Here, central character Wayne (14) runs away from home following a campaign of bullying.

The last bus drops me off at a junction, and I retrace the route. Yeah, I was here yesterday as well, searching for Max. Things were bad then, but they quickly got worse.  I pass the familiar sites, keeping my hood up and my head down to avoid drawing attention to myself.  Muddy brown buildings.   Swimming baths.  Petrol pump. Supermarket.  Street after street of low rise housing.  Church on corner.  Rows of terrace houses.  Boarded up windows.  Rainy puddles.  Litter.  I continue on to the crumbly brown pub by the play area, the pub where Max conducts his business dealings.  

It’s too early on in the day to try the pub.  Just after nine.  I decide to go directly to Max’s house, even though he’ll be furious with me for turning up uninvited.  He doesn’t know I have his address.

‘What are you doing here?’ he says when I arrive there roughly ten minutes later.

I tell him what happened last night.  Brick through window.   The threats.  Running to Uncle Graham’s house.  The huge row that followed.   ‘You promised you’d text,’ I remind Max.

‘Yeah, sorry about that.  Busy night.’  He shakes his head.  ‘What are you planning to do, kid?  You can’t stay here, you know.’

 

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon.    Reviews

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