Rex had it easier getting to school. He saw Raptor and Frankie loading their stuff into the car and gathered it was time to leave. Still unable to find any clothes Rex remained in his bloodied clothes. When he went into the conservatory to grab his book bag, he was surprised to finds it gone.
But it wasn’t the result of his family’s games; he had deliberately left it in his classroom before he left to get a picture of the beast.
He slapped his knee when he realised he hadn’t gotten the picture.
“All that for nothing” he hissed.
The drive to school was as quiet as breakfast had been and no one paid him the least bit of interest. Finally, when they
arrived at the school gates, he saw Pebbles, standing on
her own. She saw him and waved. Someone could see him!
But it was at that moment Rex put two and two together. Both he and Pebbles had been attacked, killed and brought back to life. No one could see him and it was possible no one could see her. Their disappearance could have something to do with the beast.
Rex’s eyes widened with shock at the fact. Hastily he got out for the car and sprinted towards Pebbles, who was standing away from their gang.
“Pebbles, no one can see me!” he yelled, aware no one could hear him either.
“Me too, I had to ride to school” Pebbles explained, equally as shocked.
“And I am like a ghost, I tired to elbow Frankie but I went right though him!” Rex shouted.
“Same!” Pebbles yelled “it was the beast”
Rex suddenly became very doubting.
“I reckon it was a trick. We get to class and we’ll be fine” Rex said.
“I dunno, it seemed pretty real, and after the attack” Pebbles reasoned.
“Lets get to class and see what happens” Rex repeated and started waling towards the school door, ignoring all of his friends, scared at what reaction he might get. Pebbles followed.
Rex retrieved his bag from the empty classroom, took his locker key out and headed towards his locker. He poked the key into the lock to find it was jammed inside. He couldn’t open his locker.
Suddenly someone, a kid, came down the hallway, stood in front of Rex’s locker and opened it. As Rex had suspected he disappeared into the kid. Rex kept quiet and still until the kid had left. Pebbles was just as outraged as he was.
“Your locker” she said simply.
Rex shook his head gravely, and went back to his classroom. Sitting down at the table he always sat at, he waited patiently for the bell to ring and for the rest of the
class to gather. Pebbles took her seat next to him. They waited for ten minutes until the shrill ring of the bell sounded and the thundering of distant feet hammered on the floor.
The teacher, Mr Animaster, was first to enter the room. He was holding the thick binder that was the register and sat down on his swivelling chair at the desk. Mr Animaster was a teacher loved by the whole school. He was not strict and all of his lessons, normally Art and D.T, consisted of fun activities and games. He would only ever shout in the most extreme situations and Rex loved the way he always funnelled his anger on some of the more annoying kids in his form class.
Just the other week Rex and his class had sat giggling away as Mr. Animaster yelled at a group of unruly boys who had just ran into someone, causing them to fly into the lockers. The boy had been Joe, and Rex had seen to it that Mr. Animaster knew what had happened.
“I’ll let the teacher have his share before I get my revenge” Rex had whispered to Pebbles.
“Joe Garrett was badly hurt by your stupid games. He has been sent home early with concussion and is not something to laugh at” the teacher had yelled at the table of boys as they snickered. What Mr Animaster had said next silenced them for good.
“You all have no common sense!” he bellowed as he slammed his fist onto the table, startling them all.
The scene still brought a smile to his face even now and, as he watched Mr Animaster prepare the register, he laughed
again. I still need to get my revenge Rex reminded himself.
As the class came filing in, Rex spotted Joe, still miserable looking from yesterdays encounter, and Ben, a bored look on his face.
When all twenty of the other students had sat down, Mr Animaster turned to face them, and addressed them all kindly.
“Today is the auditions for the school play and I’m sure some of you will be interested. It will be at lunch time in
the drama room” Mr Animaster said, reading out the bulletin “and on that note, drama club for year nine will be open today as well, but in music room one”
As the teacher finished the bulletin, Rex noticed no one had sat in his seat or in pebbles’, so he was hopeful. Mr
Animaster clutched the register and began reading out the names.
When it came to Rex’s name, near the beginning of the register, Mr Animaster didn’t read it out. Rex tilted his head in confusion and listened out for Pebbles’, at the end of the register with the surname Wolfe. But hers was missed as well.
“Sir, you’ve missed us out” Rex said, raising his hand politely. Mr Animaster turned away and typed a few sentences on his computer.
“Sir” Rex said again; worry clawing at his throat again.
“Sir?” Pebbles tried.
Rex looked down onto the floor, fixing his gaze onto a speck of dust and wishing this was all a dream. He pinched himself, and he felt it. Not a dream.
“This is not good” Pebbles whispered. The bell rang again, signalling the start of the first lesson, which for Rex and Pebbles was art. As the class rammed out of the room, Rex brushed up against Raptor, and was not surprised to find he once again slid into his brother’s body.
When they reached art, Rex called Joe over, knowing that even if his friend was in on the joke, he couldn’t ignore Rex. Joe carried on his conversation with Ben.
“That was a nice pizza last night, Ben, thanks for inviting round yours” Joe said.
“It’s okay, anything for my best mate” Ben replied.
“You were with me last night, seeing me off” Rex protested “and anyway, you two are my best friends as well”
Joe and Ben stopped talking and faced him and, for a minute Rex thought the curse had been lifted, but he was crestfallen to find Mr Animaster behind him, shepherding the class into the art room.
Rex stayed at the back of the line of kids with pebbles and, as the last kid went in; he turned tail and went back up the hallway.
“What’re you doing?” Pebbles asked, struggling to keep up.
“Going to the headmistress’s office” Rex said, concentrating on his mission.
When they arrived at the office, Rex stormed in, not bothering to ring the bell, and found Mrs Mills, the headmistress, bent over a desk, sorting out some letters.
“I demand to know what’s going on” Rex ordered. Mrs Mills ignored him, as everyone else had done.
“Not you too” Pebbles moaned.
“Well, since you can’t see me and I’ll never get to say this; I hate you, you are the worst teacher ever, you look like the back end of a dog, and you smell like my toilet after Frankie has been in there and screw you!” Rex hollered.
“Rex, that was a bit harsh” Pebbles said, making for the door.
“I needed to get it off my chest” Rex admitted happily.
Two kids were running out of the school gates to meridian at about half nine, not long after they had arrived. No one could see them so they slipped away easily and pelted into the first beyond. Their unexpected disappearance would go unnoticed, too, because no one had any cue who Rex Dingo and Pebbles Wolfe were, and that they actually existed.
The two tormented children carried on running, just along the road, until they arrived at the town centre of Bodmin.
The day was beautiful and the sky was clear, unstained by clouds. People busy doing their shopping in the absence of their children hustled by, taking no notice of the two worried youths.
Rex and Pebbles had left school to clear the air, and to try and figure out what had happened to them ad why no one could see, hear, smell or touch them.
“So, let’s figure this out” Rex said.
“Not here, it’s too exposed. I know no one can hear us but it doesn’t feel safe here” Pebbles interrupted. The teenagers entered a nearby cafe, a secluded little shop on
the corner of a row of other buildings like it. There were a couple of tables free in the corner, so Pebbles led Rex to them, holding his hand tightly. Rex felt comforted by the hand, and by its owner. He knew as long as he was with Pebbles, everything would be better.
Rex sat down and, still holding onto Pebbles’ hand, started talking.
“We are not alone” He said. Pebbles, surprised by his statement, took her hand away and sat down with him.
“What do you mean, no one can see us?” Pebbles queried.
“Just as that beast was about to finish me off, someone shouted at it. Remember I told you?” Rex said hurriedly, afraid any moment of peace might be snatched.
“So we need to find this person” Pebbles concluded.
“And, as far as we’re concerned, that beast did this. It’s too much of coincidence for the attack and our disappearance. Whatever happened, it was because of that” Rex uttered.
“You and I died, yes?” Pebbles interjected.
“Yes” Rex confirmed.
“And by bringing us back to life when we were supposed to die may have erased us from existence” Pebbles whispered.
“Yes, but this changes everything” Rex murmured.
“Hellhounds don’t exist; well they didn’t, until now. And, as I’m pretty much aware, I have never heard of anyone bringing people back to life and of anyone shouting from nowhere”
Rex explained “Pebbles, something bad has happened and
now, we aren’t the only killers out there”.
“But this man you said saved us, he has powers like you then, we need to find him” Pebbles decided.
“I don’t know maybe see if anyone else knows about this, check the newspapers” Pebbles suggested.
Rex remained silent for an age, staring at the table top.
“Something majorly bad has happened to cause this” he said darkly, his face shadowed with fear.
“But what, and why now?” Pebbles commented.
“I don’t know, but maybe, someone does, maybe someone is actually causing this” Rex implied. Pebbles stared at him in horror for a moment, considered what had just been said.
“But no one, surely, would try to bring down the human race”. Pebbles raised an eyebrow in question.
“Referring back to the movies I talked about earlier, there are some horrible people out there, people who would welcome monsters into or world, and help them destroy us” Rex countered. Although he sounded sure of himself, he wasn’t at all confident of what he had just said. A film was a film and, as realistic as it was, it still wasn’t their real world. Sure there were films based on real life stories, but they were sometimes twisted round to look better, and to sound more interesting. Rex still doubted the sanity of the adventure they were thrust into, still was unable to believe anything hat was happening.
Perhaps he was in a coma, after falling on the moors.
Perhaps he was lying in a sterile hospital, with tubes
poking out of his body and his family sitting by his bedside,
giving him lots of attention. Perhaps Pebbles was there too, or maybe she had fallen. The thought that it was all a dream comforted Rex more than any of his family members could.
“It’s like the games we played” Rex said suddenly, breaking the silence that had descended upon them like fog.
“What?” Pebbles asked politely, aware he wasn’t in the most stable of moods.
“Me and my cousins; Jaws, Paws and Claws. We would play things like this, monsters chasing us” Rex brightened “maybe we could do what I didn’t the story, and fight them. My cousins wouldn’t back down and cower”
“Rex this isn’t a story you act out, this is real” Pebbles argued.
“Yeah, but my cousins would always swear there was something out there, and that we had to run. They were probably joking and trying to be dramatic. In the story, we would help each other, get to safety, hide and set traps. When our imaginary monster was caught, we would kill it” Rex explained, his mood brightening.
Pebbles clasped her hands together, uncertain where Rex was going with the conversation.
“Pebbles, this thing wasn’t immortal, you saw how it was ripped up. We could kill it. Think of it as a very strong dog” Rex continued.
Pebbles knew that if they were ever going to find out what happened and how to get back to their ordinary lives, the demons would have to be confronted.
“Fine, but I want to find more info first” Pebbles agreed.
Rex and Pebbles left the cafe, satisfied with their new understanding of what had occurred. They went to the first newspaper stand they could find and singled out the local newspaper, which displayed a photo of a man, and the title:
Death on the Moors
Rex didn’t need to read the article to know what had happened, but Pebbles read it out anyway.
James Simpson, the man displayed in the picture, went missing about a week ago. His disappearance was reported by his family after he failed to return home on the Monday of last week after he went out drinking with his friends. The Moor was searched as a precaution and his body, badly mutilated and unrecognisable, was recovered. He was only identified after dental records were matched. It seems to be the work of an animal, and many believe it was the
Beast theorized to live on the Moors.
When Pebbles had finished reading, she set the paper down and looked at Rex for his reaction.
“This thing is hunting people” Rex said, “and the other missing people over the weeks are victims too”
“Yes” Pebbles said.
She jumped in surprise as a man and a women, in their mid forties at least, started reading the same article. Pebbles had just completed Rex and Pebbles remained still.
“They reckon the bank knows about these attacks” the man said.
“Really?” the woman questioned.
“Yeah, everyone at work is saying they keep getting involved and are always at the scene when a body is found” the man replied.
The short conversation was enough to convince Rex and Pebbles of their next move.
“To the bank, I presume” Pebbles smiled.
“To the bank” Rex nodded.