The Pearl Seekers

2012-10-26-14-24-52Extract from Novel:

As Chris turned off the ignition, the headlights went out. Through the windscreen, Bekka could make out the image of a gate. She willed her brain to adjust quickly to the darkness. Something was moving in the tufts of grass. Chris felt her shudder:


‘I thought I saw a rat,’ she said, turning to look at him.

For a moment he stared at her. Then he burst out laughing.

If she could just keep it light She’d known it was a bad sign when, once they were alone, he’d turned off the main road.

‘A short cut,’ he’d said, with a quick smirk in her direction. Then he’d pulled off the lane in the entrance to the playing field.

Bekka’s heart was thumping wildly. Chris reached across her. The back of his hand brushed against her legs as he pulled a packet of fags from the glove box. The cellophane crackled. He held the opened pack out to her. She shook her head. He shrugged. His match momentarily lit up the car. He inhaled deeply, then he leaned back in his seat.

‘So Bek,’ he said, ‘you and Ben serious?’

‘Yep, course,’ she lied.

He laughed again.

‘Crap,’ he said. ‘He’s just a kid. You need a bloke who knows what he’s doing.

He reached across and squeezed her knee. Her skirt suddenly seemed too short. Bekka tugged at it with her right hand – her left was gripping tightly to the door handle. She glanced out of her side window. It really wouldn’t be a good place to be wandering around late at night. Chris slid his hand up the inside of her thigh.

‘You and Gemma are, like, pretty serious,’ she said.

‘Depends who you’re speaking to.’

He sat forward and, winding down his window a couple of inches, he discarded his unfinished fag. Then he leaned over and ran his hand lightly across her cheek. His finger lingered at the edge of her mouth.

‘I’ve never kissed a girl with piercings before.’

Bekka clenched her lips tightly together.

With a well perfected move, Chris jerked a lever and her seat tilted back. He was above her, his eyes glinting in the darkness.


Bekka glared up at him, feigning an assertive challenge that she didn’t feel. She was unresponsive as his mouth met hers. He was trying to prise her lips apart with his tongue. He moved his head back a little. She could taste the stale smoke on his breath.

‘You’re quite a tease,’ he murmured.

‘I really need to get home. I’ll get grounded if I’m not back soon.’ There was a tremor in her voice.

His hand was moving between her legs. As he tried to kiss her again, she turned her head and his lips landed on her neck. He sucked hard.

‘Ow,’ she said, pushing him away.

‘Shit! You’re a frigid little bitch aren’t you! Don’t worry. I’m not that desperate.’

He pulled away, and sliding back into his seat, he started the engine. Bekka allowed herself to breath.


He drove like a maniac. Bekka closed her eyes, thoughts exploding in her brain.

Which would be worse – to be raped or killed in a car wreck? She didn’t speak, just concentrated on trying to keep her body as far away from him as possible, as the car pitched and rolled.

With a squeal of brakes, he came to a stop a few streets from her house. Bekka had to consciously uncurl each finger from the door handle. Climbed out, she slammed the door.

The car sped away so fast, it unbalanced her.

‘Prick,’ she screamed at the tail lights of the battered Golf as it disappeared in the distance. Hot tears began to course down her cheeks.

Bekka started to jog towards home, but her legs were too wobbly to run. She knew she was in deep shit. She was way past her curfew. She would have been home by midnight if that tosser hadn’t tried it on. How stupid was Gemma to let him drop her off first? She became aware of a car cruising along beside her.

Oh shit. Had Chris come back?  She hunched her head down and kept her eyes glued to the pavement, pulling at the cuffs of her hoodie with clenched fists. The car pulled away sharply from the kerb, tyres screaming.

Not Chris. Just some other prick hoping to get lucky after a night at the boozer. She couldn’t believe Chris had tried it on like that. Wait till I tell Gemma! But even as she thought it, she knew she wouldn’t be saying anything. Gemma wouldn’t believe her precious Chris would hit on one of her best mates. Chances are, she would get blamed for leading him on. Best to just keep her mouth shut.

She checked the time on her mobile. Twelve thirty. If she got grounded she wouldn’t be able to go to the Disco. Cutting across the manicured verge, she turned into her cul-de-sac.


The lights were on downstairs – now she was really for it! As she reached up to put her key in the lock, the double glazed door was wrenched open, Mum was standing there in her dressing gown looking wild and crazy.

‘Sorry, alright? It wasn’t my fault.’

‘Is your sister with you?’ Mum was shrieking.

‘Like she’d be with me!

Pushing past Mum, Bekka went into the kitchen and turned on the tap full blast. Water splashed over the marble worktop. No-one cares if I’m okay.

Mum closed the door to the porch and went back into the lounge, resuming her position behind the velvet curtain where she’d been anxiously scanning the path leading to the house.

Bekka watched as the water poured down the drain, breathing deeply. Thank God for Liv – if she’d stayed out later than her for once, maybe she’d get away with it. It was odd though – Liv never went anywhere. She filled a glass with water.

‘Night,’ she called sweetly to Mum as she went up the stairs.

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