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Authors: Z. Fraillon

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Taken Over

BOOK: Taken Over
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Taken Over

By Zana Fraillon

Illustrations by Simon Swingler

Monstrum House: Taken Over
published in 2010 by
Hardie Grant Egmont
85 High Street
Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia
www.hardiegrantegmont.com.au

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publishers and copyright holders.

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

Text copyright © 2010 Zana Fraillon
Illustration and design copyright © 2010 Hardie Grant Egmont

Design and illustration by Simon Swingler
Typeset by Ektavo

Printed in Australia by McPherson's Printing Group

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Author dedication: To Eva, For Mockingbirds,
Empires, Handmaids and more

Contents

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

1

It was a stupid thing to do. A very,
very
stupid thing to do. Jasper McPhee wished he hadn't done it. He wished he hadn't even
thought
about doing it. But he had. The stupid thought had scuttled into his head, and before he had a chance to shoo it back out, he had done it. And now he was in serious trouble.

‘You are so dead,' Felix whispered.

Jasper was hiding under a table in the food hall. It was the first day of his second year at the Monstrum House School for Troubled Children, and he was already in trouble.

He was trying to avoid Bruno, the head prefect.

‘Do you think he'll remember?' Jasper asked Felix hopefully. ‘He could have forgotten. After all, we were away for a whole six weeks. Lots of stuff can happen over the holidays.'

But Jasper knew Bruno would never forget what he'd done at the end of last year. ‘Why did I do it?' he groaned.

Saffy snorted. ‘Because you are a complete – ' Jasper jabbed Saffy in the shins before she could finish the sentence.

Jasper peered out at the prefects from under the table. Bruno was the only one he recognised from the previous year. The rest were new. Jasper couldn't believe it. Bruno had had it in for him all of first year. He had personally given Jasper more penalty points than all the other prefects put together. Which is why, on Bruno's last day, Jasper had given him a little going-away present.

‘I thought the prefects only did one year here,' whispered Jasper. ‘They're not meant to come back!'

‘Well, it looks like he did. Maybe he had some unfinished business?' said Saffy.

Jasper softly thumped his head against the table leg. ‘Kill me now and get it over with,' he mumbled to himself. He
knew
Bruno wouldn't let him off the hook easily.

Jasper thought of the way the rotten eggs had sailed perfectly through the open windows of the prefects' bus. He thought of the look on Bruno's face when the eggs hit him. Bruno had looked out the window and his eyes had met Jasper's. His face had been dripping with stinking, disgusting, rotten egg. And Jasper had waved as the bus pulled away.

It had been pretty awesome. In fact, better than awesome. It had been pure
genius
.

Except now, Bruno was back. Now, it didn't seem so genius. Now it just seemed stupid.

‘Hang on,' Felix muttered quietly. ‘I don't think it's him.'

Jasper rolled his eyes. ‘Very funny. Of course it's him! I know the thug brigade all look like the same lumps of muscle, but that's definitely ...' Jasper stopped talking. Bruno was carefully surveying the students in the food hall. There
was
something different.

‘Yeah,' Saffy murmured. ‘There's no scar.'

Jasper squinted at the prefect. Saffy was right. Bruno had a huge scar running down his face, but this prefect didn't.

‘And I think his eyes are a bit closer together,' Felix commented.

‘So, d'you think it's safe to come out?' Jasper whispered.

‘Yeah, sure,' Saffy said. ‘It's definitely not him.'

Jasper took a deep breath and crawled out from under the table and up onto his seat. But as soon as he did, the prefect's eyes locked onto him.

Jasper held his breath.

The prefect reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo.

‘Uh, Jasper. I think he's seen you,' said Felix.

‘Maybe you should get back under the table,' Saffy suggested.

‘Too late,' Jasper whispered. The prefect was heading their way.

Jasper leapt up from the table and ran. There was no way he was hanging around to get beaten up by a Bruno look-alike. Jasper was a fast runner. He could outrun most kids. And even with all the junk food he'd gorged on over the holidays, he was still speedy. The door was only two steps away …

Jasper made a dive for it, but he was wrenched back by the hood of his jumper. He felt himself lifted up and spun slowly around. The Bruno look-alike held Jasper at least a foot off the ground. He pressed his nose against Jasper's. ‘You're McPhee, aren't you?'

Jasper gulped, ‘Um, well,' he began. Being suspended in the air by a hoodie was really quite uncomfortable.

The prefect dropped Jasper to the ground. ‘My brother told me
all
about you,' he sneered, and shoved Jasper out of the food hall and into the corridor, where they were alone. No-one could help him now.

2

Jasper closed his eyes.
Bruno's brother!
He was going to die. And if this guy was anything like Bruno, it would be a long and painful death.

Jasper hated the prefects at Monstrum House. They were probably the worst thing at this place, which was saying a lot. The monsters were dangerous, the teachers were definitely creepy, but the prefects were just nasty.

Jasper had been to plenty of schools. He'd been expelled countless times. But he'd never been to a school like this – with prefects who wanted to beat you up, teachers who could read your thoughts, and monsters all over the place. But perhaps the weirdest thing about Monstrum House was that of all the schools Jasper had been to, this was his favourite. At least, it
had
been until now.

‘Sorry,' Jasper tried.

‘So am I,' the prefect scoffed. ‘Sorry I wasn't here to see it.' Then the prefect grabbed Jasper's hand and started shaking it up and down. Jasper felt as though his arm was about to be wrenched from his body.

‘All those years of putting up with Bruno and no-one has ever tried anything like that. Awesome. You've got guts. I just wish I'd seen it. Boris, by the way.'

Jasper's brain was still trying to catch up with what he was hearing. ‘Um, I'm Jasper. Hi,' he managed.

‘Bruno is absolutely spewing. He wouldn't stop going on about it. All holidays he was trying to work out how to get back at you. When I was accepted for my year here, he was stoked. He gave me your picture so I could work out who you were straight away. You should've heard all the things he wanted me to do to you.'

Jasper gulped.

There were actually two schools called the Monstrum House School for Troubled Children. They both looked the same, but were very different. The Monstrum House everyone knew about was a military school. That's where parents thought their ‘troubled' kids were sent to be straightened out.

But what most people didn't know was that some of the students were selected to go to another, secret Monstrum House. A Monstrum House where they were taught how to hunt monsters. The two schools didn't usually have anything to do with each other – except for the fact that the biggest, toughest kids from the military school were sent to the monster-hunting school in their last year to be prefects. That's why Bruno was at Jasper's school last year, and why his brother Boris was here now.

‘So tell me everything,' said Boris. ‘Every detail. I want to –'

‘NOW!' yelled Saffy, as she and Felix came bursting through the door. Jasper managed to catch a glimpse of Saffy's furious face before she launched her kickboxing attack into Boris's stomach. Saffy had a lethal kick. So did Felix.

‘No, it's OK!' Jasper shouted, but Felix had already swung his foot up to karate kick Boris in the head.

‘Yikes,' Felix yelped, hopping backwards as he rubbed his foot.

BOOK: Taken Over
11.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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