The fire that the six of them had lit was more smoke than flames and it turned the clearing in Bromley woods in to some kind of ancient tribal haunt. That’s how they liked it, of course. They’d had one large bottle of Smirnoff, and various cocktail shots between the lot of them and Maddy was definitely feeling the drunk side of tipsy. She glanced, giggling, at Josh who she fancied ‘truly madly deeply’, as he sat the other side of the fire and who was engrossed in rolling a particularly large joint. She thought he looked like a meditating guru, his look of otherworldliness being so intense. This thought, for some reason known only to herself, made Maddy snort with laughter. Nat poked her in the ribs and Maddy’s exaggerated cry of pain brought Josh out if his reverie. He looked up and, sensing an opening, Maddy flicked her long, blonde, but by now, knotted hair over one shoulder and gave him the best pout she could muster in her somewhat incapacitated state.
The pout must have missed its mark for Josh, ignoring Maddy, turned his dark, curly-haired head and shouted in the deep voice that Maddy ‘could just die for’,
“Hey Steve, you want some of this or not?”
“Alright, alright mate”, returned a crispy voice from beyond the circle of smoke in the best Mockney you could ever hope to hear, “on my way, start without me Josh boy.”
As Josh leaned forward towards the glowing embers to light the joint, Steve emerged through the heavy smoke, coughing and doing up his flies to the disgust of Maddy and Nat.
“Ew Steve, do you mind?” said Nat in her heavy Polish accent. “Not at all love” came Steve’s reply as he sat next to Josh, “be nice to me else you don’t get.” Steve was Josh’s supplier and older than them all by about ten years. Like Nat, Maddy didn’t much like him. But he did get good stuff.
“What about Ben and whats-her-name? Shall I get ’em Josh?” Maddy slurred in his direction, trying out her sexiest smile.
“Nah, leave ’em,” answered Steve in his stead, “they’re busy”. And he gave Nat a wink to which she screwed up her nose, gave him the finger, then held out her hand for the joint.
Maddy loved Nat. This beautiful and sophisticated nineteen year old Pole had entered her life six months ago and the two of them had been inseparable since. Maddy’s mum called Nat a ‘bad influence’, but what did she know. Maddy had never felt more confident. She had swapped Health and Social Care for Beauty Therapy on Nat’s advice and loved it, and with Nat next to her she felt, well, safe. Even Ben, her twin, approved and that was saying something.
Now Nat was passing her the joint, which Maddy accepted, leaning her heavy head on Nat’s shoulder as she took a deep drag. She closed her eyes, allowing the drug to do it’s work while she listened to Nat giving Steve ‘what for’ about something or other and Josh strumming on the guitar that he always carried with him everywhere.
She was on her third drag when there came a shrill scream from the woods behind her.