Part 8 – by Carmel Harrington
With no backdoor to the hotel room she was in, she had no choice but to either sit tight and hope Derek would leave or go out and face him. Clara was so tired of running and of feeling scared. She just wanted to start living again. So she unlocked the door and defiantly walked out.
“Clara Ashburn. It’s been a long time.” Derek said quietly to her, a pleasant smile on his face that belied the evil that Clara knew he was capable of displaying.
“What do you want Derek?” She replied to him in a voice that was stronger than she would have imagined possible. She quickly looked around her surroundings, planning her escape.
“You know what I want. Don’t try to be clever with me, because I’m fast out of patience with you. I want my money. $20,000 I paid you both to keep your mouths shut. But we all know that didn’t happen. So hand it over and I might just forget about the fact that because of you and your stupid friend Barbara, I have spent the past ten years rotting in prison!”
“There’s only one person to blame for that Derek. You murdered that poor man in cold blood. Barbara and I had no choice but to testify against you. We never wanted your blood money!” Clara shouted back in anger.
Instantly Clara felt herself be transported back to that night. Barbara and she were out walking through the Ridge Woods, a beautiful trek that they had recently discovered. Clara could remember how excited she had felt, telling Barbara all about her new boyfriend, Mark. She felt the now familiar ache she got whenever she thought of Mark.
They had been giggling as they strolled when the sharp sound of a gunshot echoed through the woods and silenced them both. The noise had startled the birds and they scattered up to the blue sky through the tall brown trees, sensing danger.
Barbara had grabbed Clara and pulled her off the pathway, instinctively knowing that they must not be found by whoever had pulled the trigger. They silently lowered themselves to the ground and with their hearts hammering through their shirts, watched in silent horror as a man came into view. He looked around him and then threw his gun into the woods, the dull thud hitting the mossed ground, once again piercing through the silence. He turned in their direction a quizzical look on his face, as if he sensed he was being watched. They had a clear view of him and immediately recognised him. Derek Landon.
“All you had to do was keep your mouths shut.” Derek shouted at her, bringing her back to her present situation. “Now you and I are going for a little drive and let’s see if I can refresh your memory as to where the money is!”
Suddenly a car pulled up in front of Clara. A door opened and Mark shouted at Clara, “Get in!”
So have you all been following the serialised Written Fireside story ‘For Clara’ written by some of the HarperImpulse authors? If you have missed the story to date, Part 1 to Part 7 are listed below with links, so you can play catch up! It has been so much fun to be part of this story with such a great team of talented authors. It’s my turn again, so light your campfires, (needed in Ireland today! brrrrr), get your marshmallows ready for toasting and here is Part 8 of ‘For Clara’. Enjoy x
Part 8 by Carmel Harrington on September 9th
Part 9 by Teresa F Morgan on September 14th
Part 10 by Romy Sommer on September 19th
Part 11 by AJ Nuest on September 24th
AND THE CONCLUSION
Part 12 by Charlotte Phillips on September 29th