19th day of November, 2017. Good afternoon everyone. Filming has been completed for each site listed below. Each chapter has between 5000 and 6000 words. Josephine Marlin & the Alternatives will be available for you at Christmas.My Kick Starter campaign My Pozible Campaign If you would like to become a Patron, or if you are interested in assisting in any way, I would be most appreciative. Karen

Draft Chapter 1 – Pony

My eyes began adjusting to the darkness and the cold was making me shiver. I could feel the liquid on the floor seeping through every stitch of my jeans. I had no idea where I was and to top it all off, I had the migraine from Hell. I began feeling around for something familiar, but there was nothing. The only thing I knew for sure, was that it wasn’t my bathroom.

I was alone in the dark with a putrid smell rising up from whatever was covering the floor and every time I tried to stand, my heels slid out from under me. It was too late for my jeans, but every time I fell, piss was my best guess, would flow up the sleeves of my shirt. My clothes were so wet, that each time my arse hit the floor, the piss had started splashing onto my face. Feeling more than a little sorry for myself, I felt the warmth of a tears begin trail down along my cheeks.

I’d given up. I didn’t know where I was, how long I’d been there, who’d kidnapped me or what they intended to do with me. I sat in that wee alone with my thoughts trying not to throw up. I silently wept as my mind raced with all the horror stories daddy always warned me about, ‘Be careful Josephine,’ he would say, ‘I know you’re not a little girl anymore, but it’s still a scary world out there. Keep your friends close to you…’

My thoughts trailed off as I began to hear quiet crying of someone else in the room. I wiped away my tears and whispered, ‘What was that, Hello? Where am I? Please answer me,’ I begged. But there was no reply. Even the crying had stopped so I knew they could hear me, ‘Hello,’ I said a little louder, ‘why is it so dark in here? Are you alright?’

A familiar voice said, ‘Shush! She’ll hear you,’ then I heard the crying again.

My mind was thinking, ‘Oh, thank the Gods, someone else is here,’ but I didn’t want to reveal too much excitement, or fear, at the fact that they had responded. I didn’t want to scare them any more than they already were.

I called out, ‘Who are you?’ but all I heard was the sobbing.

I started to try and remember what happened. I’d arrived home from work and it looked like someone had broken into my flat… Nah, it always looked that way, I found myself laughing in my head, and that annoying brain of mine said to me, ‘Stop laughing Josephine, this is serious.’

‘Alright brain,’ I snapped before getting back on track, ‘then someone came to my door… who was it? That’s right, it was Pony.’ Who would name their kid Pony deliberately? I call her Saddle Soar, old SS for short. It never goes down as well as it does in my head though. I know the other girls find it funny too, but sometimes they forget how to be themselves.

Back in my scattered memories I began the task of sifting through them again, ‘Old SS came round and what did she want? I kinda remember her saying something like goo? roo? loo…? Oh you, me, she wanted me.’

I praised myself for remembering. I always praise myself. Daddy says, ‘If you can’t praise yourself Josephine, no-one’s going to do it for you.’

I smiled as I thought, ‘He’s so wise.’

I remember that Pony looked odd and I didn’t want to invite her in. Now I can’t remember anything since I did. The sounds and smell of my dark prison were marching up into my nose, dancing a jig across to my ears while tickling the tips of the tonsils I had removed as a child. I couldn’t take the silence, the smell any longer and yelled, ‘Gods! Is that piss I can smell? Where the fuck is the light switch, who the hell is crying, and why the fuck does it feel like my face has been dipped in acid?’

‘There, again, did you hear it Josephine?’ asked my brain. ‘Shush brain, let me listen.’

‘Shush!’

‘There it is, did you hear it that time Jo?’

‘I did brain, I did hear it.’

At this point I have to say I had moved from feeling depressed and defeated. Now I was feeling pretty pissed off and felt under that under the circumstances, I was being a real champ. Whoever was locked up with me, wasn’t answering my questions, and there wasn’t much choice to speak to anyone else, so I asked once more with feeling, feeling fucking annoyed, ‘Who keeps shushing me?’

‘Damn it Jo, it’s me, Ann. Now shut up before she comes back.’

‘What the hell Ann, who’ll come back, and where the fuck are we?’ as an afterthought I said, ‘I can smell wee. Can you smell wee?’

An angry voice very close to me said, ‘Yes, we can smell wee.’

I cringed a little then as asked with a slow drawl, ‘Is that you Kaz?’

‘Yeah, it’s me! How’d you know it’s me?’

Composing myself as best I could, I said, ‘I know it’s you Kaz, because you are the only person I know who can make, “Would you like a gummy bear?” sound as if it’s laced with poison.’

I was feeling frustrated and getting angry. I asked, slowly for those who might have trouble understanding, ‘Where the fuck am I?’

Kaz said, ‘Fucked if I know.’

Ann told us both to, ‘Shut up.’

‘Alright I’ll Shush, but is there anyone else here? Or are they waiting for some grand introduction as the day goes on?’

I missed Ann’s whispered, ‘Oh God,’ and only heard her, ‘she’s coming back,’ when I began asking myself, ‘What?’ and ‘Who?’

‘Shush Jo!’

Ann was pretty pissed too. She may have been crying but I have a way of making people get just a little bit angry sometimes, and I mess with Ann alot. We went to primary school together. She gets this wrinkle between her eyes every time she got upset with me. Back before she was allowed to pluck and wax, Ann’s eye brows were really bushy and I would beg her to frown because when Ann frowned her eyebrows looked like they were joined together. They’re now shaped, thinnish and well waxed, but I can still make her frown. It was all good fun. It still is for me.

Ann has a twin sister, Deb. They’re from a Greek family and it’s probable that they were on the same ship as my great grandparents sailing to new lands. I’m not Greek though, good Irish stock my daddy always says. After a couple of Whiskeys he says, ‘You’ve links to Saxon Royalty Josephine, you remember that.’

I never tell anyone of course, daddy’s a bit coy about our heritage. ‘I’m not quite sure why that is,’ I absently thought. Anyway enough about me.

Deb and Ann have beautiful, long and full, chestnut brown hair and pretty almond shaped dark brown eyes. Their heritage stories handed down from their mother and grandmother are, in-depth, and I don’t mind saying, fantastical.

‘It’s a female thing in our family,’ Ann and Deb would say, Oma says ‘we’re divine.’

Oma is their grandmother on their mothers side, and while Ann and Deb are beautiful, none of us will tell them that, because they do look, “divine,” as they call it.

I thought to myself, ‘Who would tell their best mates something like that while their taking the piss?’

We all work at one of daddy’s fortune 500 companies together. Our days are filled with coffee breaks and “Emergency staff meetings.” And our nights are full of laughter, microwaved popcorn, a glass of Shiraz, topped off with a repeat showing of Revenge of the Bridesmaids. Not only do we all work together, we also live close to each other, except for Kaz.

Kaz is the angriest person I’ve ever met, but she’s my friend, and I try to help her as much as I can. Though, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, ‘You can only help someone so much, before you have to admit that you just can’t help everyone.’ Even through the rank smell of this room, I can still smell the oils Kaz uses to tame her frizzy black curls. That’s right, oils.

Muffled footsteps echoed through the darkness and broke me out of my thoughts and Ann’s sobs filtered through my thoughts and brought me back to the dark, smelly depressing room. I muttered to myself, ‘Thanks alot Ann.’

In an attempt to reassure her that I could get us out of here, I said, ‘It’ll be alright, you’ll see,’ where ever the hell here was. It seemed to be working because her sobs became occasional whimpers.

‘That’s it Ann, I’ll sort this out OK?’

‘OK Jo.’

No one had told me anything. I didn’t know where I was, or why. I heard something scraping on metal outside of the room. The sound of a lock released, and I don’t mind saying that I was feeling more than a bit anxious as a slither of light snaked across a filthy white tiled floor. Each tile was edged with black lace moulding grout. But from where I was sitting, I could see four stylishly shoed feet in a line, and two that weren’t.

‘What the fuck,’ I spoke out loud as I said, ‘Pumps Kaz?’

Those words continued to echo several times around the room before they stopped. I decided that we’d talk later as my dread returned, and I changed my focus back to who was standing at the doorway.

I called out, ‘Who’s there?’ then immediately regretted it as the door flew open, and before my eyes could adjust to the light, I felt something hard hit the side of my head.

The next time I opened my eyes it was pitch black again. I tried to sit upright and my now wee soaked hair swung out and then splashed back against the white of my shirt. While I was cursing my choice of shirt colour, someone put their hand on my leg. Still wondering what the hell had happened, I jumped and yelled, ‘Gods Kaz!’ but then quieted down thinking, ‘You don’t need to whack me over the head twice.’

Growling into the darkness I asked, ‘That was you wasn’t it Kaz?’

‘Yeah it was me, still here, waitin for you ta wake up… again!’

I was about to respond when Kaz appeared to pre-empt it and said, ‘Shut up Jo and we’ll tell you what we know.’

Lifting my hand to my nose, I said, ‘All right, but there better be a bloody good explanation why I am sitting on a cold wet floor that smells like piss,’ and before Kaz could continue, I had to make sure that it was only the three of us locked away in this damp dungeon.

Ann sniffed and said, ‘Yeah, it’s only us Jo. Kaz and I.’

Unable to wait for someone to fill me in, I continued, ‘And do we know where here is, and who the hell whacked me across the head, was that Pony?’

Sarcastically Kaz said, ‘You know Jo, if ya stop talking for a minute maybe I can shed some light on what’s been happening. Yes, that was Pony, she stopped by my house two days ago, and like a fool, I invited her in. I knew there was something off about her! Then I blacked out for a little while and woke up here.’

‘Oh,’ I timidly said, not wanting to piss Kaz off anymore than I already had, ‘that’s what happened to me.’

‘Me too,’ said Ann, ‘she showed up on my doorstep around 5-am Sunday morning. It was still dark out, and Deb left to take some milk next door to Mama before she left to open the Store. We were still hung over from Saturday night, and had had a good laugh about… Oh, wait, could that be why she’s gone all bride of Chucky on us?’

‘What do you…? Oh… Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘I think I remember… it’s kinda coming back now.’

I laughed to myself, almost to myself. Saturday night, it started out as usual. We’d all got pissed on a cheap bottle of wine, slapped on some makeup, dressed to impress and staggered to the first in a row of clubs.

As my brain struggled to remember I said, ‘Gods, I think I was offering rides on the Pony? Did I… did I offer up SS for Pony rides?’

Ann whispered with a hint of a smile in her voice, ‘Yes you did Jo.’

At least the tears were drying up. I continued my trip down memory lane and said, ‘And um… did I get any takers?’

Both Kaz and Ann replied this time with, ‘Yes you did Jo.’ Ann was almost laughing, Kaz still sounded as if this was all my fault.

With all the innocence of a puppy that had cleaned up the last of the cream cake on the coffee table. I might have been able to feign ignorance to my actions, but the cream caught up in my jowls was always going to betray me as I said, ‘Oh, was one of them called Horse? I kinda remember a horsey.’

Ann giggled, ‘Yep, Horse, and you made him show you why his mates called him that, before you would let him ride the Pony.’

I joined in Ann’s laughter as I remembered why he was called horse, and said, ‘C’mon, that can’t be why SS has gone all Chucky on us? I mean, it was a good time had by all, right? Right? You all had a good time didn’t you?’

A little Kaz laughter mingled with Ann’s, and they both said ‘Yes’ at the same time.

‘So what’s the big whoop? Has she said anything to either of you?’

‘Nothing!’ said Kaz, ‘I got a decent look at her when she stormed in here to whack you on the head with a toilet brush, she still looked… strange to me… and I know strange.’

Kaz seemed to stop herself from finishing that sentence. I was too busy thinking about my poor head to prod for further information. In hindsight, maybe I should have.

‘Toilet brush?’ I winced as I thought about the future ramifications of that. ‘Gods, I’m never going to live that one down, “Old Jo, she can handle a bottle of cheap wine, but whack her with a toilet brush, and she’s out for the count.”’

That seemed to tickle their fancy as more laughter filtered through the darkness. We were actually starting to have a good time, reminiscing about our weekend together, and for a few moments, I forgot I was locked in a dark room with two of my friends sitting in wee. So I took it to the obvious next step. ‘Look, there’s three of us and one of her, let’s get close to the door and over-power her the next time she comes in. We can do that right?’

Devoid of the laughter we had been enjoying moments ago, Kaz said, ‘I don’t think you’ve correctly evaluated the flaws in that plan Jo. Stand up,’ she almost demanded. She may as well have finished it with, ‘I dare you!’

I didn’t want to put my hands on the floor again, but I leant forward anyway, because I was getting out of where ever the fuck I was, as soon as possible. I lowered my frightened hands and knees on to the wet floor. It was the wick effect. The wee soaked straight through the semi dried denim of my jeans and onto my bare skin.

I was thinking to myself, ‘You’d think by now you wouldn’t notice it anymore Josephine,’ but once again that familiar splash shot up the sleeves of my new shirt. Then I heard an odd noise. I was wondering what it could be as I put my foot as firmly as I could on the wet floor, and tried to stand up. Tried being the operative word.

In angry surprise I whispered, ‘What the hell? Are we chained to the wall?’

Kaz responded with, ‘Yes, at the feet, just above your Lace ups and my Pumps! I’ll never get a refund for them now.’ Going to my happy place, I found myself thinking, ‘Maybe Kaz was coming around after all.’

I felt welcomed and sudden relief wash over me. ‘You realise,’ I said, ‘Pony isn’t as mad at us as we thought.’

‘How the hell do you know that? She whacked you around the head with a toilet brush, and knocked you out for 20-minutes. What the hell makes you think that she’s not pissed at us?’

I whispered, ‘Because my lovely friend, she still cares about our shoes.’

Both Ann and Kaz let out a thoughtful ‘Oh.’

Kaz rightly stated, ‘But you lot can’t stand my Pumps,’ to which my quick-witted response was, ‘Pony’s always been an equal footed opportunist.’

Ann snorted as she laughed, which made both Kaz and I laugh too.

I said, ‘OK, new plan, we apologise if we went too far, then she’ll forgive us like always, and we can all go home, right?’

Ann calmed her breathing so she could stop laughing long enough to say, ‘Sure, you can try that Jo, she won’t listen to us so you give it a go.’

‘She didn’t listen to either of you because you didn’t have all the facts did you?’ I said as Kaz whispered, ‘Shush here she comes.’

Ann said, ‘Over to you Jo.’

I could feel the smile in her voice, ‘Ann?

‘What?’ She hissed, suddenly so close to my face I could still smell the garlic bread on her breath. Sniffing the air I said, ‘Pizza was it?’ Kaz got it, she was still laughing as I asked. ‘Where’s Deb? You two are usually joined at the hip. Can’t you send out a message on some kind of twin psychic hotline? Oo oo better still, use your “diviness.”’

All I heard was ‘Fuck you,’ as the door began to open, and then there was silence.

When I heard the key turn in the lock, I decided this time that I would not bow to fear, but as that door started to open, I suddenly didn’t feel like getting knocked out again. So with much more care than even I knew I was capable of, I said, ‘Hello? Hello Pony, is that you?’

I’m pretty sure that a growl shook the wee covered floor, but I fearlessly continued, ‘I don’t want to have another sleep Pony, but I am curious about why we are all here?’

‘Oh Goddess,’ I said as I heard her footsteps splashing fast towards me. I called out in a panic, ‘Pony, is that you?’

The next thing I knew Pony’s face was nose to nose with mine. It was cold and kinda greenish looking, and I’m sure she was surrounded in a ghostly green aura. Or it could’ve been my sixth sense, and green was actually the colour of her aura.

‘You’re a sensitive.’ That’s what my friends tell me, though it’s usually followed with riotous laughter. ‘Bitches!’

My mind was running through all the usual things; ‘You’ve got lipstick on your teeth; that dress makes you look fat; maybe you do need a little more eyeliner around them Pony eyes, so we can call you Palomino.’

Yeah, none of that was going to work.

Right now, I wanted to ask if that glow came in blue, and let Pony know that I knew a great dentist who could treat gingivitis on a day visit. More importantly, I asked Pony to step back a bit so I could see if she had legs. That was an important question from where I was sitting, and I was sitting in wee.

With Ghouls being one my favourite mythical creature movies, I was thinking that Pony was a Ghoul, whether I believed them to be mythical or not. That glow was throwing me off though. She’s looking more like a Ghost than a Ghoul. ‘Maybe she’s a Ghoust,’ my over thinking brain suggested before retracting it, saying, ‘yeah, nah, that doesn’t work does it Jo?’

‘No brain, it doesn’t’

I desperately wanted to know if Pony was a Ghost or a Ghoul so I rationalised my thinking, If she had no legs, but can make me hear footsteps, Ghost! If she has legs with that green aura thingy going on, Ghoul! That was my philosophy anyway.

Pony didn’t seem to want to move, so with no option for personal space I looked her in the eye and demanded, a little too angrily, ‘Why can’t I see your legs Pony?’

She looked down at me and I recoiled a little, unsure of what her reaction was going to be. Looking me squarely in the eyes, she drooled something green and slimy as she tried to speak. It sat on her lower lip and hung in the air for a few seconds, waving in the rotting breeze that had entered the room as the door swung open. Up until that point, I was unsure if anything could smell worse than the room I was chained to. I was so wrong.

Pony’s glow gave me a birds eye view at that glut of slime hanging there, taunting me with its, ‘will I stay, or will I fall,’ and when I thought I couldn’t take it any longer, it let go. I watched it float down in front of my eyes, as if in slow motion, caught up in her green glow. It sailed past my face, my shirt, to finally land on my jeans. It was all I could do to not throw up.

Pony growled at me, ‘Horsey wanna ride Pony?’

Then she widened her oozing slimy mouth into a huge smile that was much bigger than her face, revealing one tooth. The last of her teeth by the look of it. Her eyes opened and it appeared as if her irises where missing. She had two huge yellowish whites with fully dilated pupils. Apart from these obvious blemishes, Pony looked pretty much the same. Her hair was still long, red and flowing. Her clothes had changed with her, and she was still wearing her Billini Lace ups, but now they had a greenish hue to them and seemed to be part of her feet.

She pushed herself away from me. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the light, so it kinda looked like Pony was hovering in the centre of the room.

‘Ghost!’ is what I told myself.

It was good that Pony hovered there, because that green glowy shit she had goin on gave me a better view of the room… and its inhabitants… and some previous inhabitants by the look of it. I also got a quick look at her legs.

‘Damn! Ghoul!’

‘Thank Goddess she’s all there,’ I eventually thought to myself. “All there” being a relative term.

I wasn’t up to date on my Ghoul historiography, but at that point, I wasn’t quite sure if we’d all get out alive either. I knew I would, but I was worried for my friends. I couldn’t help myself as I pointed to the gooey mess near the back wall, ‘I see you’ve had a trial run then?’

Kaz hissed, ‘Shut up Jo!’ and Ann started crying again.

‘Alright I’ll shut up if Pony tells me why I’m here?’

Before I even knew what was happening, Pony was sitting on my lap. Her cold green nose was touching the tip of my usually pink one.

‘Oh, I see, you like face to face conversations. All right we’re here, you and me and we’re talking, this is… good… You know you can tell me anything Pony. So what’s the goss? How did Horse work out for ya on Saturday night? All night long like the song, or what?’

She kinda growled out the word, ‘Great,’ although it sounded more like, ‘Gwaith.’

Not really listening to her, I just went with the flow and commiserated with her, saying, ‘Slobber, slobber, growl, growl, yeah I know. I’ve been on some dates that could even make your tale stand on end Pony. Anyway, so tell me, what’s with the chains and the room covered in piss?’

‘Pith,’ she slobbered.

In a slow drawl, I said, ‘Yeah, piss, come here let me get that for you.’

Pony moved closer to me and lowered her head down, I lifted my right wee-coated hand up to her mouth, and grabbed her last tooth with my thumb and forefinger. Then gave it a good yank. As I removed the tooth, Pony smiled. It had almost, but not quite fallen out, and was acting like a lock on her lips.

‘That’s better isn’t it? Now tell me what’s been happening?’

She moaned out, ‘Howible, Horsey good… Pony saddle bang bang, horsey saddle bang bang, Horsey go pop, eveywhere. Pony run, hit, sleep.’

‘Popped?’ I asked as I looked around her to see me mates checking out the opened door. I was glad we’re chained together, otherwise those bitches would leave me here for sure.

‘What do you mean, ‘Popped’ Pony?’

‘Popped, ther, o ther, Horsey,’ she said pointing to the slimy remains.

Suddenly it dawned on me that it wasn’t piss on my hands and clothes, it was Horse. There was a collective, ‘Ewwww,’ that echoed around the room as everyone got on the Pony express, and realised what they were sitting in. I motioned to my mates to make all the right noises, to try and make Pony feel a little better about herself. Like we always do after a particularly enjoyable evening at her expense, in the hope that she would let us go.

While the girls kept up the, ‘Poor Pony’s,’ I was trying to think up a way to get these damn chains off my legs. Pony showed up in my face from almost out of nowhere, and with her nose touching mine again, I asked her, ‘What happened to you Pony?’

The slobbery reply to my question was, ‘Whathhh?’

‘Well not to put too fine a point on it Pony, but you are now a Ghoul aren’t you?’

Pony laughed and slobbered, ‘Be own one moobie, Horsey be own one, moobie.’

Ann joined in with, ‘I take it that she means that Horse had something to do with her new look.’

As usual Kaz couldn’t help herself, her surly addition to our conversation went something like this, ‘Yeah, no shit Sherlock.’

Ann raised her “no shit” with a ‘Fuck you.’

Sending them both a look of, ‘I see your fuck you and raise you an eat shit and die,’ I looked back to Pony, and ran my hands up and down in mid air and asked, ‘how did Horsey do this… to you?’

Making an eerie laughing noise she said, ‘Moobie like.’ Then she slimed me with that bigger than face smile again.

Pony had moved away from me and was back in the centre of the room. It was almost as if she was bobbing in air, as she continued, ‘Can be own one… Can be own one… moobie like,’ she seemed to be getting frustrated, and slime was flying everywhere.

Laughing, this time with my mouth shut, I could see my mates were getting more than a light sprinkling too. Then suddenly I guess we were talking again, because she was on my lap and her nose was touching mine. I’m pretty sure her eyeball jelly dripped onto my lower lashes.

‘OK Pony, so we’re clear though, Horsey’s favourite movie is… was… “There can be only one,” is that right?’

‘Fwend, get fwend, hep Pony,’ she said, when her slimy hand began running back and forth over the top of my head as if I was her pet dog. I do have to admit that her slime was easing the pain from the earlier toilet brush incident.

But,’ I continued, ‘how did Horsey do this to you?’

I could hear the girls having a good laugh, but all I was thinking was, ‘You bitches better not leave me here.’ That’s when, as quickly as Pony was in my face, she was in their faces too.

‘Yeah you show em Pony,’ I laughed, ‘now tell us why we are here?’

‘Hep Pony horse go pop, fwend.’

On my lap once more, Pony said again, ‘We fwend, fwend hep Pony, oo hep Pony fwend. Pony fwend, lub fwend.’

‘Yes, we are your fwend, and yes we do, we help our fwends… I mean friends. I don’t want you to think I’m being ungrateful or anything, but why the hell did you whack me around the head with a toilet brush?’

Pony’s face seemed to change to a deeper colour of green, and her eyes began to glow a brighter yellow, as she lowered her head and said, ‘Sad, not wan hurt fwend, lub fwend. I hap fwend an ver hap, me wac. Stil fwend? Fwend go sleep, Pony go sleep, not want fwend be Horsey go pop.’

I said, ‘Yeah, I kinda don’t wanna go pop either. So, you wanted your friends here to help you? And you were so happy I was here, that you knocked me out?’

‘Fwend.’

‘I’ll take that as a yes, seeing as you appear to be a little closer to my face than you were a moment ago. Why haven’t you spoken to the other girls? Ann and Kaz have been here for a couple of days at least?’

‘QI, not talk, fwends scweam, not want fwends go pop, horsey go pop. Fwends be shh. Oo fwend, oo lub Pony, oo tak Pony, hep Pony no go pop,’ Pony said as she hugged me, giving me a full body slime. ‘Pony talk, toof, toof bad not make Pony talk, Pony moan.’

Laughing, I pointed to Kaz and Ann through the green glow and said, ‘I bet that’s all they did as well.’ Pony seemed to enjoy that and let out an eerie laugh, spraying slime all over us.

I looked to Kaz and Ann and through gritted teeth, quietly mouthed, ‘Are you seein a green glow around Pony… or is it me?’

‘It’s you Jo,’ Ann quietly laughed, ‘It’d be left over from your head trauma.’

‘So,’ I said to Pony, ignoring Ann’s obvious humour about my head injury, ‘do you know what we can do to help you? I mean, you are… dead, aren’t you?

Pony seemed to get more than a little angry with me for asking that question and as she moved to Kaz, who was almost at the door, she said, ‘Pony liv, not ded, hep Pony, fwend hep Pony. No leeb Ka, hep Pony, not go way.’

Kaz grumbled and moved back up against the wall between Ann and myself.

I didn’t know where Kaz thought she was going to go. She was still chained to the wall, and us, so I called out, ‘Pony, let’s try to help you?’

I knew Kaz wasn’t going anywhere, but I was feeling a little jealous, ‘what I wouldn’t do for a few seconds of fresh air.’

‘Pony not wan go pop.’

‘OK we’ve established that Pony doesn’t want to go pop like Horsey, but how can your friends help you, how can I help Pony?’

She leaned into me and whispered in my ear. She was quite eloquent in a whisper. She told me what she needed. ‘Flesh. Dead, human flesh.’ Pulling away from me a little, her eyes seemed to have taken on a stranger glow than earlier.

Trying not to look into them, I said, ‘Alright, let me talk with the girls and we’ll see what we can sort out, OK?’

‘OK,’ was all that we heard as the door closed and locked. Then there was silence in the darkness.

I yelled after her, ‘You could have turned a light on.’

Before I knew what was happening, the door opened, and from the darkness we heard, ‘Sowy,’ then a light came on.

I called as the door closed, ‘Thanks Pony.’

 

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