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Authors: Sam Hawksmoor

The Repossession

BOOK: The Repossession
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Text copyright © 2012 Sam Hawksmoor First published in Great Britain in

by Hodder Children’s Books

The right of Sam Hawksmoor to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing from the publishers or in the case of reprographic production in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency and may not be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN: 978 0 340 99708

Typeset in Berkeley by Avon DataSet Ltd, Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Bookmarque Ltd, Croydon, Surrey The paper and board used in this paperback by Hodder Children’s Books are natural recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

Hodder Children’s Books

a division of Hachette Children’s Books 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH

An Hachette UK company

www.hachette.co.uk

SPURLAKE GAZETTE

C O M M U N I T Y   N E W S

Thirty-four children are now missing from the Spurlake/

Cedarville area over a two-year period. Are you being vigilant? Are you able to recognize the signs of a teen in trouble? Do you know where your child is after school?

Need help?

Come to the town meeting led by the Reverend A C Schneider – 7pm Princeton Park, Fir and Geary Streets. Prayers and parental advice from the Mayor’s Office.

All concerned families welcome

Have you seen this child?

Denis Malone

DOB: Aug 8,

Missing since: Oct 16,

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Blue/Green

Height: 4’8” (146.3 centimetres) Weight: 90 lbs (40.8 kgs)

Missing from: Spurlake, BC

Possible abduction.

ANYONE HAVING INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

National Missing Children Services Toll-Free: 1-555-318-3576

Telephone: (555) 993-1525

Facsimile: (555) 993-5430

1
The Munby Girl

Six weeks, four days, sixteen hours and twenty minutes since the jail door had slammed on Genie. Seven weeks since the school broke up for summer. God had got her into this room but it would take more than prayers to get her out. How do you pray against God? Reverend Schneider with his snake-oil hair came every day and prayed for her soul. Her mother, the grand inquisitor herself, had drugged Genie and had the Reverend carry her up to her room after they had installed the jail door.

It was all for her own good, they said, the devil had possessed her, taken her, duped her, and the great and wonderful Reverend was going to cleanse her, drive him out. The Church of Free Spirits was going to send an army of the devout to make sure of it.

Three specific events precipitated this cataclysm in Genie Magee’s short life. It all happened with a relentless logic and there was nothing she could have done to prevent it.

The first, and most important in her calculation, was

that she discovered that she had fallen for Rian Tulane in the first year of high school. Fifteen, with beautiful eyes and a lopsided grin that just made her heart beat like a hummingbird. Quiet, bright, kept to himself a lot and always scored the highest grades in her year. No one bothered him; he could talk to a geek without being labelled and laugh with the jocks without being one. You could tell from just looking at him that he had a lot on his mind. He was already planning which university to apply for and he took knowing stuff really seriously. Sure he tried out for the ice-hockey team to make himself look more normal, but they rejected him after only one trial.

She had watched the game from the bleachers and made some soothing remarks to him as he limped towards the locker room after. He actually stopped to look at her. He’d never said a single word to her in his entire life, but there he was looking all dejected and sorry for himself and she had to say something.

‘They should’ve taken you. You were real fast out there.’

He shrugged, embarrassed. ‘I was kinda hoping there wouldn’t be any witnesses to my shame, but thanks, Genie. I guess not fast enough, huh?’ He pointed to his swelling bruises. It had been brutal out there. Boys with their sticks. ‘Basketball is more my game I think, at

least no one is carrying a lethal weapon.’ He smiled at her, then just turned on his heels and went to change. He probably had no idea of the devastating effect his smile had made on her.

She hung around for him, hoping that this wasn’t as stupid as it looked. He’d most likely just walk right by her when he came out. But when he finally emerged, he smiled shyly, genuinely surprised she’d been waiting for him.

He walked her home in the rain that evening and she realized that he liked her. He’d noticed her watching him in class and admitted he’d been too shy to say anything to her. Today somehow was different. Her being there in the ice rink for one thing. She didn’t seem to mind that he’d been turned down by the team and they shared so many classes it was stupid they never spoke to each other.

Nothing else was said as they walked, but that September evening, when he finally took her hand at the junction of Waterfall and Fraser Avenue, she fell in love, and he with her. Not even a kiss was exchanged. But she knew. And then every day from that moment on, each morning he would be waiting for her at the corner of Fraser and together they walked to school, and back home again in the afternoon.

They spent every moment they could in each other’s company. She didn’t even mind when he made her read

the set books and talk about what they were learning.

Her grades leaped up. She’d gone from ditzy low achiever to genius and done nothing extra but actually read the books.

Her old school friends fell by the wayside. Genie was no longer ‘fun’ and Genie thought that was kinda odd since she’d never been allowed any ‘fun’ anyway. It was the rule in her mother’s house that she went to school and came home. So many kids were going missing now they were talking of making them wear electronic tags.

The epidemic of crystal meth dropouts in Spurlake and other nearby towns had parents scared enough without them worrying their kids might disappear entirely. Even though Genie’s mother had little liking for her daughter, apparently she didn’t want her abducted. So, no deviations on the way home, no visits, no hanging out at the DQ, absolutely no parties. No nothing. The Church of the Free Spirits forbade it and even though Genie never actually attended the church, she had to abide by God’s rules. God’s stupid petty rules. Naturally she never mentioned the existence of Rian to her mother. God forbid she’d have an actual boyfriend.

And then came the fatal moment whilst preparing lunch on a Saturday when she turned to her mother and said: ‘Grandma’s dead. She just died. I know it.’

It was a normal sunny morning, but it was as if a bolt of lightning had pierced her mother’s heart. Her mother screamed at her, yelled every horrid thing she could think of and told her to get to her room for disrespecting the living.

Sure enough, an hour later they got a call from a doctor’s clinic in Hope and Grandma was dead. Fallen over in Cooper’s Foods and her heart expired.

Her mother went crazy. Claimed Genie had killed her, had always hated her grandmother and sent evil spirits to kill her. It was even more puzzling for Genie because her mother and grandmother weren’t even on speaking terms.

They had only ever visited her three, maybe four times, in the log cabin by the old railroad where she lived. She made her living by telling fortunes in the orange CNR

Caboose abandoned on the rails. Built in 1917, she’d converted it to a magical place filled with First Nation rugs, wind chimes, cedar baskets and art objects that dated back hundreds of years. Grandma Munby was half-Stó:lo-herself and she was always saying that it was the better half. The trains had stopped running thirty years before on this spur line and she had walked Genie along the rusting rails one spring, picking wild flowers that grew beside them. She seemed to know the name of every single one and what they could cure. False Solomon’s Seal

(not to be confused with poisonous Hellbore), Fireweed, Indian Paintbrush (the bright red flowers were used for warpaint dye), Lady Fern, Oxeye Daisy (interlopers from Europe, she discovered).

Genie had loved learning the names and her quaint cabin. She desperately wanted her own fortune told, but her mother forbade it. Grandma’s home was filled with feathers, strange unrecognizable objects, rocks bearing gold she’d found by the river and hanging crystals; almost fifty wind chimes noisily swung in the breeze outside. She dressed like a rodeo queen, was loud and laughed, drank homemade wine, smoked a cigar and was never embarrassed by anything.

She had taken Genie’s hand, held it hard and told her immediately that she was unique and special and should never ever be afraid of her gift. Genie had no idea what she meant at the time. Her mother wouldn’t let her discuss it and never talked about Grandma if she could help it, as if she was ashamed of her. Genie remembered staring at the big red ruby Grandma wore around her mottled neck and the way she seemed to make you feel warm and safe.

The exact opposite of her cold and anxious mother.

But now Grandma was dead, it was seemingly all Genie’s fault. Her mother had fled to the Reverend Schneider’s church to pray for her soul. Pray for help to deal with the

evil daughter who’d killed her grandmother.

Thus began a month of craziness. She was banned from the funeral. Then the people from the church started coming and kneeling outside her bedroom door at night to pray for her soul. Genie was amused at first. She had no idea that there were so many crazy people in the world, besides her mother. Reverend Schneider, with his comb-backed hair and pimp moustache, was the craziest of them all. He had all these women seeing the devil in everything
. Every time another child disappeared from the town, the Church of the Free Spirits would be outside the parents’ house praying for the kid’s safe return. Whether they wanted them there or not. Genie’s mother kept saying the devil was coming for his own, meaning her. She was terrified that the devil was coming to take Genie for his ‘bride’. Genie, the fifteen-year-old bride of the devil. Some days Genie couldn’t wait for him to come – anything had to be better than staying in this crazy house.

BOOK: The Repossession
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