Revengo of the demutoy

umm, well i havnt finished it but basically this girls makes a friend with a sort of withch person, and i can't reall y remember what happens. i can't reall y say that i will write more... and theres not anychapters

 Hello, I’m Jane Lemarkle, and my dad owns Lemarkle & son’s diamonds. My parents are the 4th richest people in the whole world. I live at the diamond bay, which is well known for its famous diamonds. Just so you know I’m not some spoilt brat who’s a little daddy’s girl. I hate my family and everything it stands for.  I hate the first of the Lemarkle for driving out the natives. I hate the mid-Lemarkle for buying over a thousand slaves for mining. I hate my dad for under paying the already poor refugees of Mungoa. I even hate my poor little brother for one day owning the company and ruining people’s lives. And I know it sounds cruel and selfish, but I hate my mum for loving dad and spending his blood money on me.

   I think I might even hate myself, and our beautiful house by the bay. Yes, I do hate the house, for it was built by the mine workers when the mines collapsed in 1871. Hundreds of people died, but my great, great, great grandfather managed to make some money. I know it’s stupid to hate your own childhood home, but I do, even if it’s as grand as this. It’s a six bedroom, four bathroom three storey high mega house! There’s two living rooms, a drawing room, a dining hall (which is a bit stupid because there is only four of us and we never have big parties), a kitchen, a scullery room, dad’s office, mum’s office, the playroom, the basement, the garage, the library, and the meeting room that’s always locked, for it as everything about the company in it. Once I and John (my little brother) snuck in and we found a photo album, but before we managed to open it the French maid found us in there and nearly belted us.

   That’s another thing, because we’re so rich and all that we household help, which do everything for us. We even used to have a butler that only ever fetched food for my brother, and that was when he was still eating formula. We have 3 chefs, 11 maids, 4 butlers, the librarian, dad’s secutary, mum’s secutary, 3 chauffeurs, John and I’s nanny, and before I forget, the window cleaner. I didn’t say we have gardeners because we don’t have a proper garden. My dad say’s that we don’t have a real garden because we own the whole of the Debach Mountain range, which is our garden in its own right. Then he went on about how we own the bay and forests and the sea-loch and half of the dam east Cernoa.  He actually used a more colourful word than dam, but I have to give him some credit.

   Because the mountains and the bay are my back garden, I figure that I’m allowed to go there whenever I want, so I do. And I’m always backing at 1:30 or 6:00, for lunch and tea. My back garden is my favourite place, so whenever I can’t go out, I go to the attic and just stare out the window, because from there I can see for miles around. My marvellous kingdom with a terrible past and future.

   I’ve just had an argument with mum. She thinks that I should be sitting in my room all day and doing embroidery, and going to the parties at Leicester Square, or designing clothes while I chose my future husband. But that’s just not me. I’m a free spirit, a lone wolf, wild hearted. I’d rather just wander about the hills for hours on end rather than go shopping. Especially shopping with mum. I like shopping, as long as it’s my way, like shopping for books and music coins. That’s another thing that mum doesn’t like about me.  Mum thinks that all little girls should call their parents Mother and Father, or Mummy and Daddy. But one, I am not a little girl; I’m nearly 13 for god’s sake!  And two, I will never, ever love my parents; I’m a huge let down to both of the people that have given me a home. I’m thinking of running away. I’ve got loads of money in my bank account, so I could do whatever I wanted. I could be a doctor in Chinôiswa.  I could be a farmer in Oragnel Island. I could be a scientist on the North point. I could be free.

   Another thing I hate is my tutor, and Alexandra. Mrs.Halloway isn’t just my tutor, she’s Alexandra’s from Bargedsa Island too, but my dad pays for her. Mrs.Halloway thinks that we’re best friends, just because Alexandra is the only girl within a ten mile radius. Mum thinks that too. She keeps organizing sleepovers and shopping sprees and makeovers. I think the reason Mum likes her so much is because Alexandra is the perfect daughter. She’s the girliest girl in the entire world, and she loves herself so much that every time she walks past a reflective surface she stops and stares at herself. She refuses to do anything that might get her dirty, or might chip one of her perfect nails. Sometimes I envy her, for because she’s so self-involved she doesn’t know what’s going on around her. She doesn’t know about the war in Mungoa, or the death of the queen in Lemdongon. Or the hundreds of dead pioneers seeking their homeland in the valley of the dead. I almost wish that I don’t watch the news or read newspapers. I only know these things because I need to know. And I hate myself for it. Come to think of it, I hate nearly everything.

   You could cut the hostility in this house with a spoon, let alone a knife. Mum and Dad are having a rare fight, about me. Dad wants Mum to leave me alone, which I’m all for. But Mum wants me to be a happy teenager, so that I can be a happy grown-up, and she’s only starting now because she’s realized that I’m not a girly girl, and she want to get to know the real me, so she’s trying to get me to open up. She thinks it’s her fault, which it is, and Durthio is shouting at her to try harder, rather than forcing me to do things I hate, to understand me, to value my opinion. Dad so gets me.

“Jane?” It’s my little brother. John doesn’t like it when Mum and Dad fight, which is getting more frequent. He doesn’t even know what their shouting about, because he’s covering his ears with his hands. He listens, just for a moment, and he figures it out. “You… their fighting because of you! And their gonna get a divorce because of you! I saw sommin on the TV ‘bout that. Dad’ll kill himself and mum’ll get fat and drunk and we’ll live on the streets and…”

“Shush” I pleaded, “That won’t happen, it’s just a little fight, everyone has them sometimes. Trust me.” And at that very moment, just as I stopped speaking -

“I haven’t been happy in a long time Durthio, I want a divorce.”

“You can’t divorce me you wench! What about the kids?”

“They are no longer my kids if they are related to someone like you.”

   John started to cry. “My Mummy’s going and it’s your entire fault! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” He started to punch and kick me. I tried to grab him calm him, sooth him, like they do in the movies, but it was no use. Until Dad walked in. John froze, as if under a spell.

“Johnny? Go to bed now, or say goodbye to mummy. You might not get to see her in a long time.” Dad sounded oddly calm, not at all like himself. “Not you Jane, I want a little word with you.” No, oh god no. I know that voice. Oh god I know that voice. God help me. God help us all.

    I knew what that voice meant. It means that he wants to work out his anger. I knew what was coming. But I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry. Not when he raised his fist. Not when the blow hit me. I didn’t cry because he’d done this before. Not to me, but to Mum. I didn’t scream or call for help because I knew that no-one would come. Durthio used to make me watch him hit Mum, so that I knew not to get on the wrong side of him. So I knew that I should never, ever go against him. He hasn’t ht mum in quite a long time, so he must have a lot of negative energy stored up.

    I didn’t feel much when he hit me, just the mind numbing pain on the side of my face and on my ribs. I could hardly hear him effing and blinding at me. I hardly noticed when Mum came in and saw me, and when she hit him back. And when she kept hitting so that the 6 foot 6 man she had once loved fell crumpled to the ground, bleeding, no more than mashed flesh. I hardly took in what she was saying to me, and when she checked to see that I wasn’t badly injured.

“Jane! Jane? Can you hear me?” I awoke from my daze then. I looked around the room, and dozily answered “what...? What’s happen’t to dad?” Mum seemed annoyed, but answered; “I took karma into my own hands, and if you’re ok, help me get him into the car.”I can’t remember how, but somehow I picked up Dad, and helped Mum take him to the car. “Go make sure that John’s ok, and tell him that daddy went out on a drive.”

“What are you gonna do mum? Is Dad...is he...dead?”  I whispered it, even though there was no-one else around, for the staff were on their night out.

“No, but he will be, that’s the best thing about living in the country, no witnesses.”  I stood back and watched mum get in the car, drive down the driveway, and head towards the ocean.  I saw mum get out of the car, and push it into the sea, the tide was coming in fast, and within minutes the car was submerged in the water.

   I sat back on the uncomfortable pebble beach. Mum had sent me down to see if there were any signs left of what she did with dad and the car last night. I had already been there for about half an hour, collecting diamond pebbles from the diamond cave, and I hadn’t seen anyone for ages so you could imagine my surprise when someone started walking out of the water. Someone who was about my age someone who I knew that was special from that moment on, and I still think she’s special, even though there’s all the trouble I’m in.

   I stared. I couldn’t help myself. She was so…Mesmerizing. She had long Golden hair like strands of golden fire, which seemed to flow down to her waist. She didn’t look at all wet, so I found it hard to believe she had just walked out of water. She emerged from the sea-loch; which seemed to glow around her. The sun’s light seemed to be pin pointed on her, created a natural spotlight.

    She turned and saw me gaping at her I blushed, which is terrible for my pale skin. She smiled at me. A beautiful smile, which lit up her whole face, and showed off her a set of beautiful, pearly teeth. She looked like cross between a model and a princess out of one of those ladybird books. She started walking over. OVER TO ME!

    “Hey you!”She called over to me, as if we already knew each other. “So what’s your name?”She was so confident; she seemed to cast a spell over me. I’m probably the shyest person this side of the mountain, and weirdly I felt at perfect ease around her. “Me?” I said, and then I realized how sad I sounded. I blushed beetroot.

“Yes you, who else? Is there anyone else on this beach?”

“I’m sorry; em….my name’s…J...J...Jane.”I stammered. I was making a complete fool of myself! The mysterious girl didn’t seem to mind. She just kept smiling. “My name is Neptuna.”

“Ooooh!” I couldn’t help it; it had come out of my mouth before I could stop it. I really have to stop embarrassing myself In front of her. Neptuna, the name suited her. Neptune was the god of the sea, and Neptuna had eye’s as blue as the pacific (I would have said the Atlantic but that’s more of a dreary grey.) and her hair was the same colour of golden sands. My name sounds boring and bland next to hers. I am boring and bland compared to her full stop. I have this short, wispy black hair and skin so pale it’s practically translucent. My eyes are to. They’re this grey colour (Like the Atlantic!)So I look like a ghost. “I love your name, it totally suits you.” I said, trying to regain status. She started to talk again, but her voice was so beautiful and musical that I found it hard to take in what she was saying. I was sure that even if she was talking gobbledygook that the whole world would want to listen “Your name is a lot nicer. My dad says that have a short, catchy name makes you easier to remember you. Even if allot of people have the same name as you, it’s still pretty unique.” I immediately liked this girl. Have you heard the rubbish she made up for me? “Don’t ask me if my dad’s crazy, ‘cause I can hardly remember him, he’s dead see.”

  “Sorry.”

“Don’t be, I can’t miss what I can’t remember.”

Suddenly a history lesson popped into my mind. It was about the ancient storytellers of the Bargedsa Island, just of the diamond bay, near where I live, and that’s what the place used to be famous for before the Lemarkle’s discovered the diamonds a little way away. These storytellers had hair as gold as fire, and eyes like sapphires. This Neptuna was one, I was sure. Anyway, these people had the special abilities to create the most mesmerizing stories in the whole of Cernoa. It’s also known that the demotuy (the people I’m talking about) have the ability to capture your soul in one of their songs. I looked again at Neptuna. It was the first time I realized that she was singing ever so softly, in a different language. I felt all my troubles drifting away…

    I dragged myself back to reality, and Neptuna smiled. “You’re strong willed, I like that. She smiled, and walked away into the woods beyond the sand dunes. I felt awestruck, and then I just thought that I would never see Neptuna again. I picked up a smooth diamond pepple, and skimmed it to the middle of loch Annowa. Had I had just met the most important person in my entire life?

    The next time I saw Neptuna was about a week later, when I had been out walking near the abandoned mines. I had just discovered an old Building of some-sort, which I had never seen before, which was pretty amazing for me, because I know this place like the back of my hand. It was in the shape of a grand hall, with what looked like a throne at the far end. You could tell it used to be grand because there were very intricate designs on the two and a half walls still standing. I was so mesmerized by it I didn’t notice the centuries old trapdoor silently opening.  I didn’t notice the Demotuy girl staring at me with her blue eyes, the exact colour of her beautiful flowing gown. Without realizing it I began to sing. When I stopped, I was greeted with the most magical voice.

    “Please don’t stop, it was lovely.” Whispered Neptuna. I span round and met her powerful gaze. I froze. “How long have you been …” My voice trailed off. Neptuna just smiled.

“About a minute or two. You’re a great singer by the way. I’d pay to hear that voice in a concert.”

“Thanks, I think.” I looked around, trying to figure out where my very rare company had come from. If I hadn’t mentioned before, the Demotuy were thought to be extinct about a millennia ago.  I noticed the trapdoor, and opened my idiotic mouth. “You live here? What do you do for water, and the toilet?” I stared at her. I suddenly wished I had never spoken. But Neptuna didn’t mind. “There is a well over there, and a toilet inside .I’ll show you.”So I followed Neptuna into the cellar, without a second thought.

   When we reached the bottom of the steps, and literally froze with awe. I thought it would just be a dingy cellar type thing, but I was greeted with a room that you would expected see in a Bollywood movie. I could still see the grey stone walls, but there were these fine lace hangings everywhere, and even more around a grand stone four poster bed. There were deep plush rugs on the floor, and paintings of goddesses and cherubs on the walls. The only thing that seemed slightly out of place was a simple, rather cheap looking bookcase, heavily weighed down by a great mass of books. “The toilets through that door, along with the bath.” I had almost forgotten about Neptuna.

“Doesn’t it get like, really cold?” I couldn’t see any form of heating, or lighting for that matter.  I know it sounds like a really stupid question, but I’m kind of weird like that. “It’s magic.” And the weird thing was, she didn’t sound as if she was joking.

“No, really Neptuna.”

“I’m telling the truth.”

“Whatever.”

“Do you want sommin to drink? Maybe some Irn Bru?”

“What’s Irn Bru?”

“You know what...never mind. Two Irn Bru’s coming up!” And with that, she walked through another door which I hadn’t seen. I wanted to follow her, but I was drawn towards the bookcase. I picked up the first book I could see, flicked open the first page;

    Sarah Gartley had just moved to Veronville and all the schools where full. Except one. St  Helens  Boarding School for  Girls .St Helens was a big old castle on the top of a hill at the back of the old part of Veronville .All Sarah could do was wish and pray  that they wouldn’t except her but that would be very hard .She always came out top in any test, had full attendance, in fact, the only way  they couldn’t take is if it was a school for boys . Which is impossible.

  Sarah’s mother handed her the brochure.”It can’t be that bad, even if they are a bit old-fashioned,”    

“Tacky, old, horrible, why do I have to go here?”Sarah contradicted, flicking through the aged cover.

“It’s ever this or St Georges boarding school for Boys. I know it might be a bit weird at first but once you get settled in it’ll be great. I don’t even know what you’re moaning about anyway: they haven’t accepted you yet.”

“How do you know they’ll accept me at all? They might hate me as soon as they hear my name”

“Of course they pick you, you’re you! Just let me phone them, you’ll have a laugh, you see.” said Mrs. Gartley picking up the phone. “You’ll see………….”

                                      One week later…………..

“Mum I don’t see why I have to go, I could get a tutor, or you could teach me?”

“I’m very flattered by your offer but don’t be stupid Sarah, you’re going to St Helens. If it’s really that bad, which I doubt it is, phone me and I’ll take you straight home”

“They won’t have a phone, this place is too old fashioned, the only piece of technology I can have is a watch for god’s Sake! They’ll probably cane for wearing that too!”

“Just think of all the stuff you’ll learn! And all the new friends you’ll make! There are at least two good things Sarah, no homework, and longer holidays! Put your suitcase in the boot now, we best be off.”

Sarah hauled her trunk in the boot and walked relunctuncly into the car. “Mum I really don’t want to go; can’t you send me to another school?”

“No, if I could I would but I can’t, there’s nowhere else, I’ll hate you not being at home but you need to go to school, it’s the law.”

“Change the stupid law then, or make another school!”

“It’s not that simple Sarah .Why don’t you read the brochure? I know you haven’t read it yet, so don’t make that face at me”

Sarah picked up the brochure and looked at the pictures .They were all black and white, and out of Phocis and terribly faded .Sarah recalled the telephone call, it sounded as if St Helens was more interested  in what she looked .Mrs. Gartley had described her, puzzled.“She has long black hair down to her elbows, blue eyes, nearly grey, and she is fairly tall for an 11 year old, I’m sorry, but why do you need to know this again ?Oh, right .So is it o.k. for next Wednesday then? How about six? Okay Mr. Smith, Sarah’ll be on her best behaviour, goodbye! Sarah had been disappointed .Surely there had to be a chance, a tiny one at that, which they wouldn’t take her? But no, they had to love her. Sarah slumped down and pretended to read. The two hour drive didn’t feel any less. Has Sarah’s mum drove over the old cobbled streets, Sarah tried to imagine her new home.

 

Sarah woke with a jolt. Mrs. Gartley had shaken her awake. Sarah looked up at her, still sleepy.

“We’re here, I’m afraid we have to walk a bit, So it’s a good thing we came a little early, because by the sounds of it this place is very punctual, and you don’t want in trouble on your first day.”

“Suppose not. Good thing my trunk has got wheels.”Sarah jumped out of her seat and opened the boot. She pulled out her old green suitcase and started to roll it up the old dirt path.

“I’ll take you up, but then I have to go, your dad’s food can’t cook itself.”

“Oh, is that all? Can’t dad cook his own food?”Sarah didn’t even try to hide the disappointment in her voice.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, but he can’t work the cooker. I’d love to help you unpack but, well, you know,”

“Yeah Mum, I understand.”Sarah averted her eyes to the ground, and then to the castle. “Wow! Mum do you see that!”It was an amazing sight. A ginormous castle loomed up on the top of the hill. It was a square building, four massive turrets poked out of each corner, built out of red brick. Sarah stopped for a moment to admire it and then walked on. Maybe living here wouldn’t be too bad after all….. Sarah looked up again. This time, instead of seeing a beautiful castle, she saw a big, black, heavy iron gate.

“Oh yes! Know I remember! They gave me a key for you to get in, just let me find it”

 Mrs. Gartley fumbled around in her pockets until she found an old, rusty key. Sarah raised her eyebrows at this, and raised them higher still when the lock grinded round and released.”Well, here you are, St Helens School for Girls, an academy, and it better be worth not seeing my baby for weeks on end.”

“MUM!”

“What?”

“BABY?!!!”

“Oh ok, my darling child.”

“That’s better, now we have to find the entrance, I don’t suppose they gave you a map as well as a key?”Her mother patted her pockets the shook her head. They walked up to the school and knocked on what looked like the front door. No answer.

“Great! They’re not in! Let’s go home!”Sarah had already turned and was walking down the path.

“Give them a chance.”Sarah walked back. She might not deeply hate it anymore, but she still didn’t want to go. As soon as she stood back on the patio the door opened.

“Hello, you must be Sarah and Mrs. Gartley, I am Mr. Smith, the headmaster, please come in.”A voice drawled. The door opened wider, and they stepped in. “We expected you five minutes ago, but that cannot be helped, I suppose you are just slow walkers.”Sarah would have answered but she was all of a sudden shy. Sarah looked around for the voices bearer, but couldn’t see anyone. “I suppose you would like to unpack, but would you kindly postpone that and come to my office?”Sarah and her mum nodded, Mrs. Gartley couldn’t see him either, so thank goodness he kept talking about how excited the other girls where about having a new student, and so forth. They followed him to an old, dusty office. It was an Edwardian room with big mahogany chairs and a big mahogany desk. “On behalf of everyone at St Helens I wish to welcome you. This is your uniform,”2 grey tunics and 2white polo shirts was sitting on the desk. “And here is a timetable and map of the school,” Two pieces of white paper floated across the desk and landed next to the clothes. “Your bedroom is marked on the map and so is the lounge. Everything you need for school is in your bedroom and the nurse’s office is next door to mine. Any questions?”Sarah had a million Questions to ask, but didn’t breath a word. She shook her head and stood up. She picked up her things and found her way to her bedroom. Sarah figured out the way to the nearest bathroom and slowly unpacked. Her Bedroom was in one of the towers and had an ornate four poster bed. There was a big chest of drawers and a little bedside table. There was a desk with little chair. The design on her bed was spider webs. There were layers and layers of the material shaped in spider webs sewn together. She changed into her pyjamas and slowly went to bed, and slowly went to sleep. “Wake up! Wake up!”Sarah was again shaken awake. There seemed to be allot of that going around.

“Ok, ok I’m up. What’s the big idea? It’s nine o’clock at night! I’ve only came at six.”

“I know, we have lessons at night here, I know It’s weird but it’s in the brochure, so you should know.”The girl said in a matter of fact tone. She had long ghostly white hair in a French plait. She looked about 11 or 12, and her brown eyes looked slightly frightened of Sarah. “I’m Maud by the way, and you’re Sari or something.”

“Sarah actually, who else is here?”

“Sarah then ,There’s Victoria ,Harriet ,Margaret ,Fiona ,Jenifer, Helen , Veronica , Hyacinth,  Mary , Rose , Georgina , Abigail , Mildred and me. And you .That’s 15 altogether. Any questions?”

“Is the head master invisible? Why do you have lessons at night? Why is everyone’s names so old fashioned? What’s our first class?”

“The head master is invisible, so we don’t get distracted by sunlight, I guess we’re just old fashioned, Math’s.”

“How is the head master invisible?”

“Magic gone wrong or something like that. Get ready now, or we’ll be late.”

Sarah slowly got ready, partly because she was tired and partly because she wanted to annoy Maud. Sarah hadn’t properly seen her school uniform but it was terribly old fashioned. It was a white polo shirt with black and brown tie, a horrible grey tunic with an old horrible grey cardigan. Sarah stared down at herself, dismayed. Her immediate reaction was ripping it off and burning it, but she couldn’t do that. Sarah sighed and said “Let’s go.”  She gathered up the old pencil case and textbooks put them in an old fashioned bag. She stopped to wonder were her calculator and felt tip pens were, but shrugged and said “School, here I come.”…

 

“NO! What did they teach you in your old school? Metal detecting? The answer is 34cm2! Now I want you to study tonight so that you can answer me, D’you hear?”         

“Yes Miss Hardback .I’ll study.”

“Course you will. Now class, turn to page 54 problem 2” …………..

 

“Sarah, what is Shakespeare’s most famous line?”

“Um, be without, Mrs. Slouly?”

“No! To be or not to be! You should know this Sarah.”

“I know Mrs. Slouly.”

 

“That’s a great picture Sarah, were did you learn to draw?”

“Just here and there, do you really like it?”

“Of course I do!”

“Thanks Miss Fred!”

 

“Sarah, what is the religion of Jesus?”

“Jewish, Miss Morrison?”

“What?!Jewish! NO! He was a Christian! Head teacher’s office! NOW!”

 

“Hello Mr. Smith.”

Good morning Sarah, It seems to me that you’ve been causing quite uproar. May I ask why?”

“I, um well, you see, well ...,”

“I can safely presume that your homesick, I hope that you will try not to make that disturb you.”

“Yes Mr. Smith. Can I use the phone?”

“No, 1 we don’t have one and 2 even if we did, it’s the middle of the night, of to lunch now.”

 

Maud and Mildred sat on either side of Sarah.

“I’m so sorry about Hardback.” said Maud.

“And Slouly” said Mildred.

“And Morrison.”

“I hope they didn’t get you down”

“It’s Gym after lunch anyway”

“And it’s hockey”

“That’s ok guys; it’s not your fault. Some team spirit will do me good anyway.”

 

Sarah sighed. She had forgotten to get her gym kit and it was too late to go get it. She had borrowed Helens spare shorts for they were about the same size. Sarah had been looking forward to gym but wasn’t sure anymore. She was already down about the morning and now she was deeply embarrassed about forgetting her kit. Sarah was slowly but surely beginning to hate St Helens. She sighed again and left the changing rooms. As she stepped into the warm sunshine Sarah noticed the PE teacher. He had nearly every girl gathered round him, hanging on to every word. When he saw Sarah he detached the other girls from him, with Rose being very stubborn, and made his way over.

“You must be Sarah, pleased to meet you. My name is Mr. Henderson. I will be teaching you gym for the foreseeable future. Today we will be playing hockey, do you know how to play hockey?”Mr. Henderson’s brown eyes were watching her inquisitively, matching his brown hair. He didn’t sound mimicking, but purely interested.

“Yes, Mr. Henderson.”Sarah had never played hockey in her life. So why did she say it?  Because Sarah wasn’t shy, all she wanted to do was make Mr. Henderson proud. He was the CUTEST teacher Sarah had ever seen. You could see his six pack and muscles through his slightly too small shirt, he didn’t belong in this timeworp. Sarah was getting a crush on him and beginning to like St Helens .So they played. Sarah asked Maud what the rules were and told her why. Maud understood entirely and explained all about everything in hockey. It turned out Sarah was actually quite good at hockey. They played for an hour, and then Mr. Henderson told them who won “Now, I hope that you realize that winning isn’t everything, but the winners are the red team!”Rose, Margaret, Sarah, Fiona, Harriet and Helen all cheered. None of them cared about winning, but they had made Mr. Henderson smile. And that was the best prize.

 

“Sarah? Did you like your first night then? I loved mine.”Rose asked.

“Oh yeah, but only the last part.”

“Don’t worry, their just putting you in your place, they’ll be ok tomorrow.” Harriet explained

“Bloody optimist, Miss Morrison hates her! You should have heard her talking about you after you’d gone! According to ‘er you’re a slack jawed yokel, an ignorant so and so, a cheeky louse and an abomination in the sight of the lord. Christian freak.” Margaret contradicted.

“Leave her alone Maggie! I’m sure she already feels terrible.”Fiona smiled at her.

“It’s true though.”Mildred agreed.

“Mildred! What did I say?”

“What you say?”

“Oh I give up! Sorry Sarah, but they’re so stubborn.”

“That’s ok, you tried”

Sarah sat down at her desk, opened her pencil case and began to write.

                                                                           St Helens, Veronville

Dear Mum & Dad

I miss you! My first day at St Helens was great! Except RE. The teacher is a crackpot. How are you? Do you miss me? I hope everything’s fine. Everything’s old fashioned here, even the food, but its fine to get back to the good old days. I’ve made three friends so far. Maud, Mildred and Fiona. Maud and Mildred are best friends but I think Fiona and me have a promising future though. I don’t particularly like Margaret and Harriet’s an optimist. Rose is an ass-kisser and I don’t really know anything about Victoria, Veronica, Jenifer, Helen, and Abigail. There is another girl with a flowery name but I can’t remember it. Have you two made any friends? Because dad needs his drinking buddies. Did you know we have lessons at night here? It’s kind of scary at gym. Maud says sunlight distracts us but how can the sun distract you? I’m really glad you persuaded me to come; otherwise I would be a complete dunce! I love it here.

Lots of love,

Sarah.

p.s. You better write back.

Sarah read over the letter. It wasn’t completely truful, but she didn’t want to worry her parents. Sarah folded it up, put it in an envelope, and wrote down her address. She slowly got up and went to Mr. Smith’s office.

“Mr. Smith?”

“Yes Sarah?”

“I was wondering, were would I post this letter?”

“I’ll do it for you.”

“Really?”

“Of course!”

“Thank you Mr. Smith!” Mr. Smith silently tore open the letter, and read it. He seemed happy, took out another envelope, copied the address, put a stamp on and went down to the post office. He walked back up through the grave yard and stopped at an old grave. It read:

Andrew Smith,

1899 16th may-1942 21st June

Aged 43 years

Dearly Beloved son, brother and Husband.

Sorely missed.

He plucked at a piece of moss, and then went on. He didn’t like rembering. Sarah studied math’s for an hour, as instructed. She went to Margaret’s room so she could test her, for she knew that Margaret would be truthful. She was. Brutally.

“What’s the square route of 64?”

“7?”

“Wrong! 8. You are terrible.9x9-80+4?”

“6?”

“Wrong! 5. You are a disgrace.”Sarah was regretting this visit. Harriet was truthful too and kind.

 

“Hello Sarah, what can I do for you?”

“Can you test me? On math?”

“Sure. 64x2?”

“128.”

“Yes! That’s amazing! I would never have been able to do that! 33x3+4-6?”

“97.”

“That’s great! Now…”Yep, this was a lot better.

“Now children, we shall have a test seeing as Sarah here is not good at math.”Miss Hardback handed out the tests has the student’s groaned.Sarahwasn’t sure if she was ready, because she hated tests. Always has and always will.It’s just one of those things.“Right girls, your time starts…now.”Sarah picked up her pencil and frowned at the first question.‘Q1.describe the meaning of pie that’s 3.5 or something like that. She hurriedly wrote that down.‘Q2. 66x2-3-9+2”That’s 128-3=125,125-9=116,116+2=118.Sarah wrote that down too. This was going to be a long test. And it was. One hour of sweat later Miss Hardback called “Times up! Rose, collect in the tests. Expect your results tomorrow. Class dismissed.”The girls marched on to English.

“Right, Sarah, you are the reason for today’s pop quiz. Be prepared for hate.”

“Yes Mrs. Slouly.”Everyone looked round at Sarah in hate. Except Fiona. She smiled.

 

Miss Fred smiled at everyone, but they were in such a deep state of boredom that they couldn’t respond. Miss Fred seemed output by this. “Well, today class we are going to be sculpting. All of you must take some clay, and you can choose what you are going to sculpt, yes Rose?”

“I know what I’m going to sculpt already Miss Fred.”, acting all superior.

“That’s great Rose, would you like to share?”

“What? Oh, a sleeping cat.”

“Don’t you think that’s a tad simple?”

“Well, now you come to mention it, I was actually going to do you, Miss Fred.”

“How wonderful, I hope that it’s good.”

“Oh, it will be.”

“Bloody ass-kisser” said Margaret, in a just too loud whisper.

“Yes Margaret, is there something you would like to share?”

“No Miss, nothing.”

“Good, well, get started then!”There was a surge as 15 girls hurled themselves at the desk. Fiona handed Sarah back a piece of clay, still smiling.

“What are you doing?”

“A vase.”

“Then I’ll do flowers for your vase.”  So they got to work. “How big is this vase?”

“About 20cm.”

“Should I do the flowers 25cm then? So you can see them?”

“Whatever you want.” Until lunch Fiona and Sarah talked, worked and talked! They learned allot about each other, like Sarah came from Inverness, and Fiona has 1 sister and 2 brothers. Mary, Robert and Charles. Sarah didn’t have any siblings so Fiona learned that Mrs Gartley’s first name is Maurice and Mr Gartley’s is John. Miss Fred had to warn them 5 times to be quiet. At the end of another hour they had produced an Edwardian type vase filled with celandines.

“Well done girls and I understand it was a team effort?”

“Yes Miss Fred.”They said in unision, and then began to giggle.

“What is so funny?”

“We are a team, and teams speak together.”They both said at the same time.

“I see, so teams will get a joint grade?”

“No, My grade is the vase,”

“And mine is the flowers,”

“But you can give us an overall grade if you want.”

“Different but the same.”

“That’s confusing.So Fiona wants a grade for her flowers, and Sarah wants a grade for the vase, then you both want an overall grade to share?”

“Yep”

“Excactly.”

“I’ll do my best, but I can’t promise anything!”

 

“Why you suckin’ up to Fiona?”Asked Margaret.

“Because I like her, and I don’t see any of you being nice.”

“Because she was the first to go.”

“First to go where?”

Jenifer tugged at her arm. “Shut it! She doesn’t know!”Jenifer hissed.

“She doesn’t? Wow!”

After lunch it was Gym again.This time Sarah had remembered her kit and was first ready. “Today we will be doing a jog, down the cemetery, across the field and back. Right, everyone follow me.” All the girls fought to get at the front, until there was just a line. “Now girls, get into twos.”They still all fought. Sarah and Fiona were pushed to the end.

“This is so unfair, isn’t it? Fiona, we were at the front weren’t we?”

“I know we were.”Fiona seemed to be disappearing in the full moon. It was very bright for 3 in the morning. Sarah looked ahead. Everyone seemed to be transparent. Rose and Hyacinth were sucking up to Mr. Henderson, nearly see-through as well. As she closed the cemetery gate behind her, she wondered of an explanation. Was it a trick of the light? An unexplained disease? If it was, why was she with them? Sarah kept going over these in her head. She jogged past  an old grave. Rose Naterby, 1930 16th May-1942 21st June, Aged 12 years, sorely missed. And another, Andrea Morrison,1912 30th November-1942 21st June, Aged 29,Dearly beloved, and another. Fiona Fishily,1930 6th January-1942 21st June, First to perish, Last to forget.

“Hey Fiona, Isn’t your last name Fishily?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Just wondering.”

 

Sarah had plucked up the courage all the way through gym, and found herself standing outside Mr. Smith’s office. She knocked on the door. “Come in.”Sarah tiptoed in.

“Mr. Smith, Could I go to the library?”

“Of course, you will have to get up very early though.”

“Thanks Mr. Smith!”

 

It was 3 pm, and Sarah just walked into the library. “How may I help you?”Asked the librarian.

“May I have the death records for June 1942 please? If it’s not too much bother, and a local newspaper the 21st June ’42?”

“Of course, why do you need them?”

“School Project.”

“I’ll just be a tick.”The librarian hobbled over to a filing cabinet and took out an old newspaper. She hobbled back and and placed it on the desk. She hobbled to a big book case and picked out an old book, and placed that on the desk. “Is that all?”

“Yes, thanks.”Sarah picked them up and stepped towards a table. “Do you have any records of St Helens?”

“Let me check, ah, here we are. I’ve got the last known records, is that ok?”

“Yes, thanks.”Sarah sat down and read the newspaper. It read:

 

Tragedy at St Helens

 

Parents frenzy over recent air raids over St Helens academy for girls. There are no known survivors, and some bodies are still to be named. Out of the 455 people thought to be in the building, only one has survived, but with serious burns and shrapnel wounds. Most bodies were found in the great hall, were the staff of the school seem to have gathered students. Parents and family members of the deceased blame the headmaster of the school, because they believe that no proper bomb shelter was provided, which is true. Mr Smith’s wife, vouches on his behalf, saying that the council did not fund the school money, so the school could not provide a decent bomb shelter, as well as food and equipment.  Research shows that the bomb landed in the great hall, were the pupils were gathered, and it is believed that the body found underneath the main body of the bomb is that of Fiona Fishily’s, so she would have been first to perish. In the school is a number of linen products, clothes, food and other things, and there will be an open day next Wednesday, so if you can make it, it will a great opportunity to get some extra supplies without using up all your ration coupons.(for more on ration coupons, see page 17)  

    Sarah read it over twice. That’s why we aren’t allowed in the main hall, she thought. That was why Mr. Smith was invisable.It explained allot. Sarah picked up the record of deaths, blowed of the dust and flicked through to 21st of June. There was 454 entries. She checked the number with the newspaper.10 grownups, and 444 children, 454 altogether. Not even looking at the names she closed the book, and picked up the record of St Helens. The last known record and it dated back to 1942. They obviously hadn’t heard that I got in, she thought. She started to read.

Fiona Fishily, 7th  January 1942 ,12 years. Rose Naterby, 7th January 1942, 12 years. Mildred Saxton, 7th January 1942,12 years. Maud Bedford,7th January 1942,12 years. And so on. After reading the 14 entrys she closed over the book and sighed. Sarah walked over to the librarian and said, “May I get this newspaper photocopied?”

“Of course, how many times?”

“Just the once.”The librarian hobbled over to the photocopier and placed the newspaper on the glass. A perfect copy came out.

“Anything else?”

“No thanks, goodbye.”

 

Sarah walked back through the graveyard and stopped at the 25 rows of identical graves. She took out a notebook and copied out all the names of people she knew. Sarah sighed, and headed back to what she knew was a haunted school. Sarah knew know what ghosts were like, and they weren’t a bit scary, just abnormal. Sarah thought back. If she had known at the start, she would have screamed and run for the hills. But what use is that? What if her mum had known and dellriberatly put her there? What if she wanted her dead? Sarah tried to put it to the back of her head, but couldn’t retain a sob. As she came to the gate she climbed over it and jumped down. Heading towards the castle she just managed to stop herself crying for herself, and everyone killed back in WWII.

Sarah flopped down at her desk. It was five now and she was tired. Sarah looked at her desk and saw a letter addressed to her. She picked it up and read it.

 

Dear Sarah,

 We are so glad you’re enjoying yourself! I and your dad are fine, thanks for            asking. We’ve just finished redecorating the house, now your room is lilac with white borders. There is something we need to tell you though, which may  put you of St Helens. I’m afraid, many years ago that St Helens was bombed in world war two. Everyone was killed, and the school has been empty ever since. I must have read your letter wrong, for it sounded as if you have friends, and 14 classmates, in an old building that’s empty .If you are reading this it’s a miracle you’re alive, for two weeks without food or water must be a killer. I and your dad are coming to get you as soon as possible, but we may be too late, for the police don’t believe us, and they say that no-one would be stupid enough to send their child to a building that may collapse at any time. Hang in there sweetie! We’re coming to get you! If your father had only remembered to tell me you’d be at home now!

Love from,

Mum & Dad.

We love you!

Sarah put down the letter.2 weeks on ghost food. Her mum was right, it was a miracle she was alive. Sarah brightened up. They hadn’t sent her here on purpose! They didn’t want her dead! She was going home! Sarah started to think about her old house in Edinburgh, and stopped. She didn’t live there anymore. She lived in a cottage in Veronville, with old wallpaper. But they had redecorated! Now she had a room exactly like her old one, and knowing her mum it probably have all her stuff that was there in the same place as well! Sarah jumped up and started to dance around the room. She was going home! No more horrid lessons! No more horrid food! Her parents were coming any time! Sarah started to pack, tiredness worn of. “I’m going home!” She shouted. She stopped. Where was all her stuff? Sarah checked all the draws, she couldn’t find any of her makeup or clothes. Where could they be? She asked herself. Sarah remembered how her calculator and felt tip pens disappeared on her first day. Who keeps stealing her stuff? I’ll just have to go without them, she thought, mum and dad can by me a new set anyway. She picked up her rucksack and noticed that the emergency chocolate was missing too. Right, she thought, who has a sweet tooth, an artistic side and likes math? Veronica.

    Sarah marched all the way to Veronica’s room and pushed open the door. “Where’s my stuff?”Sarah jumped. The sunset light filled up the room, an empty room. The aged carpet was covered in dust, yet Sarah was sure that this was Veronica’s room. It hadn’t been lived in for years, and still Sarah’s stuff was sitting on the desk. “Veronica?”No answer. Sarah gathered up her stuff and walked out. She headed for Fiona’s room, and walked into there as well. This room was in the same state as Veronica’s. Sarah walked out, and went to her room. For the first time she realized that her carpet was thick with dust, but with footprints in it. ‘I’m glad I’m leaving’ she said to herself.Her alarm clock went off. Sarah hit it and got changed into her uniform.

    She worked through the day like nothing had happened. Until after lunch. “Fiona, are you dead?”She blurted out. Fiona turned around. She vanished in a puff of smoke, and you could faintly hear the word yes in the distance. Everyone else had disappeared to. Sarah walked down to the main hall, to see if there was damage. She opened the door, and stepped in. There was blood splattered on the walls, a hole in the roof, and bomb shrapnel littering the floor. Sarah stepped over to the scorch marks on the floor. She rembered what the newspaper said. Fiona was the first to die, so she must have been directly beneath the bomb. Sarah began to cry. All 14 friends had died in this room, without a schoolmate to mourn them, and now they did.

 

The police sirens sounded, and a voice on a megaphone said, “Come out with the child!”Sarah froze, they thought she had been kidnapped? She ran to her room, picked up the rucksack and ran out the front door. She ran into her parents arms.

“Oh, my darling, you’re alive!”

“Who’s been looking after you?”

“‘Cause your daddy‘ll kill ‘em!”

“No-one, the place is empty, I just lived off of bramble berries and water, I swear!”

“Mr. Gartley, we’re going to send searchers in, would you like help?”

“Of course I do! You stay here; I’ll get the guy that took you!”

“That place is empty dad! I swear!”

“That’s ok; we’ll get them, kiddo.”

“But it’s empty!”

“Jane? Shouldn’t you ask to read my stories?” I jamp, and dropped the book. White pages fluttered everywhere. “Um, sorry, I just…”

“Leave it; I’ll clean it up later.”

“Are you sure…?” I looked apologetically at Neptuna. She was holding two stone goblets in her hands, filled with an orange, bubbling liquid. I wasn’t looking forward to drinking it.  “So you just... drink it?”

“Well, you don’t inject into your blood steam if that’s what tour asking.”

I looked at it again, on one hand I didn’t want to seem rude, but the aroma coming from it wasn’t exactly appetizing. I lifted the goblet, braced myself, and drank steadily. Was I stopped drinking, I felt weightless, as if I were drifting into a happy sleep.

   “Hello? Hello?” I still felt a bit groggy, but I could tell that I was no longer in Neptana’s homey basement. I felt sticks and leaves digging into my back and my sides, and I could see Neptuna’s silhouette standing over me. “Are you ok Jane? I didn’t want to take you this way, but I couldn’t see how…”  I was fully awake now. I was lying down in the middle of some woods, and I was surrounded by a thick, freezing fog. I stood up, and I was shaking so hard I had to lean on the tree behind me. I looked around again, but there was nothing to see. “Were… how…why?” I looked at Neptuna, with genuine fear in my eyes.

“I wanted you to meet my people, but I thought you wouldn’t want to, so I …”

“So you drugged me and dragged me to the middle of nowhere so that I had no choice but to do something I probably would do in the first place? Sound about right?”

“I’m really sorry, really truly”

“Shut up Neptuna. Well, seeing as I’m here…”

“Seeing as you’re here, I better take you to my real home. Just follow me, please Jane I’m really sorry.”

“I said, shut up, so if you don’t mind.” I didn’t know why I was being so mean to Neptuna; all I knew was that I had been hurt and betrayed. I followed her through the freezing fog, and I only managed to keep up with her because I could hear her footsteps. It was when the cold first gripped me that I realized that I was no longer wearing my comfy jeans and thick walkers jacket. Instead I was wearing a long floating dress, not unlike Neptuna’s, except mine was a light colour of grey, with the occasional golden fleck, and a bulky silver belt, studded with diamonds. Then I realized that Neptuna’s dress was the exact same colour of her eyes, at that my dress was the same colour of mine.

     After about 5 minutes walking about in the fog, I heard Neptuna's footprints stop. I kept walking, just for the sake of it, and immediately walked into Neptuna’s silly strappy silver sandals, which I too was sporting.  “Well I think this is it, I’ve never used this entrance before see.” Neptuna smiled at me hopefully. “All I have to do is say ‘sajkofilop’ ”

“Did you just say ‘saj-koe-fee-lope?”

“Why do you want to know? It’s quite nosy you now, I could send you back.”

“Maybe I want to be sent back? I don’t though; I don’t know these parts of the woods.”

“Who said it was the same woods?”

“I don’t know…” I was suddenly and very rudely interrupted, by a loud SHMACRRRRRRKSHOOO sound (No I’m not a psychopath), which turned out to be a large, and rather ancient looking archway, like the one at the entrance to ‘Pans labyrinth’ in that Spanish movie. I was mesmerized by the giant stone archway immersing from the ground, with mud and worms gripping to its surface, but Neptuna acted like she had seen it every day for the last ten years. “Well this is it I suppose, home sweet home and all that rubbish.” Neptuna waved her hand through the gateway, and simply hopped through it, leaving no signs that she was ever here. I couldn’t even see her anymore. Where had she gone? I slowly walked up to the gateway, and gingerly poked the air within it. When it rippled and waved like water, I recoiled and wiped my and on my dress. When I looked up, I saw Neptuna’s head staring out at me, but the thing that really freaked me out was that it was only her head, and absolutely nothing else. 

“Hurry up Jane! Do you not want to meet them?” Then to my even greater surprise, Neptuna’s body less head was joined by her body less arm, which reached out to me in the most chilling fashion. My whole body was telling me to turn and run, but instead I reached out my own hand, and let myself be pulled through into Neptuna’s home village.

    I stopped, again. You know how when people are going somewhere and don’t know what to expect, so they try to imagine what it’s going to be like, so they make something up that is better than the real thing? And after all the hard imagining, I ended up severely disappointed. I imagined a western town, like you get in the old cowboy movies, with a saloon and a field of horses to one side. It was completely different. It was like an old Celtic village, with round mud-huts and spits over the outside fires. The only difference between this and a Celtic village was that the people here seemed less likely to kill you for not remembering some god.

   “Well, here it is, home sweet home.” Neptuna again smiled at me. “My people knew you were coming, and they made you a mud-hut, right next to mine, and they put everything you need in it, like pj’s and stuff.”  I looked at her, and my eyes were just screaming at her, help me!? She took my hand in hers, as if I were an infant, and lead me to a mud-hut, which was noticeably smaller than all the rest. “This is it, I hope they’ve decorated the inside for you, the brown isn’t exactly homey.” I couldn’t believe it, for it sounded as if Neptuna wanted me to stay here, and leave my life behind, my family, my only friend, my possessions, and I know I said I hated them all, but they were mine, and familiar, much more so than this village. I opened my mouth to speak against Neptuna’s words, but I found myself pulling the silken veil away from the entrance to my new hut. “After you.” I said to Neptuna, just in case it was a trap. Neptuna walked in, and made loud compliments. “Wow, they made your bed from bear hide, they must like you, and they decorated it with such beautiful colours, and your possession chest is ginormous, I wonder what they think you brought with you!”

    I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and walked in. Neptuna was right; the décor in here was unbelievable. The walls were painted a deep red, and there was a deep fluffy maroon carpet on the floor. The bed was like one of those old fashioned bath-tubs, except longer and wider, and full of fluffy parts of animal hide, with padding all over the tub bit. There were various dream catchers and mobiles attached to the ceiling, which was too painted a deep reddish colour. I had once hoped to paint my own bedroom back home like this, but I didn’t want the bed.

     “Well, I suppose you want to explore, but don’t go past the village boundaries, I’ll introduce you to people later.” Neptuna winked at me, and left my room. Village boundaries? How am I supposed to know what they are? I stepped out the mud hut, but I couldn’t see Neptuna anywhere.  I turned into the path, and headed down it, I had no idea where I was going, so I just walked.

   I had walked around for about an hour, in a sort of daze. I sat down on a bench and I daydreamed about my new life. When I stopped dreaming, I realized that there was a little girl sitting in front of me, and she had her big blue eyes set on me. “Hi little girl what’s your name?” I smiled warmly at her, but i probably looked like a lion baring its teeth or something. “It’s Stacey.” She sheepishly answered.

“Stacey, that’s a nice name, mine’s is Jane.”

“Please don’t talk to me as if I’m a baby, I’m seven, not two.”

“Sorry, Stace.”

That’s not my name, that’s not my name. Four little words just to get me along, so listen to now. Sorry, I do that sometimes. My names not Stace, its Stacey. Stacey. Stacey, got it?”

“Got it.”

“You’re Neptuna’s girl, aren’t you?”

“I’m not Neptuna’s, I’m not her pet.”

“But you’re her task; you are the Lemarkle kid, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I’m the Lemarkle kid, but I ain’t a task.”

“Whatever, has Neptuna shown you around yet?”

“She said she would, but later.”

Right, later.” Stacey had a smug look on her face, and all I wanted to do in this moment in time was smash her face, but luckily for Stacey Neptuna walked over. “Hi Janey! Ready to meet the people I class as friends? Let’s get goin’ then!” I gave Stacey one of those looks. I stood up of the dusty bench and followed Neptuna down one of the paths, that I later found out led to the meeting place.

    “So your people, are they nice? They won’t chase after me with swords and stuff?”

“No way! They would never dare, especially seeing as your friends with the heir.” I thought to myself, why are the people here so smug all the time? “Heir to what exactly?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“I would actually, D’you mind explainin’?”

“All will be revealed.”

“Can I ask when, cos your kinda leaving lost over here?”

“Later.”

“But...”

“Later.” Something about her tone made me give up. By this time Neptuna had lead me to a cobbled square, like the kind you see on Victorian TV shows. In the middle was a square of steps, with an old man was standing, swamped in a black velvet robe, tied around his waist with what looked like a curtain cord. “That’s Marsalo; he’s the chief of the village.  And the woman talking to him, that’s Egareva, she’s the cook. And see the boy waving at us? Looking like a complete idiot? That’s Oslir, and his dad is the richest guy here.”

   I looked at Oslir, and noted everything about him; first impressions used to matter allot o me. His dirty blond hair was almost brown, and his eyes looked almost green. Unlike all the other men and boys he wasn’t wearing a robe, he was wearing green trousers, and a yellow top. He, unlike Neptuna and Stacey, had absolutely no magic in his voice whatsoever. “Hey Neppy! See you finally brought your tas-friend along! We’ve wanted to meet you for, like, ever! I’m sure Neptuna’s been telling you all about me! No? Well that’s too bad.” I had already judged him as that boy at the back of the classroom that fake farts and throws spit pellets around the place. “So you must be Janey Painy, nice ta meet ya, I’m the marvellous Oslir, and I’m one of neptuna’s closest friends, so get used to it.” I remember thinking, why the hell does Neptuna even like this guy?

Then another person walked over. “That’s Sandy, the third and final part of our gang.”  Sandy was a girl with ginger-blond hair, and pale blue eyes. “Hey, Jane right? I’m Sandy, and I reckon we’re gonna get along great.” I liked Sandy allot better than Oslir.

“So, what do you guys do around here?” I hated awkward silences.

“What grownups say.” Sandy flicked her hair out her eyes.

“Just hang around.” Oslir wasn't impressed with Sandy’s answer.

“It really depends what we feel like.” Neptuna summed up.

“So you just, hang around, doing whatever?” I raised my eyebrows. Boring!

“Yeah...”

“Suppose...”

“Nothing much else...” OMG, this place must be rubbish. “The only thing we do together is at night.” Neptuna had managed to confuse me again.

“At night?”

“Yeah, we cross the river at your hut, and we, you know, do stuff.” I was determined to ignore Oslir, so I said, “What do you do at these little gatherings then?”

“I just said you idiot!”

“We do what Oslir says, it usually turns into a game of truth or dare though, or spin the bottle.”

“Sounds cool. What do we do know?”

“We listen to the old guy talk, then go to our huts for half an hour, have dinner, go back to our huts for a while, then we cross the river.” Neptuna talked quickly and slowly, so I could only just make out what she was saying. “Oslir, your hut is near Jane’s, so you have to tell her when we get the food.”

“Why me? She don’t even like me.”

“Deal with it. I’ll tell you Jane, seeing as Mister Pompous over there is so self involved.” I smiled warmly at Sandy. I liked her more than Mister Oslir Pompous.

    I listened to the old man, I went to my hut, sandy took me to dinner, and I went back to my hut. There I waited in silence, waiting for the secret signal (the quick knocks and two slow), and when it finally came, I felt so relieved that they hadn’t forgotten me. I emerged out of my hut, and shivered in the sudden cold. Neptuna smiled at me with an evil smile. “You ready? You won’t be disappointed, I swear.” She led me across to the river, and instructed me over. “Close your eyes, walk forward, that’s it, keep going, trust me, don’t open your eyes, just keep going!” By that point I was sure that I was in the river, but I wasn’t wet.  “Stop! You’re there now; you can open your eyes.” And I did, somehow I had crossed the river without drowning. Neptuna hopped down on the hard ground behind me, and gave me a little shove, towards a tree stump. Sand and Oslir were already there, admiring a large block of stone. Neptuna sat down on a large rock beside me and said; “We decided...” Sandy and Oslir scowled at her. “I decided that seeing as you’re one of us now, you should know some stuff, like about our Queen or about our history.”

“This is a carving of our queen, ain’t she beautiful?” Sandy lifted up the rock, and on it was a carving of an incredibly beautiful woman, with a long dress (think belle in the beauty and the beast) and a tiara, which had been filled in with gold, and so had her hair.

“Our history is rubbish though. Your family shoved us out our home, so we came here. Nothing’s happened yet.” 

“Sorry ‘bout that by the way. Dad says that it was your entire fault anyway.” To tell the truth, I had expected more of a contradiction with that last statement, but no-one seemed bothered.

   “Right truth or dare Jane?” Neptuna looked a tad miffed at Sandy, but allowed it.

“Umm, truth. No, yeah, truth.”

“Ooooh, truth, how about; who you love more than anyone else in the world.”

“My brother?”

“Eeh, wrong answer. Love as in Lurve.” Oslir obviously wasn’t happy with my answer.

“Lurve? I don’t lurve anybody.”

“No one? That means you forfeit. You have to put your posh knickers on the flagpole.”

“What there is no way I’m doing that Oslir, gimme another one.” Neptuna and Sandy had been quiet till know, but they were now giggling so hard that I couldn’t understand them.

“You, hee hee hee, can’t get, ha ha ha, another one!” Sandy finished with a dignified snort.

“It’s a forfeit ha ho hee ho!” Neptuna’s face was slowly turning red.

“Ok, I’ll do it. Just take me to the flagpole and...why are you guys laughing so much?!”

“Because... because...” Neptuna couldn’t finish because she was laughing so hard.

“I think my diaphragm’s gonna burst!” Sandy was still snorting away.

“Whatever a diaphragm is, mines gonna go pop too!” Oslir was shaking with held in laughter.

“Sorry Jane, but the reason we’re laughing is because you are so stupid!” I looked at her through hurt eyes.

“Words hurt Neptuna! D’you really think I’m stupid... I don’t.”

“Turn your head round then!” Oslir said with discontent.

“Yeah, then you’ll see why we’re laughin’!” Sandy was shaking and snorting so hard now that she was just a blur.

“No! Don’t Jane, run please Jane!” I looked at Neptuna; for once again she had confused me. I turned around, wanting to prove that I wasn’t stupid, but all I could see was the dark under growth of the forest. And even before I could turn around again, I felt six hands press into my back (actually one was on my rear end) and push me into a concealed cage. I remember sitting in the dark, and then a club hit me in the side of the face and I could remember nothing.

The End

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