The hotel was on Dover seafront, behind a façade of fake palm trees and a line of parked cars. That morning the sun reflected off the sea and sharp beams pierced the windows of the rows and rows of houses which looked out to the Channel. These houses had long ago been converted into bedsits, and these bedsits were home to hundreds of immigrants, whose first port of call when arriving in England is Dover.
Dover had died many years before – beaten by a disease which has destroyed so many English coastal towns – and now it was just limping along. The council had spent thousands of pounds in sprucing up the depressing seafront, and on the day Peter Ward was in town, it seemed that perhaps there were worse places to be. But if the seafront seemed picturesque and the fake palm trees appeared to be real, all of this was an illusion caused by the sunlight which appeared to fill every dirty corner of the town.
At night the immigrants left their bedsits and roamed aimlessly along the promenade and through the town. The men drank beer and spirits from stolen bottles and the women stayed in groups, intimidating local residents with their malicious looks and foul language. Some of the immigrants smashed shop windows and some pissed openly in the park. Some had dogs, and these dogs shit on the pavement and barked for no apparent reason. The police drove round in circles and the residents were afraid. When the sun had set and darkness descended upon the town, Dover was uninviting and unappealing.
Extract taken from "After Dover" - a short story, by Luke Ryman, about a cold-blooded killer. Available now from all Amazon sites for Kindle.