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Through the Looking Glass

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A cool breeze was blowing off the Thames. The type of wind which bites at your arms and freezes your blood in place. Amy huddled further into her warm jacket as the wind howled desperately into her ears, vainly trying to penetrate the soft fur. One clever bit of wind found its way down the back of her shirt and Amy shivered as it raced down her spine. It wasn't raining yet but a big cloud loomed ominously above; stretched out like an elastic band, just waiting to snap and pour its heavy load onto the crowd which was bustling along the streets of London. A quick glance into the passing faces showed a mirrored glumness in the air like a fog, seeping into the most optimistic commuter. The twilight made everything seem either black or grey, even the brightly stripped candy shop struggled to maintain its colourful facade as the sky slowly faded away into night.

The street lights suddenly flickered dimly to life overhead as Amy disentangled herself from sticky web of body's ambling along the main thoroughfare. Eventually the roar of the crowd was dulled then slowly faded into the background. A rusty, hand painted sign announced that she was on Trig Lane in flaking white letter flecked with rust. The buildings on either side of her were like oppressive giants, leaning on each other for support. Landry lines leaned out and clutched at opposite windows which were occasionally joined by a shattered pot plant with a few tufts of dead flowers clinging to the starved soil. Amy felt one drop of water fall on her head, cold and wet as it trickled down her scalp. Then another, and another. It was like the building giants were having a half-hearted spitting competition along the street. Amy shrugged a hood onto her head and kept walking, looking, searching for her victim. She could feel the roughness of the wooden handle clutched firmly in her right hand as she slowly rolled her thumb over the cool steel of the dagger.

Amy didn't know why the old lady silently hunched in the meagre warm of her threadbare jacket made her pause. She didn't even know why she had set out with such murderous intentions. But something had led her to Trig Lane and that something encouraged her to walk up to the lady and hug her. To slid her knife slowly between the lady's ribs and laugh at her surprised moan of pain. Amy could almost feel her own side burning where the knife had landed its fatal blow. The rain was coming down in earnest now, complete soaking Amy and diluting the poor lady's blood so that seemed to rush down the street, washing the cobbles with the clumpy scarlet substance. Suddenly the lady feel to her knees on the filthy street and Amy felt her legs give way too. When she looked down she saw the wooden handle of a knife wedged in her ribs. When she looked up again the lady was still there in front of her, with a look of confusion plastered on her face. But when she reached out a weak hand to touch her small rings appeared where Amy had disturbed the surface of the water. She looked down at the puddle in confusion as it slowly turned red with her blood. The rain poured on, the sky was tossing down bucketfuls onto Amy's head. Suddenly the sound of thunder ripped open the sky...

...And Amy woke up with a start, clutching at her blankets as a pale bead of sweat made its way down her forehead. She could here the muffled sounds of rain from just outside her bedroom door. A flash of lightning illuminated the room long enough for Amy to recognise the book which lay open on her lap: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Silently the girl got out of bed and slid the book back onto the shelf.

'Never again.' She whispered to herself.




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