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Natasha's story part three

Natasha didn’t like wandering round the dark streets late at night, but she couldn’t find Karen in her usual place, so she’d gone looking for her. She hadn’t seen her for a few days, but knew of a few regular places Karen would go to score: they were not always safe, but Natasha felt obligated. She felt stupid too, and vulnerable.

     Old Portsmouth was a favourite of Karen’s: plenty of tourists and night life. Colourful little spots overlooking the harbour entrance dominated by the brightly lit Spinnaker Tower. Ferries from the Isle of Wight, from Spain and France sailing into the harbour bringing a host of tourists and, on some ships, more drugs.

     Natasha ignored the brighter lights and moved towards the darker alleyways that were avoided by most people at such a late hour. She heard Karen’s voice. It was sharp and carried clearly over the night. In that place there was only a few people about: clubbers, late-night drinkers going home, some looking for a fix or a pick-up, but those who were around were not interested in the argument going on in the narrow alleyway that Natasha knew was one of the most likely places to find her friend at such a late hour.

     She decided Karen was arguing with her dealer, probably about the price. And it was because she had this notion in her head that she turned the corner without giving it a second thought. She saw two shapes: one on the ground with an arm in the air in what could only have been a defensive stance. Leaning over the figure, a baseball bat in her hand was Karen.

Natasha shouted Karen’s name at the top of her voice and ran into the alleyway. Karen turned as Natasha barged into her. It caught Karen off-guard and the baseball bat went flying out her of hand. Natasha swooped and picked up the bat. Karen swore and grabbed hold of the bulbous end, trying to wrestle the bat from Natasha’s hand, but Natasha wouldn’t let go.

     ‘Give me the fucking bat, Tash,’ she shouted. ‘I’m going to kill the fucker.’

     The figure Karen had left on the ground was now scrambling to his feet. He took an almighty swing at Karen with his fist and caught her a hard blow on the side of her head. Natasha immediately swung the baseball bat at him and felt it bury itself into the soft flesh of his thigh. He fell to the ground with an anguished cry of pain.

     ‘Piss off,’ she shouted, and held the bat threateningly.

    The man scrambled to his feet and went barrelling into both the girls, bringing all three of them crashing to the ground. The bat went flying and left the three of them with nothing but fists, claws and insults. None of them heard the sound of hurried footsteps bouncing off the alley walls, but the flashing blue light made them aware of the police presence; even more so as the police officers pulled them apart and dragged them all to their feet. One of the officers picked up the baseball bat, while another shone a torch around the immediate area looking for tell-tale signs of drug wraps or money. What he found he popped into an evidence bag as Natasha, Karen and the man who Karen wanted to kill, were hauled off to a waiting police van.

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