Justin Richards

“Explain,’ the troll hissed.
‘Explain what? I was just…’ Harry pointed back the way he’d come. ‘Let me go, please, sir. I won’t breathe a word about what I seen. Not about you nor the dead body.’
‘Explain the dead body,’ the troll said, shaking Harry so violently that his teeth rattled.
‘It’s a body,’ he said when he could finally draw breath. ‘And it’s dead. A woman, in a coat, bleeding.’
‘What colour fur?’ the troll demanded.
‘It’s not fur, it’s probably wool.’
The creature’s eyes narrowed even further. ‘Not the coat,’ it rasped. ‘On its head – what colour was the fur on the female’s head?’
Harry frowned, struggling to understand. ‘You mean her hair?’
‘Hair, fur, protective cranial grafting – whatever term you use on this primitive planet. What colour was it?’
‘Sort of… brownish.’
‘And quite long. I think.’ Despite the tight grip that the troll maintained on his shoulders, Harry managed to get one hand up high enough to show how long the dead woman’s hair had been. ‘About this long.’
The grip on his shoulders loosened and Harry felt himself sag. Then he stumbled forwards under a near-crippling slap on his back.
‘Good lad,’ the troll said. ‘Your observational skills are adequate. You would make a good forward sniper.’
‘Oh, um, thank you, sir.’ Harry swallowed. ‘Can I go now?”

Justin Richards, Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke
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Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards
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