“My Little Pony…friendship is magic!” sang out 6-year-old Esme Shead on the top of her lungs. Her pink chiffon tutu swirled around her chubby legs, and her mischievous green eyes danced.
“Be quiet, Esme! My assignment is due tomorrow and I need to focus!” 15-year-old Clemence groaned, hiding her head under her bright pink binder to block the noise.
“Not my boss!” taunted Esme, sticking her nose in the air. She jumped onto the table and started to dance as she sang. Clemence rolled her eyes at her sister and turned her head down to her page again. Her younger brother Tristan, who was 11, ran into the room and turned on the TV.
“I’m playing on the X-box!” he called. Esme leapt down from the table and dove for the remote, grabbing it from the cupboard before Tristan could.
“Too bad! I got the remote first!” Esme said. “And I’m going to watch My Little Pony!”
“Esme! Mom said I could go on the X-box!” Tristan said, his hands on his hips. Esme poked out her tongue.
Clemence almost screamed, but she stuck her pencil in her mouth and chomped on it to stop herself. How am I going to figure out how many small businesses there are in our state in this noise? It’s chaos in here! she thought, gnawing harder on the pencil. Esme and Tristan were still arguing and shouting at each other.
“Well I wanna watch TV, so I’m gonna!” Esme said, her arms folded. One sticky hand tightly clutched the TV remote. Tristan snatched the remote from his sister’s hands with a triumphant grin.
“Tristan! You hit me!” screeched Esme. She fell to the ground and began to cry, cradling her ‘injured’ arm. “You’re not allowed to hit!”
Clemence groaned inwardly, letting a curtain of her dark brown hair fall in front of her face. Her sister was such a drama queen!
“I didn’t hit you! So there!” Tristan said defensively, plopping himself onto the couch.
“Yes you did!”
“What is going on in here?!” Their mother Dawn’s voice stopped the siblings in their tracks. “I was in the kitchen trying to make supper, but I couldn’t hear myself think because of your bickering! It doesn’t even sound like you love each other!”
“Tristan hit me and stole the remote from me!” Esme screamed.
“No, I was using it first!” Tristan cried.
“No you weren’t! I was going to watch TV!”
“ENOUGH!” bellowed Silas, Dawn’s wife. “All of you! QUIET! If I hear one more little word from you kids, there will be serious consequences!”
Tristan shuffled his feet and sighed. Esme put her hands on her hips and huffed angrily.
“Now. Tristan, do you want to quietly tell your side of the story, without any interruptions from Esme?” Dawn asked, rubbing her temples.
Clemence tossed down her pencils, picked up her files and stalked up the stairs.
“Clem! Where are you going?” Dawn called, turning away from the fuming siblings.
“To my room, where it’s quiet!” said Clemence over her shoulder, slamming her door and throwing her homework onto her white and pink bedspread. She sighed, already feeling a bit better as she looked around her pretty room. At last, she was away from her annoying siblings. At last, she could have some peace.
Clemence gazed at the gauzy curtains by the window seat, the cute bookshelf filled with her favourite books, the pink rug and the assortment of pillows on the ground in the corner and, Clemence’s favourite, the silver-framed mirror and makeup table that she had got for her birthday 5 days ago.
The noise of her parents trying to figure out the argument had faded, and all Clem could hear was the sounds of birds chirping and Tristan’s X-Box.
Clemence looked out of the window that faced their street, Ockerby Drive. The evening sun shone on her face, beginning to take away the sting of her annoyance, but there was an ominous-looking cloud in the distance.
Clem grabbed her phone and opened the Messages app. She tapped on her best friend Flame Wellington’s name.
hey flame, typed Clemence, whassup? A few minutes later, Flame replied.
Not much. Kinda bored actually. ????
Clemence texted with Flame for a while, chatting about school, boys and Clemence’s upcoming birthday party, which was in 2 days. Flame had always known exactly how Clem was feeling and how to cheer her up. It had been like this since they first met. Clemence smiled at the memory of the first day of Kindergarten.
“Welcome students, to Kindergarten. I’m your teacher, Miss Henks.”
“Good morning Miss Henks!” chorused the class cheerfully as they sat on the rainbow coloured mat. “Let’s have a great year together! I have assigned you buddies for the first few days, a friend you can play with while we start off this year. Does that sound good?”
“Yeah!” laughed the students, excited to be in school as ‘big kids’.
“Let’s see,” Miss Henks said, reading from a sheet of paper. “Christian and James, Clemence and Flame, Greg and Matthew…” Clemence walked over to the girl with a name tag that read Flame, with a little drawing of fire on it. Flame, a dark-skinned girl with frizzy hair and a small smile, greeted Clemence shyly.
“I’m Clemence! Did you draw that fire?” Clemence said happily. Flame smiled.
“I know your name. It’s written on your nametag. And yes, I did draw that.” Flame said softly. Clemence giggled, Flame joining her.
“Do you want to be my friend?” Clemence asked. Flame nodded slowly.
“Ok, but only if I can call you Clem,” she said. Clemence nodded, and Flame grabbed her hand and dragged her to the seat next to her.
Clemence smiled again, and slipped her phone into her back pocket, deciding to focus on her homework again. Soon, she’d be 16, and would have to be a responsible student. Clemence grinned, excited for her birthday party, and her actual birthday, one day later.
The sun was setting after a muggy summer’s day. 3 men in black crept along the wall of a building and opened the rusty, old door. Once inside the decrepit building, they pulled off their balaclavas and began to talk.
“How shall we start?” asked one of the men. He ran a hand through his blond, greasy hair.
“Just mess things up…” snickered another, stroking his beard. “Grab some small stuff, y’know. Peek inside houses and see what they got, right?” The men laughed bitterly.
“But we need to do more than just that!” groaned the last man who was skinny and whiny.
“Aw, shut up, Jeff. We’ll get there, okay?” said the bearded man. His face turned mysterious, and he grinned to himself. “We’ll get there…”
[RB1]Don’t forget to mention town and street names throughout the book!!!