With a spring in his step Robbie arrived back at the twin stacks of drying timber guarding the track into the clearing. It was a last-second decision to pull up, rather than go straight over to the shed where he and Louise had spent last night. Better safe than sorry, he thought, peering around the left hand array of beams. All appeared perfectly normal: the shed door was shut and the chimney issued no smoke. Though he hadn’t left explicit instructions about the stove, he expected Louise would have the sense not signal her presence by stoking up the fire. Robbie picked up his holdall, about to set off on the short walk over. Suddenly his head jerked right back.
A strong hand gripped his jaw and arched his throat back like a banana. He dropped the bag, fearing that his head was about to be wrenched off. Then he felt something cold, something sharp against his throat. In terror his eyes looked down to glimpse a gleaming blade. It was hopeless. He couldn’t move a muscle such was the power of the hold. Any second now he expected the knife would be drawn across his throat and he would drop to the leaf mulch to gasp out his last. It had been a nice try. But Morgan was crazy or too desperate for words if he thought their mission was ever going to work.
Robbie was on the point of fainting when a voice came distantly from behind him, ‘You ought to take more care, Robbie.’ It was a young woman that spoke – a girl even. But he was beyond caring that her voice was vaguely familiar. He just wanted to get the painful bit over with. Without warning he was propelled forward to thud against the stack of timber beams. He sank to his knees and gasped for air. Then the awful realisation faded in that his executor was perhaps not so committed to the quick end he had hoped for. Maybe they wanted a bit of fun first. Immersed in horror he turned to face his nemesis.
Tall Louise stood on the cart track, her shining hair upon the shoulders of her royal blue coat. Her pale eyes blazed at him, the angry light given full force by the vicious blade in her right hand.
‘You stink of smoke, Robbie,’ she said, her bitter gaze unrelenting. ‘Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And where there’s fire - there’s you.’
‘Only a little trifle, Lou,’ he said, rubbing his throat, not sure quite what to make of her, ‘It’ll be out by now.’
Ah, our snooty goody goody Louise likes playing with knives - where did that come from?
Here's Louise following Robbie's disappearance with a local girl Jade Finn. It a good job for the girl's mother, Leda Finn that Louise was not carrying her knife that evening. The scene takes place in an Oakwood inn...
Louise didn’t know where to put herself. Though she had accepted back in Leda’s kitchen that there was a high probability, for whatever reason, that Robbie had been with Jade, she was devastated to have it shouted out loud before a hundred smiling faces, as if some deficiency on her part had led him to wander. But the assault on her dignity by all those leering eyes would permit no tears. She fought back. ‘It would appear your daughter is no angel, Mrs Finn. It can only be she who has led him astray.’
‘You loose-mouthed Shaulan floozy,’ cried Leda, making a dart at Louise, only to be caught up short by the strong arms of Jason.
‘Me a floozy?’ scoffed Louise, pointing at her heart. ‘Everyone here knows your daughter is the town bike.’
‘Bike?’ said Leda, looking nonplussed amidst her anger.
‘It’s Shaulan for whore,’ screamed Louise. And it was a scream – a piercing shriek that blasted away those nearest to her. She clenched her teeth to stop more coming out. But it seemed to antagonise the terrible rage inside her, provoking it to action. She reached inside her coat for her woodman’s knife. If she had not left it at
starting with Leda and her son, who was looking quite timid behind his mother,
she’d have run amok. In short, she wanted to cut Leda’s scrolled head off.
Louise didn’t even know herself anymore.
‘Now, now,’ said Judith, her calm tones transcending all the bother, ‘let us not be apportioning blame.’
By now Leda was weeping against Jason’s shoulder. He seemed take courage and levelled his dark eyes, meeting Louise’s furious glare. ‘I’ll cut him in pieces if I catch up with him,’ he said.
‘You’ll do no such thing,’ said Louise. She thought Jason all talk. She pointed at him menacingly, to which Jason lowered his eyes. ‘That particular pleasure will be mine, and mine alone,’ she raged, ‘And, I’ll do your sister in the bargain.’ Louise’s veins and arteries were boiling with a lust for violence. Her temper demanded blood.
‘None of this is doing any good,’ said Judith, looking fearful, ‘least of all clearing up where Robbie and Jade might be.’
Our good girl gone bad. Louise, a fully grown seventeen year old athletic woman has no scruples about killing in The Scorpian Visitant. All this pointing to her true identity...
Tomorrow, I'll show you a little of Louise's love life and her infatuation with Robbie Higgins.