It was one of those fresh, newly washed sort of mornings. The storm from last night had almost, but not quite, blown itself out, leaving behind leaf strewn lawns and clear blue skies over which tiny wisps of cloud played tag.

The milkman could hear the dog barking again as he turned into the end of the street. It always seemed to be complaining about something. He suspected it didn’t get enough exercise which was odd as the house was surrounded on two sides by forest and the road turned from tarmacked to gravel and headed off into the depths just outside.

People were just beginning to wake. Mr Jones from number 9 nodded at Keith as he brushed the leaves and twigs from his car. Mrs Watson – Judith – opened the door just before Keith got there and asked him for an extra pint.

“Bad storm last night.” he commented as he returned with the milk.

“Yes it was” she replied “we lost some tiles off the back. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain before we can get someone out. And that bloody dog just would not shut up!”

Chapter 1

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