The Plague Doctor

A Vanstone Novel

by

C P Sennett

 © 2013

All characters and events here and in this book are fictitious and any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

Published by Ex-L-Ence Publishing.

Copyright © 2013 C P Sennett

ISBN 978-1-909133-05-1

 

Masked, I advance

 – René Descartes –

 

Prologue

Anna approached her grey fronted terraced house and tried the door, as usual it was unlocked.

Struggling with her shopping bags Anna pushed the door open. Stepping inside she shook her coat to get off the worst of the rain before hanging it up. As always, she hung her keys up on the hook and kicked her wet trainers off into the shoe cupboard, splattering mud onto the carpet in the process.

“Tar?” she shouted up the stairs.

No reply.

“Tar?” Again there was no answer, just silence.

“Yep, she is out,” said Anna to herself.

She made her way to the kitchen, checking that there was water in the kettle as she flicked the switch to boil.

She then went back into the hallway to clean up the mud. As she did this she tutted heavily, unaware of the figure moving behind her as it went through the kitchen into the open bathroom.

Anna made her way back and fixed herself a long overdue cup of tea. She moved into the front room, grabbing a magazine as she went, slowly she sat down and relaxed as the rain hammered on the window panes. She flicked on the TV for some background noise and dived into the latest celeb gossip in her copy of Heat.

****

The figure had waited for some time in the bathroom, longer than he was used to. His breathing had become heavy at the prospect of what was to come.

He didn’t like waiting, not this long but he had been inadvertently surprised with the meat coming back whilst he was still doing his rounds.

Listening he heard movement again and the flick of a light switch. It was not in the kitchen or he would have seen the light from his hiding point in the bathroom. He smiled to himself.

The afternoon light was fading and the heavy rainclouds made the house darker inside than it would normally be, perhaps a storm was coming. The shadowy figure chanced a quick look around the corner hearing more movement. He guessed the meat was heading upstairs.

****

Anna grabbed her shopping bags and made her way up the grey carpeted staircase and passed the open doorway which led to Taryn’s eternally messy room, before heading into her own more tranquil space.

She went in and laid the tops down on her bed admiring each in turn as she lit some joss sticks to scent the room.

Anna jumped as the ring of her mobile broke the silence.

****

The shadowy figure, hearing the mobile phone ringing, made his move. This phone had a ringtone that seemed to sing to him, inviting him upstairs…

He moved to the bottom of the stairs and listened, the meat was talking, slowly he placed his foot upon the second step.

He moved quickly, a practiced individual at this sort of thing. He applied a bit of weight to every second step and used the solid banister to pull himself up. By taking fewer steps to get up the stairs it enabled him to move quietly.

Within seconds he was up the stairs and on the landing, he knew the layout of the house well. Inwardly he was annoyed at not being fully ready to meet her but earlier he had seen pictures of the meat and her lodger, he knew the messy one was by far the more attractive of the two and with lower morals but this one would be the easiest catch.

He took out his vial of chloroform and applied it to his sleeper. As he moved into the messy room he waited behind the door, listening to the meat speaking with her friend.

****

Anna had been speaking to Lauren for a few minutes, listening to the intricacies of office life.

Eventually though the two said their goodbyes.

No sooner than Anna had finished the call, someone grabbed her…

Something was stuffed in and over her mouth, it smelt odd, almost sweet and at first and for a heartbeat she hoped it was Taryn playing a joke but the strength of the person made her realise that her predicament was far worse.

She panicked and went to scream but barely a sound came out, her eyes darted around her room, seeing the pictures on the wall and the border her father had put up for her when she moved in.

A strong arm snaked tightly around her neck making it hard for her to breath. Before she could react she was quickly dragged down to the blue carpeted floor.

The thing was still over her mouth as she began to fight hard for every breath. She scratched out at her attacker and threw her body around on the floor, struggling frantically to break free.

The grip remained tight.

Anna started to feel faint, her strength leaving. Her head span as she mustered her body and mind for one last fight, she tried to roll over but there was no strength left in her, then the blackness took her…

To read chapter 1 for free please click here.

Copyright © 2013 C P Sennett

Published by Ex-L-Ence Publishing