Justine’s mum




At Childhood’s End


Justine was a homeless teenager in Central London. She was taken by two Ratts to Peerie Canto as a donation.

She had imagined London to be like almost like Oz, from the film The Wizard of Oz. She saw London at Christmas on her television, but found it rainy when she arrived and the people not the happy, smiling ones she had seen.

She had run away from Bristol, where she lived with her mother and her boyfriend Adrian. He made salacious comments towards her, and Justine found being homeless better than being anywhere near him. Her and her mother’s house was a place where she could shut out the world, and was a sanctuary for her. When Adrian started visiting, all of that vanished. She told her mother about him, but she dismissed her as being jealous and wanting to spoil things for her.

Whilst in London, she wore a coat that was advertised as ‘weather pro of’, but doubted that the manufacturers had expected her to wear it continuously. She also wore a set of boots, and had a bundle of spare clothes in her rucksack. She owned some blankets that had been handed out for free outside a church in Soho.

By January, 2020, she knew that the bigger and more sheltered a doorway was from the rain, the more aggresively the security staff would move heron, which was why she chose to stop under a shuttered Newsagent’s shop. She was afraid of being sighted, but at the same time afraid of staying lost.

She slept in a large pile of air conditioning ducting, under several tarpaulins in a deserted building site in Cheapside, where she had only ever seen one security guard. She could hear rats scuttling across the top of the pipe at night.

Three weeks after she had run away, she felt lonely, miserable and unloved. Two Ratts, sensing this, appeared at the end of the ducting. She thought that they wanted money, but they told her that they wanted a donation instead. She tried to run, but tripped over the hem of her banket, before unsuccsessfully trying to fight them. Pinned to the floor, she saw under their hoods and gasped, as their features were not human. They spat a vile slime over her face before she blacked out, ‘hearing nothing but the chittering of rats.’

She was taken to Peerie Canto, and prepared to be a host for a Wraith. (At Childhood’s End)

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