ABOUT THE BOOK:
Poppy Berisford has everything going for her: a loving family, more pocket money than the average teenager and much more than her fair share of good looks. So why does she give it all up to go on the run with a boy who has nothing to offer her but toil, sweat and tears? A boy who hasn’t even started to shave and like Poppy is under the impression money grows on trees.
Is this a story of true love between two teenagers, or just a case of juveniles playing at being grown ups, willing to get their fingers burnt? Only time will tell.
It was coming up to midnight when Poppy crept out of the house; both her parents were fast asleep in bed. She knew this because when she tiptoed past their bedroom door, she’d heard her father snoring.
Kyle had texted her earlier to say he would be waiting for her at the street corner. He reminded her to bring whatever money she could scrape together, at such short notice, with her.
Being extra cautious, not wanting to wake anybody, Poppy switched off the burglar alarm before opening the front door, then closed it quietly behind her and slipped the key through the letterbox.
As promised, Kyle was stood there waiting for her. He greeted her with, “Did you remember to bring the money with you?”
Poppy tapped her handbag “Yes, it’s all in here,” she said.
“Thirty pounds. Every penny I’ve got. How much have you brought?”
“Fifty—the money I’d saved for the school trip to France. Won’t be going now will it?” he said with a shrug of the shoulders.
“So what’s the plan, or haven’t you come up with one yet?”
“Of course I have. First we make our way to the railway station. It’s a bit of a walk I know, but we’ve got plenty of time.”
“And then what?” Poppy wanted all the details.
“We make our way to Skegness, find someplace to stay and then I’ll get a job. Shouldn’t be any problem this time of the year.”
“Finding someplace to stay could be expensive, and don’t forget we’ve got to eat.” Poppy was being practical, which was unusual for her.
“When I said we would find a place to stay, I was thinking of a caravan, not a big posh family one, just a two birth.”
“And what will I be doing while you are out at work all day?”
“You could get yourself a job as a waitress, you look older than sixteen so you should have no problems.”
“I won’t be sixteen for another three weeks and working as a waitress in some greasy spoon café—” Poppy threw her arms in the air. “Well, there goes my plan for training as a brain surgeon, doesn’t it?”
Kyle laughed. He was one year older than Poppy, although at times he seemed much younger. “And there goes mine as an airline pilot,” he said. “Come on, let’s get a move on or we’ll miss the train.”
The train was on time and they had no trouble finding a seat because at that time of night it was half empty.
Dawn was breaking when they pulled in at the station in Skegness. Poppy, who had slept for most of the journey, was now wide awake and alert, ready for whatever the day ahead held for them.
“Well, we’ve arrived, so what do we do now? Most of the shops will be closed this time of the day,” she reminded.
“There’ll be a shop open somewhere, where we can get a bite to eat,” returned Kyle optimistically.
He was right; more than a couple were already open and ready for business on the seafront. “Look we’re spoilt for choice,” he said choosing one advertising All Day Breakfasts.
The food was good and reasonably priced. The owner of the café, a rotund man, who looked to be in his late sixties, walked over to their table when they had finished eating and stood arms folded, looking down at them.
“You kids here on holiday?” he asked, “or just on a day trip?”
“Working holiday,” said Kyle jumping in before Poppy had time to say anything.
“Where are you staying?” Was his next question.
“Haven’t decided yet,” returned Kyle. “Was thinking of finding a caravan camping site, asking if they had any two-berth vans to let for the season.”
The older man stood, stroking his chin and thinking. “And you say you are looking for work?
“Well, I think I might be able to help you. I have a two-berth caravan parked out back, and if this young lady,” he nodded toward Poppy, “isn’t afraid of a bit of hard work, I would let you have it rent free.”
Poppy was all ears. “What sort of hard work?” she asked.
“The wife’s been looking for some extra help for over the lunch time period, it gets very busy at the height of the season,” he said. “A few of hours a day, let’s say from eleven thirty to two thirty in exchange for living rent free in my old van. What do you say?” He held his hand out, and Poppy took it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of twenty years. A winner of numerous short story competitions, her work was area short listed in Waterstone’s Wow Factor story competition. Took first prize in Nottingham County Council short story competition with a story called “Irish Mouse Tales,” which was published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing as an eBook in July of 2012. “A Shot in the Dark” is Violetta’s 37th eBook with Gypsy Shadow since 2009 and follows “The Left Hander,” “A Silent Scream,” “The Rough Sleeper,” “The Odd Claims of Lizzy Croft,” “A Shot in the Dark,” and the latest installment in the Jason Foster Series, “Jason’s Teen Years.” She has had her poetry and short stories read on local radio.
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