The unknown eye

I had the idea of a stalker stalked for a long time, but when I came to write it, the story, as usual turned out to be quite different… A stalker, yes, stalked? No, but the stalker tracked and eventually found and identified.

There was a very interesting programme on TV last night about the reality of living with a stalker – sometimes a person you don’t even know. These sad and horrible true life-stories are far removed from my fiction; when I wrote it I didn’t do justice to the terror, fear, anxiety and hopelessness victims feel… but mine was a fiction I wrote about ten years ago, and if I was writing it now, it would be very different.

Here is a link for the programme which is available for the next twenty-nine days in the UK:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09glkcj/stalkers

To return to my fiction… Rosa Czekov was stalked; she escaped from it by catching a train which was involved in a crash resulting in a lot of deaths… now Rosa’s cousin Tyche has arrived in the town on a mission t discover who drove Rosa to take such drastic action.

In this except she is thinking over the meeting she has just had with Rosa’s husband, Luka:

Tyche put down the page and thought about the Luka she had just met. He was still grieving for Rosa but he was getting on with his life, and doing well with his business. Rosa’s descriptions of him as a teenager were fascinating, saying as much about her as they did about him. It was quite clear to Tyche that, contrary to common perception, Luka loved Rosa more than she loved him. What was the French phrase, ‘un qui aime, et un qui est aimé’… When did Rosa realise this, or did she?

Tyche gazed down at the road below, beyond the café patio. People passed slowly backwards and forwards like fowl on a pond, drifting along aimlessly, as if they didn’t know whether to go to the beach to paddle or along to the next beach to swim. There was only the hotel and four or five guesthouses beyond the café, the road ending in a car park. The path led past the swelling mound of Dark Fort; it was a mysterious place, an ancient Neolithic site. A gap in its wall allowed the sun’s first rays to trace a line across its bowl. Eventually the path led to Opal Harbour, a tiny little quay, quaint and pretty, protected by a seawall.

Rosa had decided that the stalker was a man, for no reason. Tyche was not so sure; she looked at her list again; this was the A list, the people closest to Rosa. There was a B list of other people who knew her, and even a C list of every person she could think of. Family, long forgotten children at nursery whose names she had copied from the backs of class photos, junior school, the County, the drama club, her dance class,  friends of  her sister Gerry, friends of Luka’s… There were other people, the milkman, the paper boy, the postman, people who came into the gallery, artists, customers, business acquaintances…

Included on the C list were the names of men who had written repeatedly after she had become ‘famous’. At first she’d thrown away the letters, embarrassed by these strangers, some admiring, some threatening, or creepy, some obscene, some pathetic; some offered love or sex or money or all three. When the things started happening, and she knew she was not mistaken or imagining it, she passed the letters to the police. By this time there were only ‘the regulars’ who kept writing; but the stalker was the one whose messages were on copy paper that could have come from any computer, even her own.

And then there was the D list. Everyone connected with the death of Enoch Chambers, including the man who became her lover.

If you haven’t read my story, I would love you to do so… you can find it here, and if you are kind enough to leave a review I would be very grateful!!

Three questions while planning a novel

I came across an article by someone who was discussing how to change a short story – or maybe I should say develop a shirt story into a novel. I haven’t really ever done that; it is such a long time since I wrote short stories, and I never saw them as being anything other than a stand alone shorter piece. I have written short pieces, on the other hand, which may develop into something but which can  in a way serve as a short story!

This excellent article I read by, Mary Lynn Bracht  was a background to how she came to write her first novel, ‘White Chrysanthemum’ which will be published in January 2018. In the article, Bracht outlined three questions she asked herself while planning her novel-from-a-short-story; it’s made me think about my writing, and I asked myself the questions:

Question 1: How does the story end? I very rarely know how my stories are going to end – I sometimes have a scene I know will come at then end but I’m not always sure who will be involved in it or what will be the outcome. Quite early on while writing ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ I knew there would be two people fighting at the edge of a raging sea during a storm. They would both be swept into the sea but only one would emerge – and when the idea first came to me I didn’t know which one. This was supposed to be the climax of the story, and the actual conclusion would result from this fight.  In the event, two completely different people were engaged in the struggle and neither survived… did this mean there was no climax? Well, no, because the main character witnessed the scene, and what led up to it, and what happened after it was vital to the story.
This hasn’t actually answered the question so… for the two things I am writing at the moment – my latest Radwinter story – I have a couple of scenes in my mind which will complete certain story lines, but there are three other aspects which I don’t yet have an answer to and am wondering whether to eliminate one to save for a different story. In my NaNo story about the mystery woman, I think aspects of the mystery will be revealed, but the narrative isn’t sufficiently developed yet for me to have a clear view of where it’s going.

Question 2: What scenes/events must take place in order to reach the end? I have a variety of ideas when I am writing, but not all of the scenarios I have up my writing sleeve will be pulled out for these novels. So, in answer to the actual question – I don’t know. I don’t have a clear idea of the conclusion, and can only see a few steps in front of me, so to repeat, I have no idea.

Question 3: Am I telling the story from the right character’s perspective? In my Radwinter novel there can only be one perspective since it is a first person narrative; however, there are scenes which include someone else’s blog so I guess that is a different perspective. In my NaNo book, although much of the story is told from the point of view of the MW – the mystery woman, it is only her actions and some of her thoughts which are revealed; her past is concealed, and any thoughts she may have of what happened to bring her to the town are not revealed. However, she is beginning to do some writing herself, she is writing a sort of memoir, starting with her days at Uni, and it may be (I haven’t decided yet) her writing eventually reveals what happened to her (which I don’t yet know) which led her to living in a small anonymous bedsit in a place where she knows no-one and no-one knows her.
Because I have no proper plan for my stories, I can’t really answer whether it’s from the right perspective – as I said, in my Radwinter story, there is only the one point of view, that of Thomas Radwinter.

Here is a link to the article – it really is worth reading!

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/breaking-in-writers-digest/transforming-short-story-novel

…and here are links to my novels I’ve mentioned:

http://amzn.eu/7SNYKTk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-5-Book-Series/dp/B072HTG366/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1509924449&sr=8-6&keywords=lois+elsden

Went the day well? NaNo day 1

In case you’re wondering, my title, ‘Went the day well?’ was from a 1942 film based on a story by Graham Greene, which was a quote from a poem:

Went the day well?
We died and never knew.
But, well or ill,
Freedom, we died for you.

John Maxwell Edmonds.

I’m using it about something far less important or significant, the first day of the 1917 National Novel Writing Month – the online challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

This is my fifth year of attempting it, and in the last four attempts I was successful, although with a couple it was a close-run thing, completing the challenge a few minutes before midnight on November 30th!

I was all set up with what I was going to do; I have a character called Gus and I’ve written about him several times, and I decided I wanted to pull his story together and NaNoWriMo seemed the ideal vehicle for my attempt. So… I had a busy day yesterday, lots of things happened, some planned some unexpected, some good, some really not good at all.

I sat down first thing and opened a new document… and blank… Gus had wandered off… he obviously didn’t think he was ready to share his story. There would be no point in forcing it I knew, that way difficulty lies! I have so many other things I am doing at the moment, probably too many, that I knew Gus would prove recalcitrant and reluctant.

I did have a back-up plan; after I finish writing my novels quite often the characters’ stories continue in my head and I sometimes actually write down what happens next – this doesn’t develop into a sequel, but some of the ideas might lead to something new (what happened to the characters in ‘Farholm’ resulted in an idea which developed into ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov‘) However, when I tried to find a couple of these ideas I wanted to pursue I couldn’t locate them; I have an awful feeling that when I was doing my mass clear out and tidy that they went into the recycling bin)

So at eleven o’clock last night, I addressed the empty page. I started something completely new, something which had just been a vague idea floating around… I don’t know whether it will work, but it’s started and I managed to write 1076 words before midnight!!

I will try to keep you up to date with my progress… and will maybe share more about my idea later today… but definitely tomorrow!!

Here are links to ‘Farholm‘ and ‘Rosa‘:

http://amzn.eu/6YAke3w

http://amzn.eu/0KjhkE4

… and here is a clue about what I’m writing about:

https://loiselden.com/2017/10/10/the-bowman-the-tusked-creature-and-the-three-diamonds/

PS my featured image has nothing to do with what I’m writing, it’s just a picture I like!

Running out of options

The title of my e-book ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ tells you what the story is about – a woman named Rosa who is stalked… except in fact Rosa isn’t even in the narrative except as a back story. Her cousin Tyche Kane is determined to find out who stalked Rosa, frightened her so much that she caught a train which crashed…

BRAVE ROSA DIES IN LITTLE GILL JUNCTION CRASH

It was revealed last night that one of the victims of the Little Gill Junction train crash was Rosa Czekov. The body of Rosa, 32, was identified from her possessions and her jewellery by her husband Luka

Tyche tries to entice the stalker into stalking her as s/he did Rosa, a dangerous idea as she finds out when she is out on a run:

She trotted on until she came to the bottom road to Oak and on an impulse took it. She had slowed, losing the impetus, disrupted by the phone call and what had been said. What was it about Rudi which made her behave like this against her better judgement?
The road was narrower and she stepped up onto the verge and ran on the grass as two cars passed. It was a mistake coming along here, it wasn’t wide enough and there were too many bends and high hedges. She ran on, wondering whether she should turn round but she was half way to Oak so she pushed on. She was tiring; she had gone further than she intended and deviating to Oak added extra miles.
There was the sound of a car behind her but glancing back it was not yet in sight. There was nowhere for her to step off the road now, the verge had petered out so she increased her stride to get to a place she could wait. The car was creeping along and she wondered whether to stop for it to pass. It was bugging her now. She glanced over her shoulder and it was in sight, and it looked like one of the two which had just passed her.
She was filled with fear; was this him? She had a spurt of energy, resisting the urge to keep looking back. It was a maroon off-roader, she didn’t know enough about cars to know what sort. And what was it with tinted windows? Rudi’s Chrysler and this beast.
It was crawling along; it could be the stalker or it could just be some creep ogling her as she ran. She couldn’t go on at this pace and she stopped. The car stopped. She turned and trotted back towards it and it went into reverse. Angry now, Tyche found some strength to run.
And then suddenly with a crash of gears it was accelerating towards her.
Oh shit!
She turned and ran seeking some escape. There was a wooden fence instead of the hedge and she ran and jumped and managed to scramble her way over, catching her foot on the top and catapulting headfirst into a field. She lay winded for a minute. The car had slowed on the other side of the fence then drove slowly away.
Tyche sat up, panting. The front of her vest was grass stained and there were marks on her knees. She was rubbing at her legs when she heard the car; it was in the field, it had come in an open gateway further up and it was bumping over the rough pasture towards her. She sprang to her feet and ran off across the field, the car was accelerating now and she had no doubt that the driver intended to run her down. She jinked sideways and ran towards a tumbledown cattle shed. She was at the limit of her stamina and strength and the car was roaring after her. She slowed and the car slowed behind her; he was playing with her, he could have knocked her over before now. She slowed more and so did he.
She suddenly leapt forward and ran as fast she could and he accelerated. She gave a flying jump and some how managed to vault the old bath which served as a water trough; she slipped as she landed and rolled away but it didn’t matter, the car had gone straight into the bath with a satisfying crash.
Exhausted though she was, she sprinted away from the shed, not knowing whether she would be pursued on foot. She knew where she was now, knew where she was going. She climbed another fence into a field of maize and made her way down a row pushing between the plants.
She was spent, only fear carrying her on. There was a noise behind her and a plume of smoke rose from the field, it had to be the car. She pressed on and came at last to another fence, climbed wearily over into the garden and made her way through the shrubs and then across the overgrown lawn. Remembering Rosa’s words, she counted along the ornamental bricks at the edge of the patio, lifted one and found the key. She went to the back door, let herself in and switched off the alarm and then with the door shut and locked behind her she sank to the floor, shattered.
She lay in a trance of exhaustion for an immeasurable amount of time. Her ears pricked. Was it him? She tensed, alert in the silence of the empty house. He had come into the house before when Rosa lived here, he had gone through her possessions, moved, hidden and replaced things. Tyche’s hands were shaking so much she could hardly turn the key in the lock but in seconds the door was open, the alarm set, and she was crouched down against the wall trying to find some extra energy or courage.
She rang Tic.
“Keogh.”
“Where are you?” she whispered.
“Eldenham. Are you alright? I can’t hear you very well. Still OK for tomorrow?”
“Yeah, looking forward to it.”
He laughed and rang off. She didn’t want to ring Rudi, tried Estelle, decided not to leave voice mail. Luka too was out of contact.  She crept down the side of the house and peeped round the front.
She could have wept with relief. Estelle’s green Ka was parked on the drive. She staggered to the front door, knocked, rang the bell then sank onto the step.

© Lois Elsden 2017

There he is! Walking down the street!

My subject of my novel ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ is easy to guess!! I return to the theme of stalkers and being stalked in the book I am working on now, provisionally called ‘Saltpans’; one of the characters is troubled by someone who seems to be stalking him… at present it is harmless, letters, small gifts, other messages. He doesn’t know who it is but it’s troubling.

I came across something I wrote some time ago, and this is from the point of view of someone who becomes intrigued then infatuated and then obsessed about a stranger… Here is an excerpt:

There he is walking down the street in front of me! … There he was just a-walking down the street.. is that a song from the sixties? Or maybe it was something else… there he stood in the street , smiling from his head to his feet

But anyway – there he is! And before I know it I’m walking after him, following him! He walks quite quickly, but then he does everything quickly. I’ve watched him working, and whatever it is, selling tickets, doing stuff behind the counter, making coffee, rearranging chairs, he works quickly… not hurrying, not rushed, not slap-dash, he’s just quick.

I keep up with him as he goes round the corner walking along past the back of the shopping centre. Slim waisted, neat figure… he isn’t very tall, long-bodied rather than long-legged, wearing jeans as usual and a black polo shirt.

Suddenly he stops and I almost stop too but he has met someone and I have to carry on walking, stepping out into the road to go round them.

I get a snatch of conversation, his friend, a taller man, balding and with has short blondy red beard, is saying something about Clacton… Clacton? Isn’t that a seaside town in… in Essex maybe?

I cross over the entrance to the car park, and there’s no traffic to stop me and I’m walking away, wanting to glance over my shoulder… I get to the corner and stop and get out my phone and stare at it hopefully… then I have to cross over, I can’t stand there for ever. But the lights are red so I wait. I glance left and he’s standing beside me, so close that I can see a blue mark on his cheek as if he’s stabbed himself with a pen.

I stare across the road, and it’s only when someone pushes against me, someone behind me that I step out and move, a couple of feet behind him again. He cuts across in front of me and has only gone a few yards beyond the crossing when a car stops, he bends to look in and then opens the door and slips into the passenger seat. There’s a burst of music then the door shuts and they drive away… I stop and stare after them, memorising the number…

“Are you alright, dear?” an elderly gentleman asks me. “Do you need help?”

I gather my sense… no I’m fine, I tell him with a smile, I’ve just remembered something… and thanking him again I set off to find the nearest bar… and when I lift the large glass of Pinot, my hand’s trembling.

© Lois Elsden 2017

Here is a link to my e-books, and my recently published paperbacks, ‘So You Want To Write‘, and ‘Radwinter’:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C136&crid=1Q08W85YOOTFO

What your hero wants

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him! said Ray Bradbury… When I read this I couldn’t help but think this is what happens when I write. Some of my heroes are actually heroines, and I prefer to think of them as main characters – calling them heroes or heroines subliminally suggests they are heroic, whereas actually, they are just ordinary.

One of my characters was described as a hero – but it was not the way she wanted to be described and it became an intolerable burden to her – her story appeared in the local and national news, and headlines screamed

MAN SHOT IN BANK GRAB
POLICE SHOOT ARMED ROBBER
WOMAN HELD HOSTAGE BY GUNMAN
WOMAN SAVES MOTHER FROM HOSTAGE ORDEAL

This character is Rosa Czekov, and a local journalist interviews her about her ordeal:

I  WASN’T BRAVE, ROSA CZEKOV TELLS MAISIE BAKER

I expect most of us wonder how we would react when we see news of extraordinary acts of bravery and courage by ordinary people. Certainly I did when the news broke about the woman who had offered herself as a hostage in place of a young mother during a bungled bank raid.  Rosa Czekov is the same age as I am; she’s the sort of person I went to school with, from a happy middle-class back ground, one sister, and happily married to Luka. At the time that Enoch and Ira Chambers were planning to hold up a small branch of their local bank, Rosa was running her own art gallery in Easthope.

I asked Rosa about that time, before her name became synonymous with random acts of courage. She looked slightly perplexed; she raised her eye-brows, rubbed her hand through her close cropped dark hair and gazed at me with solemn grey eyes.

“Were you different then?” I asked her.

“I suppose I must have been,” she answered with a rueful grin, but I detected a certain sadness hidden in her throw-away admission. “My life was very ordinary, as it is again now.”

“Although you no longer have the gallery.”

“Well, no,” she looked thoughtful. “But things change anyway.”

Things… Things changed for Rosa Czekov one cold November day. She was standing patiently in a queue at the small branch of Strand Penny Bank, waiting with half a dozen others while the clerk coped single-handed as his manager wrestled with a tap which wouldn’t turn off in the ladies toilet. Behind Rosa stood Charlotte Hyam and her small grizzling daughter Poppy.

Suddenly two brothers, Enoch and Ira Chambers burst into the bank, scarves round their faces, baseball caps pulled low.

I asked Rosa what happened next. She gave an imperceptible sigh, as if weary of the repetition.

Ira went to the counter while Enoch stood behind them, shouting at them to keep still, shut up, not move.

“He kept yelling he had a gun,” Rosa told me and momentarily something flickered in her expression.

Suddenly, 78-year-old Mervin Holt lashed out at Ira with his walking stick, felling him with one blow. There was a terrific explosion as Enoch fired into the ceiling and everyone screamed and crouched on the floor. Enoch grabbed Charlotte Hyam and stood with the gun poked up under her chin.

“She was leaning back against him, trying to get her face away from the gun,” Rosa said calmly. “Her coat opened and I could see she was pregnant. All the time her child was clinging to her legs, squealing with fear.”

But what happened next is where I begin to wonder what I would have done. Would I have stayed crouched on the floor with the half-dozen others?  Would I have been weeping and wetting myself with fear? Probably.

Rosa stood up slowly and calmly and explained to Enoch that she would be a better hostage than Charlotte. She was a woman but she had no child, the baby clinging to its mother’s legs would be a hindrance rather than an advantage.

“Take me,” she said.

The clerk had hit the panic button as soon as the guns had appeared. The manager, in the back had phoned the police and even as the gunshot rang out, people were being cleared away from outside the bank. As Rosa was talking quietly and calmly to Enoch Chambers, armed police were racing into the centre of Strand.

“But what you did must have taken enormous courage?” I asked.

Rosa shrugged slightly, as if it was a mystery to herself.

“I didn’t think,” she said after a moment. “I didn’t have some internal debate as to whether I should or shouldn’t. The child was screaming; the man was almost hysterical. I just stood up and – well, you know.”

Her eyes became slightly unfocused as she lived those moments again. Her husband Luka, tall, darkening blond and with film star good looks put a tray of coffee between us.

“Bloody daft,” he said with a grin. But there was a grimness in his eye which told of a different emotion.

“What happened next must have been…” and then I didn’t know what to say. How could I put into words what Rosa had experienced after that?

Enoch Chambers had dragged her out of the door of the bank, one arm round her waist, the other hand holding the gun jammed against her throat. She could feel his arm trembling; she could feel his heart pounding against her as he held her tightly to him. He shouted a dozen incoherent demands alleging he had already shot someone inside the bank. His brother Ira, still unconscious, was being tied up with garden twine by the ever resourceful Mervin Holt.

A negotiator began a dialogue.

I probed gently; how did she feel, what was going through her mind, what was she thinking of – or whom? She parried my questions with shrugs and non-committal half-comments.

And then something happened.

“I’m going to kill her!” Enoch Chambers had yelled and his elbow lifted and then Rosa was covered in blood as Enoch was killed with a single shot from a marksman.

“I don’t understand it,” said Luka suddenly. “You could have been killed,” he said almost angrily.

“But I wasn’t, my darling,” Rosa answered gently, and took his hand. I sensed that what had happened to Rosa had as deeply affected her husband. I asked them if this was so.

“Of course it affected us,” said Luka, putting his arms round her, grinning at me flirtatiously. “It affected us then; we’re alright now.”

Later as we walked round their garden I couldn’t shake off the memory of the photos in the papers from that time. Rosa standing painted with a man’s blood, her arms held out in a gesture of entreaty to the marksman standing in front of her, the gun still held to his shoulder.

I asked Rosa again why she had done it, what had given her the strength? Was she religious? No, not at all.  Was she always brave, did she like risk-taking?

“I wasn’t taking a risk,” she said as if puzzled. “It wasn’t like that, it wasn’t like that at all. I don’t know what prompted me. Sense, I suppose, common sense and perhaps a lack of imagination.”

Was that what her modesty really was, a lack of imagination? I don’t think so. I think if each of us tried to emulate Rosa Czekov in some small way, some small act of bravery, then the world would indeed be a happier and safer place.

If you want to read what happened to Rosa later, and find out who began to stalk her, then here’s a link to ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’:

The stalking of Rosa

Here is an extract from a novel I wrote some time ago and published on Amazon as an e-book five years ago in 2012. I have begun to edit my books to publish on Amazon as paperbacks, and I hope this will be available in the autumn of 2018.

The Stalking of Rosa Czekov… Tyche is out on a run in the country near the small seaside town of Easthope:

She trotted on until she came to the bottom road to Oak and on an impulse took it. She had slowed, losing the impetus, disrupted by the phone call. The road was narrower and she stepped up onto the verge and ran on the grass as two cars passed. It was a mistake coming along here, it wasn’t wide enough and there were too many bends and high hedges. She ran on, wondering whether she should turn round but she was half way to Oak so she pushed on. She was tiring; she had gone further than she intended and deviating to Oak added extra miles.
There was the sound of a car behind her but glancing back it was not yet in sight. There was nowhere for her to step off the road now, the verge had petered out so she increased her stride to get to a place she could wait. The car was creeping along and she wondered whether to stop for it to pass. It was bugging her now. She glanced over her shoulder and it was in sight, and it looked like one of the two which had just passed her.
She was filled with fear; was this him? She had a spurt of energy, resisting the urge to keep looking back. It was a maroon off-roader, she didn’t know enough about cars to know what sort. It was crawling along; it could be the stalker or it could just be some creep ogling her as she ran. She couldn’t go on at this pace and she stopped. The car stopped. She turned and trotted back towards it and it went into reverse. Angry now, Tyche found some strength to run.
And then suddenly with a crash of gears it was accelerating towards her.
Oh shit!
She turned and ran seeking some escape. There was a wooden fence instead of the hedge and she ran and jumped and managed to scramble her way over, catching her foot on the top and catapulting headfirst into a field. She lay winded for a minute. The car had slowed on the other side of the fence then drove slowly away.
Tyche sat up, panting. The front of her vest was grass stained and there were marks on her knees. She was rubbing at her legs when she heard the car; it was in the field, it had come in an open gateway further up and it was bumping over the rough pasture towards her. She sprang to her feet and ran off across the field, the car was accelerating now and she had no doubt that the driver intended to run her down. She jinked sideways and ran towards a tumbledown cattle shed. She was at the limit of her stamina and strength and the car was roaring after her. She slowed and the car slowed behind her; he was playing with her, he could have knocked her over before now. She slowed more and so did he.
She suddenly leapt forward and ran as fast she could and he accelerated. She gave a flying jump and somehow managed to vault the old bath which served as a water trough; she slipped as she landed and rolled away but it didn’t matter, the car had gone straight into the bath with a satisfying crash.
Exhausted though she was, she sprinted away from the shed, not knowing whether she would be pursued on foot. She knew where she was now, knew where she was going. She climbed another fence into a field of maize and made her way down a row pushing between the plants.
She was spent, only fear carrying her on. There was a noise behind her and a plume of smoke rose from the field, it had to be the car. She pressed on and came at last to another fence, climbed wearily over into the garden and made her way through the shrubs and then across the overgrown lawn. Remembering Rosa’s words, she counted along the ornamental bricks at the edge of the patio, lifted one and found the key. She went to the back door, let herself in and switched off the alarm and then with the door shut and locked behind her she sank to the floor, shattered.

©Lois Elsden

https://www.amazon.co.uk/STALKING-ROSA-CZEKOV-Lois-Elsden-ebook/dp/B008D29O5Y/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1500648766&sr=8-13&keywords=lois+elsden