The Body On The Beach: 61

Piccolo drove on to Bessingham Hall. The country lanes were empty; it was a fine day. All was uneventful until half way, when a car approached from behind, seemingly from nowhere, switching on its large headlights as it neared – the intense beams blinding even during the day. Piccolo squinted as the reflection caught the dashboard mirror. The car came even closer, now at some speed, and rear-ended the couple’s tourer, producing the sickening crunch of metal upon metal. ‘Idiot!’ shouted Piccolo. The assailants rammed for a second time, but now with greater force – the whole car jerked. Piccolo put her foot hard down on the accelerator and pulled ahead, but the other car soon caught up and began barging side-on-side. The sound of the high-revving engines was deafening. Piccolo struggled to keep control. A deep ditch on the left beckoned disaster. Simmonds looked across as the two cars were in parallel, but the other vehicle had greased out windows so the occupants were only shadowy shapes. Both cars were now travelling at speed perilously close to each other. As the aggressors moved slightly ahead, no doubt positioning for some new tactic, Piccolo shouted ‘Hold on!’ and slammed the brakes. Luckily in that split second Simmonds had braced himself. The tyres screeched and the tourer nose-dived, finally skidding to a halt, having spun through ninety degrees. The chase car sped on until it was out of sight. Suddenly all was quiet and still. ‘Are you OK?’ Simmonds asked, franticly turning to his wife. ‘Yes. I think so’ replied Piccolo. ‘Maniac!’ she shouted, and then winced. ‘Damn’, she added. ‘I think I’ve broken my wrist’.

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