By Helen Black
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Additional resources for A Place of Safety
The boy pointed his weapon towards them. ’ ‘Everyone stay still,’ Jack shouted. One of the dads reached out to his son, caked in mud and weeping. ‘I said be still. ’ Everyone froze. Silence fell, punctuated only by the muffled sobs of the injured boy. Jack opened his arms, his palms to the sky, and approached the girl. ‘I’m the police,’ he said. ’ She panted hard. Her body convulsed. Her arms could barely hold up the gun, yet she kept it trained on a boy in the crowd. His eyes were wide in his freckled face.
The root of all evil,’ she said. Sheila’s cheek was contorted by the pressure of the metal. ’ ‘Grow up,’ Sheila grunted. ’ ‘Vulnerable kids,’ Lilly sniffed. ‘Junkies, most of them,’ said Sheila. ’ ‘Kelsey was not on drugs,’ said Lilly. ’ Sheila shook her head as if the details were unimportant. ’ ‘We got paid,’ said Lilly. ‘Legal Aid scraps, and you know it,’ said Sheila. ’ ‘Because it stimulates my intellect,’ said Lilly. ’ At last Sheila withdrew her arm, bringing with it a battered book. ’ She threw it onto Lilly’s desk.
They lived nearby and anyone could cut grass, sweep up leaves. ‘She swallowed her alarm and waved in their direction. ’ He didn’t look up, but whispered something to the girl and kissed her cheek. Then he strode off, not towards Lilly but over to the group of noisy boarders. The girl stumbled after him. Jack looked from Lilly to the couple and back again. ‘Speak to me, Lilly. ’ She looked into his eyes, her own shining with fear. ’ They ran towards the couple until they were almost upon them. Only then did Lilly see the gun.
A Place of Safety by Helen Black