Chapter 8

Written by: Suraya Dewing

Alan Davies frowned as he desperately struggled to hear the insistent muffled voice inside his head which seemed to be directing him to return to a place he had been long ago. 

Disconnected scenes washed through his mind and a familiar smell hit his thin, pointed nose. He knew he should be able to connect the muddled impressions. Metallic? Burning? Hot and bothered people? But, as he looked at Samantha, who clearly was troubled by his apparent loss of memory, he believed he saw something tangible. But then it disappeared before he grasped it.

The only thing he understood was the distinctive smell of a familiar perfume.

The fluttering memory became firmly fixed followed by a burning desire to smell it once again. 

Urgency sparked through him, setting his nerves on fire. He leaned over to Samantha, his head at a silly angle so none of the observers would guess what he was saying, and whispered in her ear.

“We must get to Liverpool Street station.”

Samantha arched her eyebrows then drew them together.

“Why?”

He shook his head and gave a crooked smile. "I don't know."

His rugged, tired features were grave. “I just know we must.”

Samantha stood. “Okay. Luckily you're about to be released.”

***

Abu gave Shafiq a short bow, hands deferentially held together, palms touching.

“They are on the move.”

The two men who were observing Samantha and Alan via satellite watched as the door to the cell slid back and the pair walked out into a dimly lit corridor. Around them prisoners filled the place with a terrible din of banging doors and shouting.

The voice in Alan's head repeated, “Go to Liverpool Street station”.

Anxiety suddenly filled him. “Samantha we must go.” He unhooked his arm and began striding purposefully away. Samantha ran to catch up.

Once they were outside his agitation increased... eyes darting everywhere and rocking from one foot to the other.

“Where is Liverpool Street station?”

Frowning, he put his hand to his forehead. 

Samantha put her arm through his. 

“Don’t worry. I know how to get us there.”

First they had to catch a connecting tube. They wound their way through jostling crowds, shoes tapping on the pavement and loud conversations drumming in his ears. The smell of food vendors selling barbecued kebabs reminding Samantha she hadn’t eaten for 24 hours.

Her father's urgency had become her own and she was rushing beside him, weaving around people.  In the distance Big Ben chimed eleven o’clock. 

The trains rumbled below. She led him through Euston Square station, her breath coming in short, sharp gasps. Her chest felt tight. The bustling world was making her dizzy and frightened. She got their tickets and they went to the platform. Overhead a metallic voice stated the train pulling up beside them with a squeak of wheels was destined for Liverpool Street.

As they stepped into the carriage, her father said, “There’s a lady with mauve hair I need to meet…”