30-40 kilometres on, Laurie was really beginning to regret having the idea of using the horses; she hadn’t realized how long it had been since she had last ridden one and her legs were now only too happy to remind her.
At first it had seemed like being in the middle of an adventure novel; the waning moon lent the fields and farm yards a silvery glow, while the night’s breeze blew her hair out behind her, and the thumping movements of the horse below her lent a suitably epic feel to events.
After a while however the nights breeze had started to chill her and she had begun to understand why riding bareback was meant to be a punishment.
The ride was a long way from wasted however; she had learnt something new about her partner. Derek, to her great surprise knew how to ride a horse. After the way he had acted back in Symphony Laurie had felt sure that he was afraid of horses, but now he was riding perfectly; Laurie couldn’t understand what he had been so worried about.
When she saw the lights up ahead Laurie lost all thought about being cold. She smiled, and urged the horse a little faster.
Laurie and Derek rode into the Symphony mental hospital car park almost neck in neck.
The horses cantered to a stop and Laurie dismounted with more relief than she would have admitted to. The horses weren’t wearing reins, but she led them to a scraggly looking bush and then left them when they were up to their ears in vegetation. The she looked up at the building.
The Symphony mental hospital loomed over them like some sort of horrible giant bearing down on them. It somehow managed to look starved, and at least half its windows were broken; Laurie had to admit that it looked like the kind of place where a demon would be formed.
None of the lights were on either; and now that Laurie thought about it, the whole place looked like it was falling into disrepair. So it was abandoned then; that would make it a natural place to hide twenty people.
The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea, the hospital was a remote building a long way down a remote road, from a remote town; provided you were quiet about what you were doing there would be no way that anyone would know what you would be up to.
She fingered the butt of her gun and indulged an urge to smile; it was shaping up to be a good night.
She turned to Derek to tell him this, but then she realized that he wasn’t there. Then someone shone a torch on her.