The Rotting Spot
By Valerie Laws


From Chapter One

Stacey found herself lying on her back among the cold chips and bodily fluids already deposited there. A shape loomed, blotting out what little light penetrated. Stacey had a flash in her mind's eye of a tiny face, and a quick stab of loss, before consciousness left her, and she lay, her enormous belly offering itself to the night.

Nearby, Erica Bruce pushed back her sweat-damp hair. Vodka pounded in her veins. Her mate Hannah was snogging some loser, with teeth more ruined than the Roman Wall. She'd yelled into Hannah's ear, the one without a tongue in it, that she was going home. One of those sudden shifts in perception had taken place, when the seductive decadence of night life abruptly switched to squalor before her eyes, and she wanted out. Unsteady in her high heels, just another girl with a very short dress and lots of bare flesh on show, with straightened hair and alcohol-heavy eyes, Erica set off to secure a cab. The trance music she loved had stopped, and over the muffled pounding of the sea below the promenade, she heard a groan. Peering down the alley, she saw, two figures was it? A glimmer of white clothing showed the vague outline of someone on the ground, another darker shape busy about the inert form. Another groan.

Erica walked carefully into the alley, the stench of vomit making her grit her teeth as her best shoes squished through discarded take-aways.



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