Sins of the Father: MANTEQUERO BOOK 3

BOOK: Sins of the Father: MANTEQUERO BOOK 3
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Sins of the Father

 

 

By Jenny Twist

Jenny Twist, Copyrigh

2014

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

The author is hereby established as the sole holder of the copyright. The author may enforce copyrights to the fullest extent.

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold,

reproduced or transmitted by any means in any form or given away to other people without

specific
permission from the author. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to the living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

Credits

 

Editor: Emily Eva Editing

http://emilyevaediting.weebly.com/

 

Cover Art: Novel Prevue

http://www.novelprevue.com/cover-art.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication:

 

For Marsha Grigsby and her class at Riverdale High School in Riverdale, CA. Thank you, Marsha. It wouldn’t have happened without you.

 

 

 


The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children
.”

Euripides

Phrixus Greek tragic dramatist (484 BC - 406 BC)

 

“. . . I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. . .”

King James Bible
,
 Exodus 20:5

 

 

Sins of the Father

 

 

I

 

The Geek was staring at her –
again
! Samantha could feel his eyes boring into the back of her neck. That’s all he ever did – just stare.
All the time
. Whenever she was in Mrs Winton’s class she knew that if she turned round in her seat she would catch his eye. He’d been doing it ever since this term started which, as it happened, was when he had joined the class.
Why her?
She couldn’t decide when she looked at him whether his expression was one of hate or desire. It was intense, she could certainly say that.

She couldn’t believe
it was because he fancied her. There were two things about her which were guaranteed to make any boy run a mile; she was clever, and she was fat. Boys didn’t like clever girls. They were afraid of being shown up. And
nobody
liked fat girls. She had no girlfriends either. Who wanted to be friends with someone who was top of the class (very uncool) and complete rubbish at sport (mega-uncool)?

She tried to concentrate on
the book in front of her but she couldn’t take her mind off the Geek.
Maybe he was planning to murder her!

 

****

 

Rupert was gazing at the girl with long blonde hair. He knew he was staring but he couldn’t seem to help himself. Every time he was in the Spanish class he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She had the most beautiful hair. It was dark blonde and shiny with loose waves curling down to her shoulders. Even in artificial light you could tell the colour was natural. There were too many different shades in it for it to be the result of a hairdresser’s skill. In sunshine, as it was now, it shone red-gold with a myriad of shifting colours. He wanted to touch it, run his fingers through it, bury his face in it. He wondered what it smelt like.

She was only two desks away. He could reach over and touch her.

Terrified he might actually find himself doing it, he sat on his hands.

 

****

 

Mrs Winton was saying something about Cervantes but Samantha was completely unable to follow it. He was very tall, the Geek, a lot taller than the rest of the class, including Mrs Winton, and he was good-looking in a brooding sort of way, but the problem was he was really weird. Everybody thought so.

She had thought about telling a teacher about the staring but it was hardly a crime was it? You couldn’t say, “There’s this boy and he keeps staring at me
,” and expect them to do anything about it, no matter how uncomfortable it made you. It was a free country after all.

She’d
considered tackling him herself. Asking him why he kept staring at her all the time. He must know he was doing it. But she hated confrontation and anyway she couldn’t think how on earth she could bring the subject up. You couldn’t introduce it casually into a conversation – “By the way, why do you keep staring at me all the time?” You’d look like a right prat.

 

Her name was Samantha, but the other kids called her ‘Piggy Parkin’ or ‘Miss Piggy’ or just ‘Piggy’, referring to her being fat, obviously. But Rupert had never thought fat was unattractive.

A
s a matter of fact he rather liked pigs too. Intelligent animals and very clean if you allowed them the space.

He shook his head as if he could clear out all these intrusive thoughts in the same way that a dog shakes water out of its fur.

Perhaps he was losing his mind.

 

“Jones!” The voice cut across his thoughts like a knife and he snapped to attention.

“Yes, Miss.”

“Are you with us in spirit as well as in body?”
He winced. “Yes, Miss.”

“Then perhaps you could give us your thoughts on it.”

He just stared back helplessly and Mrs Winton took pity on him.

“Do you think there is a comparison
to be made between Cervantes and Dickens?”
Rupert paused and thought it over. “Well,” he began, slowly, “they’re both criticising the society they live in, but I would have thought that’s the only similarity.”

Mrs Winton smiled.
“Tell me more.”
“Well, they’re quite different writers, aren’t they? I mean, Cervantes ridicules his society with surreal jokes, whereas Dickens writes clear, hard-hitting plots firmly established in                                       reality.” Forgetting for a moment the disturbing blonde girl, he began waving his hands about theatrically. “Cervantes just has these cardboard cut-out, cartoon characters that nobody could take seriously, but Dickens’s characters are real people. You can believe in them. Not that Dickens couldn’t do jokes,” he went on, totally in his element now, talking about something he really liked, and his voice changed from a squeaky up-and-down nervous bleat to the confident boom of the natural orator. Most of the class was sitting up straight and paying attention.

He could see out of the corner of his eye that Samantha had swivelled round in her chair and was gazing at him, and he very nearly lost it. He stumbled over the next few words and then took off again. “Not that Dickens
doesn’t tell jokes. There’s that wonderful line in
Oliver Twist
– when Mr Brownlow tells Mr Bumble that in law he is responsible for his wife’s actions ‘
If the law supposes that, the law is an ass . . If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor
.’ Or in
Barnaby Rudge
– where John ‘
determined to kick his raven
,
on the very first opportunity.’”

The whole class broke out into laughter and he suddenly realised he was being a complete prat. Mrs Winton wasn’t actually laughing but she was looking a little bemused and her lips were twitching at the corners.
Oh God!

He sat down with a bump. “Er,
well, that’s what I think, anyway,” he finished lamely and stared down at his hands, afraid to look in Samantha’s direction.
He’d blown it with her now – totally.

 

“How about you, Samantha? Do you think they merit comparison?”

Samantha gave Rupert a quick sideways glance, but he was still looking down at his hands.

“I agree with Jones, Miss,” she said. “I don’t much like Cervantes as a writer and I don’t see how his stories could be taken seriously, whereas Dickens made a real impact. Dickens changed things.”
Mrs Winton was most definitely looking amused now. “Are you saying that Dickens was responsible for social revolution?”

Samantha shifted in her seat. “Not by himself, obviously. But he did a lot to bring people’s attention to the plight of the poor. He made people aware. I don’t think Cervantes chang
ed anything. English society
did
change. Spanish society didn’t.”

Mrs Winton smiled. She loved this class. These students were here because they wanted to be. They had stayed on to do A levels. Most of them were headed for university. She could give them their head in this sort of discussion and they often came up with some interesting new ideas.

“What about you, Denton? Do you have an opinion?”

“I think they’re both dead boring, Miss.” Den
ton could always be counted upon to be controversial. 

There were some protests from the class. “Oh, come on, Denton,” said a fair-haired boy with thick spectacl
es and a nasty case of acne, “Cervantes might not have achieved social change but you can’t say he’s boring.”

Rupert relaxed. The conversation had moved away from him. The heat was off. He risked a
sideways glance at Samantha.
She was still looking at him!
Rapidly, he shifted his eyes away. She was smiling.
Oh bugger!
He wished the ground would open up under his feet.

 

The little episode had not escaped the notice of Mrs Winton and a small smile played around the edge of her lips.  She had known Rupert all his life and she thought he was a lovely boy, if a little on the serious side. He was very bright and very studious and the kids called him the Geek. It didn’t seem to bother him. He lived largely in his own world. Sometimes she wondered whether he was a little autistic.

But the girl, now, she
was new. She’d started at Graystones last year because her previous school didn’t have a sixth form. She was clearly intelligent, perhaps even a match for Rupert, who was verging on genius in her opinion.
If only he’d loosen up a bit!

 

It seemed forever until the end of the class and when it came Rupert grabbed his books and began to stuff them into his bag. He was in such a hurry that he let one slither out of his grasp and it clattered onto the floor. He bent down to pick it up and found himself looking straight into Samantha Parkin’s face. For a moment he was locked there, staring into her eyes, which he had thought were blue but now he could see were a mixture of blues, greys and greens, with maybe just a touch of hazel. She, too, seemed to freeze for a moment, and then she said, “Here you are,” and passed him the offending book. He was so surprised he very nearly dropped it again.

“I thought you were great,” she whispered and they both stood up at the same moment, almost – but not quite – brushing their bodies against each other.

“Um, well, er . . .” Rupert found himself totally unable to say anything even remotely sane.

 

“Haven’t you two got homes to go to?” Mrs Winton said. “Because I’ve got a staff meeting to attend and I’m already late.”

“Sorry, Auntie – er – Mrs Winton,”
Rupert mumbled and stumbled out of the room. Samantha hurried to catch up. “Sorry, Mrs Winton,” she said over her shoulder.

 

Alison Winton watched them leave the room. Jones the Geek and Miss Piggy. He was tall and thin – at that gangly stage when he seemed to be growing faster than he could cope with. She was short and very fat. He had to bend down to talk to her. They ought to have looked comical but they didn’t somehow. Somehow they looked right together. A meeting of minds, she supposed and the thought was quickly followed by,
Please God, don’t let him take after his father!

 

****

 

“Is Mrs Winton really your Auntie?” Samantha looked up at him from under her lashes. He had a sudden urge to drop his bag, take her face in both his hands and kiss her. He stuck his hands firmly in his pockets.

“No, she’s just a really close family friend. I’ve known her all my life. I’ve always called her
Auntie.”

“Oh, right.” Samantha subsided into silence. “Where did you get all that stuff about Dickens? I thought I’d read all the stuff on the Cervantes versus Dickens thing but some of that was
totally new.”

“Oh, um, well, it’s just what I think, you know.” Rupert stared up at the sky, which was blue and bright and made him realise that summer was on the way.

“But what about that joke about the raven? Where did you get that from?”
“I read the book,
Barnaby Rudge
. It’s about the Gordon Riots. Edgar Allan Poe really liked it but he thought the raven wasn’t serious enough. Some people think it was the inspiration for his famous poem. You know, ‘
quoth the raven nevermore’
.”

Samantha stopped and studied him for a moment. “
God, you’ve read loads of stuff. How did you find out about that?”

Rupert looked uncomfortable. “
I can’t remember. I just pick things up, you know. I’m a fund of useless information.” He paused. “I like Dickens a lot. I think he’s got a really dry wit. You should read
The Uncommercial Traveller
. It’s a hoot.”
Samantha was looking at him narrowly. “You really are a geek, aren’t you?”

“Am I?” He looked surprised. “I thought a geek was supposed to be good at science.”

“Well, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am actually. But what I meant was, I thought it specifically meant science stuff. I’ll have to look it up when I get home.”

“Where is home?”

He turned and smiled at he
r for the first time. He really was very good-looking and when he smiled he was verging on gorgeous.

“You see that park over there?” He pointed to a green area behind iron railings. You could just make out the top of a slide and what was probably a frame for swings peeping over a hedged-off area. “We’re just the other side of that. Do you want to come over and have a look? Maybe have a coffee or something? Or would you rather
I
walked
you
home? That would be more conventional. Not to mention gallant.”

“I’ll come and see yours,” she said happily, “and maybe you can come and see mine tomorrow.”

 

****

 

“So how come you started Spanish in the middle of the school year?”

BOOK: Sins of the Father: MANTEQUERO BOOK 3
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