I almost jumped out of my skin when there was a knock on the door. Miss Irvin’s head peered round it.
“Get yourself ready for dinner please. Afterwards we are going to explore the town so wear something suitable.” She glared at Christina who had just pulled a pair of heels from her suitcase.
“What?” She said through gritted teeth. Miss Irvin shrugged her shoulders and left. “She really thought I would walk around in these. No way, not my best shoes.” None of us replied. Rebecca gave her a small smile and started unpacking her things. Grace just sat on her bed. I was already dressed in jeans, trainers and a zip-up hoodie so I didn’t bother changing, and neither did Grace. Rebecca put on a casual dress and we left Christina in our new room to explore the hotel.
At the end of the girls corridor was a set of showers; five, to be precise. Someone was already in one of them. We giggled and ran back down the corridor. A bell rang downstairs and we presumed that it was the dinner bell so we went down to the bar. There was a small man standing behind it so we asked him where we were supposed to go. He pointed down a corridor that I hadn’t noticed when we first came in. We thanked him and ran down it until we came to a door at the end. There was a lot of noise coming from inside and as I opened the door I saw the chaos behind it. Six tables were laid out around the room and to the right of the door was a counter. A long line weaved its way backwards from it, around the tables. We joined the back of it.
“This is going to take forever to get our food.” Grace sighed.
It didn’t take us that long. An hour later I finished off the Chinese meal.
“Well, that was nice.” I smiled at the rest of the group. Yes, we even had to eat together. Most of them smiled back. Some of them had even started to get their sense of humour back and Christina had been laughing along with Jake and his jokes. In fact, she could barely keep her eyes off him!
After the meal we set out from the hotel. We had split into our six groups and we had all been allowed to go off without the teachers. We headed off around the outskirts of the town but soon got bored. Christina suggested that we should try to find some shops so we turned and walked towards the centre.
There were a few shops but they were all closed. Rebecca gasped and I looked at her.
“I almost forgot! I was in too much of a rush and I didn’t pack any books.” She almost looked like she was about to weep.
“Well,” I walked over to her. “There must be a library somewhere around here. Let’s go and look for one.” I could hear the boys grunt with disapproval but I didn’t pay any attention to them. At least it would give us something to do, I thought. We set off down a side street, following a signpost saying Public Library on it. After a ten minute walk we arrived at a large grand building. There were lights on inside so we headed in.
Now, I’ve been to some large libraries in my time but this one would definitely be up amongst the largest. Even the boys had to gasp when you looked up amongst the rows and rows of shelves, all neatly stacked with books. The smell was amazing. The mixture of new and old paper made my nose itch and as I reached up to scratch it a tall man appeared from behind one of the book shelves.
“Oh, hello.” He said, sounding quite surprised. “We don’t generally get youngsters in at this time. What can I do for you?”
Rebecca moved forward. “I would like to borrow several books please. I forgot to bring mine with me from England. There were four books.”
The man nodded. “Ah, a bookworm. Which ones? I should know where they are.”
Rebecca listed the books and their authors. “Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, Inkdeath by Cornilia Funke, The Singing by Alison Croggen and Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz.”
The man nodded. “Yes,” he said. “I think I know where they all are. Please, follow me.”
Once we had got the books we went to sit by a large window, still in the library, facing out over the road. The boys were mucking around, you know, as boys do. Christina was on her phone. I looked out over the street and frowned.
“What is it?” Rebecca asked, looking up from Twilight.
“That house there.” I said, pointing across the road. “It’s different from all the others. It’s not made in the same style.” Rebecca shrugged.
“Maybe it was made later on that the others.” I nodded, but wasn’t convinced.
When we left the library the boys took it upon themselves to terrorise the neighbourhood, cherry knocking on all the doors. They even, after I had warned them not to, knocked on the door of the odd house. As I looked on the door swung open. The boys looked back in surprise; but there was no-one there. Mark ran back to the door and peered in.
“Come on you guys.” He yelled back to us. “It’ll be fun!” Christina, Charlie and Jake ran inside with him, but Tom, Grace, Rebecca and I stayed back.
“What do you think?” Tom asked, staring after the others. “Should we?” Rebecca shook her head.
“No, of course we shouldn’t!” And Grace agreed. There was a bench by the library so we went and sat on it.