A friend in need is her favourite kind. She’ll drop everything to offer advice, encouragement, support. When needed, she finds it easy to get up in the morning. She turns into a lioness who’ll fight for her pride of friends.
I’m not part of the pride. When I need her, I’m told to work on my independence. Like this morning. She wanted me to sort out paying for her UPS delivery, she wasn’t awake yet. I rummaged around, found her stash of crumpled tenners.
She wants me to be more independent? I reckon I’ll just help myself to funds, then.
Again, Marianne finds herself at the old cemetery. She can’t explain why. Other than she has to find something. It’s a crazy thought, she doesn’t like it. But since she’s come, she might as well look. She walks farther than before, to where the overgrown graves are.
A ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds. It lights up a headstone. She reads the inscription. She stumbles backwards, sits down by the fountain.
Her name on the headstone. Her date of birth two centuries earlier. 1790-born Marianne died on 26 March 1815.
You’re so engrossed exploring outside the derelict Gothic mansion, you pay no attention to the weather. First you know of the storm is rain pelting down on you. You don’t mean to trespass but it’s an emergency. Your hair won’t survive this. Plenty of shelter in the mansion, and the door’s ajar. Lightning slashes the sky. You slip into the hall.
Your eyes take a moment to adjust to the murky light. But you sense evil before you see the remains. Fellow goth, judging from the accessories surrounding the bones.
She rushes to the spot Poppy’s inspecting. She loves that little crouch but she fears Poppy’s latest discover.
‘Poppy, stop. Don’t. Do not touch them.’
The panic in her voice makes Poppy freeze.
‘What’s wrong, mummy? They’re not alive.’
‘They’ll kill you.’
‘Bad. Come away now.’
Poppy stands up. She exhales.
What was she thinking, taking Poppy to the woods? If Poppy falls off the seesaw, there’s an A&E in walking distance of the playground. Not that she wants Poppy’s bones broken, but she’ll take it over mushroom poisoning any day.