Cover

Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

I sat bolt upright in bed. A strange feeling I was being watched had woken me up with a fright. As I blinked into the moonlit darkness I wondered why my body seemed to forget to use this sense when I was awake. A dark patch between my legs was warm, yet left me freezing. At ten years old, a long time had passed since I’d wet the bed. I tried to remember when, but couldn’t, then held my breath to listen for a sound of something moving around our house. Only once I was sure everything was dead quiet did I feel brave enough to exhale. I got up and walked to mom’s room. Her bed was still made.

 

“Mum,” I said. “Mum! I wet the bed.”

 

I ran through the house in my wet cowboy-print-pyjamas, the fabric stuck painfully to my inner thighs. The kitchen? Empty. Lounge room? Empty. Bathroom? Empty. The garage was the last place I could look. As I pulled down gently on the door handle, it echoed through the hollow space where our car should have been. Panic slapped me cold. I walked straight to the phone; it was a place where mom sometimes left me little notes on scraps of paper. The phone wire was tangled from when she’d paced while she talked on it, but there wasn’t a message of any kind. I wished there was someone I could call - there wasn’t.

 

The two of us had been running for so long I’d forgotten what it was like to wake up in a place and know exactly where I was. Everywhere was always just a stopover, a brief moment I could never make sense of. The hardest part was keeping it all a secret from everyone we met along our journey. And all the while I always had this deep feeling something really bad had to happen for the chase to finally stop.

 

“Mom,” I shouted so loudly that the back of my throat throbbed with its own heartbeat.

 

Silence replied. She’d disappeared a few times before, but always left a little pre-made food in the fridge, a kind of back-soon note with flavour. I switched on the porch light and looked outside. Everything in our street seemed completely normal. Too normal for the way I felt. As I peeped through the curtains, I remembered the nightmare I’d had before I’d woken up. It was a memory far clearer than I’d liked it to be.

 

In it, my eyes were locked shut as a black whirlpool whipped me round – I was a teeny scrap in a never-ending tornado. I squeezed my eyes tighter and clung to a tiny light I hid inside myself. The black abyss left me no choice as the white teeth yoked to my arm dragged me deeper into an icy vortex. Terrified, I gasped for air, but breathed water. The pain forced my eyes open only to become faced with the snake-like stare. Red borders of an oval shaped eye fell into the darkened middle. Air was frightened from my lungs. As the last crumb of life was being dragged from my chest, a falling sensation jolted my body awake. I wished dreams didn’t mean this much to us.

 

Now I was awake I was determined to make extra sure nobody was outside our house. After I’d watched the wind howl down our street I changed out of my wet pyjamas and switched on the television. It showed the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s test pattern, the date: the first of January 1983 and time of 3:43am. Mom loved telling me we were always in exactly the right time and place we needed to be in to stay safe – too often it was difficult to believe her.

 

These flashes of solitude always made me wish I had a brother or sister. Well, anyone else, really. They left me with a hungry lonesomeness, but I’d just have to wait until the morning to feel full again. She’d be back by then. She always was. To get to sleep each night I said my prayers in the same way. I’d start with the things I was sorry for and could have done better then finished with what I was the thankful for. Most of the time I didn’t get to finish saying what I was grateful for before I was fast asleep. This time was no different and I quickly nodded off nestled into the old couch in our lounge room.

 

The hinges on the front door shook with a thunderous knocking, which woke me up. My eyes squinted at our couch drenched in the morning sun. Mom must have lost her keys, I thought as I opened the door. A short haired woman in a grey suit stood at the door.

“Hello little boy, are you Ricky James - is anyone in there with you?” she asked all at once while half heartedly trying to peer over my shoulder and get in the door.

 

She crouched to look in my eyes, while she waited for my answer. I immediately felt a lump growing in my throat, as if I’d somehow been waiting for her for all this time.

 

“Um, yes, but no,” I said while trying to close the door. “Who are you anyway?”

 

“Who I am is not important,” she said as she stood tall and held open the door. “What is very important is that I’m from the Cape Provincial Administration.”

 

She pointed to a faded gold badge pinned to her jacket.

 

“See, CPA,” she said. “Regretfully, Miss James – your mother – will not be coming home at this juncture. She is unwell and currently cannot look after you. As such, I need you to go inside and pack some of your things. We’ll send on whatever else you might require.”

“What, where is she?” I said not believing for one moment mom would do anything that meant we wouldn’t be together.

“She’s in the Transkei’s Frere Hospital, and unfortunately, will not be coming out for a spell,” she said.

She tried to hug me but reeked of wet towels. I quickly pulled back, even though her smell was a perfect for the moment.

“No, I’m not going anywhere, I want to see her,” I said as I folded my arms. “What’s wrong with her, anyway? Why is she in the hospital?”

“Afraid that will not be possible,” she replied. “Visitors are not allowed. She has been placed under arrest.”

 

We looked at each other. Neither of us moved. I couldn't, but she simply wouldn’t. I knew mom would never allow this to happen. There was something I wasn’t being told.

 

“Err, but what’d she do?” I asked.

“I’m afraid I cannot talk to you about such matters,” she said. “It is very much adults’ business.”

“Um, but I can look after myself,” I told her. “You can go now, thank you.”

I tried to close the door again but she held it open with both hands.

 

“Sorry, but I will not go away young man,” she said. “My records state you are just ten-years old. It is against South African law for me to leave you here on your own.”

 

I didn’t want to leave, but the shock of everything made me unsure how to react, so I didn’t. There were thousands of questions bouncing around my head but I couldn’t think of a way to put any of them into words. Defeated, I turned away from the door, slumped my shoulders and looked down at my shadow. The sunlight crying through our front door made it seem much taller than usual, yet I’d never felt so small. I’d been worried about mom before, but this time it felt a lot more serious.

 

“Come on now, young man,” she said. “Please make it quick. I am extremely busy today. Be a good boy, go to your room and get your belongings together.”

 

She pushed past me. My legs were numb, making me feel as if I’d floated to my room. The back of my neck flushed cold with the same pins and needles I’d felt the night before. Mindlessly, I grabbed fists of clothing and stuffed them into a rucksack. I looked over at my wet cowboy-print-pyjamas scrunched into a corner. They were my favourite, but I’d have to leave them. I couldn’t help wondering if this was everything we’d been running away from.

 

The lady in the grey suit seemed patient enough to wait, but never smiled. Once my backpack was full, I walked to the doorway of my mom’s room. As I stared at her perfectly made bed it felt as if a small piece in the very deepest part of me had mysteriously become lost. Exactly what part was called, I wasn’t really sure. In fact, I’d never noticed it was there before that very moment but whatever it once was, it was now gone. Without it, I felt too weak to escape the way we usually would and too weak to fight back. The woman in the grey suit placed her hand on my shoulder. It felt incredibly cold.

 

“We really must get going, Ricky,” she said. “It is quite a long drive to your uncle in Port Alfred and I’ve rung the local police station to arrange the paper work, they are expecting us.”

 

I’d never heard about any uncle, but didn’t care who he was. This new feeling of emptiness was so powerful it left little room to think about anything else. We drove until my stomach ached with hunger and eventually the noise of the car’s tyres bumbling over the gravel woke me up. My head vibrated gently off the vehicle’s window and it tickled the insides of my ears.

 

We reached the end of a driveway and stopped in front of a building that looked as if it was a cross between a house and a boat. The branches of a huge tree hung above the house’s roof, and a strong-looking old man with shaved silver hair stood at the front door. Despite having so much to see, my attention was drawn to the river flowing behind the house. It was mesmerising enough to forget about the emptiness for a few moments.

 

“This is your uncle Fletch’s house,” said the lady in the grey suit as she stopped the car. “You have met him before haven’t you?”

 

I said nothing and pushed my forehead against the window to get a better look at the water. She got out the car and opened my door. I almost fell, but my muscles tensed just quick enough to catch me. The memory of the empty garage jolted back into my body.

 

The man walked up to me and said the same thing everyone says to kids they haven’t seen in a while, “Can’t believe how big you are now. Incredible!”

 

Being much shorter than almost ever person my age, I was seldom told I was big.

 

“Sorry to hear about mom,” said the man. He paused, “She’s my little sister you know.”

 

He stretched out a hand that had a set of stubby fingers

 

“You won’t remember me, but I’m Fletch – your uncle,” he said.

 

I grabbed and let go of Fletch’s callused hand without shaking it or saying a thing.

 

“This is Thomas,” said Fletch as he pointed to a fat Jack Russell dog lazing at his feet. “And this is Tiki,” he said as he pulled a sleeping meerkat from his tracksuit top’s pocket.

 

I bent down to stroke Thomas, but had never seen a tame meerkat before so thought it best not to reach for it.

 

“He has not said anything since I told him,” said the lady in the grey suit. “Sure, he might, eventually. Please sign here sir.”

 

She passed several pieces of paper to Fletch and spoke in a whisper that was more than loud enough for me to hear.

 

“He is quite undersized for his age, but aside from a few white spots on his fingernails, my records suggest he is actually reasonably healthy,” she said. “Amazing, considering the tragic state of Miss James.”

 

Fletch looked confused as he read the paper and signed it. I wasn’t upset about what she’d said, but was still worried sick about how little I was being told about my mother. This was the last place I wanted to be and desperately needed to get back to Mom so we could keep running. If only we could get the briefest moment with each other, we’d be able to run away from this place and people.

 

Thomas’s ears pricked up. He yelped and scampered towards the river and I bolted after him - any excuse to get away from her repulsive damp stench. Although, they hadn’t realised it, I could still hear every word they said and peered quickly over my shoulder to watch, and listen.

 

“No, no it’s cool, he’s safe here,” said Fletch who had seen that the woman in the grey suit was beginning to walk after me.

“Right, just a force of habit, that’s all,” she said then paused. “Well, I suppose that will be all then. Once I have spoken to my superiors, I will return to place him in the appropriate care. I will be staying in Port Alfred tonight, so you can contact me on the hotel’s number if there is any problem. I know just how to deal with this type of child when they misbehave.”

 

“Alright then,” said Fletch. “Err, thank you – I think.”

 

Thomas barked non-stop at a large legavaan lizard swimming across the river. In the excitement, I hardly noticed her car driving off. Despite all the noise, the lizard continued to zigzag its black and yellow body relentlessly against the current to get to us. Moments before it reached the riverbank, Fletch scooped up Thomas.

 

“They’re his arch enemy – the stupid creature,” said Fletch, as he belted out a laugh that sounded as though it had been used far too often.

 

Every smile Fletch had ever made seem to have become etched into his wrinkled skin. Thomas whimpered as the large lizard disappeared into the thick scrub alongside the river.

 

“When he was a puppy, one of them whipped him with its’ tail,” said Fletch. “It cut his nose and he’s never forgotten. Always goes for them now.”

 

Fletch put down Thomas who feverishly sniffed the riverbank where the lizard had been.

 

“She mentioned you’re not talking very much,” said Fletch. “That’s cool. Ask anyone - they’ll tell you I talk way too much. How about I do the talking, you do the listening?”

 

Still feeling numb, I dipped my head so slightly it would have been almost impossible for him to notice. Didn’t matter that he was supposedly family, I didn’t know him and wasn’t about to tell him about our lives.

 

“Good,” said Fletch. “Hungry?”

 

I dealt him another blank look.

 

“Right, come inside,” said Fletch. “I’ll give you a sniff around the place and we can get a chow.”

 

We walked through the shade of an enormous baobab tree that towered above his house.

 

“People call this an upside-down tree,” said Fletch as he tapped the tree’s thick trunk. “Its branches look like roots and roots look like branches, don’t you think? Normally, they don’t grow this close to rivers, but sometimes the most beautiful exceptions prove the rules.”

 

His house was an odd oval shape. The top end pointed towards the river. The opposite end pointed towards the tree. Going through the front door we entered an egg-shaped foyer that stretched the length of the entire building. Three doorways led off either side, each opposite to one another.

 

“This trapdoor is for a boatshed underneath us,” said Fletch as he jumped up and down on the wooden floors. “Half the house is over water - the other half on the land. It was one of the first commercial fish units in Port Alfred.”

 

Fletch strolled into the first doorway on the left – the kitchen. In the middle of the room sat a kitchen bench made of polished railway sleepers. Fish tanks full of live mud crabs and oysters filled the room with the murmurs of flowing water that came from the filters. It even smelled like an ocean.

 

“Take a seat,” said Fletch, as he fixed a bar stool to its highest setting. “Used to do all the meals on fishing boats. You name it - I cook it.”

 

I offered no reply. His fish tanks were too fascinating to pay attention to his sad excuse for small talk. It was clear he had no idea what kids were interested in.

 

“I always hear people talk about how we’re ruled by our hearts and heads,” he said. “Our heads? Yes. Our hearts? No way. Reckon it’s our stomach that tells us to be happy or sad. When you’re hungry, you feel grumpy, right?”

 

It was another stupid question so I just looked at him without any expression.

 

“Voila,” he said, putting down a plate of food. “Some of the most extraordinary meals have the most ordinary beginnings. This is my ‘clam-free-happy-as-a-clam-on-my-birthday’ dish, made totally out of leftovers. The last bite will leave you with a smile - promise.”

 

We ate, but neither of us said a word. I felt the silence wearing heavy, so with a little more energy, thanks to the food, I began to feel like myself again.

 

“Err, thanks,” I said extra softly after I’d finished the final bite.

“Ah see, knew you couldn’t hold out for too long,” he said. “Come on. Let’s have a cuppa and I’ll show you the rest of my spot. You’re not too young for tea, are you?”

“I have drunk it,” I said, feeling a little confused by Fletch’s extreme energy.

 

He looked like an old guy, but moved like he was my age. I followed him to into last doorway on the right of the house - his room. A balcony wrapped around the back of his house and stretched out over the river. Water rushed beneath us.

 

“Please sit,” said Fletch pointing towards a chair. “Just beautiful, isn’t it?”

 

I showed him a teeny smile of appreciation, but my eyes didn’t agree. They were fixed on something far more interesting.

 

“Ha, didn’t take you long to spot that?” said Fletch. “Here, I’ll get it.”

 

Fletch reached into the corner of his room and set up a dusty brass telescope on a tripod in front of me.

 

“Go on - have a peek,” said Fletch.

 

I peered into eyepiece. The mangrove trees on the other side of the river leapt into focus.

 

“The picture is so clear, isn’t it?” he said. “You can keep it in your room if you like.”

 

I didn’t look up. Fletch grabbed a cloth and wiped the telescope’s lens.

 

“Point that way, sea’s just over there,” he said, as he looked downstream. “When I surf, I wait for the tide to go out - like it is now - and get a free ride to the beach.”

 

Fletch paused and looked blankly as if remembering several good days in the ocean.

 

“You surfed before?” he asked.

 

I shook my head once very slowly, knowing that my dad used to love to do it, but not wanting to give anything away.

 

“Brilliant,” said Fletch. “Oh, you’re perfect for it. Guys with your build have far better balance thanks to a naturally low centre of gravity. Best surfer in the world is a short stocky Australian, Tom Carroll. Funny, eh? The world’s biggest people aren’t suited to riding the world’s biggest waves. You want me to take you out?”

 

I raised my eyebrows and nodded slowly. For as long as I could remember I’d wanted to surf, perhaps it was because mom said dad was a surfer. They always looked so free, sitting out in the ocean away from the troubles of the land - never having to keep moving unless they wanted to.

 

“Excellent,” shouted Fletch excitedly as he stamped his feet on the floor. “There are literally four doors of boards in the boatshed under us. We’ll hit it tomorrow.”

 

I had no idea what he meant, but nodded anyway. Fletch downed the rest of his tea, let out a tremendous noise of satisfaction, then said, “Now, let me show you your room.”

 

He picked up the brass telescope, as if it weighed nothing, and walked into the room directly opposite his. I felt a tiny flicker of happiness; I’d seen that room’s balcony from Fletch’s balcony. There was a double bed nestled in the corner, a cupboard and a desk.

 

“Not much in here yet,” said Fletch. “If there’s anything else you need, let me know.”

 

I shook my head and held back the smile that was pulling gently at the corners of my mouth.

 

“Let’s put the telescope here on your balcony so you can use it anytime,” said Fletch placing it down.

 

Fletch immediately launched into a tour of the house.

 

“Each doorway is opposite the doorway on the other side of the house,” he said. “If it floods – don’t worry, it shouldn’t - the water flows through the house rather than uprooting it and washing it away. Even got the flow through points in the boatshed but bricked up those doorways to have somewhere to stash my boards. They’ll come down during a flood though. Now, let me show you my pride and joy: the garden.”

 

We went outside, but found it really strange what Fletch called it a garden. It was more like paths in the thick bush. Only once he pointed out the orchids and bonsai trees tucked away, could I see why he loved it so much.

 

“This is my favourite bit here,” said Fletch as he jumped onto a set of metal bars that had been hung off trees and started doing pull-ups.

 

“Still got a little bit of monkey left in me,” smiled Fletch.

 

His face was that of an old man, but he had the muscled body of a much younger person - it looked really out of place.

 

“Oh, right,” said Fletch who appeared to be a little sheepish when he saw the shock on my face. “Well, it isn’t for everyone.”

 

Fletch headed for the kitchen and I lay on the bed that had a slight stale smell, but was comfy enough. It didn’t take long for the nagging worry about mom to leave me feeling exhausted enough to take nap. Fletch woke me up for a dinner of mud crabs. Afterward, we picked a book from the bookshelves in the room he called the lounge. It was more of a library than lounge. Not even a single television. Fletch showed me how to work the telescope and we stared at the moon, which wasn’t half as interesting as a TV would have been.

 

As I lay in bed, I finally heard the ocean for the first time. The darkness seemed to have made it louder. The nap earlier had left me wide-awake. I went through my before bed routine, saying I was sorry for not being brave enough to ask more questions about mom and was grateful for having someone to take care of me and to have food in my stomach. It had been one of the first nights I could remember where there wasn’t much else to be thankful for, which left me fully alert.

 

When I heard Fletch snoring an idea hatched. The worry I felt for mom burned inside me, it was just too painful to be away from her. The floorboards in the foyer creaked as I stood on them to get out of bed. Thomas yelped.

 

“That you?” said Fletch from his room without turning on a light.

“Just going to the toilet,” I said.

“Mkay,” said Fletch, so mumbled it was hardly a word.

 

I flushed the toilet and walked to the front door. Slowly, I opened it then shut it so it didn’t make a noise. I skimmed lightly across the porch and broke into a sprint the moment I reached the gravel driveway. There wasn’t a plan, just relentless darkness that I knew I had to run through at full pace. The strange night- time noises of the African bush made my racing heart stop to take notice. As my sprint became a walk, the animal sounds became louder.

 

Fortunately, I could see just enough to know where the road meandered. I drudged along it and looked back toward the house. Its outline was very slight. I didn’t have the slightest clue how to go about finding my mother, but I knew it wasn’t sleeping in a shack across the hall from some old bloke I’d never met. It was better to walk with purpose into the blackness than shut my eyes and lie down in defeat. A single hug from mom would be all we needed to make things right again.

 

The ground crackling beneath my heels became a delicate echo. I stopped to listen, but the rebound continued. Oddly, it crept toward me ever so slowly. I held my breath. Alone, I was not. There was something else in the black, but I couldn’t tell if it had taken notice of me. My heart pounded, breath shortened and throat tightened.

 

“Got you now!” shouted a sudden voice from the darkness.

 

I was thrown onto the hard gravel. The shock gave me such an incredible fright I screamed while scrambling to get away by crawling on my hands and knees. There was no shortage of energy that left me stronger than I usually felt, but I still couldn’t escape the hands clawing at my clothes. I’d dealt with scary stuff before and knew how to get away when my life depended on it.

 

“Don't even think about running, little boy, I have not lost one yet,” said a gruff voice. “And certainly not my most important one.”

“Leave me alone!” I said as I fought with everything I had to get free.

 

A torch’s beam bounced up and down the road then shone in my face. It was the woman in the grey suit. She stood holding me by the scruff of my neck. An evil smile splashed across her face as the light bounced off my face to light up the blacks of her eyes.

 

“My instincts have never been wrong, you little rat,” she said in a very different voice to the one she’d used when we first met. “Not even once! The moment I saw you, I knew you were a runner. Could just tell it from that pathetically sick deadness in your grotty eyes. Your miserable mother had that same sodden look. Didn’t know how good she had it.”

“Just leave me, you’re not the boss of me,” I told her while continuing to try and wriggle free.

“Oh, but that is where you are wrong,” she said. “From today onwards that’s exactly who I am – your new boss in every way. Now get walking. We’re going to take a lovely little drive. Just you and me. It’s time to go to night school.”

 

We walked to her Volkswagen Beetle where she forced me into the back seat.

 

“Don’t bother messing with the locks, they’re both idiot and childproof,” she said. “Let’s see which one you decide to be.”

 

The car’s engine roared to life and to my surprise, we drove away from Fletch’s house.

 

“Hey, where you going?” I asked, filled with an even deeper sense of panic.

“Your kind needs to be taught a good lesson so you don't bother wasting my time ever again,” she said as she switched off the car’s lights and sped off even faster into the night. “I’ve got something very special planned for you my little messiah and you’re not going to muck it up.”

“Wait, what you doing,” I said as I trembled in my seat.

 

She didn’t answer and kept pushing screams from the VW’s excessively loud engine. Blackness hurtled past my partially open window. The cold froze my jaw in place. I buckled my seatbelt and folded my arms across my chest. A sheep stood motionless in the middle of black road. It looked at us unflinching. Lights reflected off its’ ridiculous eyes. We screamed straight for it.

 

“No,” I said softly as I tensed all my muscles, expecting to crash into it.

 

Just as I thought we were travelling so quickly a crash was a certainty, she turned sharply to skid the tail of the car onto a smooth surfaced road that merged with the gravel road. I looked behind to see the sheep hadn’t moved a single inch. The car settled down to a normal speed. She said nothing and occasionally glanced back at me via the rear view mirror. We stopped outside a tiny police station.

 

“Move it!” she said as she, jumped out and opened my door.

 

Quick as I could, I immediately got out the car but was too scared to run off.

“Go in there and explain exactly what you’ve done,” she said. “Ask the officer on duty for six of the best. I’ll be waiting, just in case you want to try that running business again. This time, I’ll keep the engine running and we’ll see how much sheep you’ve got in you.”

 

I stood and looked at her, hoping she’d change her mind. She said nothing, so I walked in as slowly as I could. A fat balding officer lounged behind the counter.

 

“Well, well, look what we have here,” said the officer without moving his head of body.

“Hello sir,” I said as softly as I could.

 

“And what are you doing out so late young man?” he asked.

“Err, well, um, I tried to run away from my uncle’s house and I’m supposed to ask you for six lashes, but,” I said before I was interrupted.

“No, no, that's all I needed to hear lad,” said the officer. “We can not have that.”

 

He pulled out an official looking sheet and began to write on it.

 

“Full name?” asked the officer.

“Err, Ricky James, sir,” I said nervously.

“How did you get here?” he asked.

I looked to the doorway and said, “She brought me.”

 

The officer got up, leaned toward the open door and looked out. He inhaled a deep breath, took a moment to stare at his shoes then shook his head slightly.


“Now, listen up,” he said. “I’m Officer Beckles and have been here for a very long time. Take it from me, that woman is as mad as a wet hornet. Nine kinds of crazy she is, so just be smart and do whatever she tells you. Got it? She’s been turning up in town for as long as anyone can remember and is now a bit of a local legend. Not a good one either.”

 

I nodded quickly.

 

“What’s your address?” he asked.

“Don’t know sir, Fletch James is supposed to be my uncle and I’m bunking with him,” I said.

“Ah, Fletch hey,” said officer Beckles with a smile that paused his pen.

 

He went back behind the desk, reached into a draw and pulled out a large bamboo cane. Swiftly, he hit it onto the seat of the chair next to me, which let out a tremendous crack. I jumped in fright. He did this five more times, each louder the next.

 

Sensing I was being offered kindness, I tried to ask for a favour, “You see officer I’m actually trying to find my mom and,” I asked, but before I was allowed to finish I was interrupted.

“Good, now, get to bed, boy and make sure she sees you holding your bum when you walk out there,” said Officer Beckles. “You’d be safer in one of my cells than with her.”

“Thank you,” I said with a smile in the hope that I might get that favour off him next time.

 

I walked to the car and got in. She closed my door then looked at me with pure evil in her eyes, turned and started the engine. Neither of us said a word as she drove painfully slowly to Fletch’s house. She stopped the car a good distance from the house; I expect so we didn’t wake up Fletch.

 

“Got a good scent for you now, boy – test me and you’ll end up bobbing in that river,” she said in a super soft whisper. “You are going to do that anyway, but that’s besides the point. Know that I’m always waiting. Just one slip and you’re mine, forever. Well, you are anyway but this is just to waste my time. Now, let us just keep this evening between us – no need to bother your uncle, Fletch with it all. Got that?”

 

I nodded. The thought of keeping quiet about all that had happened was even scarier. She got out the car, opened my door and drove off extraordinarily quietly without turning on her car’s headlights. I walked down the driveway and opened the front door. Thomas barked.

 

“That you?” mumbled Fletch from his room

“Just needed some air,” I said, unsure if he’d believe me.

“Plenty around,” said Fletch in a half-asleep voice.

 

The following morning’s sun streamed through the windows and woke me up. A magnificent smell pulled me out of bed.

 

“Here he is!” said Fletch loudly. “Nobody can resist freshly cooked eggs. Sit. You’ll need all your strength today. Need to get you surfing before mom collects you. Still up for it?”

 

I nodded as I sat down and wondered if Fletch knew anything about the previous night. Looking at the running water in the fish tanks, I imagined where my mom might be. As much as I wanted to know, that hollow piece deep inside me didn’t let me ask all the boiling questions I had. For the moment I was safe enough,

Impressum

Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG

Texte: Ray Klerck
Bildmaterialien: Ray Klerck
Cover: Ray Klerck
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Ray Klerck
Satz: Ray Klerck
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 01.03.2018
ISBN: 978-3-7438-5878-7

Alle Rechte vorbehalten

Nächste Seite
Seite 1 /