Wednesday, 13 July 2011

CHPS 1 -


“We shouldn’t be here”
The sudden voice in my head made me jump.
“What do you mean Dan?”
“Come on Amy our third cousin doing a reading our neighbour saying a prayer mum and dad would have wanted to keep it family and friends”
“It is family and friends”
“I mean close family and friends”

I wanted to argue but Dan was right. Even the priest was from a different parish. As they started to lower the coffins into the ground I could feel tears swell up in my eyes and before I could wipe them away they spilled over my eye lids and in a cascaded down my cheeks. I looked up at the sky there were no clouds out. The day seemed too nice to be the date for a funeral. Although the heat was sweltering I felt cold and empty. As I glanced around and saw grave stones as far as the eye could see I wondered how many other children had stood here and watched as there loved ones were lowered into the ground. Everyone started to turn around to leave. A man in a black formal suit of about middle age with a boyish face and some scruffy stubble covering his face approached Dan and I he looked as if he could be hollow inside his face showed absolutely no emotion.

“I’m so sorry for your loss we’ll give you a ride back “the man continued gesturing to a women standing near a concrete angel over a grave” we’ll be taking you back to your house were you will sleep for tonight and then you can pack. Well be dropping you to the air port tomorrow morning”

We were going off to live with our aunt over in Ireland. We didn’t want to leave our house but our grandparents had died and our dad was an only child we had to go over to Ireland we had no choice in the matter. We climbed into the social workers car. It was an old Mercedes with a cracked wing mirrior, all the seats were thread bear and inside it smelt like wet dog. The women had a pointy chin, glasses way to big for her face and an up turned nose. Her face was pale and she wore a black cardigan over an over sized blouse with an olive green skirt. As she clambered into the front seat I could see that she had something that looked like cat hairs on her back.

These people seemed like the worst possible people to work as social workers. As Dan and I got into the car I glanced across at him he was holding a tissue out to me I hadn’t noticed but I was still crying. I took the tissue gratefully and wiped my eyes. Although dans face gave nothing away I went inside his mind and it was full of grief.

Our house was only a five minute drive from the graveyard. But with the awkward silence in the car it might as well of been fifty minutes away. It was the summer holidays so all of the kids on our road were out playing outside. I suddenly remembered when I had been told about our parent’s death.

I had been up the road hanging out with my friends having a laugh when a police car drove by I don’t know why but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it maybe it was that it didn’t have its siren on or it might have been that it was going surprisingly slow as soon as it stopped outside our house I ran to it leaving my friend shouting behind me Dan answered the door the police officer spoke I saw dans face crumple. I delved into his mind and replayed the police officers words I stopped dead in my tracks.

The police officer glanced over at me I fell to the ground not wanting to move my parents were dead I would never see them again. The police officer ran over to me. I was brought to the doctors but they said that it was all just shock.
We pulled into the drive way. I didn’t sleep all night and the plane was delayed. Dan and I had to wait around for five hours in departures I was reading a book but the words seemed to refuse to focus.

When we finally arrived it Ireland it was thirty-five past four.


Chapter 2 – DANIEL by Ellen

The car doors slammed, the gravel crunched as we walked up to the huge stone house which lay ahead of us. Aunt Lucinda turned the key in the lock and opened a large rusty door. We stepped inside.

As we looked around it was clear that the house hadn’t been redecorated in years, the wall paper was peeling from the walls, the furniture was so worn it looked as if had come from a landfill and there were giant portraits of old Irish ancestors glaring down at us on the walls. Aunt Lucinda led us down the hall, pointing at the different rooms as she went. There was a library full of battered old hardback books with giant wheelie ladders to get to them. There was a parlour with a drink cabinet which looked as if the only thing it ever had in it was sherry. I could tell because the doors had fallen off and it had bottle after bottle of sherry.

After the parlour there was a giant hall with a small dusty old table in the middle of it. There were a few dusty old chairs around it. “And this is the dining room” announced Aunt Lucinda. “Um, well the house is very ....charming? Yes, charming and I don’t mean to seem pushy but where are Daniel’s and my bedroom?” said Amy awkwardly. “I heard that you two are very close, too close if you ask me, so I will put you in separate rooms so that you are........more comfortable in your own space. Amy, your room is the first on the left and Daniel, yours is the forth on the right”. Aunt Lucinda pulled two old keys from her pocket “Here you two go now run along”.

I stared around my room. It was just like the rest of the house, cold and unwelcoming. Why did Aunt Lucinda want to put me and Amy in different rooms? It didn’t make any diferences to her, did it? Something was telling me that Amy didn’t like her room either.

My room had a large four-poster bed with a faded rose bed cover, the canopy on top of it was ripped and the bedside table was propped up with books to stop it falling over. There was a large oak wardrobe with people’s names engraved on it and inside it there was one coat hanger and some mothball.

My room was horrible. I don’t know how I am ever going to make this dusty old place feel like home. I started to unpack my suitcase, I dumped my clothes in the wardrobe and then took out my framed picture of the family I sat on the bed and stared at it. It had been a lovely summer’s day on the beach when we had gone to Boston and got a picnic.

The picture was of us all smiling, Mom had her arms wrapped around me and Dad had his arms around Amy. The sun was shining and we were all so happy. Suddenly a loud bell interrupted my thoughts and a heard Aunt Lucinda shouting the word lunchtime. I placed the photo on my bedside table and shoved my suitcase under my bed. I walked over to the door and opened it. Amy was just going out of her room as I locked the door after me; I shouted her name and walked down the hall to her.

As she looked up I could see tears in her piercing green eyes, “What’s wrong Amy?” I said putting my arm around her. “You were thinking about Mom and Dad weren’t you? I could just feel it. I don’t know how so don’t ask me but I just could. Daniel, how could we have gone from living in a classy New York villa to living in a dirty old house where most of the toilets don’t work?” she sobbed “I don’t know Amy but we just have to deal with it. Now come on Aunt Lucinda will be looking for us”.

We sat down to plate of steaming Ox tongue and brussel sprouts with a glass of lumpy milk. Suddenly I wasn’t feeling hungry any more. Aunt Lucinda sat with us but she didn’t have our disgusting meal in front of her, instead she had a ham and cheese sandwich and lemonade.

“How come you’re having that Aunt Lucinda?” I said through gritted teeth.
“I thought Americans liked Ox tongue and milk, don’t they?” she said with a smile digging into her sandwich.
“It wouldn’t be our favourite meal” said Amy quietly; Aunt Lucinda laughed “well of course not, I don’t know whose it would be! I simply thought that you children would have got enough of that crappy type food when you lived in America. Your parent spoiled you far too much so maybe it was for the best that they died in that house fire.”

I jumped up “House fire! I thought it was a car crash!” Aunt Lucinda looked startled by my sudden outburst, she quickly collected our plates “Why yes, car crash is what I meant, I was thinking of someone else. Lunch is over so you can go outside and no snooping around the house.” And with that she walked out of the dining room and down the hall.

Amy looked at me “What was that all about?” she said standing up and walking out. As I followed her I noticed Aunt Lucinda walking franticly around the parlour on the phone with a glass of sherry in her hand. “Come on Amy, let’s do some snooping around” I whispered.


Chapter 3 - AMY - by Ciara

I am speaking to Aunt Lucinda and she begins to babble on about what rooms I could and could not enter. This bored me so I zone out and start to think about what room I will pick. Finally she says “ Feel free to look around now that the rules have been laid down”.

I run up the stairs as soon as she finishes - I can't wait to see what my new house is like! I decide to start from the top and work my way down. I am suprised to find some doors locked and trap doors everywhere............. definitely not my ideal house! There isn't even a window without a cobweb preventing you from opening it.

Aunt Lucinda shouts up saying I am not allowed into the cellar. Aunt Lucinda doesn't
know me too well, this means she doesn't know that when someone tells me not to do something I will most likely end up doing it anyway. I must find a way into the cellar as she must be hiding something there.

I peep into every room that was unlocked - not one room was bright, had a computer or even a television in it! The wallpaper is peeling off the walls and so is the paint. The ceilings are high in every room and the windows are small. I can't help thinking why Aunt Lucinda bought this place. I mean really, I understand some people like to collect antiques but a house is a bit much.

Each room has the same atmosphere, all unlived in, except for one. Aunt
Lucinda's room has a big window (sort of like the rose window in gothic
churches) - she even has a few paintings hanging on the walls. Daniel and
I decide to share a room as we are twins after all. From our window even
though small, you can see for miles around....Hill after hill after is
definitely a change of scenery, something to get used to I guess. I place
my bags on my bed and decide to look around downstairs.

I am in the kitchen and start to look for some food, there isn't any.
The fridge - empty, the cupboards - empty, the freezer - empty, nothing except for stack loads of crackerbread. I've never heard of them so I put them back.
I search for Aunt Lucinda but she is nowhere to be seen.

I never heard her say 'goodbye' or 'I am going out' so she must be in this house
somewhere! I give up looking for her about ten minutes later. I begin to
shout when she comes out from the cellar. She says “ What is the fuss all
about?” I reply saying I was hungry and that doesn't go down too well.
She shouts for ages and then she finally says “ I will go to the shops in
the morning, now go to bed, it's already half past ten”.

I run up the stairs and try to find a towel, of course there's none so I
go back downstairs to find the hot press. I find a fluffy pink towel on the
stairs on my way down so Aunt Lucinda must of heard me shouting at
Daniel to find me one. I try to find her to say 'thank you' but yet again she
has disappeared! I run back upstairs and run a nice hot bath.

I get in and stay in the bath for an hour reading my favourite book “Breaking Dawn”.
After my bath I dry my hair and go to find a socket for my laptop charger.
Of course there isn't one in my room but there's plenty on the landing.
I plug my charger into a socket and to my amazement there is WiFi in the house - maybe there's a computer in the cellar or maybe it's a cinema.

The ideas in my head keep on growing. Of course I go on Facebook straight away and see if anyone is online. I completely forget about the time difference, so only one of my friends is online and that's only because she is in London at the moment. We speak for around twenty minutes and then she has to go. I went into Daniel who was still up reading and we start to talk about if we liked it here or not. I say that I don't like it here but apparently I always judge a book by its cover. Daniel says he doesn't know yet, but so far it has been ok.

We then walk downstairs only to find the fridge, freezer and cupboards all stocked up. I instantly run up to the fridge to find choclate and milk. All I need now is hot chocolate, biscuits and a kettle. I find some hot chocolate and make some for myself. Daniel is useless and this kind of stuff so I make him some coffee and a sandwich. I don't know why helikes coffee all of a sudden but it must be one of his many phases.

The house isn't nice at night, it gets really dark and the creaks on the
floorboards freak me out. I run up the stairs as a self defence instinct
thinking someone other than Daniel is following me. I have to go back
down as I left my cell phone on the table. As I leave the kitchen there is
a “meow” behind me. I squeeze my face in terror even though I know it
couldn't possibly be a person.

I run up the stairs squealing franticly and Daniel runs towards me to see if I was OK. He calms me down eventually and I send him downstairs to see what it was. He comes back up telling me there's nothing there but I know I heard a “meow” - I just know it!

I go back down with him and I hear it again! This time so does he.... I let
out a loud scream and Aunt Lucinda comes down waving her hands
in the air, she does not look good with bed hair! She gives out so much I
just zone out again. This time I don't daydream but I talk to Daniel (in
our heads) - he attempts to calm me down but it doesn't work. What kind
of a woman doesn't tell people she owns a cat or even worse what if it
isn't hers? She finishes off her rant with a “Get to bed now or I will
ground you until school starts!”

I've been here only twenty four hours and she is already bossing
me around like she is my Mum! She asks if we understand and then walks
back upstairs. I miss my parents so much! I always felt protected around
them! I run upstairs and get into my pyjamas, hop into bed and read for
hours. At two in the morning Daniel comes over and asks if I am OK.
He comforts me and tells me it's going to be fine. He falls asleep beside me which is not fun as he is very tall nd I can't move him. I read for
another while and then I start to think about what has just happened to

My parents have died and I have attended their funeral, I have packed up my life in America ...I have said goodbye to all my friends, I have moved to Ireland ... I have had to come and live with my aunt and I am officially an orphan! I will have to get used to my aunt, get used to this country, get used to this house and most importantly keep Daniel by my side at all times!

I will start school in fall so I hope my life we start to feel normal
as I will be around people my own age and will have a chance to make
new friends. I don't know yet if I will be attending a girls' school or a
mixed school. Hopefully it will be a mixed school so I will know at least
one person.

I turn off my light ready for what tomorrow will bring and I have a chance
to dream about what my life will be like. I am going to like this place-
it will just take some getting used to. Hopefully Aunt Lucinda will warm
up a bit and will actually show some hospitality to us tomorrow.


CHAPTER 4 Daniel- by Luan Riddell

Daniel was aware of crows screeching outside his bedroom window but didn’t feel like waking up. The dramatic way in which his life had changed in the past few days came down on him like a wave, only a few days ago he was waking up to have breakfast with his parents in his house in Boston and then planning the day from there but now he wasn’t really sure where he was, somwhere, deep in the Irish countryside with his creepy Aunt in a worn down house.

He took time to take in his surroundings, Aunt Lucinda didn’t seem to have taken time to clean the place, there was grime and dust covering the windows and cobwebs in the corners, there were stained patches on the wooden floorboards and paint peeling of the walls. The room was very bare apart from a bed and wardrobe. He saw his bag open on a chair with clothes spilling out of it, he pulled some clothes out and went of to look for his twin.

She wasn’t in her room and it took him a while to find the kitchen as the house was bigger on the inside then outside, he saw her eating a bowl of what looked like cornflakes, she aknowledged him by giving a nod of her head. The kitchen had a weird smell to it,it smelt of washing up liquid. He tore cuphoards apart looking for cereal, he found his bowl spoon and cornflakes but the milk looked and tasted, as he found out later, completely different to American milk, it tasted sweet and sugary.

The two of them just sat there looking at the empty bowls neither breaking the silence but eventually Amy did, “how did you sleep?” I guess I slept ok, how did you sleep?” Daniel mumbled.
“Didn’t get a wink of sleep with aunt Lucinda shouting down her cell phone,” “she’s locked herself in again today, told me to go have look aroud the village with you.”

“Great idea, I want out of this creepy house, how does she even bare to live here on her own?”
“Mabye she likes living on her own”
“ In the end we know nothing about her.” Amy stated.
“Whatever” Daniel mumbled, “doesn’t make up for us not seeing her our whole lives” I’d say she would have come to Boston or us to go to Ireland”
“Come on lets go, I need some fresh air.”
She said there were bikes in the shed we could use to cycle to the nearby village” Amy said.

As Daniel walked to the shed to collect the bikes with Amy he couldn’t help thinking of his parents, why did they have to die? He felt anger seething up through him and tried to forget what he was thinking about by looking around, the house and garden looked gloomy like a graveyard of somesort. It had nothing welcoming about it and the trees looked dark and slanted.

He saw his breath in cold rasps as he briskly walked to catch up with Amy, he wondered why it was so cold on a summer morning “Amy” he yelled, she was at the shed already leaving him to catch up. “What time is it?” Daniel asked as Amy hauled the bikes out of the shed. The two bikes looked like scraps of rusted junk crammed together. Daniel was tossed one with no paint apart from some white streaks and Amy got the red one which had a broken brake handle, both were mountain bikes “It’s nearly eleven” she finally said.

He looked up and saw crows perched on the trees with thick grey clouds behind “I think it rained last night” Daniel mumbled to himself while looking at the droplets of dew on the grass, which gave it a nice shinyness , but realised that he was talking to thin air as Amy was already cycling through the long grass .
What Daniel could not help noticing was that in the Irish countryside there seemed to be endless rows of hedgess.

They cycled on down the road for what felt like half an hour, he was feeling the sensation of being trapped, didn’t see a single car come up or down the road. Eventually they arrived at a turning into Bally Rosscoe village. He knew that his twin was having trouble keeping emotion from showing, her body was so stiff that she looked as if she was trying to cause herself pain . They got of their bikes and wheeled them down the road towards what seemed like the smallest village the world had to offer, even Amy showed a little shock on her face, the place had a short road leading up a short hill with a few houses on either side. To their right was a worn playground, swings just hanging on by threads.

For Daniel this was somthing that he never would imagine seeing in his lifetime, he was so used to seeing mazes of concrete towers and streets packed till midnight, and at lively neighbourhoods. The place was empty apart from the bald man in the leather jacket sitting on a bench reading a book in the deserted park.

Amy threw her bike down on the ground and went off exploring the little ghost town, “ you just gonna leave your bike here?” Daniel asked.
“Who do you think wants to take it?” Amy said, besides the bikes are worn away and won’t work much longer.

As they walked deeper into the little village it opened up into a courtyard , they saw grocers, sweet shops, hardware shops, a pub with pink paint peeling off and a small church at the end of the street.
“What exactly did Aunt Lucinda want us to see in this place?” Daniel said while turning around in a circle.
“Not sure she just told me as I was trying to find the kitchen that we should go and explore the town and mix with the locals,” she was also going on about how much work she had to do” she added.

They walked to the centre of the town, which was had a stone circle with a huge grey obelisk in the centre aiming towards the sky, it was the only thing in the village that wasn’t falling apart, it had some old foreign language on it that was slightly faded.
“ Think it could be Irish ?” Amy asked while leaning in to take a better look, “ gaeilge, isn’t it?”
“Nah. Wouldn’t say the Irish would use Roman numerals”.

He saw Amy’s expression ease as she was getting a little less tense. Daniel looked behind him and saw the bald man who had been reading in the park earlier walk up the road looking at them intently until Daniel turned around, the man quickly looked the other way and picked up his pace.

“ Excuse me.....” Daniel shouted but just as he was about to ask the man why there was no one else about the doors to the church spread wide open and a stream of kids ran out screaming and yelling happy to be out in the fresh air, their parents trying to get control of them. It seemed that the whole village was religious, apart from the bald man, wait until they find out we’re not religious. As people exited the church most seemed to notice them and turned away as if they were scared. Some of the older men and women looked at them and gave them scornful looks avoiding them as much as possible.
“ I guess, by a look they know we’re not religious ” Daniel said laughing at his own joke, Amy gave him that” are you stupid?” look and then walked after the kids into the sweet shop which had a crooked painted sign saying OL FIG’S SHOP.

The shop at first glance was big, not as big as the ones in Boston.It seemed to stretch on for ever, as they walked through kids were pleading to their Moms for sweeets but as we came in everyone went quite and pushed themselves to the sides of the narrow shop to let us through. This must be what famous people feel like Daniel thought to himself, he saw the confusion on his sister’s face as she was probably thinking what he was, his sister paused at a shelf to his left, “which one do you want?”
“ Don’t feel like eating” Daniel said, the cornflakes had made him sick to the stomach.
Amy grabbed a random bar and went to the counter, the girl at the counter barely noticed them, just mumbled” eighty cent”. She looked to be in her twentys with blond hair and too much makeup and was texting intently on her iphone, this made Daniel think of his own iphone as he started rumaging through his pockets. He’d take pictures of this little village and his friends would laugh at the fact that it actually existed.
“ Why is everyone avoiding us?!” Amy shouted angrily. Daniel seemed to wake up momentarily from his thoughts and the sweet shop became even quieter. The women at the counter looked a little shocked, “ excuse me?” she said.

Amy didn’t say anything, just stared intently at her,it looked like a staring contest. Daniel didn’t have it in him to try and intervene and just watched to see what happened, the empty shop had now become deserted, he wondered if this was how the Irish just acted.
“ I won’t have any shouting in my shop!” said the old woman who appeared out of nowhere it seemed, she had close cropped white hair, hazel eyes and a stiff mouth, a wooden walking stick the colour of her eyes.
“Now she said, I advise you to say sorry to my grandaughter if you some answers, she then walked back into the room behind the counter, “ Sorry” Amy muttered under her breath and followed the women into the back room. Daniel nodded at the blond haired girl, as to say sorry and ran after his twin.

The back room seemed to be where this family lived, to his left was a door leading into the bedroom, the door was left open so he could see , the living room had no windows and in the right hand corner was a small lamp which was the only source of light, dead bugs were surrounding the oak table where tea was laid out. The furniture and wallpaper looked dated, it seemed these women loved flowers as there were pink flower patterns on the walls, chairs and even the lamp shade. He sat down beside Amy as the old woman introduced herself.
“So I believe your names ar Amy and Daniel, my name is Sarah White and I am the owner of the shop and its my job to assist you” Sarah said with a touch of sarcasm in her voice, “ Tea?” she asked before anyone could start. “ No thanks they both said.” “Well. Amy said, “ Ever since the whole town came out of that church its as if they won’t talk, look or even walk by us, its as if we’re some sort..., “ Creeps” , Daniel said, “yeh something like that”, Amy said.

“ The reason for that now children is not you of course, its your Aunt which we dislike,” the reason is, when she moved here around twenty years ago to the house north of here close to the mountains she came many times to the village to do her general shopping. We are such a tight community we tried to welcome her to our home as much as we could but she kept looking at us as if we were telling the funniest joke and would start laughing and just walk off.” Sarah said. “ After that we left her alone and she stopped coming down to the shop.

Till this day we don’t know how she gets supplies, the gardener who goes up to her house doesn’ t converse with her .” “ The real reason we dislike or even fear her is that the man who runs the parish wanted to help her blend in, he thought she was shy but after going up to the house a few times he disappeared.” Sarah said quietly, “ The police never found out what happened, your Aunt denied all knowledge of it .”

The kids skin was as pale as chalk, Daniel couldn’t help believing the story , he was almost certain that he couldn’t trust his Aunt ,he looked to Amy for answers, there was a little concern in her green eyes.” “Wait how did you know our names?” Amy asked.

“Well,” Sarah started, “ the gardener who works up at your Aunts said that she was talking of nephews and nieces coming from America named Amy and Daniel and news here spreads like wild fire.”

Sarah looked awfully tired after that story, “Anyway,” Amy said quickly, “ we have got to go home before the rain gets worse,” “how do you know its raining ,” Sarah pointed out, finding the error in Amy’s attempt to leave. “Well its late,” “come on Danny.”

“ Just one question, is everyone in this village religious?” “ Yes everyone goes to church.” The image of the shaven headed man came into his head. “Ok then well....goodbye,” Daniel said, he ran through the shop to catch up with his twin, “ believe her?” He asked, “ not really she said as they walked out into the drizzling rain.

Chapter 5 Amy bu Julia

Daniel does not look well at the moment. He can hardly swallow. He just misses Mom and Dad. Daniel and I hate our Auntie Lucinda. I really don’t see how she is related to us. At least we live in a house other then these people who look like they live on the streets. Daniel and I are just looking around town, getting to know the village. It is quite scary and dull like the sunshine never comes round here. Hi I hear all of a sudden. This boy called Sean just passed by us. He seems nice but I don’t think Daniel likes the look of him. “Nice to meet you Amy and Daniel” says Sean. “How did you know our names?”I ask him. “Um.... I heard about your parents’ death...I’m very sorry for your loss” he mumbled to us. “Right.....well we better get going or we will be late for dinner “Daniel told him. I knew he was trying to escape this strange boy.

I found this unfair so I invited him up for dinner. Daniel glared at me but I carried on ignoring him. I knew Auntie Lucinda won’t mind because she once let a hobo in the house for lunch and a traveller for supper. He agreed to come for dinner. Daniel ignored me all the way up to the house. Aunt Lucinda gave us a smug smile as we entered the house.”And who’s this, a friend of yours?” she asks. “Yes, this is our friend Sean; he is having dinner with us “I told Auntie Lucinda.

Aunt Lucinda gives her smug smile to us then walks away to check on the dinner. I’m still curious about Sean. I mean he knows our names then when I ask him to dinner there is a yes straight away, like he expected me to invite him over. How did he know so much about us?

Dinner is ready and we head into the dining room Aunt Lucinda passes on the plates eyeing Sean all the time. Aunt Lucinda did not talk all dinner time. There was an awkward silence until Daniel spoke. “So Sean are you originally from Ireland?”Daniel asked. I listened carefully to their conversation; I was worried Daniel would get into a row with Sean. “Well.....”Sean began. In the corner Aunt Lucinda looked like she was signalling him to shush. “Ahhh.... I should get going before my bedtime...goodnight and thank you so much for inviting me up for dinner Amy” Sean waved goodbye and left.

Daniel and l stared after him. “You two off to bed now it is getting late. It was only 7:30! Why would Aunt Lucinda want us to go to bed so early? I was very tired though so we both went up to our worn down bedroom. All night I thought of Sean and his weird ways. I could tell Daniel was thinking the same thing. Lots of questions were on my mind. What was the connection between Sean and Aunt Lucinda? Also why was she giving him lots of weird winks and signals at dinner? I decided to go to sleep and leave it till morning.


Chapter 6 DANIEL by Tom

The sun shines through by bedroom window as I wake up. I slowly get out of my bed and enter the bathroom across the hall way. The mirror is all dusty so I give it a wipe with the sleeve of my top. I splash my face with the cold water and head down stairs. As I walk down I hear voices in the kitchen.

It sounds like aunt Lucinda. I creep into the kitchen quietly and she doesn’t notice me as she is looking out the window with her back turned to me. Then I notice that she is on the phone.

“I need the job done soon” she says “I will pay you then”. The old wooden floorboards creek as I get closer to her but she still doesn’t notice me!

“I know you have not got the time but you must hurry as I think they are getting suspicious” She continues “Ok, but you better not mess up this time”. She puts the phone down and turns around and gets a fright as she sees me standing behind her.

“Daniel what are you doing up this early?” “I just came down for a glass of water” I say lying.

She takes out a glass from the cupboard, fills it up and hands it to me. “I’m going into town today would you and Amy like to come with me?” I can sense that Amy doesn’t want to and neither do I.

I say no and go back up stairs to find that Amy is up and dressed already.
“I know what were going to do today she says” with a grin on her face.

We find a bag in the utility room and fill it to the brim with sandwiches, biscuits, sweets and crisps! We’re going on a hike! I can remember going up mountains with the boy scouts and the one time we were in San Francisco with mum and dad. Sean (our friend) called over and Amy asked him if he would like to come with us too. He said ok so now we have to pack an extra one of everything.

We went out of the house and up the road going away from town. It was hard work as the mountain was fairly rocky.

I kept getting my boot stuck in the mud because it was so wet. The sun had gone away and storm clouds looked like they were coming towards us. Then I see a hint of sunlight hinning off something.

I move towards it. The grass is long here and I chop away at it with my hands. Then in front of me I see it. There is a small ditch full of equipment. I call the others over to look at my discovery. There seems to be three high-tech pairs of binoculars, a CCTV screen, a metal container and a rifle. I go into the ditch then
realise I can see our house and my bedroom! In fact I can even see my
bed! I crack open the container and look inside. There is a camera with
a huge lens. I take out my phone and take a picture of all the things
in the ditch. I don’t know why I did it but for some reason I fell like
it will help me somehow.

We don’t go to the top of the hill instead we go home. We say by to
Sean. We want to get everything that has happened out of our mind we
watch a movie. Amy makes some popcorn and we settle down on the couch.
The movie is about these kids that are being tracked by a stalker. I
feel like Amy and I are those kids.


Chapter 7 AMY - by Aoife Gillespie

The early morning sun shone through the dirty net curtains and into my room. “It’s our fourth day at Aunt Lucinda’s haunted house”, I said to myself with a yawn. I quickly got dressed and headed downstairs for breakfast.

As I walked down the steps entering the kitchen, I saw Lucinda quickly putting away documents and other seemingly important slips of papers into a brown folder. She left the kitchen through the back door and walked up the stairs without a word. “She looks very suspicious”, I said to myself as I spread marmalade on my toast. The more I thought about Aunt Lucinda’s behaviour and her habit of disappearing and reappearing the more I worried.

As I walked up the old steps exiting the kitchen, I heard a loud bang. I paused, and heard Lucinda cursing and mumbling under her breath. I crept back down the steps to see what was going on and I saw Lucinda removing a piece of wood from underneath the back stairs. I hid behind the Aga to see what she was up to.

The mysterious brown folder she had at breakfast time appeared again, tucked under her arm. She entered the unlit room under the stairs with a torch, and started pulling the board behind her. As she was doing so, small piece of shiny, white paper, slipped out of the folder and wafted to the ground. I breathed a sigh of relief when she finally jammed the board back in place sealing the entrance to the dark passage. She had never noticed the piece of paper she let fall on the ground or me hiding behind the Aga.

I crept over to the stairs and picked up the piece of paper. I heard noise coming from inside this secret room so I quickly ran up the stairs.
I sat on my bed, and opened up the small piece of paper, only to find it to be a picture of me, asleep. My heart started pounding. The time and date of the photograph was displayed in the right-hand corner. It told me that the picture was taken this morning at 4:53 am. For the first time I felt a shiver run down my spine. It was the sort of feeling I cannot convey in words.

I started worrying about Daniel. Where was he? I opened my mouth to call his name but nothing came out. Suddenly, there was a knock on the front door. I raced downstairs and looked through the peephole to see who it was and, to my delight, it was Daniel and Séan. Seeing their faces reminded me they had gone fishing at 4 this morning. I nearly kissed they pair of them but refrained from doing so.
As I was making hot chocolate for the three of us, the kitchen lights turned off. The boys started laughing and making silly jokes but my heart started pounding. I told them it wasn’t a joke and to stop laughing. About a minute later the lights came on again and the kitchen door slammed. I looked at the boys and saw a look of fear in their eyes. They realised that it wasn’t me that turned off the lights, it was somebody else.

As we drank our hot chocolate, Séan told us the history of the village and how Aunt Lucinda’s house was a big part of it. I shivered in my chair at some of the things he told us. We got such a fright when his phone started to ring, shattering the silence of the kitchen. His mother was calling him to come home for his lunch. We arranged to meet later that day so we could get a better knowledge of this strange town.

As soon as Séan left, I dragged Daniel up to my room to show him the photo. I lifted up my pillow but the photo wasn’t there, I started panicking. I knew I had left it under my pillow. I hauled my duvet off my bed violently, but the photo was nowhere to be seen. “Someone has been in my room”, I said to myself. Daniel got mad at me and stormed out of the room telling me he was fed up of me making things up and that Aunt Lucinda was a nice, genuine person. I slid down onto the floor and started crying.

Suddenly, a roar came from the stairs. I rushed out of my room and ran out onto the landing to see Daniel clutching his ankle at the bottom of the stairs. He had tripped over a loose piece of carpet and fell down on his ankle. I inspected the piece of carpet and saw a loose floor board. I lifted back the old floorboard. It was a hoard of information and photographs of the Guinness family. My hands started shaking as I lifted up the photographs of my father and mother and our old house in New York.

I helped Daniel to his feet and led him up to my room. I ran
downstairs and into the kitchen. I grabbed a paper bag, a packet of frozen peas and a tube of Smarties from the press. As I raced back upstairs I stopped at the loose piece of carpet and piled the entire hoard into my paper bag. I put the floorboard back where it belonged, sealed it with the loose piece of carpet, and walked back to my room. My heart was thumping so loudly I could be heard in China.

Daniel apologised for what he said to me earlier and we sat down on my bed flicking through all the information and photos I found under the floorboard. I gave Daniel the frozen peas to put on his ankle to stop the swelling and we shared the tube of Smarties. Suddenly the lights went out again and this time there wasn’t a squeak out of Daniel. Just as the lights flickered on again the front door downstairs slammed shut as did my bedroom door.

At dinner, we decided to confront Aunt Lucinda about the doors slamming and lights flickering on and off. She just laughed and told us that Ireland can get very windy at times, and that the wind makes the doors slam and sometimes damages electricity wires causing short circuits. Daniel was about to blab about the hoard hidden under the floorboard but I kicked him under the table warning him not to.

Later that night, I though about what had happened during the day and realised maybe Aunt Lucinda might be telling the truth for once. I laughed at my paranoia and was soon asleep.


Chapter 8 - Daniel by Niamh

I think a lot about the photos over the next few days.
What did they mean? Who took them? We decide not to say anything to Aunt Lucinda.
Not that she is around much anyway.

In the mornings she leaves us breakfast and disapears into her study only coming out again that evening for dinner. Lunch we are expected to make ourselves. We are forbidden to go into her study. Aunt Lucinda has made that quite clear from the first day we came here.

"What do you think she does in there?" Amy asks me the next morning.
Lucinda has gone out of the room after reminding us yet again that her study is out of bounds.
"No idea" I reply.
"Could it have something to do with the photos we found?" Amy muses.
"I don't see how" I tell her. "I mean I know Aunt Lucinda isn't exactly the friendliest person in the world but I can't see her being involved in that sort of thing. We don't even know what the photos mean anyway.
"Then what does she do in her study all day?" Amy asks.
"Work?" I suggest.
Amy snorted. "Aunt Lucinda doesn't need to work. She got loads of money from that internet company thing, she's really wealthy."
I sigh. "Then I don't know what she does."
"Well I think it's really suspicious" Amy insisted. "Why else would she be so careful about us not going into her study if she hasn't got something to hide. If it's not to do with the photos then there's something else going on and I want to find out what it is"
I rolled my eyes.

Once Amy gets an idea into her head there's no stopping her.
"Well when are we going to get into are study" I ask her. "You know that Lucinda stays in there for the whole day." Amy looks at me scornfully. "We sneak down there at night when Lucinda's gone to bed. I've seen where she hides the key for the study - it's in the old teapot on the dresser. Lucinda obviously thinks no-one will look there.

I suggest we go down to her study tonight. The sooner we find out what's going on the better."
We both go to bed early much to Aunt Lucinda's surprise but I can't sleep. Amy arranges to wake me at
twelve o' clock and sets her phone on vibrate in case she falls asleep.
I lie on my bed staring at the ceiling. It still seems so strange compared to my bedroom in New York.

Aunt Lucinda hasn't come up to bed yet.

Suddenly I become aware of muffled voices coming from downstairs. I recognise Aunt Lucinda's lilting Irish accent and the other voice sounds like it belongs to a man. I remember the phonecall conversation Amy and I overheard Aunt Lucinda having. Could this be the same man she was talking to a few days ago?

I creep out of bed and onto the landing. I hear a noise and turn around. Amy is coming out of her bedroom a blue dressing gown wrapped around her. She must have heard the voices as well.
I motion her over and put a finger to my lips.

I can hear the voices more clearly now but still can't make out what they're saying. The man's voice is low and husky. Ten minutes pass. Amy stands beside me on the landing looking over the banisters not uttering a word. Suddenly we hear the sounds of footsteps.

We run into Amy's room since it is closer. The footsteps have stopped now. We hear the front door open and then the sound of a car starting up. I run over to the window seeing if I can spot the car amist the blackness. Nothing. The car revs up and then drives away into the darkness.

Amy and I don't dare to say any thing to each other until after we hear Lucinda coming up to bed and the sound of her bedroom light clicking off.
"Should we go down to her study tonight?" I whisper to Amy.
"May as well" she whispers back. "I don't think Lucinda will be getting out of bed again tonight."

After turning off the alarm on her phone - it's past twelve o'clock now anyway - Amy follows me back out onto the landing and down the winding stairs.
We go to the kitchen first and sure enough the key is in the teapot on the dresser. We tiptoe along the corridor to the study, our bare feet making no sound on the thick carpet. Amy turns the key in the lock and the oak door opens with a click. I walk into the room behind her, shutting the door softly after me.
The room is lined with wooden bookshelves filled with thick books and folders. Oil paintings and portaits of strange looking people hang on the walls. At the top of the room is Lucinda's desk, overflowing with papers. Behind it sits a leather armchair. In the corner there is a small table with a laptop.
"Wow" breathes Amy. "This room is pretty cool."

I walk over to the desk, sifting through the papers to see if there if is anything intresting, anything that will tell us why Lucinda has to keep this room a secret. Despite what Amy said I think the room is perfectly ordinary and have no idea why Lucinda really needs it. Could she have a secret job or something, that we don't know about?

There is nothing much on the desk, just bills and accounts and pages with Aunt Lucinda's spidery writing that I can't read. Then underneath a pile of papers I find a small white envelope. The front of it is blank.

"Hey, Amy" I whisper. My sister walks over from where she had been surveying the bookshelves. "Look at this." I point to the envelope. I lift it up. The back of it isn't stuck down. Two photos fall out.

I stare at them. "Amy" I whisper in a strangled voice, pointing a trembling finger to the photos. My twin stood beside me in shocked silence. Whatever I had expected to find down in Lucinda's study tonight it had never been this.
The first one is a photo of our parents. It was probbably taken a few days before they died judging by the way our mum is wearing her haircut. As I stared at it I felt a wave of grief overwhelm me. But it is the second photo that shocks me the most.

It is a picture of our parents car, the one they had the carcrash in that dreadful day. But there are bullet holes in the side of the car. Aunt Lucinda and the police had told us that our parents had died in a car accident. They said that our parents had been driving along the road when a car had come out from a turn suddenly and hit them. But had they been lying?

Had people been shooting at our parents car? And how did Aunt Lucinda know? Where had she got those photos from?

Suddenly we hear a noise from upstairs. "Come on" I whisper frantically to Amy, stuffing the photos in the envelope and putting it back on the desk. "We have to go." We hurry out of the office, locking the door securly behind us.
Amy runs back into the kitchen to replace the key. We listen out for noises before tiptoeing upstairs.

Aunt Lucinda must have been out at the bathroom. I hoped so anyway.
We parted at our rooms both still too shocked to say anything else.
I flopped down on my bed although I knew there was no way I'd be going to sleep anytime soon.

What had happened to our parents? And more importantly, what was going to happen to us?


Chapter 9 - Cassie

Daniel and I are in bed. It look like Daniel’s eyes are getting heavy now but I am wide awake, thinking of mum and dad. Then I look out the window to see a shadow of a body. The window slid open quietly, but not quite enough because Daniel shoots from his bed. We both stare at the window. We ran into our Auntie’s bedroom.

“ROBBER BOBBER” we both shout.
“Children, please don’t be so ridiculous”
We drag her out of her bed and bring her to our room, the robber was gone.
“Children, I told you that was nothing now go to bed!”
She gave us a glare and then told us to go to bed. So we did. Daniel couldn’t sleep and neither could I.

We went down stairs to get some water and then we saw a big pile of money on the table. We both gasped.
“Who do you think this is for?” asked Daniel.
“No idea” I responded.
I felt cold fingers grip my shoulder. We both jumped and there was our auntie.
“What are you doing now?”
“What's all that money there for?” I ask.
Ye, there must be thousands there” says Daniel.
“Well ehhh… it’s for a person not you so get out of the kitchen and go to bed!”
“Can we finish our water first?” I ask.
“Fine. But be quick”

She went upstairs but we didn’t.

We stayed here for a few minutes then the kitchen window opened. We both bolted under the table, he didn’t see us.

He took the money and left. But if he was a robber, why didn’t he steal the expensive dishes or the really expensive paintings on the wall? This went threw my head all night.

Chapter 10 Dan by Aoife K.

As my head hit the pillow I tried to contemplate what had happened the last few weeks. My head felt as if it was going to explode I couldn’t concentrate on everything that had happened it all seemed just to be random strands of information floating together unwilling to come together and connect I tried to just ignore everything and to remember a time were everyone was happy before aunt Lucinda before Ireland and before mum and dad died. I remembered when we went to Disney land.
We had touched down in France during a heat wave. But after we had gotten settle into our hotel room we headed straight for Disney land. I remembered back to when during the space mountain ride mum had had her sunglasses perched precariously atop her head and as we were half way through the ride they were ripped of her head and plunged to the ground below we couldn’t get to them because they were wedged in a crevasses were two Styrofoam volcanoes met.
I turned over in my bed I was pretty sure there were bed bugs and if not that lice.
I remembered when I had broken Amy arm it hadn’t actually been my fault me and my mates had been messing around when my friend Matthew threw a stick at me it hit me in the arm I hadn’t felt it but little did I know Amy was hanging out with her friends a little further up the road she was up a tree at the time and if I didn’t feel the blow Amy was the one who did she told me later that she was climbing up a tree and she had gotten a shooting pain up her arm that was when she lost her grip fell and broke her arm
I had finally gotten comfortable I started to drift off
I was suddenly in a sitting room. Wait this was my sitting room back in our old house. I could hear mum and dad arguing there was someone else with them. I looked across at Amy sitting next to me she had a cast on her arm. I suddenly remembered this scene. It wasn’t a dream it was a memory it was the night after Amy had gotten her cast. The kitchen door closed I glanced over and saw a man leave trough the front door he turned around for a second just a second but I recognised him instantly as the man Amy and I had seen reading a book on a bench the first day we had entered the town.
I woke up with a start it had been too vivid to be a dream. It was definitely the same man.

Chapter 11 – Amy – The Study - By Ellen

I stared at the cracked paint on the walls, “So what do you want to do today?” said Dan. I looked across to him; he was sitting at the end of his bed with a map of the area on his lap.
“I don’t want to go out today it will be to cold and I want to look around the house a bit” I said, Dan folded up the map and slipped it under his bed.
“So, where in the house will we go?” he said standing up, walking over to our open bedroom window and closing it tightly.
“I guess we could check out the attic or something? But I am not sure what we could find there. Hey! I have a good idea what about we try check where in the house Aunt Lucinda disappears to everyday?” Dan said jumping up and down on the spot.
“I don’t know Dan, I mean isn’t that sort of dangerous for us? I mean Aunt Lucinda hasn’t told us about it for a reason, right? Imagine if she found us in there!”
Quickly Dan butted into my ramble “But she won’t find us Amy! We will be totally fine and anyway what’s the worst she can do? Ground us for life? It’s not like we have anywhere to go in this dump of a town! Come on Amy, live a little!”
“I do Dan, it’s just we don’t even know where this secret room is, do we?” I said pleadingly, I really didn’t like the idea of Aunt Lucinda walking in on us if we were rooting through her stuff.
“Well, it looks like we will just have to follow her” said Dan with an idea gleaming in his dark green eyes.
Aunt Lucinda stopped suddenly at the end of the hall, quickly turned around on the balls of her feet and stared down the corridor at the door she had just come through. If she had turned a minute earlier she would have seen Dan and I slipping behide the long drapes that covered the thick doors that creaked on their hinges. She turned back around and continued walking, quickening her pace as she went. Dan slipped out from behide the drape and grabbed my bony wrist. He sprinted along the hall dragging me behide him. As Aunt Lucinda turned the corner Dan stopped suddenly with me nearly falling on top of him. Slowly we turned the corner, Aunt Lucinda had disappeared! All there was, was one door and a long mirror touching the floor. Slowly we crept up to the door and peaked through the key hole. The room looked empty. Boldly Dan pushed open the door and walked in. Aunt Lucinda wasn’t in there, we looked around the room and she wasn’t anywhere to be seen. The room had no furniture in it and a few windows. Dan and I tapped along the walls but nothing sounded hollow. We walked out of the room.
“This is all your fault! Why did we have to go off on this wild goose chase for what? Nothing! Why do I always let you talk me into this garbage! I’m sick of it!” I shouted pushing Dan against the long mirror and suddenly the glass in it turned inwards, revealing a secret staircase hidden behide the mirror.
“Told you there was a secret room” said Dan with a smirk on his face.
“Oh shut up Dan!” I said sourly but I couldn’t help smiling
We climbed the staircase listening as we went up it. The floor boards creaked, we stopped and listened for Aunt Lucinda to come out and see us, but she didn’t. We reached the door at the top of the stairs and heard footsteps approaching the door. Quickly we hide behide the door as best we could and held our breath. Aunt Lucinda opened the door and walked down the staircase.
Once she was out of sight Dan whispered “Thank God she didn’t turn around to shut the door, then she would have seen us!”
Quietly we slipped around the door and into the wide room Aunt Lucinda had just left.
“Shut the door Amy!”
“No, because if she comes back she will see that something is up ‘cause she didn’t shut the door behide her” I rasped back at him.
“Whatever, just do it and help me look around!”Said Dan in an irritated tone and started rooting through the desk at the far corner of the room.
I shut the door, walked over to the desk and started rooting through the drawers. They were full of useless papers! I read over a few of them and they were just bills. Surely Aunt Lucinda couldn’t be spending everyday up her just sorting bills, could she? I took the papers out of the drawer and placed them on the floor. Then I tapped the bottom of the drawer to see if there was a false bottom on it, like in the movies. To my surprise it sounded hollow! I grasped a letter opener that lay on the desktop, pushed it into the side of the false bottom and pushed it up.
Underneath the drawer was a rolled up piece of paper with the red wax seal on it ripped open. I put the roll in my pocket, then place the false bottom back in place and put the papers back in the drawer.
Suddenly we heard footsteps coming up the stairs and I shut the drawer quickly. We ran over to the door and hide. Aunt Lucinda came in, looked around and then walked over to the desk and sat down. Quietly we slipped out of the room and down the stairs back to our room.

Chapter 12 – Daniel (by Ciara)

As I opened the will, Amy grabbed it from me. She said “Maybe we shouldn't, maybe we didn't inherit anything.”
“Nothing, nothing! You think mum and dad left us nothing!” I yelled back. “ You don't have to open it, but I am.” Amy just stared at me blankly. This went on for about five minutes until she finally gave in.

The seal was already broken so all I had to do was take it out. I did it slowly and the first thing it said was...
'To our darling children Daniel and Amy, we leave everything for you to inherit when you turn eighteen.'

This was a great shock! No wonder Aunt Lucinda hid this, it is so hard to take in. That was the last straw, our parents were, without a doubt dead. We read through the whole will and at the bottom we noticed a witness' signature, it was Claudia. That was all it said Claudia, no surname or anything. Wills have to be signed by a family member so Claudia must be on mum's side of the family as dad had no siblings.

Amy and I decided to piece everything together. First we found the surveillance equipment, then the photo of Amy asleep followed by the hoard of information about our family under the stairs and now the will. They all must be linked somehow!

The equipment in the ditch could mean someone had been watching us. The hoard of information about our family could mean these belonged to the unknown stalker, but Aunt Lucinda must have found them and had thought it would be better not to tell us seen as we just lost our parents. The will, why did Aunt Lucinda have it? Why did we not receive it before we left America? Why hasn't she had the courtesy to show us the will before she got her hands on it? After all we did find it open in her drawer.

All these ideas were floating around our minds. Suddenly, Amy's face went white.“Reme...member” she stuttered, “Remember the conversation on the phone that you overheard? Aunt Lucinda said “Get the job done soon, they are getting suspicious”, maybe she was talking about us, maybe she is going to do something to us. OH MY GOD! She is going to kill us! “Chill out Amy, she is our aunt, not some psycho! You watch way too much C.S.I and Criminal Minds doesn't help either. They are television series, those kind of things don't happen in real life, it's make believe!” I replied.

We attempted to piece all the things we had discovered many times, but the best one we came up with was the theory I previously wrote about. We
hid everything under my pillow as we heard footsteps out on the landing.
Moments later Aunt Lucinda came bursting in saying lunch was ready. We
had a selection of potatoes (must be an Irish thing) and some sausages.
Aunt Lucinda had what she called ' bangers and mash', she said it was an
English recipe brought to Ireland when they took over the country.

After lunch Aunt Lucinda gave us a cup of tea and some biscuits. I would
have preferred some donuts but in Ireland they don't have shops that sell
just donuts. (Weird I know!) I thought this was the perfect opportunity
to confront her about the things we had discovered, so with a few nods to
Amy I did.

I started with the equipment we had found in the ditch, I said we were
both creeped out by this. She replied saying, “ The equipment is mine, it
is what controls the security cameras in this house, sorry if it scared you
but I thought I had mentioned them earlier. Sorry again, and they are
moved now anyway.” I replied saying that it was ok and it must have
slipped our minds that she had told us about them before.

Then Amy said “What about the information about our family? A few
days ago Dan tripped on the stairs, on loose carpet. I ran and I lifted up
the carpet and the floorboard came with it. Underneath the floorboard was
information about our family. Aunt Lucinda, why were these in your
possession?” Aunt Lucinda spoke with a blank face, “ I wanted to know as
much as possible about the two of you before you came to live with me
because I had never met you before and I wanted you both to feel at home in Ireland. At that time we didn't know what to say, but then a few minutes
later I asked how she got the information in the first place. Lucinda
replied saying our mother had always sent letters and pictures, neither of
us could protest to this, our mother was very fond of snail mail.

I had opened my mouth to ask about the will when the phone rang. Aunt
Lucinda picked it up and asked us to run along to our room. We both
raced up the stairs and into our room. The first thing I did was check
under my pillow to see if the stuff was still there. It was and Amy
suggested that we put the will back where we found it. I took numerous
pictures of it, wrote down what was on it before we tip toed back down the stairs and put it back it the drawer.

We walked back up the stairs and sat down by the window in our room. I
began to play on my phone and Amy gazed out the window. Suddenly she
grabbed my arm, “Look, look!” she squealed. I looked out the window to
see Aunt Lucinda in the garden. I said “Big woop, don't have a hissy fit,
she's just walking around the garden!” “But listen Dan! Can't you hear her
shouting down the phone line? Who is that?” Amy shouted back.
“I, I don't know” was all I could mumble. Then our faces went blank, the
woman in the garden turned to face us, she had no birthmark on her face.
Aunt Lucinda did, the only difference between them was the birthmark.
“ That means she has a twin” Amy said. With that Aunt Lucinda hung up the phone and walked outside.


By Luan Riddell – Amy

The days were getting shorter as our stay lingered on, Aunt Lucinda was getting us to tidy the house instead of pottering around, sticking our noses into Lucinda’s business. I felt as if she had let the mansion go to rot then taken us into care and then forced us to clean the house until our hands and feet were blistered. Daniel had left just a short while ago, weaseling himself out by saying that he could collect Lucinda’s medication . He mocked me as he cycled down to the village.
I just ignored him and got on with my work which was chopping firewood, it was killing my back. I pictured myself as a twenty year old with a crooked back, chopping wood day after day after day. I didn’t see the point in why Aunt Lucinda needed fire wood, she had gas heating and after seeing the pile of money a few days ago in the kitchen I’m sure she could buy plenty of briquettes. I brought the axe I was given down on the wood and missed it completely, thumping it into the ground, a sharp pain streaking up my arm, I dropped the axe with a quiet shriek. I decided that I needed a rest, this labour which felt more like slavery was killing me inside and the sun was blazing in the sky making it hard to focus and at the same time burning my skin
. I walked towards the back door of the house and saw my Aunt notice me through the window.She took the coffee in her hand and stretched over the table to grab a cowboy hat . As I came in Lucinda quickly said “ I just found a hat for you, took me a while though.” She added quickly, “ well, I said in a choked voice,” I think I have a cold”, followed by two forced coughs. I took a quick glance in the mirror and thought I looked convincing enough, the sun and work had together made her hair damp with sweat and her face bright red. “ I guess you can take a short five minute break but after that I want you out there working until you feel like you’re about to pass out.” “ Anyway I’m giving you very little work, when I was your age I didn’t get any breaks, understood?”“Understood,” she muttered as she walked out of the kitchen.
They had only been there for two weeks but I felt I wouldn’t last another week. I felt like running to my room, after finding out that our Aunt was hiding our parents will fom us as well as photos of our parents car with bullet holes She now felt the need to be as far away from her as possible. Myself and Daniel found no refuge in this house or the village that neighboured it. The people there were still scared, or more curious of us, which made us feel uneasy. Sean was the only one that seemed close to normal, but even he had his odd moments when he tried to change the conversation. The more she thought about it, the idea of running away from here became more tempting. I decided to take my five minute break as a sleep. I knew that I was covered in bugs and mud but I was too tired to change. As I lay in my bed I heard Aunt Lucinda stick on the record player ,it was some sort of ancient Irish music, the sound blaring through the house.
I realised then that Lucinda couldn’t have given me a better chance to run away, The stuff I’ve heard and seen has told me that Aunt Lucinda isn’t just a distant relative, she was involved some how in what happened to my parents. She was possibly in America when our parents were supposedly shot. I felt scared, angry and lonely at the same time, if it wasn’t for Daniel she would’ve gone balistic. “Time to go” I said to myself, I grabbed my shoes, clothes, books and laptop and crammed it into my bag. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to bring everything as it would slow me down so I left half my stuff. I then went into Daniel’s room to find clothes lying everywhere, I stuffed his most valuable belongings into his bag and left them both in my room. I was sure that he would tag along, he wouldn’t be able to stand one day in this house without me. I crept down the hall and tip toed into the kitchen. Though Lucinda probably wouldn’t hear her because of the music. I took a quick look anyway just to make sure she was in the sitting room, as I took a peek I saw that she was asleep with a bottle of sherry in her hand and mumbling to herself. After seeing the drink in her hand I realised how parched I was and ran over to the sink and gulped down what felt like litres of water. I practicaly lunged at the food in the fridge, grabbing what ever I could and stuffing it into my coat pockets and carried the rest up stairs squeezing it into Daniel’s bag. Who knew how long it would take to get back to Boston...., if they even got back .
You don’t even know where you’re going” I whispered to myself, I turned around and shouted “ who’s there?!” I ran back down to the kitchen, the most likely place to find a map. I quietly opened the kitchen drawers in a frantic search for one and then for some reason I thought of the shed. I slipped out the back door and tiptoed over, the shed was locked but it was weathered over time and on closer inspection I saw what looked like teeth marks. I pulled at the lock with all my strength and then it snapped, throwing me to the ground. I took a hesitated look back to the house, to make sure no one had heard a thing, I thought I saw something moving but it was my imagination, the adrenalin was causing my senses to pick up strange vibes, I felt a hundred eyes on me. As I searched through the shed in vain, I found a crow bar which could come in handy, but no map. Who has maps in their sheds anyway, what was I thinking!
As I ran through the garden I saw a black BMW parked at the end of the drive. Was someone visiting Aunt Lucinda? Still clutching the crow bar I ran into the kitchen and took another peek at Lucinda, she was still asleep on the sofa, head hanging. I ran down the hall now knowing I had nearly everything I needed, just had to get the bikes. As I neared my bedroom I felt an errie silence, my heart started beating faster, I knew something was odd when I re-entered the house, someone had switched off the music, I walked into the room and there were two men in black suits. One was rumaging through my bag, he had a shaven head, stubby nose and an emotionless face, the other man was on my laptop and had a bent nose, black hair which looked like it had grown into his beard and red bloodshot eyes. “Go” muttered the bearded man, the shaven one got up and ran towards me but I was out in a flash and running down the hall but I wasn’t fast enough, the shaven man gave me a kick which knocked the wind out of me. Sprawled on the floor, he reached down to grab me but then I chose to reveal the crow bar I had hidden under my shirt, swung it in an arc, smacking it into the mans hand. I heard a sickening crunch as if someone had snapped a pile of twigs. The man clenched his teeth in distress, he kicked the crow bar out of my hand and hit me in the jaw with his good hand. The taste of blood in my mouth made me sick, I just about stood up and as a last ditch effort I went into his mind, and he felt it, he clutched his head, confused at what was happening. I’d never been able to go into other peoples minds but my brother’s, so what was this? Then without knowing it myself I started ripping his memories apart like paper, he started to cry out clutching his head and trying to crush it in his hands, I ran, horrified at what I had done.
I reached the room which Aunt Lucinda was in and noticed the sherry spilt on the carpet. I turned around and saw the bearded man walking towards me, while backing into a corner I asked “what have you done to her?” “Just spiked her drink, she needed a sleep” he said while drawing a kitchen knife out of his jacket, “Is she dead?” I asked, my voice hoarse now. “No, just asleep” he said ,as Aunt Lucinda started to stir, her eyes half opened. I was now backed up against the book shelf, the bearded man put a finger to his lips to silence me then brought the heel of his knife down on my head.


The bed starts to creek as I get out. Amy must be up because her cover
is pulled back. I walked down the stairs and see ant Lucinda in the
kitchen making some toast. “Is Amy up yet?” She says. I say she
probably went for a walk then I pour some corn flakes in my bowl. I
finish them before they get soggy then put my bowl in the sink. I go
back up to my bedroom and have a shower, put on some clothes and turn
on my laptop. It’s only a year old so it’s quite fast. I log onto my
facebook account and check my updates. Then I go and check my e-mails.
Then I look at the search bar at the top and see that before I went on
facebook I had been on a bank website! Someone must have been using my
laptop. I confront Ant Lucinda but she says she hasn’t touched my
laptop. Amy is still not back. I try to call her but it goes to
voicemail. She’s been gone for two hours now.

I started to run. I looked through every room but still no sign of
Amy. Where has she gone? She’s been gone for seven hours! I felt like
crying and after a minute of sobbing I began to get angry. Why had this
happened to us? We have never done anything wrong! I began to think.
Had mum and Dad really died in a car crash or was there something me
and Amy should know? Where is Amy anyway? Questions flooded into my
mind and I knew I would have to find out what’s really going on. Ant
Lucinda appeared and I stopped crying. “I can’t find her Daniel!” Began
Ant Lucinda and she burst into tears. I looked up at her as she took
out a hanky and tabbed it on her eyes. She was wearing a knitted jumper
and a skirt. I looked up at her and for the first time I noticed
something. There was a small brown mark on the side of her cheek. “What’
s that?” I asked. “What’s what?” she replied still sniffling. “The mark
on your cheek!”. “Oh, that’s my birth mark Daniel” she said. I thought
back to the first time I saw Ant Lucinda and remembered that she did
have a birthmark. But then I taught of two days ago and I remembered
going into the kitchen and seeing her face without a mark. I told her
what I thought and she said that maybe two days ago I was just out of
bed and I was still half asleep. “No!”I said “There’s something going
on that you’re not telling me and I’m sick of it!” I screamed at her. I
felt scared inside. I was out of breath. Ant Lucinda was froze to the
spot. “I’m sorry Daniel” she said “We need to talk”.

She brought me into the kitchen. She told me to sit down. I sipped on
some lemonade waiting for her to come over. Finally she joined me at
the table. “I’ve something to tell you Daniel”.

Chapter 15 by Vali

Aunt Lucinda began her story. “ We lived in a farm in Donegal. The three of us, and our parents . Sophie, Claudia and I. Claudia and I were twins an d Sophie was three years younger than us. We were really close and best friends. We did everything together. We helped our parents on the farm, then in the afternoon we went to the local shop and bought sweets, chocolate and biscuits for our mega-midnight feast at night when we shared all our latest secrets, crushes and so on. That was the life, we all thought when it all was about to go wrong.
Sophie went to the Gaeltacht in Galway when she was sixteen, and Claudia went to America to learn all about the law as her dream was to be a lawyer. She was only twenty-one, pretty young to be going away so far, for a year. I was incomplete without them; no midnight feasts, no secret telling, no helping out Mam and Dad on the farm together. This was NOT the life I wanted to be leading. So I got myself a job, which was not easy, let me tell you, especially me being a woman and all. I settled down in the local biscuit factory, earned some money and bought an apartment.
When Claudia returned, I barely recognised her, she had a lot of black make-up on and her attitude was terrible. She slept over at my house that night because she was hung-over. That night she told me what happened in America.” Aunt Lucinda paused, Daniel prompted her on, “ She told me she nearly got arrested because she attacked her boyfriend with her penknife, because he ‘dumped’ her and she was drunk. But the court considered it manslaughter after a long trial.
After that it was all shoplifting and getting drunk. Our parents disowned her. They were ashamed. I decided to be truthful to her. I told her that she should calm down or else she will get into serious trouble. She stormed out of my apartment with disgust.” Aunt Lucinda sniffed and continued, “ She came back a week later. She packed her clothes in silence. And-and n-never c-came back…” Aunt Lucinda burst into tears. Daniel gave her a big hug. “I-I c-can’t… Oh alright. She got arrested a year later. She got caught stealing a blouse from ‘River Island’ but other tapes were handed in, with her stealing other clothes from various shops. She had to stay three years in prison.
“It-IT WAS ALL MY FAULT! I told the security guard that she was stealing. It was getting the better of me. She would go out daily, shoplift to her hearts’ content, brag about her new belongings and go to sleep happy. It was so irritating. I did it for her own good…..” Daniel understood completely. Even though she was fifty or so years older than him, he gave her a big cuddle and she wiped away her tears and resumed her tale.
“ We didn’t talk for ages after that. Twenty years or so. After our parents passed away, she permanently moved into their house. In about fifteen years she invited me over. We had a nice talk about what had happened since I betrayed her. She seemed to have forgotten about that.
She hadn’t. She brought me down to the basement and showed me a file about Sophie, her husband and you and Amy. She said ‘ I’ve got Sophie, I’ve got her husband Paul, And it won’t be difficult to get the twins as they will be coming here next week. I introduce the new Aunt Lucinda – ME!!’ she cackled evilly. ‘ And YOU – my darling sister will come shortly after.’ She locked me in here and brought me a slice of bread and a glass of milk each afternoon. I’ve been living like this for two weeks. Every time she saw you heading down here she would hide me and told me to be quiet or else………” she gulped, shaking.
Daniel could see that this story was disappointing her. But he had to hear it. It could be really useful. “ She installed cameras in your bedrooms, the basement, and the kitchen. She kept disappearing because she wanted the man who ‘accidentally’ killed your parents to kill you as well. I-I’m very sorry.” She started crying again. Daniel was speechless. Holy crap, he thought. Amy – we are in serious trouble…… Aunt Lucinda saw his troubled and shocked expression. This made her cry even harder. “ It will all be OK. Just untie me and I will try to help you.” Daniel gulped, This…..was it. Claudia was going DOWN!

Chapter 16 Amy By: Aoife Gillespie

“Urghhh” I said as I sat up on the hard, cold ground. After been beaten with a bag over my head I was feeling very dizzy. My head ached and my hands were covered in blood. I sat there crying, wondering where I was and why I was here.

In the darkness of the room I could see a shaft of light shining through the bottom of the door. I heard footsteps and keys jangling; I lay back down and pretended I was asleep. I heard the door handle turning and I closed my eyes. The sudden burst of light filled the room when the door opened. It hurt the back of my eyes even though they were closed.

I opened them slightly and took a quick look around. I seemed to be held prisoner in an old warehouse. The walls were lined with shelves of boxes and bags. A man was standing in the doorway looking down at me. He had a tray in his hands filled with cans of baked beans. He placed it in front of me and lowered his voice into a grumbling whisper. “Eat them sparingly, it’s all you’ll get” he muttered. He kicked me hard in the legs and left locking the door behind him.

I cried softly to myself and opened a can of the baked beans. He had left no fork or bowl so I had to eat them with my fingers. “You’ll eat anything when you’re hungry”, I said to myself with a sigh. I took a sip of water and lay back down on the floor.

As I fell back asleep, I thought of everything that had happened to us since our parents had died. When Daniel and I were told we were moving to Ireland after our parents’ funeral I thought it was the worst thing that could happen. Since moving to Ireland everything has gone down hill. I had never realised how lucky I was to have two wealthy parents, live in a big modern house,and to have a healthy twin. “Why had I taken it for granted?” I mumbled. “Why me?” I asked. “Why?” I screamed.

I sat up again and waited. I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for but I hoped I was waiting for something good to happen and not baked beans!!

Chapter 17 - Daniel By Niamh

My stomach was churning with fear and worry. My mind was spinning with what Aunt Lucinda - the real Aunt Lucinda - had told me. One thing was certain. I had to find Amy and rescue her.

My stomach gave another somersault as I thought what might be happening to her. I remembered the last thing Amy said to me before I went off to meet the real Aunt Lucinda - "be careful." I felt so bad. I should have taken Amy with me. Then she wouldn't have been left alone in the house with Aunt Claudia. Then she wouldn't have been kidnapped.

She would be terrified right now. She could be seriously hurt or even unconscious or.... "Stop it" I told myself.
I felt like being sick.

I went into to the kitchen to get a drink of water to try and calm myself down. Aunt Claudia was nowhere to be seen.
I was glad. I had enough to worry about without running into her.

Aunt Lucinda had gone as well. She had disappeared out of the cellar as soon as she had finished telling me the strange story about her and her twin. She didn't want Aunt Claudia to know that she had been inside the house. She especially didn't want Aunt Claudia to know that she had been telling me about Aunt Claudia's true identity.

I sat down on a chair at the kitchen table, sipping the water out of a chipped glass and trying to clear my head. I thought longingly of my parents. Never in my life had I wished them to be here as much as I did now. They would be here for me. They would comfort me. They would tell me what to do. I felt a wave of grief overwhelm me. If they hadn't died I wouldn't be here all alone. I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I quickly took another sip of water before I could start crying.

My parents weren't here and I would have to do this on my own. I owed it to them to take care of Amy and keep her safe. I owed it to them to rescue her.

I finished my glass of water and sat there thinking. How could I find out where Amy had been taken? I wasn't here when she was kidnapped. Then the answer came to me.
Aunt Lucinda.
She had disappeared out of the cellar before I got the chance to ask her about Amy and where the kidnappers were taking her. But she was Aunt Claudia's twin sister. She had been in the house. She might know where Amy had gone.

I wasn't certain that Aunt Lucinda had left the house. She could still be in here somewhere but hiding so Aunt Claudia wouldn't know she was there. I decided to search the whole house to see if she was there. If that failed then I was just going to have to think of something else.

I got up from the table. Having something to do made me feel better. It stopped me worrying as much.
I started downstairs. I went into all the rooms and searched them thoroughly; the parlour, the dining room, the library, Aunt Claudia's study, the cellars again. I went back into the kitchen again just to check but nothing.

I started making my way up the narrow stairs. I was determined not to lose hope. My footsteps echoed nosily on the oak floorboards. I felt a shiver run down my spine. It was spooky being in the house without Amy by my side.

The bathroom upstairs was empty. I checked in all the bedrooms. I even went into Aunt Claudia's bedroom. The sun was shining in through the big window, flooding the room with light. It was immaculate as it was on the first day we came here. Her bed was neatly made and her dressing table was clean, everything tidied into little boxes apart from two stray pieces of paper. I walked over to investigate them. They might give me some clues as to where Amy was.

The first sheet of paper was a letter, addressed to Aunt Claudia. I scanned it quickly, my heart thumping in my chest. The letter was from the bank. I didn't understand some of the words - they were technical, bussiness terms - but basically the letter said that Aunt Claudia wasn't paying off her mortgage and she wasn't paying off the bills for heat and electricity. The bank said if she missed the next payment to pay her mortgage it would result in legal action which may cause her to lose her house.

I finished reading the letter and picked up the other sheet of paper. My eyes widened in horror. It was a cheque - made out from my parents bank account! After my parents had died, their money and savings were given to the bank and Amy and I would inherit them when we were eighteen. Until then, the bank kept the money safe. But Aunt Claudia or someone else had taken money from our parents' savings. Three thousand dollars had been taken out from the account and converted into euros.

Suddenly everything clicked into place in my mind. Aunt Claudia needed money desperately or her house would be taken away from her. That was why Amy was being kidnapped - for ransom money from our wealthy parents' fortune. And the money Amy and I saw on the kitchen table a week ago must have been the three thousand dollars (or whatever it was in euros) that was taken from our parents' account because there's no way Aunt Claudia could have paid the man from her own money with the state her house and mortgage was in.

I stood still as another realisation dawned on me. I had searched the whole house and Aunt Lucinda wasn't there. I couldn't go to her to ask for help on Amy's whereabouts.

I had no idea where she lived and I doubt any of the villagers would know eithier. Even if they did they probbably wouldn't help me judging by the way they reacted to Amy and I in the sweetshop. I didn't want to go to Sean or Sarah for help eithier. For all I know Sean could be involved in the whole kidnapping thing. He and Aunt Claudia were very friendly that night at dinner, giving each other loads of weird, secret signals. He certainly knows something he's not telling us anyway.

I still don't completely trust him though I know Amy likes him. And Sarah probably doesn’t know about the whole weird, secret twin thing. I don't think any of the villagers know about that. How could they? Sarah said they never saw our Aunt.

Hearing a noise I hurried down the stairs. Aunt Lucinda could be back! I ran into the kitchen but it wasn't the Aunt I was hoping to see.
Aunt Claudia had her back to me and was busy making a cup of tea for herself. I stared angrily at her. She jumped in surprise as she turned around and saw me standing there.

"What do you want?" she asked crossly, regaining her composture.
I felt rage swirling around inside me as I remembered the cheque I had found in her bedroom.
I thought of Amy, frightened and alone.
"I want to know where my sister is" I demanded. "What have you done with her?"
Aunt Claudia looked at me. "Your sister is in safe hands" she said frostily. "Nothing is going to happen to her as long as you do what you are told. Now go upstairs!"
"No!" I shouted. "Tell me where she is!"
My aunt regarded me coldly. "I will be in touch with my colleagues who are guarding your sister." she said. "If you don't behave yourself bad things may start to happen to her. Now go your room!"
I wanted to disobey but her threat had scared me.

I stamped up the stairs, hating my Aunt with all my heart. I went into my room and sat down heavily on my bed. I was in despair.

What was I going to do? How could I help Amy when I didn't even know where she was?

I couldn't ask anyone where she was. Aunt Claudia would never tell me though I had tried. I couldn't find Aunt Lucinda. None of the villagers would help me.

I gasped as a thought suddenly occured to me. What if I mindread Amy? She might be able to tell me where she was and then I could go and rescue her somehow. Sure it had only worked before when she was standing near me but it was worth a try. Anything was better than just sitting here, worrying.

I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I took slow, deep, breaths, in and out until my breathing steadied.

I tried to picture Amy's face. Her long, brown, hair that curled slightly at the ends. Her piercing, emerald-green eyes. Clear, pale, complexion. Freckled nose.

"Amy" I said in my head. "Amy, can you hear me?"
No answer.
"It’s me, Daniel. Are you there?" Nothing. “Amy?”
She never said anything. I never heard anything. I tried and tried.
After an hour I was forced to give up.
I was exhausted.

"I'll try again tomorrow" I told myself determinedly. "I'm not going to give up."
I lay down on my bed and fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter 18 (Amy) by aoife kavanagh

I had been pacing the room for what seemed liked hours. There had to be a way out there was a bed that was nailed to the floor, a foset in the corner but I couldn’t use it only let out scorching hot water, in the opposite corner there was a bucket it was clear from the start what I was supposed to use it for. Directly over the bucket there was a window I had already tried to look out of it but it was too high up it was also too narrow for me to squeeze through. I didn’t have any watch but every day just as the sunlight hit the top of the bed well around that time a man would come in and give me two stale pieces of bread and some water. I remembered that before we had gone to the funeral we had met with a child psychiatrist she had given us each a rubber band and ever time we thought of mum and dad we were to flick ourselves with it. I thought back to an Aprils fools day two years ago when Dan had shoved a rubber band into the tap in our bathroom and instead of the water shooting down it sprayed all over anyone who tried to use the tap. With that I devised a plan of escape. I had already used the bucket once and there was not going to be a second time. I went to bed I would need all the rest I could get for tomorrow. All they had given me was a sheet for warmth but I guessed it was better than nothing.

I woke up I guess I had over slept the sun light almost reached the top of the bed. I jumped out of bed and ran over to the foset and shoved my rubber band into the tap I stood to the side and tested it out it worked perfectly. I then grabbed the bucket and placed it in front of the door no sooner had I done that then the door swung open. I backed up against the far wall the man took a few steps into the room and as I had hoped his foot landed straight into the bucket. He glared at me.

“You can use the tap” I suggested

He went over and turned it on. He let out a cry as it hit him full force in the face. He was momentarily blinded. I ran over and kneed him in the chest there was a sickening crack of ribs. I considered taking his gun but the mere thought of using it made me sick to my stomach. I took of at a run my heart pounding I rounded a corner and then another one for all I knew i was just running deeper into the heart of the building. I crashed through some metal doors an alarm went off but I didn’t care I was finally out in fresh air I came to the exit and ducked under the security leaver. a bullet whizzed passed my ear I t had missed me by millimetres. I glanced back and saw that I had been kept in a factoryI tried to reach out to Dan.

“I’m near some sort of factory” there was a whistling noise and then I felt a thud in my leg I tripped and fell. I glanced down at my leg there was a dart sticking out of it I knew I wouldn’t die but was going back there any better?

Chapter 19 – Daniel – The letter – by Ellen

As every minute ticked by I got more and more worried about Amy. I had searched every single nock and cranny in the whole house. I had discovered trap doors and hidden rooms and searched them all over, but couldn’t find anything even giving me a hint to where she could be.
I pulled a map of the town out from under my bed and stared at it. There was a small baker, row after row of thatched roof cottages, a post office and a small corner shop. Off on the corner of the map was what looked like a big black box, but when I looked closely at the small italic writing under it, it said it was an old abandoned biscuit factory. Strange thing to have in the middle of nowhere I thought to myself.

I decided go out to the town to see did anyone know anything about what could have happened to Amy or did anyone see anything weird. As I walked out of the house I heard a rustling in the bushes, I quickly turned around and yanked them apart to find Sean squatting there. “What the hell do you want?” I shouted at him “and what the hell are you doing in that bush?” I stared at him with my face turning red as I did.
“I thought I dropped my contact lens in the bushes” he said slowly.
“That’s the best you could come up with? Why were you anywhere near my house in the first place Sean?”
“I was just on my morning stroll and was passing by” he said reassuringly but he didn’t meet my eye.
“IT’S FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON! IT’S HARDLY MORNING ANYMORE!” I screamed at him the vein on my head pulsing, his stupidity was infuriating me and I also had a feeling he knew something he didn’t want to tell me.
He stepped backwards, his eyes bulging. I looked at his face. Something wasn’t right.
“Wait a minute, do you know where my sister is?” I said slowly. He turned and ran speedily down the drive way not looking back.
“Where’s Amy?” I screeched after him. I was about to run after him when I looked down, lying on the ground was folded up piece of paper.
I picked it up, opened it and read;
Fail to bring your
sisTers will
tO me and
youR sister will
What the hell did this mean? Was it meant for me? And why did Sean have it? The grammar was completely messed up and ‘die’ was spelt wrong. The Will. I knew I needed to get it, I ran inside and down the hall to the hidden study. I climbed the stairs and went into the study. I ran to the desk and pulled the Will out of it. I slipped it into my pocket and ran back to my room. I felt like I was becoming closer and closer to finding Amy all of a sudden. The only thing left to do was figure out where she was.

Chapter 20

Amy- luan

Whispers. So many of them in my head, they never stop when I’m sleeping. They’re always to distant to hear, teasing me from afar, eating me from the inside, I felt like I was on fire. The whispers were getting louder, they always did before I woke and then with a jolt my eyes snapped open, taking in a deep breath I looked around. Same walls, same floor, same door. Pulling myself into a corner, I wrapped my arms around my legs and started to rock back and forth. It feels like I’ve spent half my life here. A jug of cloudy water sat on a tray in the middle of the room with a bowl of mashed potatoes, some comfort food. I kept pulling myself towards the water and looking at my reflection. I had the flu, I looked as if I had run ten miles, my hair plastered to my head, the gash on my head from the blows I was given was infected, it throbed continously. Was the smell of sulphur coming from my wound or was it coming from the corner I used as a bathroom. I felt defeated, my only escape was in sleeping but even then I was restless, full of nightmares. I searched for Daniel but no luck, just another agonising headache. After what felt like a few hours, sleep returned, as well as the whispers, but this time they were searching, looking through my memories and thoughts and by accident they discovered me as I had discovered myself. As I looked upon them there were strands of silver coming closer and forming into red serpents Their voices at the start were distant but now they were crystal clear, screeching, “Why?!” I tried to talk but my voice was gone, I tried to run but my legs were heavy. The blazing red serpent parted and floods of slimey coloured water engulfed me in seconds. I couldn’t breath. All of it happening so fast. My head was spinning and my legs dragged me to the depths and then, rushing light.
“Is she awake yet?” said a voice, “she isn’t breathing” said another. “Gimme the bucket” said the second man and then the icy cold water smacked me on the face, I gasped, my eyes blurred from the water. I sat up straight rubbing my eyes but was kicked back to the ground, “what you do that for?” said the second man. Now clearly seeing him, I saw that he had dirty blond hair, a tiny nose, brown eyes and a stiff mouth. He also had a head to small for his body or was it a body too big for his head, I couldn’t tell, my head was acheing. “She was taking too long, wasting my lunch break” the first man muttered, I saw the one who had kicked me had been in Aunt Lucinda’s. Not knowing his real name,I nicknamed him, Blackbeard. “Well now you’re wasting our lunch break kicking her” Blondy argued back, while Blackbeard hauled me up onto a chair. As I sat on the chair Blackbeard dug his fingers into my shoulder, another man walked through the open door. He had a shaven head, bright blue eyes and an expressionless face. He wore a black suit like his minions behind me. “How’s my favourite prisoner?” he said, with a sly smile on his face. “As good as always, bald git!”I said , returning the smile. “Now, now” he said pausing for a moment then looking directly at me “ lets not be rude to the host.”
As he said that I felt a switch turn off in my head, my mouth wasn’t saying what I wanted it too say, “Yes, you’re right, I’m sorry” I said, my face full of surprise. The flu was probably getting worse, “now, the man said, you’re probably wondering why you’re here, aren’t you?” No, not really, was what I wanted to say but the words came out as just “yes.” I was getting angry with myself now. “Well, sorry too dissapoint you but I can’t tell you anything,” he said, enjoying the moment. “ Let go of her”, he said to the two guys behind me. He signalled with his hand for me to follow. I rubbed my shoulder and followed him out into the light.
I sheilded my eyes from the light in what seemed like the inside of a factory. Looking up at the roof which slanted down on one side . The walls were around eight meters high with a line of windows at the very top, it was dark outside. As I looked down I saw row after row of machines which resembled huge metal hedges stretching on forever. I looked to my right and saw up to twenty trucks, or were they tanks? “Where are we?” “It’s a biscuit factory” he answered, turning to face me, and now that I saw him in the light I noticed he had a long scar down the left side of his face, a purple red colour. I held my breath. Knowing that any comment I made would come out the way he wanted it to. I noticed I was being followed. I tilted my head backwards and saw Blackbeard a few steps behind me, holding a knife in one hand and - more importantly – a chocolate bar in the other, I felt my stomach call out to it. I tore my gaze away from it and saw that the bald guy was pointing at random machines, telling of their history, “ and this was where the dough was shaped, back in my day we had no machines and had to use old fashioned shape cutters.” As we walked through the corridors of giant ovens I asked “ what’s you’re name?” not really wanting too know but just to stop him rambling, “you can call me..... Mr. Helsink.”
As we got to a crossroad of machinery, he stopped, as if he had forgotten which way he was going. As he pondered I saw a black figure coming towards me, I turned to face him but then he was gone, there he was again, to my left, I turned my head slowly and then watched as the figure faded. My eyes were starting too hurt,my headache reaching it’s pitch. “When I was young I only knew painful discipline, what I felt would be torture for you, you have the easy life,you don’t even have to lift a finger and if so..... you would say its child abuse.” My head was on fire now, every muscle was screaming with pain, this wasn’t the flu, it was worse. He choose to turn to the left. I didn’t want to follow but something was forcing my feet to move. “You don’t know pain, us elders made this world for you and you expect us to let you roll around in it without going through what we did?!” Now there were a dozen dark figures behind and in front of me. “Well then, why are you hurting me? Why not get revenge on all the kids out there?!” I said, my voice hoarse now. He ignored what I said and walked over to what looked like a dip in the ground but was actually a giant metallic mixing bowl, blades razor sharp. I tried to look away from the ever growing crowd of dark people but the only clear space was the bowl and I could clearly see their reflections in it. “ I wonder what it would feel like to be mixed around in there?” Mr Helsink said, while looking at the bowl gleefully. “What are you going to do with me, I asked, use me as a slave?” “No, no that would be much too time consuming” he said while looking at the bowl.
Then it all dawned on me, a shiver ran down my spine and it wasn’t the flu. “W-why?” I stuttered, now seriously freaked out. “I’ll give you a short taste of the pain I went through.” I was getting scared, angry and even more lonely than I ever was but then I remembered that I had the upper hand. I had the freaky super power. I acted as we locked eyes, diving into his thoughts, I don’t know how I did it but I just somehow felt the link, and went for it. But in the end I wish I hadn’t done it. Mr Helsink’s thoughts were horrible. I looked into one, a knife slashing his face, probably where he got the scar, that’s as far as I got , I didn’t have a chance to hurt him because the whispers had returned. I saw Mr Helsink’s face and he was smiling, I tried to tear my gaze away but I couldn’t! The dark figures surrounded me now, chanting the word, why?, sufficating me with their presence. Then something different happened, through the whispers came a voice, Mr Helsink’s voice, telling me to put my hands to my throat and to close them. I tried to cry out but my voice was gone, I tried to run but my legs wouldn’t obey. I couldn’t breath. My will gave in and I fell into a tortured sleep.

Chapter 21 by Ciara

I tried to leave the house by the front door, but Aunt Lucinda stopped

me. She said “Excuse me pet, but I will not let you leave this house as

I am worried you might disappear as well, ir you must go out please

go with either myself or Seán.” replied saying I just wanted to buy

some sweets and then I asked her for Seán's home number. I rang

and a man's voice answered. He said “Hello, who may you be looking

for?” I said “Hello I am looking for Seán, is he there?” There was a

long pause and then I heard Seán's voice. “Hello, who is this?” he

asked. “Hey Seán, it's me, Daniel. Would you like to go for a walk?”

Seán replied saying he would love to and that he would meet me in

fifteen minutes by the playground.”

With that I left the house. Even with having permission to leave the

house it was still extremely difficult to get down the drive. Walking

down the steps was simple, but getting down the drive was the hard

part. The drive was overgrown, weeds looked like grass and grass

looked like trees. I'm still pretty positive that there was an animal

following me. I was almost out the gate when I got caught on a bush.

(Since then I have been told that it is called a bramble.) I tried to tug

away but that only made it worse and it cut my leg. After I finally

pulled free from it I fell head first onto the ground. It hurt but I got up

and walked down the sidewalk.

As I was walking towards the town I started to get funny looks from

passers-by. When Seán saw me he ran to me. He asked me what had

happened as there was a blood stain on my shorts and I had a bruise

on my head. I told him I got caught on a bush in the drive and fell

over. He brought me to his house and gave me a pair of his shorts. He

got us some coke and chips and he switched on the tv. During a

commercial break I decided to ask him about the letter he gave me.

“ Seán, if you don't mind me asking, who gave you the letter to give to

me?” I said. “Em er, my dad gave it to me, he said he was given it by

someone in a car. The person just stuck a gun out and said, “Give this

to Daniel Mc Guinness and I will spare your life.” It happened the day

Amy went missing, maybe it's all linked together! I only did it because

I don't want my dad to die, I need him to stay with me.” Seán replied

I thought his story was a bit iffy so I left it at that. A few minutes later

Seán spoke again. This time it was about going fishing the next day. I

said I would love to go. I was walking out the door when I realised that

I had never asked him what time and where. I ran back in and asked

him, he said we can meet at the same time and place as the last

time we went fishing. After that I went out the door and ran home. I

left as the atmosphere had gotten weird and it was just plain


About half way home I got tired and started to walk instead. I thought

about Seán and what he had said. It was highly unlikely that

someone had been held at gunpoint because a) It would be the talk

of the town as someone was bound to see it and b) Aunt Lucinda

would not let me out of her sight, never mind the house. When I got

home Aunt Lucinda made a fuss about my leg and head but I told her

it was fine so she made me dinner and we sat down to eat it. This

consisted of roast beef with vegetables. I told Aunt Lucinda that I was

going fishing in the morning. She said she would let me go on the

condition that I bring my cell phone, pepper spray and that I would

wake her up before I left so she could cook me breakfast. I said that

breakfast was unfair on her as I would be leaving before 4am. She

still insisted so I gave in and said 'Thank You'. After I finished my

dessert I went to my room. I put on my pyjamas and got ready for

bed. It was still early so I played a few games on my phone before I

switched off the light and drifted off to sleep.

I woke in the middle of the night all hot and sweaty. I had experienced

yet another nightmare. This time it was about where Amy was. I

pictured her in a boat about to be dropped into the water with a

weight holding her feet together. I woke up so my nightmare ended

there. I looked at the clock and it was three o' clock so I got up and

had a shower. After my shower I got dressed and went into Aunt

Lucinda's room to wake her up. She was startled but got up and went

downstairs and into the kitchen. I followed her down after I had

packed my bag. When I got down Aunt Lucinda was standing over

the Aga doing a full fry. We both sat down, but I was the only one

actually eating as it was only half past three. Aunt Lucinda packed

my lunch, said goodbye and went back upstairs to bed. I looked into

the bag and all I had was a sandwich, an apple, a juice box and some

bait. I decided to add a packet of chips, a packet of jellies to share

and a can of soda. I walked down the drive and onto the sidewalk.

About ten minutes later I arrived where the boat was docked.

We set off just as the sun was rising. It was quiet so I decided to

break the ice. I brought up the letter again. This time he babbled on

about how a woman dropped it on the sidewalk. He had the intention

to give it back to the woman but when he looked at it it had my name

on it, so he decided to give it to me instead. Moments later he

claimed he had seen me and handed it to me. After he had finished I

politely pointed out the his story had changed since yesterday. He

replied saying he didn't know what he was saying because he had not

been sleeping well. I left it at that as he looked quite distressed,

instead I thought I would figure it out all by myself. “I know it has

something to do with Amy, I just know it!” I mumbled under my

breath. The rest of the day went by as slow as a snail as we didn't

speak until we were leaving the docks and both said 'goodbye'. I was

on my way home when I decide I would read through the letter until I

found something to take my lead on.

Chapter 22: Codes and puzzling questions by Julia

All day I tried clearing my head, I sat in the tree all day trying to figure out why my sister put big letters in her writing. She took extra English classes in our old school in New York. I looked through the letter again guessing a code was in this. I also knew, Amy in Girl Guides, learned how to make codes and crack codes. She told me a little bit about codes after Girl Guides. I tried putting all the big letters together.
Fail to bring your Aunt Claudia sisTers will
tO me
and your sisteR will dYe.
FACTORY! FACTORY! That is where Amy is! I have to find Sean. I raced out of the door to Sean’s house in the dirty looking town. I knocked on the door shouting: SEAN! OPEN UP YOU COWARD! Sean opened the door silently. What? I don’t know where your sister is! A woman gave the letter to me to give to you. Sean said in a loud shouting voice. This did not make anything easier. I hated Sean he never explained anything. I took him by the neck and punched him on the nose. TELL ME WHERE MY SISTER IS! I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR THIS RUBBISH! TELL ME WHERE SHE IS BEFORE I KILL YOU! Sean gasped for breath but I kept my hand at his throat. Everyone passing by starred at me looking like they were going to call the police.
I let go of Sean and I ran back to my house crying. I was very frustrated with things. Mum and Dad were gone, and I did not want the only hope, the only light of my life, my sister, taken away from me. I felt as hard as a rock my feet ran to their hearts content. I slipped away from my mind and tried not to focus on anything but running.
The police came to our house questioning about my threat to kill Sean. Sean arrived at our house as well with a familiar face. Wait! I saw that face before, I remembered a flash back of the face like the one I’ve just seen. It was the bald guy. AND HE WAS SEAN’S FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!

chp 23 BY vALI -

I awoke with a start. My head felt like someone very strong was hitting it with a hammer every two seconds. I cursed under my breath. There was something dripping from the stained ceiling. The air smelled of petrol, but there was another strong smell that I couldn’t detect. I could hear distant screaming.
‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘this is what they do to all children whose parents died and left them a huge sum of money…’ I pondered about that for a while, but let it go, as it was causing even more confusion in my head.
I shivered. It was cold, damp and dark. I felt like a caveman. I wonder what Dan found out? Maybe he can help me? I laughed joylessly, under my breath, after all it was Dan after all I was talking about, not Superman! There were no windows in this room, and the room itself was tiny. A man came in, who I didn’t recognise, placed a tray in front of me, and left. Without a word. Weird. There was a bagel on it, and some water that smelled of men’s aftershave and cat wee. The bagel tasted of nothingness. Cardboard maybe. But nothing “EDIBLE”. I spat it out of my mouth .Was this how I was to spend the rest of my days? Surely not?!
I tried to get through to Dan.
~Dan, do you hear me?~
No answer. It must be really early. Or late? He must be tired. I yawned. I tried going back to sleep but I couldn’t as the floor was covered in a gooey, sticky substance. They could at least give me a decent bed. I was in a cranky mood all day. Although I couldn’t tell if it was night or day anymore… so I don’t know how long I was cranky for. As I nodded off to sleep, I prayed to God that Dan would get me out of here, however impossible that idea sounded.
When I woke up my head felt slightly better. This time it was as if a WEAK person was hitting it with a frying pan. Doesn’t sound much better does it? Trust me, it felt like heaven compared to yesterdays’ headache. The screaming was still going on and on. I tried getting through to Dan.
~Dan…DAN! Do you HEAR me?~
~Amy?! AMY, is that YOU?! Where ARE you?~
~Oh thank GOD! I never thought I’d be THIS happy to hear your voice! Well that’s the thing Dan, I don’t know where I am…~
~I’m on my bike and I came across this building, it must be an abandoned factory or something. The doors are open and I hear someone screaming…~
~I hear screaming TOO Dan!!! Could it be…~
~…that we’re in the same place?~
It was as if he read my mind.
~Listen out and I’ll rattle the doors. If you can hear me, we’re definitely in the same place!~ And I rattled the door.
~I can HEAR it! Just wait Amy, I’m coming to get - ~
His mind went silent. I peeped under my door and could see a tall figure with short, dark brown hair with a bike. THAT was Dan. But another figure was approaching him. A figure…with a shaven head…
A man burst into my room. “ Spying, are we? Don’t worry, your brother will be – how you say – taken care of!” He had an Italian accent and big muscles. I was knocked into unconsciousness. But there was one sentence that I remembered from Dan and ‘the bald guys’ ‘ conversation. ‘The bald guy’ said it. I remembered it word for word. It was:
“Well, well, well! We meet at last…”

Chapter 24 by Tom

The man in front of Daniel said his name was Michael but you can never
be too sure. “I have your sister Daniel, you better do what I say or
bad things will happen to her and you”. “I’ll never do what you say”
replied Daniel and he lunged at Michael. “Get him!” .Immediately Ant
Claudia grabbed Daniel’s wrist but he shoved her off. He ran past them
and around the side of the building. In the distance he could see what
looked like a golf course. He kept running, past a pile of old wooden
crates and then he saw it. A little golf cart. How had it managed to
get over here from the golf course miles away? But then he saw a faded
cop symbol on the side of the cart which meant it was probably for
security purposes. He hopped into it and to his amazement it had a key
on the seat! He tried to jam it into the slot but it wouldn’t budge! He
could here Ant Lucinda and Michael coming after him. He didn’t have
much time. He cracked open the plastic cover that protected the engine
and tried to hotwire the car. Suddenly he heard the engine burst into
life. He slammed on the accelerator just as Michel jumped onto the top
of the cart. The car started to speed down a hill. Daniel moved the
car side to side trying to fling Michael off. Then Daniel heard a bang
and screamed as blood stared to drip down onto the window of the cart.
Daniel swung left back up the hill and saw Michael go flying off the
cart and landing in a pile of manure. Daniel taught he was ok but then
he saw a tracker coming towards him and there was ant Lucinda inside
it! Daniel looked closely and could see that she had a gun! “What the
hell is wrong with you”! Daniel screamed at her. He turned around to
see that he was heading straight for the factory wall! He pulled on the
hand brake but the car wasn’t slowing down. The car swung a left and
smashed into the wall. Daniel clambered out onto the factory floor. Ant
Claudia was no where to be seen.

Chapter 26 - Daniel By Niamh

A massive pile of bricks and rubble trapped us in the small room.
They had come tumbling down behind the bald man when the golf cart and tractor crashed into the wall.
I nudged Amy and pointed to it.

The bald man gave an angry roar when he saw what had happened. He swore loudly and glared at Amy, Sean and I.
"Move this pile of junk!" he yelled furiously at us. "Now!"
We all obeyed even Sean.
I was begining to realise how scared he was of his dad. I didn't blame him.
I would be too if I had a father like that. I felt a tug of smypathy towards Sean.

I bent down and started picking up the bricks and rubble. Amy and Sean were doing the same.
"He needs to decide who's side he's on" Amy whispered crossly to me, nodding towards Sean.
"Ours or his dad's."
"Come on, cut him a bit of slack" I whispered back. "It must be really hard having a dad like that."
Amy looked at me angrily, tears in her eyes. "Yeah well at least he has a dad!" she hissed at me.

"Shut up and work!" shouted the bald man. He was leaning against the far wall, arms crossed and smoking a cigarette. The smell of the smoke in the confined space made me feel dizzy. I coughed.
The bald man glared at me.
"Something wrong?" he inquired sarcastically.
"No I muttered and continued shifting the bits of rubble.
It was hard work. My arms throbbed with the weight of the heavy bricks. Sweat poured off my face and trickled down my neck.

Yet again I thought of my parents. Why had they died? How could things have ended up like this?
Amy looked like she was struggling too.
I glanced over at Sean. He was working steadily, picking up bricks and throwing them in the corner, then bending down again and picking up more bricks.
He hadn't said a word since we had started working. I felt a bit guilty and wondered if he had heard Amy and I whispering.
As we moved away the bits of rubble, clouds of dust rose up.
I could see Amy's eyes watering.
After about ten minutes I saw her body sway and she nearly fell to the ground.

"Amy!" I cried, rushing over to grab her arm.
"I'm - I'm okay" she stammered.
I walked over to Sean. "Can't you ask your dad if he'll let us have a break?" I asked him.
"Amy's feeling really weak and I'm afraid she might faint."
Sean looked uncomfortable. "I'm not sure asking him will do any good" he said akwardly.
Amy looked over at Sean and her eyes flashed with anger. "Glad to know whose side you're on" she said icily.
Hurt flickered across Sean's face. "Amy, please" he said. "It's not like that."
"Wanna bet?" Amy snapped. Sean turned away, looking upset.

I sighed and walked over to the bald man.
He threw his cigarette on the ground and stubbed it out with his toe.
"What do you want?" he demanded.
"Please" I began. "My sister's feeling really weak. Can we take a break?"
He skowled at me. "I don't have time for this. Five minutes break and then back to work!" he growled.

Amy and Sean dropped the bricks they were holding and breathed sighs of relief.
A lot of progress had been made on the wall of rubble. Just a bit more work and there would be a big enough hole for us all to squeeze through.
I walked over to Amy. "How are you feeling?" I asked her.
"I'm okay" she replied with a weak smile. She shot a look at Sean and he flushed.

"Look I'm sorry" he told her with a sigh. "I am on your and Dan's side.
I've always been on your sides. I even put the code in that letter, remember."
Amy looked a bit embarrassed. "I suppose you did" she mumbled.
It's just hard with my dad and everything" Sean continued. "My mum died two years ago and the only other family I have is a granny who's really sick.
Amy walked over to Sean and put an arm around his shoulder. "I'm sorry" she said softly. "I didn't know."

"Do you have any idea what really happened to our parents?" I asked.
"Yes" Sean said. "Some people were shooting at their car. It still was a car crash but it wasn't an acident. They were people who wanted your parents out of the way so they could get their hands on their fortune. My dad wasn't involved with the killing of your parents but Claudia was."

When Sean had finished there were tears in Amy's eyes. "I'm sorry" Sean said, hugging her. "I didn't mean to upset you."
Amy's cheeks went pink. "No it's okay" she said sniffling. "I'm glad I finally know the truth."

I was shocked as well.
Of course I'd had my suspicions it was different hearing it told aloud.

The bald man had been quiet throughout this whole exchange.
He looked thoughtful, not angry like he had earlier. And he had stopped smoking as well.
He looked over at Sean and I saw a touch of regret on his face.

Suddenly the bald man noticed I was watching him.
The angry look came over his face again. He glared at me. "All right, enough chatter!" he barked.
"Get back to work!"

We all groaned and began removing more bricks. After about twenty minutes a fairly big sized hole had appeared in the wall.

"All right" shouted the bald man. That's good enough.
Move out of the way! Let me get out first!"

I straightened up and groaned.
"Finally we're done!" Amy whispered.
I nodded in agreement.

One by one we all squeezed out the hole.

Chapter 27 (Sean) aoife kavanagh

I couldn’t feel my legs. I could even see them they were buried under several inches of rubble. This should hurt. I must be in shock. For a moment I lost conciseness. There were colours a blur for a moment then they solidified into pictures memories really I guess it’s true what they say your life really does flash infront of you eyes before you die. I felt a single tear splashdown my face. I was in a room my dad was there. There was someone else there. I couldn’t really make out their face. They were talking I tried to stay quiet so I could listen in. I could only barely make out what they were saying.

“What do you mean it wasn’t your fault” the unknown person seemed to be a woman.

“Well you are twins it was an honest mistake” it was my dad speaking he sounded almost comical.

“An honest mistake. An honest mistake. Are you kidding me!” the woman was almost screaming now. “Well I would have thought the birth mark was a bit of a give away. Not to mention that I have longer hair”

“Oh well then sorry next time I’ll say wait let me see your cheek for a tiny birth mark you always cover up with make-up or turn around while I measure your hair”

I suddenly shifted in my place they turned

Towards me oh my god it was Claudia.

“Oh honey” she said “it’s past your bed time you shouldn’t be up”

She lifted me up brought me into a room and shut the door. From then on all I could hear was muffled voices. Then suddenly there was a cry out and then a thud. A moment later Claudia entered the room.

“I’ll be back soon honey. Mommy just has to get rid of a few things”

She left the room and a moment later I heard the front door close. I gingerly opened my bedroom door and walked through the hallway. I had expected the worst and now I had found it. There was my dad lying bleeding on the ground unconscious a cut from forehead to chin. Obiously Claudia hadn’t thought that he had suffered enough. She had plunged the knife into my dad’s hand pinning him to the floor.

I woke up with a jerk a sudden pain shot up my spine. I guess the shock was fading I still couldn’t grasp it. Claudia was my mum!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 28 - Amy – By Ellen Mc Guinness

I could see Dan across the room, I ran to him my face lit up with happiness. “Dan!” I yelled at him. He turned around to see me lung at him throwing my arms around his neck. “Amy” he said smiling and hugging me tight.
Suddenly his face turned shocked and he stared behind me. I turned around just as Mr Helsink grabbed my waist and threw me over his shoulder. Dan whipped forward at him and tried to kick him in the stomach, but Mr Helsink grabbed his foot and pushed him to the ground. I hit Mr Helsink’s back with clenched fists.
“Let me down you freak!” I screamed. He grabbed Dan’s feet and dragged him along the floor. He brought us over to a giant roller used for flattening dough and placed me on top of it. Using one hand he pulled thick rope out of his pocket and wound it around me tightly. He tied a strong knot at the end of it and put me on the track of the roller. Next he tied Dan up which was more difficult for him because Dan kicked and squirmed around.
“Stay still you little brat!” he said through gritted teeth punching Dan hard in the jaw.
“What the hell is wrong with you? I think you broke my jaw you idiot!” said Dan, moving his jaw around gingerly.
“Shut up you pipsqueak!” said Mr Helsink tying the last of the ropes around Dan and placing him on the track.
“Now hold still like good kids” Mr Helsink said with a sickening smile on his face. He walked over to a control panel and pushed down on a big green button.
“There we go, so now your stupid Aunt can’t get what she wants just like me”
“What is this all about any way?” I screeched.
“Please just let us go! We will do whatever you want! PLEASE!” shouted Dan
“I have no need for slaves, thanks for the offer though. I will see you later” said Mr Helsink he said turning away,
“Wait a second I won’t be seeing you later, well I will but you won’t be able to see me when your eyes are squished out” he laughed.
“Well Tata!” and he walked away.
“Quickly Amy there’s a penknife in my back pocket can you reach it?” Dan whispered in case Mr Helsink heard.
“Gross Dan I am not touching your ass!”I said
“Well it’s that or we get flattened to pancakes!”
“Fine, I think I got it. Yes!” I said pulling it out of his pocket. The roller was getting closer to us as we spoke.
“Now give it to me to cut my rope.”Dan rasped.
“I think I can get out of this myself I used to do gymnastics you know” I said slipping out of the ropes. I grabbed the penknife out of Dan’s mouth and tried to cut his ropes.
“C’mon Amy, hurry up!” Dan said franticly. “I’m trying Dan!” I pulled the ropes this way and that, trying to cut it but it wasn’t working.
“Just turn the thing off!” he said as he got closer and closer to being crushed. I ran over to the control panel pushing every green button there was.
The track stopped and the giant blender turned and so did all the lights in the whole building.
Mr Helsink ran towards us, at last Dan got out of his ropes but on to be caught by Mr Helsink.
“Let him go!” I said running towards him. He grabbed my neck and started choking me. I stared at a giant rock that lay on the ground. Suddenly it moved. I stared at it as I realised it was me that was moving it. I lifted the rock up and stared at Mr Helsink. I only had seconds left before I passed out. The rock moved over to Mr Helsink and fell on his foot.
There was a sickening crunch and Mr Helsink cried out in pain dropping Dan and me to the floor. We ran across the hall with Mr Helsink limping after us.

Chapter 29....
Daniel- Luan Riddell

With hir footsteps close behind, in rhythm with the machinery, Mr. Helsink was keeping a close chase. As I ran through the maze of cooking machinery, following Amy, I realised how unfit I was. So it’s true what they say about Americans, we eat to much, or was I just really unfit, if it wasn’t for the head start we had I’m sure that Mr Helsink would have caught us by know. After what felt like a hundred turns Amy stopped, she looked at me, pressing her finger to her lips, “don’t utter a word,” she whispered. The running seemed to have taken a lot of energy out of her and Mr Helsink seemed to have fallen behind.With our backs to the metal ovens I craned my neck over to take a look at what Amy was watching. A security man by the looks of it, but he was drunk, a beer can in one hand, a gun in the other. He was singing to himself, something about roses. Watch, follow my lead, I said, and walked calmly past, not looking at him. “Hey!” he said, we both froze to the spot, “did you see it?” he said, his words slurred. I shook my head and he broke down crying, head in his hands.
We hurried on but we soon slowed to catch are breath. “Come on,” I said, now moaning,my feet tired, “where’s the way out?” “ I don’t know!” she said in an angry whisper, “I don’t live here.” I let out a muffled groan, I remembered the equipment in this part of the factory. “We’ve been here before Amy,” I said, arms resting on the dead equipment. “Shut up!” she said angrily, and stop drawing attention, get a grip, we could get shot any second so help me think.” “Fine,” I said, letting out a long sigh. So in my head I summed it all up. We’re stuck in a huge factory surrounded by towering machines, in a maze like form and we’re being chased by lunatics. Final conclusion: sounds like pac-man.
“I’ve got nothing,” I said, but Amy was off, pointing upwards. “The wall,” she said, if we follow it we can find a way out!” “I guess,” I muttered.As we wove through the machines we didn’t encounter anyone, nor hear a sound, kinda creepy. Where had Mr. Helsink and Claudia gone? Where was Sean? We came across trucks but they were locked. As we walked through what felt like another trail of endless machines we spotted an opening, we rushed towards it in delight not caring what was out there, just wanting to be out of the narrow like corridors. As we broke out we were greeted by gigantic metal shutters, painted red and looming large above us, but what defeated us and broke our spirits were that the shutters were locked with a huge golden coloured padlock ,as thick as my fist. I sighed out loud, I didn’t know what to say, I looked at my sister, her face dead white and her eyes dark, she looked sick. She sat down, her back up against the shutters, legs crossed, head bowed. The wind howled outside, trying to bring the roof down and now in the open I felt horribly exposed. I squinted my eyes, looked to the back of the factory and saw the mound of rubble where the collision had happened and where Amy was held captive. “Amy, I said, when the wall collapsed I’m sure it would have left the odd hole here and there, if we could squeeze out.....?” “Well, I guess we don’t have anywhere else to go,” she mumbled.
As we made our way towards the back of the factory my legs screamed out for a rest but I couldn’t stop now, I was a robot, working non stop. It seemed that when I took the wall down it had also brought down the roof,covering the ground with shards of glass and metal. Taking careful steps we made it too Amy’s cell which was now covered in debris. Next to it was an opening with a view of green fields that stretched to eternity, the only thing in our way was a mountain of rubble. Having hope gave us strength, our pains forgotten, we ran full pelt towards the small opening at the top. Amy scrambled on top making sure to avoid the shards of glass, I wasn’t so lucky though. The blast shattered the errie night. I looked around, confused, and then felt a twinge in my upper left arm, my shirt had been ripped and blood oozed out of a deep gash. I stumbled, everything was out of control. I fell to the ground, the rain building a pool of blood around me. I looked up and saw a black bearded man holding a pistol, at point blank range to my head. “Who cares what the boss says, I’ll kill you my own way,” he said, showing his rack of yellow teeth. Too clicks of his gun and two bullets slammed into the wooden planks on either side of my head. I was as confused as the man above me.He tried to shoot me once more, the bullet passed over my head piercing a nearby truck. “Impressive !, he said , while taking out a kitchen knife, but can you stop a knife? That’s the question.” Just at that moment, a brick flew over my head towards the man but he moved in time. The brick went through the weakened wooden floors close to the mound of rubble creating a chain reaction. The wood splintered and cracked, collapsing beneath. The bearded man turned towards Amy, “You’ll have to try harder than that to kill me!” but these were his last words, the factory floor began to shake and crumble away as if it was an earthquake. The weight of the rubble was too much for the floor and it began to suck us in like a whirlpool. It happened in seconds, I tried to jump to stable ground but couldn’t, I let out a short yelp and then fell to what felt like the bottom of the world.
The air was damp and cold, and smelt of sewage. My clothes were wet and the ground dug into my back, where am I? My eyes shot open only to see darkness, I heard the moving of stones and then a voice, “You’re awake?” “I guess so, where are we?” She uttered one word, “sewers.” I shivered, knowing what I was covered in, but I pushed the thought out of my mind and sat up.We were sitting in a river of sewage which leaked from a rusting pipe. I tried not to look at what was floating around in it’s depths. I looked behind me and saw that we had fallen quite a height,we would have easily broken a few bones if the sewage hadn’t broken our fall. The shards of metal and rubble had filled up the gap leaving a few shafts of light, I saw a sight that no horror movie could portray any better. The black bearded man hadn’t survived the fall. He had landed on a moss covered path, his head and neck distorted.If that hadn’t killed him, he had also landed on his own knife, the blade had gone through his chest and was protruding out the other end. I looked away, gagging at the sight. Amy, putting her arm around me, hoisted me up, “we got to go,” she whispered, while pointing upwards. She was right, Mr. Helsink hadn’t given up his chase, little by little more light filled the chamber. My first few steps were wobbly but I seemed ok, apart from the gash on my arm, which I had bandaged with a piece of cloth. “Thanks,” I said, Amy just nodded and picked up her pace. The sewers now grew darker and more complex,full twists and turns. I whipped out my phone, laughing, even in this darkened hour, “For once the torch app can be used,” I said, holding it up, even Amy smiled. As we walked deeper into the sewers I became aware of the sound of hissing and machine parts moving,as if a train was coming into it’s station . A hidden subway station? Was that the sort of man we were dealing with, one who based his ideas on movies. As I continued on up the path the sewer pipes disappeared and we found ourselves in a cavernous room.It was an enormous undefined space with no corners so that I felt confused,as if I were inside a huge football. At the end of the room was a huge fan that wasn’t moving or so I thought, it was moving so fast that it looked as if it was still. The sound of the fan and the ka-chunk of the machines was overwhelming,it blocked out my screams to Amy not to throw anything at it.It was so big, it would certainly smack back anything thrown at it, but of course she picked up a huge stone, heaving it onto her shoulders and walked over, “NO!” I screamed at her, she glanced at me and I started shaking my head back and forth. “WHY NOT!?” she screamed back. I pointed to a control pad next to the fan, she nodded her head, understanding me. The fan was probably the source of electricity in the factory, switching it off could cause Mr. Helsink more trouble, I smiled to myself at the idea. The control pad shouldn’t cause too many problems, when I was back in school in America my specialities were in computers but now I didn’t have a moment. Amy ran past me with the stone in her hand and brought it down onto the control pad, drilling it with all her strength, piercing the metal with a screeching sound. I held my hand up to my face in dispair, “I didn’t mean that,” I said ,under my breath. The whole thing exploded, sparks jumping everywhere and black smoke plummeting from it. Amy looked back and shouted, “Take that!!” The whole room shuddered and then a bomb blasted towards the back of the factory. The machinery had quietened down as if afraid to make any noise, then another flash of light. “They’re coming,” I said, while looking back at the fan, it wasn’t slowing down fast enough. I looked again and it was now slowing, I could see the the sharp blades taunting him, willing him to jump. Our Mom told us never to put our fingers close to a rotating fan but were we going to risk sending our bodies into one!? Another blast from somewhere and then we saw torchlights illuminating the dark tunnels and a shout of triumph. The fan had now slowed down to where you could make a leap to the other side but it was fifty fifty as to whether we would make it . “You first,” Amy said. I looked back and forth , death on both sides? fight or flight? I watched the fan turn, waiting, timing my jump. Then I saw my oppurtunity, with a cry I lept forward, everything in slowmotion.
The fan though had deceived me, it sped up, slashing my left foot, I let out a cry and fell to the ground. My trainers ripped and the blood was oozing out. I clutched my foot and bit at my lip, holding back the pain. I looked back at Amy, “RUN!” she shouted, I hesitated and then saw the hopelessness of the situation. Clutching my leg I limped off into the darkness.
I was feeling horrible about leaving Amy behind, I tried to block it from my mind. I could call for help, tell this crazy story to the police, would they believe me? Then the voice came. Was it my conscience? I didn’t know, but it seemed to know its way around these dingy sewers. I started to hear whispers, was I going mad? But then I saw a ladder leading to the surface. I scrambled up and just as I was pushing at the manhole above, it opened and a hand reached down and grabbed me by the shirt, hauling me up. One second I saw dark clouds the next a hand rushing towards my face.
My eyes shot open. I looked around and saw Amy being held by a man, next to her was Sean looking scared as usual and then Claudia,her eyes aflame. I broght my eyes to focus on the man infront of me, Mr. Helsink. “What a pleasure for you to join us Daniel.

Chapter 30: Sean and Amy By Julia Brennan

I ran so fast with Daniel yanking on my arm. Aunt Lucinda was rushing behind us with Mr.Helsink and Aunt Claudia catching up. Daniel came to a mixer machine. Aunt Lucinda and Daniel jumped across the mixer. I however fell into the mixer. Mr.Helsink, Sean and Aunt Claudia raced towards me. “Sean bring out this girl and lock her back up” Mr.Helsink ordered. Sean knelt down to get me up I yanked his arm off. “Trying to make your daddy happy Sean” I whispered. “Look I’m not with you nor am I against you just get yourselves out of here”. “There is a tiny passage at the end of the factory go and never come back” he instructed. “But what about your life, you want to sacrifice your life to save mine?”I asked. “If I’m going to die I hope you will think fondly of me?”He asked. “Thank you for helping us of course I will think well of you” I replied. Sean leaned over and kissed me.
I looked up Daniel looked furiously at me over the mixer. Sean pulled me out of the mixer and threw me to Aunt Lucinda and Daniel. Sean quickly ran back to his dad. “SEAN SHE WAS THE ONLY THING I COULD USE TO GET OUR MONEY, IT COULD HAVE CHANGED OUR LIVES” Mr.Helsink shouted. “Your life dad not mine the only thing in my life that I care about is Amy and because I love her and will let NO HARM come to her” Sean declared. “That’s what you think” Mr.Helsink smirked. He used his telepathy to drag Amy over. Mr.Helsink took his knife and stabbed it into her arm. I heard myself screaming, and heard the depths of the whispers shouting “Death, death, death” at me. I fell to the ground with a thud. I heard voices all around me. Aunt Lucinda was saying her prayers, Sean was shouting at Mr.Helsink, Aunt Claudia was cackling but the one voice I could really hear was Daniel’s. He spoke calmly to me. Then I thought back to when I was just a kid in New York. This boy from the 9th grade came up and called me rude names that I’m not able to repeat. Then Daniel came out of the house and saw me crying when he saw the mean boy, He had a good word with him after that the boy never bullied me again. All because of a boy named Daniel I was the happiest girl alive. Soon when our parents died he comforted me at the hospital saying calm words. Daniel was the best brother a person could have; we stick together because as a team we rule the world. I shall not be dead, I was made a twin and I’m not going to let death ruin that.
I awoke from my faint; the first person I saw was Daniel. “Daniel if we do die I just want you to know I’m tha......AMY!!!!!!! We will not die, don’t say that, let’s get out of here” he shouted. Sean distracted Mr. Helsink and Aunt Claudia, we burst out the hole Sean told us about and silently crept away with Aunt Lucinda by our side.

CHP 30 Tom

my and I would never forget the events that had occurred over the past
month. Our parents dying, moving to Ireland and all the strange things
from the secret room to the will to now. Sean was still lying on the
factory floor under a large pile of rubble. I could see Amy whispering
to him telling him it would be ok. I knew it wouldn’t. I’m no doctor
but from what I could see I knew he would die within an hour. I saw Ant
Lucinda in the corner on her phone texting or calling someone. “The
ambulance is coming” said Amy to Sean softly. I knew it wasn’t. I felt
sorry for Sean. He was just pressured by his Dad. I couldn’t imagine
how hard his childhood must have been, even harder than mine had been
so far. With his mum leaving and all. I decided to walk over to them.
“How you doing?” I asked. “I’m surviving” He replied. He looked very
pale. “When is the ambulance going to get?” “Soon” I said. I could
imagine the ambulance arriving and the rubble being lifted off Sean and
him getting up, alive and well, and going to the hospital. Amy would
visit him every day and he would make a quick recovery. But no, it was
so much different from that. Sean was lying on the ground, half his
body covered in rocks and stones. It was dark with only a little light
in the factory. “I’m sorry Amy” He said “I didn’t mean for any of this
to happen”. “It’s ok Sean” She said. “Bye” said Sean as he smiled and
closed his eyes. I could see tears swelling up in Amy’s eyes so I
looked around a few drawers and found a tea towel. I don’t know why but
I decided it was best to cover Sean’s face with it. I turned away to
see Amy hugging Ant. Lucinda and then I to felt sad. Sean had been a
could friend. Then I heard it. It was so loud that it hurt my ears. It
sounded like someone had dropped a bomb on the place. I knew that we
needed to move. We were in the middle of the factory and I knew we
needed to get out. “Let’s go I said”.

We started to walk slowly through the factory checking around every
corner to make sure no one was there. Then I heard it again. Another
loud boom. “Come on!” I said. I could see the light of the factory door
ahead of me. Then came the heat. A wave of it came over me and pushed
me forwards. I fell to the ground and blacked out.

Chapter 32
Aunt Lucinda – by Valentyna
After the explosion I couldn’t see my hand right in front of my face. There was dust in the air and pieces of rock and bricks everywhere. I wondered what it was that exploded… And WHO exploded? My eyes grew wide and I began shaking like the old tractor I have at home. I heard as someone clambered over the piles of rock behind me. The atmosphere was clearer now. I could see a tall and thin figure with dark hair.
“DANIEL!” I screamed, “Daniel, thank the LORD you survived!” I cuddled him in my arms as if I was his mother. He examined my face and checked for a birthmark. He hugged me back as soon as he was confident that I was the REAL Aunt Lucinda.
He asked me if anyone else had survived.
"No." I said quietly. I didn't ask him the same as he looked disappointed with the news. That was all we said for the next half hour. We searched desperately for more survivors. No-one was found. I heard a young female voice somewhere deep in the piles of rubble. I recognized Amy's voice as I pulled on her bloody hand to rescue her. She too, like Dan, examined my face. I almost laughed. Almost. She cried and I cradled her. She, like I, had lost Sean, who she loved. We found his grave after Amy and Dan were reunited and cried over it together. Sean was my nephew, I realized. He was Claudia's son. We held a hand of his each and Amy revealed her feelings for him. Dan didn't cry. He just sat there. In shock of losing his only friend since the death of his parents. I went up to him and put my arm around him. He didn't shove me off for the first time. We sat there in silence until the police came. On the way home no-one said a single word. The silence was deafening.
is it too short?

Epilogue - Nine Months Later By Niamh

"We are gathered here today at this special memorial service to
remember Gareth and Pamela McGuinness" Aunt Lucinda announced.
Amy felt her eyes fill with tears and for a moment the familiar wave
of grief threatened to overwhelm her. Daniel squeezed her hand
He was looking straight ahead with no hint of emotion on his face but
Amy knew better. Inside he was hurting, just like she was.

It was the anniversary of their parents death, they had died exactly a
year ago today.
Aunt Lucinda had orgsanised a memorial ceremony. She had called up
all their parents' friends and neighbours and the few distant
relatives and asked them to come to the graveyard.
Now they were all gathered around their parents' headstone.

The space in front of their parents' headstone was filled with
flowers. The air was heavy with smell of lavender, their mother's
favourite flower. "We all have our special memories of Pam and
Gareth" Aunt Lucinda continued. "This is our chance to say our final
She glanced towards the headstone. It was made of grey stone carved
into a long oval and swirly, black italic writing read :

Gareth and Pamela McGuinness
1976 - 2010.
Loving parents, dear friends.
A light in all our lives.

Looking at it now Amy felt the tears well up again and before she
could stop them one trickled down her cheek. Dan squeezed her hand
again and passed her a tissue.
Amy took it gratefully and dried her eyes.

The day was cold and there were dark grey clouds overhead. She
shivered slightly. The grass was wet with dew and it was damp
underfoot. A light wind blew, ruffling Amy's hair and dislogding the
blue buterfly clip she had decided to wear. It used to be her
mother's. Amy had felt it was right to wear it today. It was part of
her mum and a special memory she had of her. It smelled faintly of
her mum's perfume and Amy found that strangely comforting.
It was a year on and she still hadn't gotten over her grief. Somehow
Amy knew she never would. The pain would ease but it would never
completely fade.

Dan stared ahead at the headstone. He was thinking about everything
that had happened in the last year. So much had changed. Everything
was so different than it had been a year ago. Their parents had died,
they had left all their friends and gone to Ireland, they had lived
with an aunt pretending to be someone else, Amy had been kidnapped and
held hostage, Dan had nearly died trying to rescue her, they had found
out their parents were deliberatedly killed, the factory had exploded,
Aunt Claudia, Mr. Helsink and Sean had been killed.... Dan felt
another tug of sadness as he thought about Sean. Amy had never got
over that. She really had liked him a lot.

After the explosion in the factory and their disaturous stay in
Ireland Amy and Daniel had decided to move back to Boston with Aunt
Lucinda. There was no reason for them to stay in Ireland with Aunt
Claudia gone and Aunt Lucinda set free. The twins didn't want to be
in Ireland anymore with everything that had happened and Aunt Lucinda
didn't want to stay any more than they did.

Now they all lived in a modern apartment in the middle of Boston.
They could see all their old friends again and go back to their old
school. For the first time since their parents had died the twins
felt like they were home.

The ceremony went on.
Aunt Lucinda talked about how their parents had influenced each of
their lives in different way. A few of their parents' close friends
spoke about their memories. Dan spoke as well about their summer
holidays last year when they all went to Australia.

Last of all Amy read their parents' favourite poem : "Life" by William
Her voice was shaking so bad she could barely say the words but she
got through it.
Dan stood by her side, one hand on her shoulder.

After the memorial ceremony was over there was a small reception back
at the apartment. Aunt Lucinda handed out tea and coffee and biscuits
and cakes for the guests. They all sat around on chairs or on the
beige leather sofa chatting.

Amy and Dan made small talk with their parents' friends and put up
with their exclamations of "So how's school going?" and "My, how
you've grown!"

Finally they got a quiet moment by themselves.
Dan stood leaning against the kitchen door and Amy sat down at the table.
"How are you doing?" Dan asked her quietly.
Amy shrugged. "Ok I suppose" she replied. "It gets easier with time."
Dan nodded. "I really miss Sean though" Amy continued a catch in her voice.
"We had so little time together. I don't even think he knew how I
felt about him and now.... Amy trailed off as tears trickled down her
Dan hugged her. "Sean did know" Dan told her. "He knew you liked him
and he liked you too. Sometimes these things just happen in life,
there's no explanation. They just happen."
"I suppose you're right" she whispered.

"You know" Dan continued wanting to take her mind off Sean "I was
thinking a lot about the explosion in the factory lately"
"What about it?" Amy asked him.
"Like how it could have happened" Dan said. "Why it happened."
"I had wondered that too" Amy admitted. "Could it have been because
Mr. Helsink had been smoking? Maybe he threw one of his cigarettes on
the ground without stubbing it out or something?"
"Maybe" Dan agreed.

Suddenly Amy gasped. Her face went pale and she started shaking.
"Amy!" cried Dan feeling frightened. "What's wrong! What is it? Amy
trembled. "I just remembered" she said in a shaky voice. "That night
in the factory when the explosion happened. I saw someone."

"When? Where!!" Dan cried. "Who was it Amy?!"
Amy shook her head. "I don't know" she whispered. "It was after the
explosion happened. It was really smoky and I was looking around
trying to find you. Then I saw a dark shadow running away. They were
far away from me, running towards the door of the factory."

"Are you sure you couldn't make it out?" Dan asked her frantically.
"Think hard Amy! This is really important! It could have been the
same person who killed our parents!"
"I'm sure" Amy said quietly. "I've no idea who it was. It was too
dark and smoky. They were too far away. I couldn't even make out if
it was a man or a woman. It was just a blur."

Dan turned away from her. He seemed to be looking at something in
the distance.
"Then we'll never know who it was Amy" he said softly.
"We'll never know."


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