(Episode 1 here)…..
“I’m just checking up on my aunt,” Megan replied as she fished around in her purse for a tip. The taxi’s engine was still running and the doors remained locked. “She hasn’t been in touch with the rest of the family for a while, so we figured someone should come and check up on her.”
She handed a few coins to the driver.
“I drew the short straw,” she added with a faint smile.
The driver slipped the coins into his pocket, and then he unlocked the doors and stepped out, leaving the engine running. He hadn’t said more than a couple of words during the late-night journey from Paddington, and Megan couldn’t help but worry that she might have inadvertently offended him. Either that, or the guy was just born sullen, which seemed perfectly possible given the permanent scowl he seemed to be wearing. His taxi stank of stale peanuts and beer.
“Welcome to London,” she muttered to herself.
Fumbling to get her purse closed and back in her bag, she climbed out of the taxi and looked up at the imposing black shape that rose high above her and blocked out the night sky. Marshall Heights: a huge, thirty-storey tower block constructed at the height of the 70’s push for brutalism, a cathedral of concrete and glass. The place looked like a giant gravestone, albeit with windows and balconies and the occasional glimpse of life. There were lights in some of the windows, but most of the building was shrouded in darkness, set against the hazy dark orange city skyline.
“Your bag,” the driver muttered, shivering a little as he placed the small suitcase next. He added something else under his breath before slamming the boot closed. “Good luck round here. Watch yourself.”
“What does that mean?” she asked, turning to watch as he climbed back into his taxi.
“It’s a rough neighborhood, that’s all.” He pulled the door shut. “I don’t bring many people out to this place,” he continued, “and I’ve never, ever picked anyone up from here. You’re lucky I didn’t charge you danger money to come to this part of town, I might have my wheels nicked before I get back across the bridge.”
As the taxi drove off, Megan reached down and grabbed her suitcase, before making her way toward the tower-block’s entrance. Nearby, a train rattled past on the line that ran just a few meters beyond the fence.
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