Daniel Fort looked at the great wrought-iron gates looming in front of him and stared through the bars. He could see them all milling around, some in packs, others alone or in twos. Some had already noticed him and were watching carefully.
Once again, Daniel wondered to himself: did he really want to do this? He toyed with the idea of not going in at all; of ignoring this place and carrying on walking, far away from here, as quickly as possible. But he knew that was the coward’s way out and Daniel Fort was no coward.
He looked up at the top of the gate. Long spikes protruded angrily in all directions warning all to stay out while simultaneously warning all to stay in. This was not a place for those who didn’t know what they were doing and Daniel wasn’t confident he didn’t fit that category. Nevertheless, his hand reached out for the latch almost before he was aware of it; it lifted the metal bar and pushed against the heavy metal.
The gate creaked loudly as he stepped through, enough to alert the attention of still more of them who now turned their heads towards the source of the noise, and Daniel cursed his luck. He’d hoped to slip in without calling too much attention to himself. Chesterfield had a reputation; he knew it even before he accepted the job. But when you’re flat broke, what can you do? Still, a man had died here, killed by one of these animals, just a few months earlier and it made him nervous. You didn’t take such knowledge lightly.
To continue reading this story please buy the book ‘The Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ available January 2015.
Copyright © 2014 D K Powell