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.
CHAPTER 14 – DANIEL by TOM
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.
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?"
"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.