by S C Richmond
She walked into the poorest part of town, feeling completely overdressed in her new outfit, it was late afternoon and she thought that if 23, Coal Street was Georges address that they could go out for a drink. She hoped he could tell her more about her family, he obviously knew something of her history.
She walked along Coal Street and watched the numbers 17, 19, 21, then there it was number 23, her heart quickened, she hoped he wouldn’t be upset to see her here. She looked around her, the street was eerily quiet, she turned and tapped hesitantly on the door. She thought she heard some movement and then nothing, no one came to the door and now there was only silence. She hadn’t walked all of this way to just turn and go home again, she looked into the window, it was a little grimy so she rubbed her hand against the pane and peered in. It was a dark small room with an old painting on the wall opposite but there was no sign of anyone at home. “Oy!” Came a voice from behind her. “What do you think you’re doing? There’s nothing worth pinching there.” She turned and saw the voice had come from a burly man with a full bushy beard and a shirt open to his waist.
“I’m sorry, I was looking for George.”
“Well he’s in, I saw him not more than an hour ago. Maybe you should knock again rather than peering through peoples windows.” He tutted and walked away.
She did as he suggested and knocked again, still nothing. She started to worry, what if he was ill and couldn’t get to the door or something had happened to him, she had to get into the house. She followed the path that led to the back of the house, it went under a covered area by the side of a house and at the end of it was a tall gate which she knew would lead to the garden and outhouses. She pushed the gate and it swung open she turned right and counted three houses down, that was the back of George’s house, she hoped no one noticed her as she walked towards it.
She stood looking at the house from the back, then approached the window to take a look inside, this time she checked that no one was watching her, they weren’t. She put her eye to the glass and immediately ducked back down below the window level. It couldn’t be rightcould it? Carl was in the kitchen with George, he had been stood over the old man. What was Carl doing here? Their voices were too low, she couldn’t hear anything they were saying, she moved towards the door and quietly tried the handle, it was open. She slipped inside silently and found herself in a little hallway that obviously led into the kitchen, there was a larder to her left and the kitchen to her right. She didn’t move, from here she could catch snippets of the conversation and she heard her name mentioned more than once and the name of someone called William, she kept listening.
“You shouldn’t have said anything George, you always have to cause trouble don’t you.” Carl said.
“She has a right to know, what business is it of yours anyway?”
“William has told me to get that necklace, she has no idea what it is nor it’s value.”
“Leave her alone Carl, I won’t help you, she’s a nice girl. Just leave her alone.”
She heard a thump, and then a door banging. Someone had left the room. She didn’t know what to do next.