miércoles, 25 de julio de 2018


Chapter One

For years, they called it the Strawberry Squish. And the Dead Duck Disaster. There were a lot of names. But most importantly, that was the day they all realized something they would never again forget: Laura Ledwick was very large.
Like I said, I was happy to leave Newcastle behind, although I knew that I was going to miss our house. I had this pale-yellow room with bright-pink unicorn border that hadn’t been changed since I was a baby. I know that sounds completely awful, but it felt like home. The bedroom was really small though: I couldn’t even fit a desk in there, and considering I loved to write and draw, that was a big issue. I had to use the floor, or sometimes the window, which probably confused my neighbours and didn’t help my reputation of being the reclusive, chubby girl who almost killed an innocent first grader.

Chapter Two

“It’s bad,” I said. “It looks like our old house, except condemned and haunted.”
Stache peered into the room for a moment. “I’ll clean yours first.”
I looked at my mom, and she forced a smile.
It’s not too late.
I was just turning away when I saw a strange flicker of colour. I squinted, trying to peer into the shadows. Leaning close to the glass, my eyes fell on a particularly dark one. As the shadow took shape, the sunlight caught another flash of pale blue. Eyes.

Chapter Three

We ate dinner that night sitting on boxes of furniture in the living room. Stache was covered in so much dust that he looked like a statue in progress. My mom tried to brush off my account of a shadowy figure watching me in the woods, telling me I was clearly imagining things because I was shaken up about the spiders and that it would take a few days to get used to the new house. Thanks, Mom.
A huge red-bricked chimney stretched like a pillar right up to the second floor, though I noticed it didn’t actually have a fireplace. It must have gone right beside my bedroom to the roof. I wondered why they would have a chimney with no fireplace.
“On it,” Stache said, wiping off his hands and heading for the door.
“Sandy and the kids would have come, but it was already getting late. We’ll have to have you over sometime next week for dinner. I got off a bit late tonight, or I would have come earlier. Got to get as many shifts in as I can.”
There was something strange in his voice, but I couldn’t pick it out. We talked for another half an hour or so after that, and then Laine said he had to get back home to help put the kids to bed. We gathered at the door to see him off, and he gave everyone a last hug before climbing in his old beat-up black truck and pulling out of the driveway. He smiled when he waved and drove away, but I could tell he was a bit off. Obviously he was thinking about the factory.
She always said that. I guess it was an easy way to end an argument, since she was fifty-eight years older than me. But maybe she was right. I was pretty hard on myself.

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