Carla Carter raced down the road on her bike, pedalling as if her life depended on it. Impatience with traffic lights caused her to ride on the pavement for a moment, safely, if hurriedly. Whatever tearing rush she was in, Carla was not prepared to get herself killed for it.
She cycled a minute, and turned off down a lane leading to nowhere. She then continued pedalling, her legs pumping like pistons, every now and then looked over her shoulder as if she were being followed.
The lane was empty.
Carla glanced quickly backwards, narrowing her eyes and swerving off down a pebbly track without signalling.
Though it was bumpy, Carla cycled quickly till she was out of sight in the trees, and, leaning her bike in some long grass where it could not be spied until tripped over, sprinted in the direction of the bushes.
Ten seconds of sliding past jagged-leaved bushes and slashing through the thickest trees brought her to weather-worn, battered shed which looked like it had been exposed to the elements for at least twenty years. The wood was grey but the roof water-tight, and the door had a rusty lock.
Carla took another look around her, although there could not possibly be anyone near, and tried opening the door of a shed. It swung open easily and she saw two girls squatting on upturned flower pots.
One of them stifled a gasp and Carla, shutting the door firmly, raised an eyebrow.
"Am I that terrifying?" she wondered with a touch of sarcasm.