TREVOR THE GOBLIN CHAPTER 1

It’s the Sunday evening at the end of the Easter holiday, before Hannah and Phoebe go back to school. They’re watching TV with Mum and Dad.
Millie, their black Labrador, is stretched out like a seal on her favourite area of carpet next to the French windows. Her head pokes through the curtains as she surveys the patio and gloomy garden beyond.
Nothing is happening, all is well with her world and Millie’s eyelids begin to droop.
She hears a sudden noise and wakes up. Alert, her ears pricked, she sits up cocking her head from side-to-side as she looks out.
The garden is filled with whirling, whizzing, firework-like shapes – dazzling in the night. Millie watches them darting and weaving in and out of the apple trees, trailing streaks of silver like sparklers on Bonfire Night.
There are three things zooming around.
Millie starts to growl.
“Shussh!” shouts Dad, annoyed that he just missed what was said on the TV and hoping to stop the dog before she starts barking in earnest.
The flying things are trying to blast sparks at each other as they duck and weave around the garden.
Millie barks.
“Millie shut up, you made me jump!” Hannah exclaims. “This film is frightening enough without you scaring me.”
“Actually she hasn’t been out tonight,” says Mum calmly. “Can you let her out Hannah?”
“Why me? I want to watch the film,” Hannah answers sullenly.
“We can pause it for you,” answers Mum.
“It’s so unfair, why is it always me?”
“It’s not always you and it won’t take long. Go on,”
“Can I have a biscuit?”
Mum sighs, “OK, but hurry up.”
“Come on,” Hannah says to the dog and Millie falls into step as they make their way down the hall. Hannah grabs the biscuit tin from the shelf in the kitchen and rummages around, trying to get the chocolate chip cookie from under a pile of Digestives. She is too busy to see the dancing fairy lights through the kitchen window. She reaches through the gap between the curtains and opens the back door.
Millie, who has been jumping up and down with excitement, takes off like a rocket up the path. She barks chasing the shapes around the garden.
Hannah just pulls the door closed behind her to shut out the noise and goes back to the film.

Millie is in a frenzy, barking and jumping up at the shapes as they zoom around doing acrobatics in mid-air and shooting sparks at each other. Without warning one of them dive-bombs her. She stops barking and turns tail, running for her life from the burning sparks, ducking behind the shed to avoid being hit but, when the shape flies away, she re-joins the skirmish.
As she jumps, Millie sees that the shapes are tiny winged people wearing cloaks like veils of twinkling lights and the sparks are flying from sticks they hold in their hands.
One of them is flying lower than the others and is slightly slower. It is holding something bulky, like a colourful ball, which weighs the little man down. Millie jumps at him, but at the last moment he manages to twist away from her open jaws and she just bites thin air, her teeth snapping together uselessly. She waits until he flies close to her again. She jumps and manages to grab his shimmering, gossamer cloak. The fabric is so fine her teeth just slide through it, but the man is knocked off course and, spinning out of control, he pirouettes and tumbles towards the flowerbed.
As he falls, the coloured ball flies from his grasp and sails through the air. The other two try to catch it, but it’s too heavy. It falls to the ground with a thump and rolls across the grass.

Dad has had enough. He pauses the film, jumps out of his chair and stomps across to the French windows wrenching them open.
“MILLLIE!” he shouts.
In a flash, the flying people disappear. Millie is left standing, panting in the middle of the lawn, looking around urgently to see where they have gone.
“GET IN HERE!” shouts Dad.
Taking one last look around and, with her tail between her legs, Millie runs to the door.
“Naughty girl!” says Dad as Millie slinks past.
Millie waits to see if she is going to get her biscuit and be put to bed, but Dad slumps back down on the sofa and re-starts the film, so she turns and lies down, keeping a keen eye on the garden in case those weird, flying creatures come back.

Mornings are a particularly difficult time for Hannah. Like most fifteen year olds, she likes her bed and finds it difficult to get up when her alarm goes off.
Her morning routine; hair straightening, make-up, rolling up her school skirt and constantly being reminded to brush her teeth - drives her Mum mad. It also drives her Dad from the house ten minutes earlier than he needs to leave. Hannah knows this. She often sees him in the coffee shop, reading the paper over a leisurely Americano, as she goes past on the bus. Her friends always laugh and tease her saying - “Your Dad must hate your house in the morning!” or, “Haven’t you got coffee at home?”
This Monday morning is particularly hard after the Easter holidays.
It has taken a couple of shouts from Mum, and Dad pulling the quilt from her, prompting an angry rant from Hannah about her human rights, before she struggles out of bed. Given her rude awakening, she has a valid excuse to face the day in a very bad mood.
“Hannah!” Mum shouts from the bottom of the stairs.
“What?!” she screams, from in front of the mirror.
“You forgot to empty the compost bin yesterday!”
“Oh well! I’ll do it later!”
“Hannah!”
“What?”
No response.
“What?!”
Oh for goodness sake, I’ll finish what I’m doing first, it’s only the stupid bin and if I wait long enough it’ll be too late to do it before I have to leave for school. Result!
“Hannah!”
After a few more minutes applying her mascara, Hannah strolls nonchalantly downstairs.
“What have you been doing? Didn’t you hear me calling?” asks Mum, looking hot and flustered. “Well now you’re here, you can take the compost bin out – you should have done it yesterday.”
“But I have to make my lunch and I’ll be late,” Hannah cries.
“Your lunch is in the fridge, so you’ll have plenty of time.”
Hannah stares at her as if she has just grown three heads, “but…but…”
“Go and get your shoes on and take it out,” her mum smiles sweetly, annoying Hannah.
“For goodness sake,” Hannah mutters under her breath. It’s too early in the morning for disgusting potato peelings and rotting banana skins. The thought almost makes her retch, so she spends the next few minutes looking for her shoes and her bag. She is almost at the front door when she remembers that she’s forgotten her lunch and that she has no money.
She slips back into the kitchen, hoping to grab her sandwiches and escape before Mum sees her, but when she turns around Mum is standing in the doorway with the compost bin in her hand, blocking the escape.
“Thank you darling,” says Mum sarcastically and holds out the bucket.
Hannah grabs it and sweeps around in an arc, throwing potato peelings all over the floor. She pretends not to notice and flounces to the back door.
“PICK THOSE UP!” Her mother’s shout is like an emergency brake, stopping Hannah mid-stride.
“What’s the matter?” Hannah asks innocently, turning and looking at her mother in surprise. Then, pretending to see the mess on the floor for the first time, says, “Oh, sorry,” and bends down to pick up the mouldy bits of spud. As she crams the last piece back in the bin, she casts a furtive glance at her mum who hasn’t moved and is glowering down at Hannah like a dark cloud. “Right, is that it? Have I got it all? Clumsy me,” Hannah begins, retreating towards the back door. “I’ll let myself out the side gate, see you later.”
Her mother stands stock still, a stony look on her face. “Just put the bucket back through the door and I’ll put it away,” she says through clenched teeth.
“Sure. Bye then Mum...” Hannah blows her a kiss and skips out of the back door.

Hannah is now in a really foul mood. She stomps up the garden to the wooden-slatted compost heap. Muttering under her breath, she picks the decaying bit of carpet off the pile of rotting vegetation and grimaces as a swarm of insects living in the warmth, scatter from the light.
Why couldn’t there be a mouse living in the compost heap like at Granddad’s last year? Why do we have to have disgusting insects?
Pouring the contents of the bucket onto the pile and wondering whether she should put her hand in and pick out the soggy, decomposing bit of kitchen towel stuck to the bottom with rotting goo, she catches sight of something brightly coloured, wedged under the planks at the bottom of the compost bin.
She cautiously kneels down to see what it is.
An Easter egg, a massive, chocolate egg wrapped in shiny foil.
It must have been missed in the Easter egg hunt! But I thought Mum said we’d found all the eggs. Oh well, we must have missed this one and it’s the biggest!
She reaches down and tries to get it out from under the plank, but it’s too tightly wedged. She puts the bucket down and worms her hands around both sides of the egg and, with a huge tug she pulls it free, throwing her off balance.
Splash!
She cries out in surprise as she lands on her bottom in a puddle.
The cold water, the colour and consistency of chocolate milkshake, covers Hannah’s legs. She jumps up, trying to brush the water off before it soaks in. She tries to look at the back of her skirt to see how bad it is, but she can’t really tell - all that she knows is that she’s covered in mud.
Have I got time to change? She looks at her watch. No, if I don’t leave now I’ll miss the bus and be late for school.
She swears, grabs the egg, shoves it angrily into her bag and stomps back down the garden path. Opening the back door, she throws the compost bin inside, slams the door and runs down the side path to the gate, leaving a muddy trail behind her.

Hannah has had a bad day; she was laughed at by the boys because of her muddy skirt and socks, she steamed up the window next to her on the bus, got chafed legs as she walked around school, left damp patches on the seats, had to stand next to the radiator for the whole of break to dry her skirt, was given loads of homework, found out she has a maths test tomorrow and wasn’t able to unwrap the silly Easter egg.
Thankfully it’s her final lesson of the day, History with Mrs Anderson her form teacher.
Mrs Anderson is droning on about medieval castles. Hannah hates History and can’t believe she chose it instead of doing Geography. Then she remembers, as this is Year Eleven, she will be giving it up at the end of the summer term and this cheers her up.
No more history. No more Mrs Anderson! She smiles at the thought just as Mrs Anderson looks at her.
“Hannah, what are you smiling at? Do you find the thought of people being burned to death by boiling oil funny?” Mrs Anderson asks, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
The old bag only joined the school in September and has been down on the girls like a ton of bricks; telling them off for rolling up their skirts, making them take out their earrings if they wear anything more than just a stud, giving out detentions like sweets and measuring their heels to make sure their shoes don’t break school rules.
Hannah had to stay in the classroom every Friday-lunchtime in the first term because she kept ‘forgetting’ to tell Mum that her school shoes were too high. When she had finally got around to mentioning it, her mother had hit the roof. She had refused to buy a new pair, as Hannah had insisted on buying the most fashionable shoes and had assured her mum that they were OK to wear to school. So not only did Hannah have to spend lunchtimes with Mrs Anderson, but she also had to do more chores around the house until she had saved up enough money to buy new school shoes!
Mrs Anderson is a teacher that has perfected an ability to ignore girls that she does not want to see, and Hannah finds that incredibly rude. She hates that Mrs Anderson wears purple all the time and the way that her heavy jowls quiver when she speaks, her piggy eyes and the fact that she looks like a deformed blueberry with a head and…
“Well? I am waiting. What is there to smile about?” Hannah senses all heads in the room swivel around, eyes fixing on her like radar as the other girls realise that someone is in for it.
For the briefest moment Hannah wonders if she should tell the truth. Her mother is always telling her that honesty is the best policy, not that Hannah usually follows that advice, and she quickly dismisses it as a bad idea.
“Sorry Mrs Anderson, but I was just thinking how lovely it was to be back in school after the holidays and how much I am enjoying the engaging way you are explaining the early forms of medieval warfare. I agree that getting covered in oil would be terrible,” she pauses for dramatic effect and to make sure that she gets her tone spot on, “but if you were a defender, so would letting the castle be taken by hordes of marauding armies, don’t you agree?” she asks sweetly.
Mrs Anderson and all of the girls are gaping at her, their mouths hanging open in surprise. Mrs Anderson’s eyes narrow and fix her with a beady stare of contempt. Hannah holds her breath and counts to five, waiting for the attack, but sighs with relief when the blueberry just turns on her heel and marches off.
As Mrs Anderson reaches the whiteboard at the front, Hannah catches a movement out of the corner of her eye. Her bag, which she’d dumped under her desk, is rocking around.
Furtively, checking that the Anderson is not looking, she leans down and peers inside. The egg is rolling around in the bottom with such force it’s pushing her books around and making the bag sway from side to side.
Hannah wonders if the egg is one of her Dad’s practical jokes. She had been extremely frustrated when she couldn’t unwrap it at break, or lunchtime. She had even tried smashing it on the edge of the school building, but even though it had put a chip in the brickwork it had remained unscathed.
It must be a fake Easter egg, with a motor and a timer in it to make it move.
Crack! A small section of the coloured shell breaks open.
Hannah glances up to see if anyone has heard, but her classmates are all staring into the middle distance or doodling on their books, so she carries on watching the egg as it continues rocking around in the bag.
What is it? Is it a toy? Is it real? What’s going on? Maybe Mr Smith, the biology teacher will know.
She raises her hand trying to attract Mrs Anderson’s attention, but it’s no good, the old trout is bending down helping Jessie with her course work.
“Miss…Miss!” she says as the bag goes mad, jumping around all over the place.
Katie, Hannah’s best friend, looks over from her desk and sees the bag. “What’s in there?” she whispers.
“It’s an... errgh,” Hannah tries to respond, but there’s an excruciating pain, like someone has stabbed her in the throat with a sharp knife. She clams up.
“A what?” hisses Katie.
“It’s an.. ARRGH!” Hannah cries.
“What is all that noise!?” asks Mrs Anderson, spinning around.
“It’s Hannah Miss,” says Carina.
Hannah glares at Carina. I never liked you, you snitch!
“Well Hannah, what is all this noise about?” asks Anderson.
“Miss, it’s my baaaa…ouch!” - the stabbing intensifies.
“Your back? What have you done to your back?” asks Anderson.
“I don’t know, but it really hurts,” Hannah replies, on the verge of real tears because of the pain in her throat. “Can I go and get an aspirin from the nurse?”
Mrs Anderson stares at her as if trying to work out if she is bluffing. Then, confused by the cry of what seemed like genuine pain, says, “Go on then, but hurry up.”
Hannah leans down to pick up her bag and Mrs Anderson’s voice carries across the room. “If your back is hurting, you had better leave your bag here. No point in carrying it to the nurse and back.”
Oh damn, now I can’t get it out of here. She looks up to see Anderson staring at her.
“OK Miss, I’ll be back in a moment.”
Hannah jumps up. Realising that she should be pretending to have a bad back, she lets out a yelp and doubles up in agony. I am definitely doing Drama A level, she thinks, I’m so good at acting.
Leaving the classroom, she wanders down the corridor aimlessly. If I go to the nurse I’ll have to take an aspirin for no reason, but what if Anderson checks?

Ten minutes later, having had an aspirin that she does not need, Hannah is sitting back at her desk.
Her bag isn’t moving and, checking again that Anderson isn’t looking, Hannah peeks inside.
“Eekkk!” she screams in shock. Lying in the bottom, surrounded by a nest of exercise books, is an ugly, green man the size of a pack of cards and covered in slimy goo. “Erhh!” she lets out another squeak - he is stark naked!
Someone must have nicked my egg and put this useless plastic man in my bag.
She looks around furtively to see if anyone is watching. Nobody is bothered; everyone is pretending to study the whiteboard.
She looks down at her bag. It can’t be? That’s impossible! It looks as if he’s grown.
“How could it?” Hannah says out loud.
“How could it what?!” demands Mrs Anderson from the front.
Trust the old bag to hear that, Hannah sighs.
“Um…err…” she looks at the picture on the board, “umm...I was wondering how the siege engine could possibly survive an attack by burning arrows…?” she mumbles.
After a moment’s hesitation, during which Mrs Anderson looks as if she’s going to explode and shower the whole class with blueberry juice, she smiles. “Good question – House Point to Hannah Edwards – well you see…”
Hannah is so relieved that she got away with it; she sits back in her chair stunned. She is not really listening to what Mrs Anderson is saying, but she smiles and nods at what she hopes are the right moments.
When, at last, the blueberry turns her back on the class, Hannah risks another sneaky look in the bag. “Oh no!” she cries. The little green man is not so small – he’s grown and is now the size of one of her exercise books.
“Now what?” says Mrs Anderson, spinning to face the class and looking around suspiciously.
Her eyes alight on Hannah, who has clamped her bag shut and is staring wild-eyed towards the front, a look of total shock on her face.
“Miss…Miss…my baaaaaaaaaarh!” Hannah tries to explain, but the stabbing pain in her throat is excruciating.
“Don’t start that again!”
“No Miss, but… I have a maaaannAAArgghh!” Hannah screams as the pain increases.
“A what?”
It’s no good. Hannah can’t explain what’s wrong. Every time she tries, it’s too painful. She has to get out of the classroom with her bag, but she’s already been to the nurse, so how?
Then she hears a deep reverberating sound coming from her bag. It sounds like the low, distant rumble of thunder and the grumbling noise builds until it sounds more like an airplane taking off. It goes on for ages and Mrs Anderson’s jaw drops as the noise crescendos into a terrible, wobbling, vibrating, incredibly loud – FART!
“Miss, I need the toilet!” says Hannah quickly.
“No kidding!” quips someone from behind her.
Mrs Anderson is standing at the front of the class with her hands on her hips, her face puce and her mouth hanging open with shock.
Then, like a wave crashing over the heads of unsuspecting bathers on the beach, Hannah and the rest of the class smell it; the most appalling, putrid, gagging smell imaginable, ten times worse than rotten eggs and more pungent than ammonia or sulphur. The smell hits Hannah’s nose and catches at the back of her throat, it’s as if she is being immersed in it. Her eyes water and tears stream down her cheeks.
“Arrgh!” the people around her shout, clasping their hands over their mouths and the movement echoes down the class like a Mexican wave. The girls at the side of the room throw themselves out of their seats, open the windows wide and stick their heads out to escape the stench. The rest of the class - all gagging and retching - hurry to join them in their quest for fresh air.
Hannah does not move.
Nor does Mrs Anderson, who is staring at her with a fixed expression as if she’s been fossilised, and Hannah, who is about to pass out from the smell, takes advantage of Mrs Anderson’s statue-like demeanour. She grabs her bag, rushes out of the room and runs down the corridor.

Hannah reaches the end of the passageway and has to stop. Her school bag is getting heavier and the strap is biting into her shoulder. She takes it off and starts walking, holding the handle with both hands.
The bag starts bulging and expanding, until it’s impossible to carry. She puts it on the floor and drags it, straining to pull the weight along. Green flesh begins to poke out from the open top and Hannah is desperate to get to the toilet before anyone sees her. She yanks at the strap. It rips off, coming away in her hand. She stumbles and falls on her bum.
She looks up, desperately surveying the corridor in case someone has seen her, but the coast is clear. She jumps up, massaging her aching backside and starts pushing the bag towards the toilet door.
Locking her legs and heaving with all her might she is able to get the bag through the door and into the sanctuary of the girls’ toilet. She doesn’t stop until she has pushed it into one of the cubicles. Cramming herself in after it, she locks the door and collapses onto the loo seat.
What’s going on!? she wonders, burying her head in her hands, exhausted.
Sensing something move, Hannah looks up and watches in despair as a green-skinned arm, heavy with coarse black hairs like a threadbare sweeping brush, pokes out of the bag.
Her breath catches in her throat and her hands are clammy, but despite her fear, and thinking that this is the point in a horror movie where she usually screams at the heroine - “Get out of there!” - Hannah reaches over and pulls the bag open so that she can look inside. A yellow, bloodshot eyeball, with a black iris, stares back at her. She recoils, but the eye follows her. A sound begins to rumble from the bottom of the bag. Hannah panics, a scream building in her throat, it’s going to fart again, she thinks and covers her nose with her hand.
But instead of a fart, she hears a deep, resonant voice. “Mummy!” says the man.

When Hannah comes around she’s sandwiched between the loo and the cubicle wall, with her head pushed into her chest at an awkward angle and her calves resting on top of the toilet.
She looks at the bag tentatively, hoping that she has just woken from a bad dream, but no, the green arm is still there and the beady eye is still staring at her.
“You have to be kidding,” she mutters to herself, “whatever this thing is, it thinks I’m its mummy.”
“No I don’t,” says the man, sarcastically.
“What?”
“I was joking,” he answers.
The bag shifts as the ugly green man sits up. He looks at her with dark, wary eyes. The man is still growing, getting bigger as she watches and Hannah takes big breaths, trying to calm her frazzled nerves.
She gets up off the floor muttering, “I must be ill. I have a fever, that’s it. I’m going mad. I’m seeing… and smelling… and hearing things! I’m going crazy!” she cries as she collapses back on the loo seat.
“Oh great, I’ve got a loony,” says the man.
“What do you mean a loony? I’m not a loony and you don’t exist,” mutters Hannah.
“If I don’t exist, who are you talking to?” asks the man.
“I can’t hear you. Laaallllaaaaalllaaaa,” Hannah sings, with her fingers in her ears, her eyes tightly closed.
The man rolls his eyes and shakes his head wearily.
Hannah keeps singing and peeking at the man, hoping that he will disappear. Each time she looks, he’s still there and still growing.
“I wish you would go away,” she sings. “I wish you would go away…I wish you would go away!” Even over her singing she hears a small bang and, opening her eyes, sees that the man has disappeared - she is alone.
Her bag is lying on the floor with nothing bulging out of it. She pushes it with her toe, sliding it across the cubicle. Her books spill out, but nothing else. She checks, looking inside the bag. Other than the remains of the colourful egg, it’s empty.
She exhales. I must have imagined it. Thank goodness - I was going mad.
Oh no!
The thought hits her like a train. I wasn’t imagining it, what about that smell? And now I have to go back into the classroom. “What am I going to say about what just happened?” she moans putting her head in her hands.
But as she sits staring at the pieces of egg lying in the bottom of her bag, she has a flash of inspiration and smiles with relief.

Hannah opens the door and stomps back into the class-room. She’s hit by a wall of cold, fresh-air from the open windows, but is relieved that the smell has gone.
If she has learned nothing else in history lessons, she has learned that attack is the best form of defence. “Who was it?” she demands loudly, as she makes her way back to her seat.
“Uh oh…stinky is back…” sneers Carina.
“Was it you then?” Hannah demands, leaning over Carina.
“What?” asks Carina warily.
“Was it you who put that stink bomb in my bag!?” Hannah demands, speaking slowly and clearly as if to an idiot.
“What stink bomb?” Carina asks guiltily, before recovering and adding, “oh, so you want us to think that the smell was a stink bomb not a far…”
“Carina!” shouts Mrs Anderson, who has been watching the exchange suspiciously.
“Hannah Edwards are you accusing Carina Smith of having done something?” she demands.
“Miss, have you ever smelled such a disgusting smell before?” asks Hannah, ignoring her teacher’s question.
“No, I must admit I have not - although the crater at Vesuvius does give off a very distinctive odour.”
“Do you agree that such a smell was unlikely to have been produced by a girl of my constitution?” Hannah asks and starts walking back and forth across the classroom, her hands clasped behind her back, as if she’s a top lawyer in a very important trial.
Confused, Mrs Anderson shakes her head, “No...No...I do not believe that is likely, however…”
“Well,” continues Hannah, cutting across her teacher, “I would contend that the noise that you heard and the smell, must have been released by an exploding stink bomb, placed in my bag by person, or persons, unknown, your honour!”
A couple of girls at the back of the classroom snigger. “I mean by person or persons unknown - Miss,” Hannah says forcefully.
“Do you have any evidence to support your assertion?” Mrs Anderson replies, obviously fancying herself as a top judge and looking down her nose as if she is in Court.
“I would like to present exhibit A...” Hannah reaches into her bag and pulls out the pieces of egg. “I just found this in my bag, the remains of a very large stink bomb!”
“Objection!” shouts Carina.
Hannah and Mrs Anderson swivel around.
Carina stands. “How do we know that she didn't place that in her bag after she left the room? Or that she didn't set it off?”
“If I had planted it after the event, what made that noise and the smell then? Do you really think it was me? Also, where would I get the remains from?”
“You could have,” mutters Carina, looking around sullenly.
“Mrs Anderson,” Hannah begins sweetly, “do you really think that it was me, or do you think that it was a stink bomb? And do you think I would have set it off in my own bag?”
“Well…” Mrs Anderson hesitates.
“Come on Mrs Anderson,” Hannah continues, “do you really think that a fifteen year old girl could have made that noise and have produced that… that…smell?”
Mrs Anderson stands at the front of the class considering her response.
Come on you old bag, Hannah thinks as she watches Mrs Anderson. Come on, this is important, your response could mean the rest of my school life being blighted by taunting and nicknames like – “Stinky knickers”; “Trumpeter”; “Eggy bottom” or “Farty bad pants”– all of these, or worse, could follow me around forever. Come on, help me! Hannah wills her teacher.
“Well…” Mrs Anderson repeats, staring out of the window.
Suddenly her face brightens and she turns to face the girls.
“No!” she says firmly.
“No, what?” ask Hannah and Carina in unison.
“No, I don’t think you could have made that smell, Hannah.” Mrs Anderson bristles, her face becoming sterner. “So girls,” she continues, addressing the whole class, “that means that someone placed the stink bomb in Hannah’s bag and I want to know who? Who could have done such a thing?” She scowls at each girl in turn and Hannah cannot help smiling when she notices that the old bag’s attention rests on Carina for longer than anyone else. “I want to know who did it and nobody is leaving this room until I find out.”
“Miisss!” the girls groan in unison.
“Yes, you will all stay behind until this mystery is solved. Except of course for the victim…”
Hannah catches her breath. What can the old bat mean?
“Yes, you are all in detention, except Hannah who can go at the end of the lesson.”
The stunned silence that follows this edict is suddenly pierced by the sound of the bell ringing to announce the end of the school day. Hannah looks askance at Mrs Anderson.
The teacher smiles, “Yes, off you run then dear.”

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