Feature

Suzy's twin

In March 1976, Billy a 13-year-old boy from Gillmoss, and his best friend Dustin – also 13 – of West Derby, donned their Sunday best – £5 Barathea blazers and £1 Barry Disley shirts from TJ Hughes, acrylic waistcoats, cotton-polyester bottle green flares, garish terylene ties and two-tone platform shoes – and of course, both lads were doused in cheap aftershave. 

To create false six o’clock shadows the boys tore out the headlines of newspapers and rubbed their printer’s ink on their upper lips. They tried to look mature but were still refused entry to see X-rated Jaws – now in its 15th week at the ABC Cinema on Lime Street. 

So, Billy and Dustin went into town to blow their cinema money and on Church Street they saw 14-year-old Suzy, a pretty Kirkby girl they’d both had huge crushes on. 

Suzy only had eyes for Gene, and now everyone knew he had ditched Suzy to go with an older girl named Heather, and as a payback for all the brush-offs Suzy had given Billy and Dustin, the latter confronted her and said: “Hey Suzy, I just saw Gene buying a ring for Heather in H Samuel; must be serious”.

Billy was aching to laugh because Dustin sounded so convincing as he told the lie. 
The duo knew Suzy still harboured feelings for her ex and watched as she turned away and started to sob. “I’m sorry Suzy,” said a facetious Dustin, and Billy added: “It’s Gene’s loss!”

Suzy walked away in a daze, her head bowed, and she never said a word as the boys sniggered. She looked so sad, and ironically she wore a smiley face tee shirt, which was all the rage at the time. 

Billy and Dustin visited the Wizard’s Den joke shop, where they bought stink bombs and itching powder, and then they went to Woollies to get some pick ‘n mix sweets.
The lads later learned that Suzy had been knocked down by a car in town that day. Witnesses said she had looked distracted. 

She’d been taken to hospital and no one knew how serious the accident was yet. 
Days later, Suzy started to follow Billy and Dustin to and from school, and when they went out in the evening to play football or ride their bikes, the lads would always see her lurking around. 

She looked ghastly; a pale face with dark rings around her eyes, and she was always dressed in black clothes instead of her usual colourful tee shirts. 

Billy shouted to her: “Stop following us you divvy!” and she just smiled. Then late one night Dustin came running downstairs and said Suzy was sitting on his bed. The boy’s parents went up and looked in his room but there was no one there. 

Dustin swore Suzy had been in the room, but his mother said: “How can she be? She’s still in hospital!”

“She’s not in hospital!” Dustin yelled at his mother, “She’s been following me and Billy everywhere!”

“Aye-aye!’ Dustin’s father raised his hand, threatening to strike his insolent son with the back of his hand, “Don’t you dare shout at your mother like that”

“But Dad, I’m tellin’ the truth”, insisted Dustin, “Suzy must have died – she’s haunting me and Billy!”

“This is what comes of him reading all those American comics,” Dustin’s father told his wife, “he’s going round the bend!”

The next day, Billy told Dustin that Suzy had tried to smother him with a pillow in the middle of the night. Dustin thought his mate was joking but Billy was deadly serious. 

Then in the wee small hours, Dustin’s screams woke up the entire household, and his father rushed in and saw his son run past him with blood on his face and long deep scratch-marks running from his forehead down to his chin. 

Dustin said Suzy had tried to strangle him in his sleep, and had clawed at his face as he pushed her away. 

Dustin’s parents believed that some female burglar had got into the house via Dustin’s open window, and she had clawed him when he had spotted her, but Dustin swore it was Suzy, “all dressed in black”.

Then Billy was pushed down the stairs of his home by ‘Suzy’ – and she had told him as he lay on the floor with a broken arm. “I’ll kill you for upsetting my sister!”

The mystery deepened when the stories about Suzy reached the girl’s mother in Kirkby. 

She visited Dustin’s home and told his parents their son was a liar, because Suzy was still recovering from the traffic accident in hospital. 

When Suzy recovered, she gloatingly told Billy and Dustin her beloved twin sister – who had died at birth – had been behind the attacks. 

“Sheena has always looked after me;” Suzy told the frightened-looking boys, adding, “I grew up in this world as she grew up in the spirit world, and she’s like my guardian angel. You two ever mess with me again, Sheena will kill you”.

The boys never bothered Suzy again.

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