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Authors: Susannah McFarlane

Big Brother

BOOK: Big Brother
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Published by Lemonfizz Media and Scholastic Australia in 2013.
Text, design and illustrations copyright © Lemonfizz Media 2013.
Cover design and Illustrations by Dyani Stagg of Merchantwise.

A CIP record for this title is available from the National Library of Australia.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher, unless specifically permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 as amended.

 

It was set to be the perfect summer weekend for Emma Jacks. The Jacks family had spent the hot Saturday afternoon at the local swimming pool. Both Emma and her brother Bob had invited friends to go with them and then stay for a sleepover. Emma had invited two of her best friends, Isi and Elle. After take-away fish and chips on the way home, they had gone back to the Jacks' house to get stuck into the serious part of the evening, preparing the sleepover. Best friends, movies and the biggest bag of lollies and snacks the girls could sneak into the house—who could ask for more?

The girls pulled the mattress off Emma's bed and dragged in the big mattress from the spare room to make one enormous bed in the centre of her room. They had piled up doonas and pillows and cushions to make it super comfy and Emma's mum let them move the TV into the bedroom for the night. The window was wide open so if the cool change ever came a breeze would flow through.

‘I know it's hard to sleep when it's so hot but you're not allowed to watch TV all night,' said Emma's mum, who was walking past the bedroom as the girls settled down.

‘No, Mum, as if!' said Emma. After all, she and her friends had lots to talk about and midnight feasts to eat as well. It would be perfect, at least nearly perfect. There was one possible problem: Emma's big brother, Bob.

‘Mum, is Bob going to be here tonight?'

‘Of course he's going to be here, he lives here,' said Emma's mum.

‘I mean, does he
have
to be here? Can't he
go to Otto's house instead of Otto staying here?' replied Emma. ‘Bob's always so annoying and he tries to embarrass me in front of my friends. It's even worse if he has a friend over.'

‘He's not that bad,' said her mum.

‘You know he is when he is with one of his friends,' cried Emma. ‘He's always spying on me. What about the time he drilled a hole in my bedroom door …'

‘That wasn't good,' agreed Emma's mum.

‘Or when he built the tree house right above my bedroom window,' reminded Emma.

‘Maybe he just likes being with his little sister,' suggested her mum.

‘I don't think so, Mum,' said Emma, rolling her eyes. Emma thought she knew why her big brother was always watching her—he was waiting for opportunities to annoy her or get her in trouble.

‘Well, sometimes it can be good to have a brother,' said Emma's mum. ‘And, anyway, you girls of all people should be able to manage big brother security.'

She was right. Not only were Emma, Elle and Isi excellent sleepover planners, they were also all agents in under-twelve divisions of the top-secret spy agency,
SHINE
. Emma, code name EJ12, was the longest-serving agent with many missions under her belt as part of the Code-cracking Division. Isi, IJ12, was in the Science and Invention Division where she helped create new spy-gadgets and Elle, EK12, had just completed her basic training for the Transport Division. All the girls were secret agents and all were determined that Bob wouldn't be able to ruin this sleepover. First they created an ingenious hiding spot for the midnight feast lollies (inside a box, inside a bag, in Emma's laundry basket) and then they set a motion detector at Emma's bedroom door.

‘We have so brother-proofed this room,' said Elle, who had extra experience in this area, having two older brothers.

‘I don't know how you cope,' Isi said to her. ‘It's much easier having younger sisters. They do take my stuff but it's simple to get back.'

‘You just have to be on constant alert,' said Elle. ‘Right, Em?'

‘Right,' agreed Emma. ‘Actually, I'm suspicious,' she added. ‘Normally Bob would have tried to do something irritating by now but he hasn't.'

‘He does have Otto over,' Isi pointed out.

That was true. Bob and Otto were best friends and they had been in Bob's room since dinner, playing on the computer.

‘Forget about him,' cried Elle. ‘We have more important things to discuss than brothers.'

The main topic of conversation for the sleepover was the same as it had been all weekend: how Hannah, the girls' other best friend, had also been recruited to
SHINE
and how excellent it was that they were now all agents. Hannah wasn't at the sleepover because she was away on her first training camp.

‘I wonder what BT is like for ATAs?' said Isi. She had recently become obsessed with using acronyms. It had started with OMG and GTG and
then Isi, being Isi, who tended to be enthusiastic about things, had taken it to a whole new level. Sometimes it was impossible to know what she was talking about. Luckily, Emma could use her code-cracking skills.

‘Basic Training for Animal Trainer Agents?' she guessed.

‘Of course,' said Isi. ‘EKT'.

‘Well,' went on Emma, thinking sometimes it was best to ignore Isi's new obsessions, ‘Éclair was going with her for the first part. After Mum gave her the all-clear, Hannah took her to training.'

Éclair was one of three poodle puppies that had been rescued by Emma on a recent mission in France. Abandoned by evil
SHADOW
agent Alicia Noir, EJ had brought them back home where her mum, a vet and
SHINE
Agent SJ45 (Retired) checked and looked after them until they were old enough to be allocated to
SHINE
agents. Much to Emma's delight, one of the black puppies, Beret, was to stay with the Jacks family and no one had
been happier than Emma when Hannah had been allocated the fluffy white poodle, Éclair. At the moment Pip, who was no longer a puppy, was taking up quite a bit of room lying across Emma and Elle while Beret was nestled in Isi's lap.

‘Han will be perfect in the Animal Training Division,' said Isi. ‘She is so patient. She even taught my bunny, Fluffy, to jump through a hoop.'

‘Do you think I'll be allocated an animal agent to use in the Transport Division?' asked Elle. ‘I wonder if Mum would let me. I'm not sure I would want a dog, though. They're very cute but they lick a lot. I wonder if
SHINE
use cats as well?'

‘You're so lucky to have two dogs,' Isi said to Emma. ‘Mum said one dog is enough.' Isi already had a black Labrador puppy called Blackie (AKA BJ2) and Fluffy, a brown and white bunny, also rescued on a
SHINE
mission. ‘It's SNF.'

‘Oh they always say no to start with,' said Emma.

‘I wonder if
SHINE
use rabbits OM,' went on Isi. ‘Imagine BOM, bunny on mission! LOL!'

‘Is!' groaned Emma, laughing.

‘WTM?' asked Isi.

‘OMG,' cried Elle.

‘ROFL!' shrieked Isi. ‘ILT!'

Elle jumped up and headed towards the door. ‘BRB, GTGTT,' she said looking straight at Isi.

‘Huh?' said Isi.

‘Be right back, got to go to toilet!'

‘Hold on,' said Emma. ‘I'll turn off the alert.'

Elle opened the bedroom door to leave while Emma and Isi flicked through Emma's iPod to decide what music to play. They didn't notice Bob's remote control car silently drive in through the door. With the sensor off, it drove in under Emma's bed undetected. Beret started to bark but no one paid attention and when Elle bounced back in, she turned the sensor on again and shut the door.

‘Let's have some of our feast now!' she said.

‘Good thinking,' said Isi as she reached into the laundry basket and took out the box then the bag and finally a packet of chips. ‘The laundry basket is
a great hiding spot, Em. Hey, let's play truth or dare!'

‘Yes!' cried Emma and Elle together.

It was Emma's turn first. She chose truth. She knew she could trust her besties with anything.

‘What are you really scared of?' asked Elle.

‘That's easy,' replied Emma. ‘The dark, but not so much anymore, spiders and horses.'

‘Horses?' cried Isi, surprised. ‘Why didn't we know that and why? Horses are beautiful!'

‘Not so much horses,' explained Emma, ‘but riding them.'

‘But you don't ride, do you?' asked Elle.

‘No, and that's why,' explained Emma. ‘Mum says I got really freaked out when I went on a pony ride at a kinder fete and perhaps it started there. I love the idea of riding, you know how much I love animals, but there is just something about it. Okay, Is, your turn. Truth or dare?'

Isi, unsurprisingly, chose dare.

‘Hmmm, let's think,' said Emma, smiling at Elle. ‘What's something really embarrassing Is can do?'

‘BRB,' said Isi.

‘That's it, I know,' cried Elle. ‘Is, when you go to the toilet, you have to leave the door open!'

‘No way!' cried Isi.

‘You chose dare, Is,' said Elle.

‘But …' started Isi. ‘Oh well, NB.'

‘What?'

‘No biggie!'

Isi walked up the corridor and into the toilet. The girls checked the door was still open and giggled.

Within seconds, Bob and Otto come out of Bob's bedroom. Beret barked and Emma rushed to the door.

‘Just going to the bathroom,' said Bob with a funny smile on his face.

Otto started to laugh.

‘No, you can't … I mean … ISI!' yelled Emma.

They heard the toilet flush and Isi came out, blushing.

‘Phew, that was close,' said Emma.

‘I think I'll stick with truth next time,' said Isi.

‘Come on, let's watch a DVD,' said Elle.

The girls went to the living room and chose a DVD. When they came back to the bedroom, Emma pulled the midnight feast bag out again.

‘Hey, I thought we bought raspberry bullets,' she said.

‘We did, didn't we?' replied Elle.

‘They're not here,' said Emma sifting through the bag.

‘Weird. Oh well, whatever,' said Isi. ‘Let's start the watch-a-thon!'

The girls spent the rest of the evening watching episodes of their favourite TV Show,
Undercover Girls
, eating lollies, talking and laughing until, finally, late in the night—or more exactly early in the morning—they all fell asleep.

It was only then that the small black remote-controlled car with its red flashing light reversed out of Emma's room and drove down the corridor into Bob's bedroom, running over an empty raspberry bullet bag.

BOOK: Big Brother
9.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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