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Authors: Daisy White

Roadkill (LiveWire)

BOOK: Roadkill (LiveWire)
12.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub








Daisy White










































Copyright © 2012 Daisy White

All rights reserved.








For my boys
; Rob, James and Ollie.








Must thank the following fab people for contributing to ROADKILL……Stef Lilley; photographer
Rob Crocker; photographer, Loz ‘The Ghost’; urban photography
Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.,
Paul at Sparticle,
Abi Truelove; final edit/proof reading, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, Writers workshop and The Word Cloud. Sanita Gourley, Claire Lauf, my lovely husband, and my parents who are all as mad as me! Also my excellent cast for the ROADKILL trailer; Maisie Lord as CAZ, Gina Neal as ROSE, Matt Kinsbrook as ASH, Jenni Burgess as FRANKIE and Archie Neal as LEO…..Plus all my lovely friends on Facebook and Twitter who have supported me all the way. X


ROADKILL, LiveWire and all the characters and contents are entirely fictional, and any resemblance to any person or place is entirely coincidental.












Chapter One


Rose would have said I look like a tart, but she can’t say that now can she? Which is obviously why I’m heading out to the party tonight. Because I’m fine, I’m over it and ready to get on with my life.

The clothes are wrong, and even with more makeup I still look like a ten year old playing dress up. Defiantly I add a red gloopy lip gloss with a shaky hand, slamming the tube back down viciously. The lid breaks with a crack, for a second Max Factor’s finest becomes her blood, spilled across the tarmac, shining wet in the moonlight. Get a grip Caz, I tell myself firmly, taking a shivery breath and flicking a last glance in the mirror as I whirl from the room.

“Are you sure you want to go out tonight? You don’t have to Caroline. Your friends will understand.” It’s my mum, or the pale ghost who used to be my mum before it happened. Even her red hair, which is curly like mine, has lost that lovely glow. Her red rimmed eyes are shadowed from crying, and her jeans hang off her skinny frame. A slender white hand tentatively squeezes my fingers, but I snatch them away. I know I’m being a bitch. She lets all her tears out, but I am truly terrified of what might happen if I start crying. I might never stop.

“Everything is fine Mum. Leo’s going with me,” I glance down as my phone beeps with a text. It might be Rose…oh, stop Caz. “We’re going across The Road, and then…” But the mention of The Road is too much as she’s crying again. A tiny bit of me wants to comfort her, to throw my arms around her. But I can’t, so I run out, down the stairs, past the framed photos of my dad and into the summer night. A car whizzes past, music blaring, and the narrow street is alive with glammed up teenagers. Everyone out to have a good time. I flick back my long hair, which is straightened to within an inch of its life, and wonder again if I’ve made a mistake with Rose’s denim mini (too big) and revealing pink vest top (too tight).

“Hey Caz! Wow you look great. Um different, but great,” Leo emerges from the trendy crowds with his peculiar crab-like stride, a result of endless childhood illness and countless hospitals. He’s so lovely though Leo, with his cute lopsided smile and neat glasses. We’ve been best mates practically since we first met, right after he and his mum moved down from Glasgow, and I can’t imagine life without him. Especially now. Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve only known him six months. He loved Rose too. She was always taking the piss out of him, but he just laughed and gave it right back.

“You mean I look crap but you’re too sweet to say it,” I tell him, linking arms as we wander up towards the road. The thick makeup feels weird on my face; kind of itchy. Maybe I put it on wrong? But I am only distracting myself with these random thoughts, laughing with Leo, who is casting me anxious little looks, and holding my arm so very gently and carefully, as though I am made of glass and might break at any moment. Which, I suppose, is entirely possible.

It’s a hot muggy summer night. The air is thick with the smell of cheap perfumes, and metallic hairspray, all mingling with the wafts of barbeque smoke. Midsummer
and our estate is making the most of the long holiday.

We pass under the shadows of some huge oak trees, just before joining the swarms walking over the motorway bridge. Which obviously spans The Road. Which I haven’t been near since it happened. My heart is racing, and my banter with Leo becomes harder to maintain. Now he asks something about my college courses; biology and chemistry if you are interested. And art history, which is the nearest I can get t
o real art…
enough already.

“Renoir. I thought you knew that?” I snap and pull my arm from his.

“Caz I just asked where Ian’s house was. You know, the party that you say you’re fine to go to?” There is an edge of sarcasm to his normally unflappable voice.

rry. I…


A group of girls totter by on skyscraper heels and I catch my name, whispered like a curse. Then Rose’s, and all the time we are being swept towards the bridge. And The Road. A few lads swagger past laughing and swigging from cans, and I jump in fright.

“Caz, you don’t have to do this. Come back to mine and we’ll watch a DVD or something, or I’ll beat you on the Wii. My mum’s out so we can order a pizza.”

His mum is always out. I reckon in the six months I’ve known Leo, I’ve met her about three times. I am shaking now, and shivering in the hot night air, and the idea of going back and chilling out on the
sofa, before thrashing Leo at W
tennis is very appealing. But I won’t.

Defiantly I drop Leo’s arm and march out onto the bridge, swinging my hips like Rose, tossing back my hair.

“Hey Caz! You look hot. Going to Ian’s party?” Sexy Matt from my art history class walks up close, cigarette dangling from one tanned hand. Our arms brush and my skin tingles.

“Yeah,” still channelling my dead sister I meet his slanting brown eyes and give a cheeky wink. He looks puzzled. I’m not surprised, normally I’m too shy to even look at him.

There is a big “Whoa get a room!” from his mates, and he is carried away on the tide of revelling teenagers. Someone is playing music and the beat thrums inside my head, chasing Rose away, and more importantly, drowning the sound of the cars on the motorway below.

Click, click, my high heeled silver sandals carry me trit-trotting over the bridge like the magic shoes in a fairy story. It’s all going well, and Leo is as usual right by my side, like a kid’s comfort blanket.

“Oh look, it’s Caroline. That top looks great…did you know you’ve put on a bit of weight? I expect it’s normal after such a traumatic time. I meant to say I’m so, so sorry about your sister. She was so stunning, I’m sure she could have made it as a model.”

Bitch Anita and her evil brethren are pushing past, whether or not on purpose, I am being carried closer to the edge. Another wave of cackling girls are swaying to the beat, and they nudge me out the way, bringing me hard up against the metal railings. A swathe of headlights slices the darkness below, followed by another, and another, glittering like lasers in a nightclub. The Road is busy at this time of night; people hurrying home, heading out for the night.

I am mesmerised, clinging to the rail like a drowning person clutching at a piece of driftwood. At first they thought she jumped, but her injuries showed it was definitely a hit and run. A single car that drove away and left her to die. Leo is tugging at my arm, and a couple of people stare, but I can’t move. On the side of the fast lane, huddled near the crash barrier is a fox, its crushed bleeding body sprawled across the gleaming cats’ eyes. As the traffic whizzes past, the breeze ruffles its dirty fur, giving an illusion of life. Everything goes black, and I lose grip on my driftwood.

“Stupid idiot. What did you do that for? I told you it was too soon,” Leo is sitting on my bed, fiddling with his phone. His faint Scottish accent is stronger when he’s upset.

“Is she awake?” my mum slides into the room, and immediately it’s too crowded. I blink at my digital alarm clock. Midnight. I kind of remember Leo leading me home like a sleepwalker, or an escaped loony returning to confinement; the crowds parting to let us through, revelling in new gossip. Perhaps I really am going mad.

Again my mum takes my hand, while Leo tactfully mutters about heading home.

“Thanks Leo. You’re the best,” I say softly, and he does that sweet thing of looking away and at the ground, like little kids do when they’re embarrassed.

“Caroline is so lucky to have you as a friend,” my mum adds, smiling in the dim light.

As the door closes I force myself not to tear my hand from hers, to stop being cruel. She needs me. I cannot fall apart.

“Do you want to talk about it?” The bad thing about having a super smart scientist mum is that, as well as solving
general problems (global warming
, meteor attacks, kids’ stuff really), she totally reads minds. I mean really. Sometimes I like to wind her up by just not talking, not confirming her guesses. We can go a whole day without me letting anything out, which drives her mad. I suppose I’m not really very nice…..Outside the claustrophobic silence of my room, a woman screams, and somewhere a child wails sadly. In the distance sirens blare, and an engine revs harsh and violent in the stillness. The Estate never sleeps.

“Okay. I’ll leave you to sleep, but Caroline?” I can feel her hope, but I keep my eyes down pleating the bedspread with busy fingers. The scar on my left wrist is red and scabbed in the weak moonlight. “If you ever want to talk, or you want some help, I’m here. Or there are other people…..”

Yeah, shades of the loony bin again. They hung around after the funeral, The Vultures; counsellors, journalists (Rose was a great story), well meaning friends. Even thinking about them puts me in a bad mood. By the time I look up mum is gone, stepping carefully down the creaky stairs. I am left with a familiar feeling of guilt, like a bitter taste in my mouth.

A text beeps on my phone, and I glance over to my table. A course book from college (the new Tracy Emin biography), a glass of water, and my unfashionably chunky silver phone, now adorned with the sparkly Swarovski crystal that used to hang from Rose’s mobile. A little piece of her I managed to snatch back from The Vultures.


‘Sleep well hon – see u 2mro. Love u x’


I smile, relaxing as the tension drains from my body. We always said that…. ‘love u.’ Me and Rose used to say it too….For a while I was kind of worried that Leo fancied me, not in a vain kind of way, just that it would have ruined our friendship because I never think of him in that way. Luckily he was quick to reassure me, and him being gay means I can happily keep him as my best friend, my rock, without the whole girl/boy thing becoming an issue.

BOOK: Roadkill (LiveWire)
12.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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