Her shoes scrunched the gravel underfoot on the unmade road, echoing through the silence of the valley’s vast night. Gillian ambled her way in the balmy Mediterranean evening down the narrow lane towards the house.
As she turned left a cacophonous eruption of angry barking shattered the serenity. Loud, urgent, fierce, threatening animal yelps.
‘Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!’ she screamed. ‘Go to hell! Damned dogs!’
Gillian speeded up – she would find her way to the back door, and escape the clamour, in the dark. She was achingly familiar with the steps, stones and the hard landscaping they had planned so carefully and toiled to create. But that was all in the past.
She would never sleep in this house again. It was blighted, the happy times corrupted and damaged after so much bitterness, disappointment and jangling arguments.
‘Never a moment’s peace,’ she grumbled to herself. ‘No sleep at all after those vicious beasts arrived.’
She was making this final trip to the house to collect the spare keys. Frank would collect her by car in a few minutes.
A flicker of light caught Gillian’s eye and she wondered fleetingly what might be reflected in the double-glazed window. A passing motor cycle? A car along the lane? A torch? Maybe she had imagined it.
[…. there is a lot more of this story but it is poor writing and I have edited it out]