That evening, everyone gathered around the large mahogany table in the main hall to discuss how the money bequeathed to them by Charlie should be spent. Instead of suffering the inane bickering and arguing that occurred last time, Ethan gave each member a sheet of paper and a pen. ‘Please list and prioritise anything you think we should spend the money on and then I will collate all the data and create a master list’ he said. Any items suggested by more than one member of the house were automatically given a higher priority than those only suggested once. Therefore a new car was far more likely to receive funding if both Michael and George put it down.
It soon became clear that it was going to be difficult to get a good idea of the budgets required for each item on the master list without inviting tradesmen around to quote, so on Wednesday morning George was asked to dust off the yellow pages and arrange for some local companies to pop over and provide some estimates.
‘Double glazing won’t help us do the job any better’ whispered Michael while an oily looking salesman measured up the kitchen window.
‘Nope, but it would make this place a damn sight better to live in’ replied George an after taking a long sip of tea he continued ‘you’ve also got to bear in mind that we may have a new member soon, if you manage to find anyone suitable up at Winterbrookes that is, so I’m not surprised it made the list.’
‘Shit, I forgot about that’ exclaimed Michael loudly, making the salesman jump. ‘I was supposed to get in touch with the hostel yesterday to see if they had anyone suitable and arrange a visit.’
‘Well just don’t expect me to go with you. I’m not going back there again.’
‘Have you been and recruited someone from there before then’ Michael enquired.
‘Not exactly’ said George, ‘Your uncle plucked me from that hell hole when I was a young lad. I hated the place and so jumped at the opportunity to come and live in a big manor house like this. Humph sugar coated what life would be like here you see. Of course, that was before I knew anything about the other side of living here.’
‘Blimey, I didn’t know that. How long ago was this’ asked Michael.
‘It must have been what, late seventies, early eighties. I was about 13 at the time. All I remember is Humph coming into my room wearing his stupid hat and talking about all the wonderful things you could do at the old rectory such as fishing and shooting, which seemed so exotic to me. I packed my bags and didn’t look back, even when it turned out the lake didn’t have any fish and guns weren’t permitted within the grounds.’ George was lost in memory.
Michael looked at him with a puzzled expression. ‘Are you sure there aren’t any fish in the lake?’
‘Certain’ replied George.
‘So why does Piers sit out there with a fishing rod during summer then?’
‘Well, he’s lost his marbles hasn’t he, the senile old fool’ said George smiling.
On Thursday morning, Ethan strode out to the post box to collect the last of the workmen’s estimates, which was due to arrive that morning, so he could start finalising the wish list. After walking back up the drive and handing Piers his newspaper, he sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen for a good hour reviewing the quotes before Michael and George appeared. ‘Double glazing is only possible if the frames are replaced with uPVC ones, due to the onset of rot in the wood apparently’ he said to them while munching on a cold piece of toast. ‘That puts the price up considerably and would mean we’d have less money to spend on everything else.’ He picked up a couple of pieces of paper strewn across the table and said ‘with that in mind, we’ll have to get our boiler refurbed instead of getting a new one and locate a cheap second-hand car that doesn’t cost much to run or maintain. We’ll also have to rely on the free-ads papers for all the other little bits like computers and phones. Everything else would be out of the question.’
‘So if we get the windows done, can we still get a new oven’ asked George hopefully.
‘No’ came the short and distracted reply from Ethan. This was not the news he was hoping to wake up to since the Aga was on the blink again and George was down to have a look at it later.
‘Well’ said Ethan in a considering the options kind of way ‘not unless you can get the car running again and we can shift the funding from that’ he added with a smile.
‘Damn’ said George through a mouthful of buttered crumpet that he’d just crammed into his mouth.
‘It’s bloody freezing this morning’ added Humphrey who’d just ambled in from the garden and placed his tatty old bowler hat on the coat stand.
‘It’s a good thing we’ve decided to get the windows done then isn’t it Humph’ said Ethan reaching for his fourth piece of toast
George let out a dejected moan.
‘Cheer up you miserable old sod’ said Ethan, ‘I’ve got a little task for you that won’t involve fixing anything. I want you and Michael to go into the city, find a car and anything else that’s on this list and buy it. You’ll find £1,300 in this envelope which should be plenty. And please try and bring some of it back if you can, otherwise John won’t get his hedge trimmers and you know how much he moans.’ He tossed a sheet of paper and a filled brown envelope across the table to George.
‘Oh I don’t know if it’ll be possible to buy all of this with £1,300. I think John’s gonna be fresh out of luck today’ George said smirking at Michael. The look was returned with interest.
‘Also’ said Ethan catching the look on Michael’s face, ‘if you manage to finish before three, George would you kindly direct Michael towards Winterbrooke? He’s been neglecting his duties and had failed to get in touch with Edna but not to worry. I had a quick chat with her this morning and it sounds like there may be someone there who fits the bill’.
This wiped the smile of Michaels face, but George smirked more widely, nodded and said ‘Eat up then lad, I guess we got a bus to catch.’
The bus to the city was full of teenagers on the top deck and old ladies on the bottom. Feeling at home with the more sedate variety of people on the lower deck, Michael and George took seats at the back and exchanged thoughts on the type of car they should be looking for.
Once they’d reached their stop which was right in the centre of the shopping district, they proceeded on foot in relatively high spirits. Michael was excited by the prospect of having a new car to drive about in and explained to George how it made sense to buy that first. ‘I was thinking the same’ replied George ‘but only because I don’t want to end up lugging all that other stuff on the list about. I mean, phones would be ok, they’re designed to be carried but a computer? They’re huge from what I recall.’ Michael secretly knew this wasn’t the real reason. George was obviously just as excited about getting a new car as he was because it finally meant the end of the old banger, one of the main causes of depression in George’s life. Upon spotting an advert in a newsagent window for a suitable second-hand car, George made a call from a phone box and was told they could come round for a look straight away.
‘We’re selling because we’ve just bought a bigger car. Important now that we have another little ankle-biter on the way’ said the owner as he lovingly patted his wife’s belly while George busied himself checking the MOT certificate, Tax disc and service history. Michael wandered around the car, looking at the tyres, visible signs of damage and chips in the windscreen. The deal was concluded after a satisfactory test drive and some inspired haggling from George where he managed to get the price knocked down by £250 after highlighting a few minor issues and showing that they had cash in hand.
‘Right, all we need to do now is spend as little as possible on all the other things on this list and we may just have enough for a replacement oven’ George said as he climbed into the passenger seat while Michael adjusted the drivers seat to suit.
Feeling quite chuffed with their first purchase, the two men headed for the nearest petrol station, as the tank was only a quarter full. The filler cap was on the driver’s side of the car, but Michael couldn’t figure out how to access it. He asked George if there was a remote release anywhere visible inside, hoping that one would be found quickly as another car had lined up behind them at the pump. Once found and pressed, everything went smoothly and they left the station with a fuel tank of diesel, although they had just spent a further £70 of their cash. After purchasing a cheap second-hand computer, a few odds and sods and a couple of pay as you go mobile phones, only £50 remained.
‘Nowhere near enough for a new oven’ said George dejectedly.
‘So then’ said Michael in a nervous voice ‘what’s the time?’
‘Quarter to two’ replied George stoically, ‘time to drop you off at Winterbrookes I think.’
‘But there’s still a few items on the list we haven’t picked up yet’ said Michael, annoyed that he hadn’t managed to drag their shopping spree out a bit longer.
‘They can wait’ George replied ‘and besides, I doubt we have enough left over to get much more. No, I think the next thing we need to do is get you over to Winterbrookes.’
They sat in silence as they drove through the industrial part of the city and entered a rundown old council estate on the outskirts. Neither of them moved for a minute after parking up but then George said ‘It’s that one over there. Off you go then.’
‘Aren’t you coming too’ enquired Michael anxiously
‘Nope’ came the short and slightly terse reply ‘I thought I’d told you that already.’
Michael ambled up to the gate and slowly pushed it open. It made a high pitched squeal which added to his feelings of nervousness and irritation. It sounded like nails on a chalkboard. It had obviously been heard by those inside the house too because moments later, the front door flew open and a stern looking woman was stood on the step, staring at Michael as he slunk up the garden path.
‘Can I help you, sir?’ the woman asked tentatively as he approached, eyeing him up and down with suspicion.
‘Oh, yes you can. My name’s Michael. I’m from the old rectory in Sloughly Dossit. I was hoping to speak with Mrs... Err.’ Sweat was suddenly flowing from his pores. He’d forgotten who he was supposed to ask for, but this didn’t matter much.
The woman’s face changed almost immediately ‘Oh thank goodness, I thought you might be.... oh never mind’ she said positively beaming. ‘How’s little Georgie?’
‘Yeah he’s Fine’ replied Michael taken aback slightly and then thinking on his feet said ‘actually he’s in the car if you want to see him.’
Michael smirked to himself as the woman trotted up the path in a pair of pink, fluffy carpet slippers, with her ample bosom bouncing up and down and made a gesture towards the car, which was obviously her way of saying ‘Come here you little scamp.’
George sat in the living room of the hostel in which he’d grown up and he wasn’t very happy. He accepted the tea and biscuits offered by Mrs. Flentish with a smile politely enough but kept shooting evil looks at Michael as he dunked them. If the look had been accompanied by subtitles it would probably say ‘You complete and utter bastard!’
‘I was a bit concerned when I heard the gate go and saw you walking up the path’ said Mrs Flentish as she stirred two lumps of sugar into her tea. ‘There’s been a bit of trouble around here recently with con men you see. They say they’re from the gas board and that they’ve come to read the meter or something and effectively barge their way in. Then they leave the front door ajar so an accomplice can get in and rob the house. Isn’t that awful? Mrs. Turner at number seventy three had her engagement ring stolen. Infact they took all of the jewellery she wasn’t wearing. She was inconsolable for days. Her husband died only last year you see.’ Mrs. Flentish shook her head sadly.
‘It’s the kids I worry about most though, growing up on this estate. It can’t be good for you, but then I look at some of those who’ve left and made a success of life like George’ she nodded in George’s direction, causing him to look up, ‘and it makes it all seem worthwhile.’ She turned and spoke to Michael, ‘He used to be a bit of a hell raiser you know. Always getting into trouble with the local police and the school he was. Never went to any of his classes. I remember one time when Mrs. Prestwick from number forty one chased him down the street with a broom after she had caught him up in the tree outside her house watching her daughter get changed.’
Michael spluttered into his tea while Mrs. Flentish laughed heartily. George went ashen faced and rushed to give his account of the situation ‘It wasn’t like that. I was just getting the ball down and lost my nerve after a branch broke and got stuck. It’s not my fault Maggie was getting ready for ballet at the same time.’
‘And how do you know she was getting ready for ballet if you weren’t looking through the window’ Mrs Flentish guffawed and raised her eyebrows comically.
‘Can we change the subject please’ George said pleadingly, ‘we’re here for a reason after all and there’s a few things I need to get on with when we get back rectory that need to be done before tea time.’ He looked across to Michael as if to say ‘will you bloody well get on with it already.’
Although Michael was unsure how to approach the subject of adoption, Mrs. Flentish simplified things by saying ‘I understand you’ve come to offer someone the chance to live with you?’ She raised her tone at the end of the sentence, indicating that it was more of a question then an observation.
‘That’s about the size of it’ said George, nodding.
‘I see’ said Mrs. Flentish, with a gaze that swept over both of them, giving Michael the impression he was being x-rayed.
He felt uncomfortable but wasn’t entirely sure why. ‘It’s all above board’ he blurted out and then immediately regretted it as both George and Mrs. Flentish started laughing. He wasn’t sure what had made him say it, but he felt it needed to be said.
‘Don’t you worry yourself lad. I’m fully aware of what does and does not go on at the old rectory,’ said Mrs. Flentish.
‘I doubt it’ thought George.
‘I must admit though, it has been a long time since my last visit. Maybe its time I checked it all out again.’
George looked at her and replied ‘To be honest Edna there’s no need. It’s the same as it was before, only everyone’s grown a little bit older.’
‘Well’ she said looking crest fallen ‘I’ll take your word for it George but it is not me you need to convince these days. No doubt the council will want to send out one of their meddlers to look over the place before signing off your adoption certificate. It’s become standard procedure these days.’
George made a mental note of this. The prospect of a government official dropping in on the old rectory unannounced was not good.
‘There is one lad who I think you should talk with’ said Mrs. Flentish. ‘He’s a bit quiet but I’m sure he’d fit in at the old rectory OK. Follow me.’
She led them out of the lounge and up a flight of stairs. The hostel was dark and scarcely furnished but the walls were clean and the place was generally tidy. Infact it looked as though no kids were living there at all. Michael commented on this and Mrs. Flentish replied ‘Most of the children stay in their rooms and play on their computers these days. Gone are the days of kids knocking over vases with balls or climbing trees to fetch them down, hey George.’
George ignored her.
Mrs. Flentish pointed out a door down the far end of the hall which was covered in posters. As they moved towards it, a brass plate glistened and the name ‘Alex’ flashed at them. ‘Having their name on the door helps them to feel settled, you know. It implies that the room is their own personal safe place. It’s something I learnt at a foster care seminar I attended recently.’
Noise emanated from behind the closed door and Michael couldn’t quite put his finger on what the sound could be. Mrs. Flentish knocked softly on the door and said ‘Alexander, I have a couple of people out here that would like to meet you’ but there was no reply. The indistinguishable noises continued, making Michael feel a bit uncomfortable. His mind raced with ideas of what might be going on in that room and he hoped Mrs. Flentish would have the same thoughts. His heart raced as she extended her hand towards the door handle and turned it. Michael closed his eyes and waited for a sharp intake of breath or a shocked tut of disappointment, but neither came.
Tentatively opening his eyes, he saw the back of a head with a set of headphones over the ears. The boy was playing a shooting game on his computer and saying things under his breath like ‘Left, left, left. That’s it. Lob a grenade in. Blow the bastard up, ha.’
‘Language Alexander’ shouted Mrs. Flentish loud enough to make both Michael and George jump and for Alex to almost fall out of his swivel chair in surprise.
‘Sorry’ said Alex turning around and removing his headphones. ‘I didn’t hear you come in.’
‘Well we did knock, but you didn’t answer’ Mrs. Flentish replied in a sharp tone. ‘This is George and this is Michael. They have come here to talk with you.’
Alex looked apprehensive about quitting his computer game, but he shut the computer down.
‘Right, well I’ll leave you boys to chat then’ said Mrs. Flentish. ‘You’ll find me down in the living room if needed’ she called out as she waddled back down the hall.
Alex looked anxiously at Michael and George standing awkwardly in the doorway. ‘You can come in if you like. There’s a chair over there and I guess one of you can sit on the bed.’
‘That’s OK’ said George ‘I need to go and have a word with Mrs. Flentish anyway. Michael why don’t you...’ He pushed Michael into the room before wandering out of sight.
This was the most uncomfortable Michael had felt so far today. His palms were sweating profusely but he tried to ignore it. ‘So’ said Michael as he looked around the room trying to find something to start a discussion about ‘you like playing computer games do you?’
‘Yep’ replied Alex. ‘That one’s just a war game I play against other people on the internet. Its not as good as it used to be though. They brought out a new version last year which my computer can’t run and a lot of my online friends migrated across to that, but it’s OK.’
He made quote marks with his fingers when he said ‘friends’ but Michael decided not to ask about this. He knew all too well from his experiences with For Sale Sign Wars that internet friends aren’t real friends and he assumed that this was what Alex was meaning.
‘Why can’t your computer run the new version?’
‘Out of date hardware’ he said simply ‘and a lack of money to upgrade, but I make do though’ he said proudly. ‘For instance, I overclocked my processor so it performs better, but the downside was that it created a lot more heat, so I had to modify my cooling system. Wanna see?’
Without waiting for a response Alex was taking the side off his computer and pointing out various components inside that definitely didn’t look like they belonged there. ‘I’ve combined a few old parts I found in a skip on the nearby industrial estate to make a water cooling system. Pretty cool, huh?’ It was obvious to Michael that Alex was pretty enthusiastic about computers and quite good with his hands too.
‘Not bad’ said Michael ‘although I must admit I’m not really up to speed on this sort of thing anymore. Back in the day I used to browse the net and that but I haven’t had access to a computer for about 4 or 5 years so I’m a little out of step. On the upside, George and I just bought a new machine today so hopefully we’ll catch up soon.’
‘Blimey, how have you guys managed? I don’t think I could.’
‘Well’ said Michael with a smile ‘I guess its different generations or something. Plus there’s always something going on at our place to keep us busy.’
‘Like what’ replied Alex, who was now putting the side back onto his computer.
‘Well, err’ Michael thought hard. ‘We have a lake for, err, fishing and a maze in the garden. We grow our own food and keep bees for honey. There are lots of things really.’
‘Sounds quite sedate’ commented Alex, who turned to face Michael once again and said ‘I take it you’re here to find out if I want to live with you?’
‘Well’ said Michael, thinking on his feet. ‘There’s certainly an opportunity for someone to come and live at our place and someone such as yourself with your computer skills would fit in well I think. Currently I’m the most experienced with computers at our place and that’s nothing to shout about. We need someone to drag us kicking and screaming into the 21st century. What do you reckon?’
‘Ha’ exclaimed Alex ‘I take it Mrs. Flentish hasn’t filled you in on all the facts relating to my being here, has she.’ Alex smiled, although it looked more like a grimace.
‘Well, no she hasn’t. But at the old rectory, your background isn’t really a factor. Take me for example, I used to get into all sorts of trouble with the police but was still welcome. We believe a person can change and most of the time they can, if they chose to. Take me for example. I’ve had no trouble with the police since I went to live there.’ This last part wasn’t strictly true, but Michael thought it sounded more impressive then reeling of his numerous altercations with the law over the past few years.
‘I don’t think you understand’ said Alex drawing a deep breath. ‘Yes I’m here because my parents could no longer look after me but that’s not the issue. The real question you should be asking is why, after 3 years, I’m still here.’
‘Ok’ replied Michael, a bit confused. ‘Why then after 3 years have you not yet been adopted or put in a more permanent foster home?’
‘Simple’ he replied. ‘Very few people are interested in a package deal.’ He said this displaying very little emotion on his face.
Michael was still looking confused so Alex pointed at a photo on his window sill.
Inside the simple metallic frame was a photo of a girl and boy. It must’ve been a recent photo as Alex looked pretty much the same but Michael’s eyes were drawn to the girl.
She was leaning against a dirty, graffiti strewn wall, lighting up a cigarette, while Alex sat on a kerb staring into space. It could have been an album cover from some seventies punk band because it emanated a very gritty, rebellious energy. Her cheeky grin and sparkling eyes lit up the rest of her face, offering joyful relief to the overall atmosphere of the image, which was one of despair and not helped by the glum expression on Alex’s face. The girl’s dirty blonde hair was streaked with colour and cascaded down to her mid-rift, which was bared and showing a belly button piercing to match those in her ears. Her clothes were tight fitting and hugged her curves, emphasising her pert breasts and slender build. Michael was feeling very aware of how long he had been looking at this photo. It seemed like ages and so he said ‘Sister?’ in order to break the tension that he thought had built up.
‘Yep’ replied Alex ‘that’s Steph and she’s a bloody nuisance.’ Alex wasn’t looking at the photo, he was looking past it at the rain which had started falling outside and was gently pattering against the window.
‘What’s wrong with her’ asked Michael, secretly thinking that he saw absolutely nothing wrong what so ever.
‘She can’t keep out of trouble for five minutes and screws things up for me.’ He said with a hiss. ‘I think she gets off on the adrenaline rush or something but she just can’t stop. Take that photo for example’ he said picking it up and handing it to Michael, ‘she looks quite chuffed doesn’t she. Well that’s because she’d just stolen the camera this photo was taken with from a couple of Japanese tourists.’ He said this last part with such an air of incredulity Michael felt he should stop studying the girls face and say something like ‘Really?’
‘Yep’ exclaimed Alex. ‘I couldn’t believe it. This lovely old couple who didn’t speak a bit of English gestured for me to photograph them while they stood infront the town hall and she just snatched it off me and ran.’
‘So what did you do’ asked Michael, placing the picture back on the window, careful not to disturb the other items on there.
‘I ran of course. What else could I do’ Alex replied guiltily. ‘They knew we were together and would have probably hauled me infront of the cops or something, so I scarpered.’
The rain was pounding against the window now and for a while there was silence.
‘So I guess we need to go and speak with your sister about the two of you coming to stay at the old rectory then.’
Alex let out a snort of derision and said ‘Good luck finding her. There’s no telling where she’ll be. My guess would be the park. That’s where she usually hangs out’
‘Do you think she’d be interested’ asked Michael, feeling that such a drama queen might not find much appeal in the old rectory. Not at the start anyway but as soon as she found out about the other side of living there, her opinion might change.
‘No idea’ said Alex.
‘And what about you’ Michael asked, hoping that Alex had already decided to give it a shot. ‘What do you think?’
Alex just shrugged his shoulders.
It was obvious to Michael that Alex was being non-committal on purpose. ‘No point getting his hopes up just incase his sister throws a spanner in the works’ he thought as he left Alex to restart his computer and went downstairs to find George and Mrs. Flentish. He didn’t have to look for them though, he could hear there raised voices before he even reached the bottom of the stairs. They were in the living room having a heated debate.
‘There’s never been one at the old rectory before. I just don’t think it will go down too well with our more senior residents.’ George was saying with concern in his voice.
‘Ah’ said Michael entering the room, ‘I guess you’ve heard about Steph too then?’
‘Yes I have’ he replied sharply ‘and as I was telling Edna, we’ll need to speak with the others before we make any promises to anyone.’
Michael thought that George was probably right, but a selfish part of him sparked up and he found himself saying ‘Well maybe this is exactly what we need. Ethan told me to come and select someone who was going to inject a bit of life into that mausoleum. Surely having a female about the place would do that.’
Georges face flushed with colour. ‘What’ he fumed. ‘Can you imagine what having a girl around means?’
‘Be careful what you say George. You’re not too old to get a clip around the ear’ said Mrs. Flentish dangerously.
‘George let’s be honest’ said Michael imploringly. ‘She probably won’t even want to come and live with a bunch of old men anyway, so what’s the harm in offering Steph and Alex the choice?’
Michael knew it was probably a bad idea to have a girl he found attractive around, especially one who was only just old enough to buy her own cigarettes but he managed to convince himself it was for the good of the organisation. After all, if she managed to get in and out of trouble as easily as Alex had mentioned, she’d be quite useful. She sounded a bit like how Michael was before he was plucked off of his own rebellious trajectory and shown how his energy could be used for more ethical pursuits. Also, her brother Alex would definitely be of use, what with his computer skills.
‘Fine’ said George dejectedly ‘Where is she then? Have you spoken to her?’
‘Not yet’ said Michael ‘According to Alex she’s probably down the park.
‘Maybe’ said Mrs. Flentish ‘but it’s raining again so she’ll likely be on her way back if you wish to hang around for her’.
‘No thanks’ replied George who seemed quite fed up ‘we’ll take a drive and see if we can find her. Do you have a photo?’
‘There’s no need for one’ said Michael, ‘I can remember what she looks like. Alex showed me a photo upstairs’
‘I’ll get you one anyway’ said Mrs Flentish ‘just incase. She changes her hair colour and clothes a hundred times a day, so it’s best you have some form of reference. We don’t want you trying to pick up the wrong teenage girl or else people might get the wrong idea.’
She hurried off upstairs while Michael and George stood in the front hall.
‘Michael, you’d better prepare yourself for the backlash you’re gonna receive when we get back home. Remember, everyone expects us to return with just new one member and I’m sure they’re expecting them to be male. To return with two, one of which is a girl, will be an unexpected shock and might not sit to kindly with some.’
‘Don’t worry about it’ said Michael, a little concerned. ‘I’ll explain the situation. I’m sure they’ll understand.’
At that moment, a strange noise was heard.
‘What’s that’ asked George.
‘The gate I think’ said Michael quickly, ‘maybe that’s Steph’
George opened the front door and saw a person wrapped in an army style jacket halfway up the path. Underneath the hood Michael realised that it was Steph, but before he could say anything, she’d turned around, jumped the fence and started running down the road.
George turned to Michael smiling sadistically and said ‘I suppose that’s your new superstar then? She seems nice. Are you gonna to go after her?’
For the second time in a week, Michael found himself running flat out in the pouring rain. He had to run flat out because Steph was very fast. She darted down alleyways and hoped over garden fences as she tried in vain to escape.
‘Wait’ gasped Michael as he rounded a corner ‘I just want to talk.’
Steph had run into what seemed like a dead end, giving Michael chance to relax momentarily and catch his breath, but it was at this point that she did something he would have previously thought impossible.
She had managed to scale a 15 foot tall wall in a matter of seconds in a complex jumping manoeuvre that seemed so fluid it left Michael astounded.
‘Definitely the girl for the job’ thought Michael as he turned to walk back to Winterbrooke.
After taking a few steps, a buzzing noise started to emanate from Michael’s pocket. Pulling out a sleek, black mobile phone, he pressed a button and a voice on the other end said ‘Michael, its William.’�