The Primrose Line – Episode 42

Illustration by Ged Fay

“Thanks for your help, Miss Renton. Dad seems fine now but we’ll make an appointment for a check-up first thing in the morning.”

“Good idea, best not to ignore these warning shots. Give me a call if you need help with anything.”

“Thanks. I’d offer to drive you home . . .”

“No need, Ken. Home’s five minutes away, and I shall be walking extra fast in this weather!”

“OK. ’Night.”


She walked out into the bitter air. Snowflakes still fell on to the deserted streets, twirling playfully in the street lights.

She pulled her coat around her and began to walk briskly, Sam’s words revolving in her head.

“Why can we never say what we mean?”

The station was deserted, with just the one light from the booking hall and shop welcoming her. A black cat crossed in front of her, darting a glance from its green eyes as it hurried home to some cosy fireside.

Since the troubles had begun the station was kept locked at night. Nicola fumbled for her key with chilled fingers, then saw the door was slightly ajar.

She frowned. For Billy to have forgotten to lock up didn’t seem possible. He triple-checked most things.

She pushed the door and went quietly in to the booking hall. All was in darkness but for the faint glimmer the outside light cast through the door.

Then, from the shop, she heard a faint sound and saw a very small pencil-beam of light.

Nicola froze, not breathing. The Primrose Line was being burgled again, and she was watching it happen!

Many things rushed through her shocked mind as she stood there, afraid to move, not least Billy’s warnings about her vulnerability. She had walked right into this.

There was a chance the intruder had not yet become aware of her presence, so intent was he on his work.

The absurd reflection occurred to her that he was wasting his time, as the most valuable merchandise had already been taken.

Perhaps she could back away through the door and then run as fast as she could. Tentatively, she moved her left foot back, her eyes fixed on the beam of light from the shop lest it should suddenly turn in her direction.

She felt for the door handle, which was when the wind decided to take a playful part by blowing the door shut with a loud bang.

The light beam danced alarmingly, then Nicola was face to face with her uninvited guest.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.