picked up both boxes and carried them down the stairs. Absent-mindedly she followed her daughter to the taxi, took one last look at the house and got in. The taxi pulled away from the curb slowly and before she knew it they were on the motorway, speeding away to their new life.