She said it was a bad place, especially for girls, and especially for girls her age. Alexandra didn’t really understand why. Her father had wanted to tell her some horror story about the basins, but he had been challenged by a barrage of objections from her mother. It had been one of many conversations Alexandra had listened to from the top of the stairs.

EndRoadI wrote the following story a few years ago. At the time of writing, I was planning a crime novel about a series of murders in a small town, and the effect those crimes would have on the people involved (the police, family, etc.). This story was intended to serve as a kind of epilogue, to reveal that the killer was never found. The novel still isn’t written (nor indeed even plotted), but the epilogue is. Which is probably a fairly strange way to do things!

The story came about one cold afternoon during the walk home from the beach. It was raining heavily, and I was sodden. This story, more or less in its entirety, came to me as I passed a bench. It’s rare for a story to come to mind in such completeness. I began writing it the moment I got home. One thing I was keen to do with The End of the Road was to continue exploring the geography and history of Aubern. One of the murders described in this story – that of Peter Freeman – is also mentioned briefly in an episode of Down the Centre. Over time, more and more of Aubern will be revealed. I have big plans for that town.

The End of the Road