Cheryl was stuck in a lift. Alone. The date hadn’t gone well. After three years of solitude she’d signed up to a site where love was ‘only a click away!’ and began her dating adventure: starting with Tim and the Black Lion pub. The date was dull. Tim was dull. Possibly, after so much time alone, she was dull. Cheryl slid shakily to the floor and dropped her head to her knees. In her intoxicated state, it took a moment to notice the discomfort. Wincing, she reached beneath her bottom for the knobbly object. A brooch, a tiny basket of  jewels sparkling under the industrial light. She imagined who might own such a treasure. Haughty. Neat. Well groomed. Whiff of lavender. With fumbling fingers, Cheryl attached the brooch to her cardigan. A memento of the evening’s adventure. The melancholy returned. Where were her rescuers? The light flickered…
…and went out.
It’s very dark, in a lift, when the lights go out. Cheryl pushed herself further into the corner. Her mouth was parched, her throat dry. She needed to cough, but didn’t want to – not into the silence. Her breathing seemed loud. She held her breath.

The light sputtered on.
The woman was tall. Her wool dress was buttoned to the neck. The veil of her hat concealed most of her face. Slowly, the figure crouched until she was level with the cowering girl. Cheryl breathed in her scent: lavender, with a hint of decay. The woman reached out and ripped the brooch from the girl’s cardigan. She smiled and lifted her veil. The light flickered…
…and went out.

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