Debs entered the room with her forefinger pressed tightly to her lips. She looked nervous. She had a load of rope dangling from one wrist, like her hands had just been untied. Her eyes were wide too, in fact Grant thought she looked like she was about to burst. Simon closed the door behind her. The lamp flickered as the flame almost blew out. It went very dark for a few seconds and then the orange glow slowly stabilised and grew brighter. As his eyes adjusted, Grant could just about see Debs pointing to whatever was on the other side of that door. He heard footsteps on the gravel outside. And then male voices.

“What are you doing out here? Where are the others?” The voice said. Then Simon spoke.

“Inside. I’m keeping an eye on everyone out here.” They all sat in silence, listening. “Are they awake?” They heard Simon ask from the other side of the door. They started moving off, the sound of their footsteps shrinking along with the words they spoke. From inside the little junk hut, Grant could make out the fact that they have other people from the supermarket too. An unconscious girl and an ill man called Jones. That’s all he got. They heard the sound of the car start at the other side of the gravel track and then the engine faded into crunching gravel. Grant looked at the two girls in the room with him, they were both sitting as still as a statue, and then Debs moved. She looked at Grant and smiled, then she moved onto Katie. She stared without saying anything. Katie was the first to speak.

“Grant. his name’s Grant. He was out there. They dragged him here too.” Debs visibly relaxed.

“Okay thank god because I don’t think I have the energy for quick thinking”, she said.

“What the hell happened?” Katie asked.

“Aimee. That’s what happened”. She whispered. Katy didn’t look surprised.

“Their exact words were ‘truce time is over’… Seriously Katie, they’ve got some real fucked up thing going on here. There’s shit going on that my brother doesn’t even know about, I’m sure” She said. “I hate to think what they actually do INSIDE there”, she said. See must have been talking about the cathedral, Grant thought as he watched them both talk about their predicament. He didn’t need to ask any questions, it was coming out all by itself.

“…he said he wis sick of being promised things that weren’t being delivered. She was playing them as well as playing us. Well she screwed us over. Did you know she was fucking one of them? That’s why I killed her.”

“WHAT?!” Katie almost screamed. Debs gestures for her to stay calm.

“Shhh. Seriously. She needed it. We’re in a situation with these people where we need clarity. She was only in it for herself”. She said

“You just killed her?!” Katie asked, still sounding shocked.

“Oh come on Katie, don’t act like you didn’t think I was capable of it. She was a manipulator. She’s leaving us, then she’s not leaving us, she’s sending in me, ‘her negotiator’ and then she’s coming here herself. What was she playing at?! She was securing her own safety and NOTHING else, surely you can see that? So I killed her. I knocked out Kirsty and I killed Aimee. Then I tried to hide us but they found us anyway”.

Grant liked this girl. She was fast talking, even when she whispered, but she had guts and she spoke what she meant. That name, Kirsty. There it was again. He carried on listening.

“…She’s a few sheds away. I’m going to talk to her to explain what’s happened. Simon’s then going to let her and I out of the side gate, they’re not onto him in the slightest Katie. They’re so busy building their little ex-con community that they have no idea what’s going on right under their noses. We’re getting out of here.” Debs said in an emphatic whisper.
“And then he’s coming back here to do the same with you”.

“I’m not leaving without Emily!” Katie said, “…you heard him – she’s in there.” Debs left a heavy silence before she continued. Gravel footsteps were approaching.

“Katie. She’s unconscious, she has been for days. Where are we going to take her? There’s no home anymore. They have it now. We’re out on the street. That is over. We can’t be dragging an unconscious girl around with us”. The door opened.

Katie looked ill. Like she was going to throw up. Grant knew how she was feeling, after all he had just been snatched away from the boy. After this, their life on the boat will probably not be the same, if he ever saw James again of course. Katie was white and as Debs casually wrapped the rope back around her other hand and left the room with her brother, Katie only grew more pale; she knew that what had just been said was the truth. Grant wasn’t sure if she would though. If they wanted to get out of here now, alive, they had to be prepared to leave people behind. Although if this was the other way round, and that had been the boy in there, Grant’s not sure he would have had the strength.

He looked at the door as it swung shut, and something occurred to him. If he stayed here with Katie, he may get tangled up in whatever she was planning to help her friends, and she was planning something. He could see it in her eyes. Something else occurred to him too, he never heard the key in the lock. Simon didn’t lock the door. Grant stood up, and without saying a word, he walked out of the room.