'When She Was Bad' Prologue

I had aimed at his shoulder but it was the side of his head that exploded. So much for shooting to wound rather than kill. Shit. Barclay would be furious.

So I ran. Ran like I’d never run before in my life. Drop the gun? Keep the gun? My fingers felt welded to its grip. I couldn’t let go, the warmth of the metal strangely seductive.


Was she chasing me or seeing to what was left of her fallen lover? I wasn’t waiting to find out, didn’t even turn to see. I just ran. Arms pumping, cheeks puffing, breath already shortening. Run, girl, run.

I turned left, down the dark alleyway that led round the side of the abandoned warehouse. There were no lights, no paving and I stumbled on the uneven surface but I couldn’t stop, I ran as fast as I could, my legs, sides, lungs all protesting at this sudden call to action.

There was wire fencing a few yards ahead. Could I take it in my stride like in the movies? From behind I could hear a shout for me to stop. At least she’d stopped screaming. I slipped the gun into my coat pocket and jumped at the fencing, surprising myself by getting a firm grip with both hands and hauling myself up like I was on an assault course.

‘Stop, bitch!’

Well that’s nice, I thought as I dropped over the other side, my ankle turning slightly on landing but just a tweak. I could understand she was upset, but there was no need to make it personal. I brushed myself down then started to run again, though every muscle was howling for me to slow down. Just too out of condition for this running lark. If it hadn’t been for the adrenaline rush I’d have been finished already.

I could hear the blood hammering in my ears, felt my lungs close to bursting. Any further and I was sure I would collapse. I turned left around another building and then suddenly there was a pool of light ahead, a single streetlamp picking out the familiar Fiat parked at the roadside.

Had he heard the gun shot? Or was Barclay oblivious to the drama I’d suddenly ignited?

‘Barclay!’ I attempted to shout as I neared the car, so short of breath I thought I would die.

He saw me and wound the window down.

‘All go to plan?’ he asked.

‘No it…no it fucking didn’t.’ I fell against the passenger side and wrenched the door open, clambering in.

‘Where’s the money?’

‘What?’ Barely able to speak.

‘The money. Where’s the money?’

‘He’s dead. I shot him. He’s dead. Drive!’


He turned the key and the engine coughed into life. Slamming it into first and flooring the accelerator, we shot off, as fast as the little rust trap could manage.