• Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 9a

    Sirens highlight the night: police have used their cars to block off the street, as well as cordon off the crowd that has gathered. Ambulances are parked haphazardly, paramedics scurrying frantically as they tend to the injured, triaging who needs urgent attention and who can wait. Four fire trucks are parked end to end as firefighters direct their hoses at the blaze. They are too late, though. I feel my flesh incinerate, pluming into thick black smoke that blots the starlit sky. My bones scorch and groan and crack. Floors collapse in surrender. Electrical equipment explodes like an array of fireworks. But for as much as each of these losses…

  • Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 8e

    Holly has never seen anybody shot before, other than on TV shows and in films, and she has often wondered how realistic those depictions are. In the instant between Noah pulling the trigger of his gun and the bullet hitting Mr Hermes, she expects him to be punctured, the way a balloon might, and for there to be a splash of blood. But there is none of that. Noah’s gunshot thuds into Mr Hermes’s shoulder as if it is hitting mud, disappearing with an understated, if not undignified plop. Holly is sure that cannot be right, that the bullet must be a dud, or that Mr Hermes must be wearing…