Mike Walden


Joe’s sixteen, he’s the tough and streetwise, he’s a ladies man. His Brother Jimmy’s, the town hard man, he used to play football, he was a celebrity but he only played one game. Now he runs a pub. Their Dad, Charlie, loves his wife Pat, he’s a lorry driver, and she’s a nurse. They work hard. Charlie plays hard too. He’s a Casanova, he sleeps around, he’s charmer and a storyteller, he’s addicted to sex, he’s never known how to say no. Joe loves his family, he’s hard like his brother, he’s charming like his Dad, loyal like his Mum. His friends, Tom and Healy, they’d do anything for him, he’d do the same and more for them. Then he meets Layla, the new girl at school.

Layla’s from London, her parents are strange, they’re weird recluses. Something happened in London, they got chased out. Layla doesn’t want to talk about it. Layla hates Joe’s town. She likes Joe though. They slept together straight away. Success with girls wasn’t new to Joe. But Layla was different. She didn’t seem that impressed with his brother or the pub. Most girls usually were. She knew David Brennan, the weird kid at school, she knew him from London. Brennan’s crazy, he recites song lyrics to himself at school. The younger kids chase him home. Healy picks on him a lot. Layla didn’t think much of that either. Joe and Layla had their first row because of it. It didn’t stop them sleeping together though. They slept together loads. Joe got expelled from school. He took the rap for something Healy did. He thought Layla would be mad at him. She wasn’t, she told him she loved him.

The day it snowed Layla told Joe she was pregnant. The same day the dog slipped in the pond. The same day Layla’s dad left the house. He jumped in the pond and saved the dog. Then Julie Smith shouted out for her daughter Katie, the swing she was on was empty, moving back and forth in the wind. Katie went missing when everyone was watching Layla’s Dad save the dog.

Julie Smith was having an affair with Joe’s Dad, Charlie, she sent Katie out to play in the snow so they could have some private time. She ended the affair with Charlie. She couldn’t forgive herself. Charlie got drunk and told Pat. Joe punched his Dad. Charlie kicked him out of the house. Layla knew all about David Brennan. She knew he’d killed his sister when they were little. He let go of her pushchair, it slipped down a hill and crashed into a bus. It was an accident, or so everyone said. Layla knew that David’s Mum, Linda had abducted a little girl before, she took her home and baked her a birthday cake. She didn’t hurt her. Layla told Joe but made him promise to stay quiet. Jimmy set up a vigilante group to search for Katie. He went knocking on doors. He was determined to get answers he didn’t care how.

Jimmy suspected David. Layla tried to defend him but let slip that Linda had abducted a girl. Jimmy and Joe fight. The police arrest Linda. Jimmy’s vigilante mob attack her house, then fight with police. Jimmy gets arrested. David tries to kill himself. Layla finds him. She calls an ambulance. David confesses to abducting and killing Katie. He is arrested in hospital. Linda is released. Joe steals money from Jimmy’s pub while Jimmy is in prison. Pat leaves Charlie and sells their house.

Layla and Joe leave town to start a new life with their baby in London.

Copyright 2005 Mike Walden
All Rights Reserved