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Excerpt for The Adventures Of The Clubhouse Girls And Other Teenage Stories by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


THE ADVENTURES OF THE
CLUBHOUSE GIRLS AND OTHER
TEENAGE STORIES


THE ADVENTURES OF THE
CLUBHOUSE GIRLS AND OTHER
TEENAGE STORIES



KALIASHA J PILLAY


Copyright © 2018 Kaliasha J Pillay


Published by Kaliasha J Pillay Publishing at Smashwords


First edition 2018


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without permission from the copyright holder.

The Author has made every effort to trace and acknowledge sources/resources/individuals. In the event that any images/information have been incorrectly attributed or credited, the Author will be pleased to rectify these omissions at the earliest opportunity.


Published by Kaliasha J Pillay using Reach Publishers’ services,


Edited by Vanessa Finaughty for Reach Publishers

Cover designed by Reach Publishers

P O Box 1384, Wandsbeck, South Africa, 3631


Website: www.reachpublishers.co.za

E-mail: reach@webstorm.co.za

A collection of poems and short stories compiled by Hemlata K Pillay

KALIASHA J PILLAY

(Our Butterfly)


Dedication



This book is dedicated to an amazing writer, who left us too early by her unprecedented passing on 9 June 2016.

Kaliasha J Pillay

* Kaliasha’s name is a unique one. It is derived from two Hindu words: Kali and Asha. Kali is the Hindu goddess who is a manifestation of the divine mother; the destroyer of evil forces, sins, ignorance and decay – she destroys in order to recreate. She is the power or energy with which Lord Shiva acts. Asha is a Sanskrit word that means hope or wish.

Therefore, Kaliasha is the divine mother, power of hope and wish, who destroys ignorance, sins and evil forces.

About the Author

Kaliasha was born on 16 July 1992, in Laudium, Pretoria. She was the daughter of Jemmini Pillay and Hemlata Pillay, and the younger sister to Kavisha Pillay.

Although Kaliasha spent most of her life in Pretoria, South Africa, she enjoyed adventure and this trait led her to study medicine in Heifei, China. The rapid change from home to a foreign country further shaped Kaliasha into the independent, strong, caring, worldly and loving person she was. She always made time for those dear to her.

She was an extremely intelligent person who always finished at the top of her class both in school and university. Kaliasha also had a wicked sense of humour that kept her family and friends in stiches and livened up any room she entered. She was an artistic, sensitive and beautiful soul combined with a selfless nature that endeared her to everyone she met.

While close to completing her fifth and last year of study, Kaliasha was called to rest. Kaliasha passed away at the tender age of 23, but she left behind a legacy that will continue for years. This was through her love for writing. Kaliasha was an avid writer who enjoyed writing stories, poems and humorous songs. She was an artist at heart.

After the passing of Kaliasha, her mother found a copy of a novel Kaliasha had been working on since 2003, when she was 11 years old and in Grade 5. Seeing the wealth of stories that were already well-edited, Kaliasha’s parents felt these stories should be published to continue her legacy. This was in line with one of her bucket list items: to be published. After this, more stories written by Kaliasha were found and have been included in this book of her work. However, as she has been writing for many years and has written many stories, poems and songs, much of this could not be included in the book. Nonetheless, the book does contain the most loved stories of Kaliasha.

Acknowledgements



Our sincere thanks go to the many friends, family and work colleagues who assisted us in so many different ways to ensure that her work is recognised.


We can best say thank you through


Kaliasha’s own words from one of her songs:


I want to write a song

One that touches your heart

And I hope it brings me to where you are.


If we can live forever in this moment

Never letting precious time pass by

And never lose our friends so we can make amends

For all the things we didn’t try.


If I could slow down to get my feet on the ground

I’d want to hold you and never leave

So forgive yourself for the days that passed

And live for today

The world has a plan for everyone, even you

CONTENTS

Dedication

About the Author

Acknowledgements

My Painting Experience

The Adventures Of The Clubhouse Girls

Girls’ Gangsters

Beach Holiday Bash

The Clubhouse Girls Get Nicknamed, Organised and Halloweenanized

Destiny Lies at the End of the Seven Colours

Angel Eyes.Com

Introduction

Erin’s Point of View

Sick and Tired

Through Kristen’s Eyes

Recipe for Murder

Time to Party

The Flavour Factory

Are You Happy Now?”

The Volcano

Space Travels with Gene Kelly

The Conch of Curses

Listen to Yourself

Don’t be Cautious, be Posheous…

The Boy on the Hill and the Wonderful Will of Mrs D

Prologue

Unfinished Business

Epilogue

A Final Farewell

My Painting Experience


10 April 2003

11 years


The first time that I painted was horrible!

I messed on my clothes, it was terrible!

The picture I painted looked so bad, I screamed, I was so mad!

It was the worst time I’d ever had.

I was so angry; I stopped painting, and left the paintbrush to dry.

The paintbrush hardened, I started to cry.

I will never paint, because of what happened,

Don’t even bother to ask me why.


Picasso and De Vinci would have been disgusted,

Their faces would have turned mustard.

I admit that I am a pathetic painter, don’t even bother to ask me why.

The Adventures Of The Clubhouse Girls
Girls’ Gangsters



By Kaliasha Pillay

2003: GRADE 5: 11 YEARS OLD


Emma opened a clubhouse with her two friends, Whitney and Courtney. It was a big house on a tree, a treehouse actually. It had a large wooden fence around it that said: KEEP OUT! Just in case Emma’s brother or the bullies, Sarah, Judy and Tammy, walked in and messed it. Or, more importantly, to keep criminals out! When you go into the treehouse, you never come out. For, what is in the treehouse is a secret manor that can only be opened with a password. Actually, if you know the password you’ll get a surprise of a treasure chest. No! Not a treasure chest, more than a chest of gold! The girls keep jewellery that they don’t want and bring it to the clubhouse. They also keep expensive ornaments and food that they won. And this is the story of how three criminals broke into the treehouse to find girly stuff…

Courtney ran out of her house to the clubhouse. She opened the lock on the fence and climbed up the ladder. She knocked on the door three times and it automatically opened. Whitney was lying with her legs on the couch and her head on the floor. Emma was busy munching away a chocolate and dropped tiny pieces on the wooden floor, attracting ants.

It was a boring, sunny afternoon with nothing to do because of the heat. Suddenly, Courtney jumped up, giving the other two a shock. “I’ve got it!” she said. “Let’s check the treasure.”

“Treasure?” asked Emma. “I thought it was jewellery!”

“I wouldn’t call food and ornaments jewellery,” answered Courtney. “And besides, there isn’t anything to do and it’s not like you have a choice!”

“I’d jump off a cliff if I had a choice,” Whitney said gloomily.

“She’s been like that the whole day. If there’s a desk she’ll take a pencil and write: LIFE IS TERRIBLE. She is so bored!” said Emma.

Courtney ran to the cupboard and looked for games. “Oops! I must have left them into my house!”

“Left what at home?” asked Emma and Whitney. “Did you take the games? What are they doing at YOUR house?”

“Err… Nothing,” answered Courtney and ran out and climbed down the ladder before the two could grab her.

The two waited for her.

Suddenly someone knocked on the door. Whitney opened it and said, “Oh, there you are, Courtney. What took so long? Oh, it’s you, Mum!”

Mrs Tyler replied,” Mrs Becker, Mrs Junior and I are going shopping, then to the salon, then a massage and then–”

“Ok, Mum. Ok. I get–”

“And then to the mechanic, and then to the–”

And Whitney shut the door. Mrs Tyler couldn’t be heard from outside, but was going to say, “For a manicure and then we are coming back to take you and the girls for the football match. Be ready!”

“Great,” said Whitney. “Our mums are leaving for an ‘extra shopping time’!”

“What do you mean ‘extra’?” asked Emma.

“I thought they were dropping us off at Nicky’s. He’s supposed to take us to the match.”

“Nope,” said Whitney.

“Not with his sister Vicky around. She’s a monster! Irritating! No, horrid!”

Nicky and Vicky were twins, but only Nicky was the three girls’ friend.

“What’s taking Courtney so long?” asked Whitney. “I’m going downstairs to find her.”

When Whitney went to Courtney’s house, she wasn’t there. The front door and back door were open, the chairs and furniture were upset and Courtney’s diary was in the bin. Her diary kept all her secrets and especially the clubhouse secret. Whitney, shocked, ran upstairs to Courtney’s room. The door and window were open. Her bandanna was gone and so were her hankies. Whitney ran downstairs and back to the clubhouse, but mistakenly bumped into Sarah, the leader of the bullies. Sarah’s eyes were always a red colour. She and her friends, Judy and Tammy, were rich or had very rich parents. They were show-offs. They acted like queens and know-it-alls. Sarah was round and fat, as her parents were rich enough to buy lots of food. As Whitney bumped into her, she fell on the floor. All three of them started laughing.

Did you trip on a banana peel?” Sarah laughed.

“You know what,” said Whitney, “actually your stomach is so big that I hardly even noticed and crashed into it. I thought that it was a balloon, and if I burst it, you would cry.”

Then Judy and Tammy burst out laughing and Whitney made a quick getaway to the clubhouse. She closed the gate and started to climb the ladder.

Inside, Emma was busy filing her nails. Suddenly, the door burst open and Whitney screamed, “She’s gone!”

“Who’s gone?” asked Emma.

“Courtney! The house and everything was open and messed.”

“She was in a rush to buy new games for us?” asked Emma. “I’m not falling for one of those ‘April fool’ tricks.”

“But I’m not joking,” said Whitney. “Come over and see for yourself. Anyway, why would I want to dump her diary in the bin?”

“Whoa! Get out of the treehouse and get to her house. Something must have really happened!” said Emma. “Why would she throw her diary in the bin?”

Meanwhile, while they were looking for Courtney, Courtney was being taken hostage. As she got past Sarah and her friends, someone grabbed her and brought her to their hideout…

“Now, tell us what the password is!”

Courtney was blindfolded with her bandanna and had her hankie in her mouth.

“Take it off, Louie!”

Louie took off the hankie and the bandanna from her eyes. Courtney’s eyes began to water. She looked extremely shocked. It was Bruce! Bruce only knew Courtney and Emma because Emma was talking to Courtney when Bruce was building their clubhouse. He was a big, strong, muscled guy who looked tough and fierce.

“Well, well, well, Emma, we meet again.”

“Actually, the name’s Courtney. Emma is in the clubhouse, probably looking for me.”

“Well, Courtney, I’d like you to meet some people. Meet my assistants, Wilson and Louie!”

Courtney burst out laughing. “You chose a guy with such a small nose and fat head! And Louie – Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie. You couldn’t even find a shorter guy? He is so short!”

“Would you stop picking on us?” cried Bruce.

Well, the three of you look pretty dumb!” Courtney laughed.

“Now, don’t do anything stupid like screaming or moving,” said Bruce.

“How would you even know if I did something stupid?” Courtney said.

“Err… Brucy, Lucy. What about the password?” asked Louie.

Ba, ha, ha, ha he!” Courtney laughed.

“What’s so funny this time?” asked Bruce.

“Brucy, Lucy? Like opening up a restaurant called ‘Juicy Brucy’ (Juicy Lucy) or the Greek museum called ‘Zuecy Brucy (Zeus)?” Courtney said, laughing.

“Ok, BRUCE, what about the password!” asked Louie.

“Tell us, what is the password!” demanded Bruce.

“Never! Never will I tell you!” yelled Courtney.

“Fine, have it your way!” screamed Bruce. And he took the bandanna and the hankie and covered her eyes and mouth. Then they dragged her over to the clubhouse.

Meanwhile, Emma was climbing down the ladder to look for Courtney. Suddenly, she stopped and told Whitney to hide, because Bruce was taking Courtney and pointing a gun at her head. There was still food on the couch. Bruce climbed up the ladder and opened the door. He pushed Courtney inside.

“Well, well,” muttered Bruce. “It seems that your friends have had a party. Find them now!”

Wilson and Louie started looking for clues. Who knew they could! In the meantime, Emma and Whitney were trapped in the secret manor. When they went to hide in the secret manor from Bruce and his assistants, Emma pulled the door shut and locked it, because the door could only be opened from the outside. By now, they were banging on the door, but couldn’t be heard because of the thick layer that held the metal door.

Emma was now begging Whitney to stop banging, because, if she made a loud noise, Bruce might ask Courtney to give the password and open the door and he would shoot them all. But what they didn’t know was that Bruce had a toy gun and they were panicking so much that they forgot that they went for karate. (They could fight perfect martial arts.) They also didn’t know that Bruce already knew about the secret manor, because he had built it. Bruce threatened Courtney to tell him the password; otherwise, he would tell Wilson to shoot her. Bruce gave the gun to Wilson. Courtney said that she would not give the password and Bruce gave the signal that Wilson must shoot her.

Wilson said, “I’m gonna shoot unless you give the password.”

Courtney said that she still would not, because if they ‘pull’ up something, she would also ‘pull’ something up her sleeve. Wilson asked Bruce if he must squirt and that gave Courtney an idea.

“Hm… hm… squirt. Oh, it’s a squirt gun!” Courtney said to herself.

And then she smiled and kicked the gun out of Wilson’s hand. He fell backwards onto Louie and they rolled backwards and fell out of the tree.

Courtney ran to the telephone and phoned the police and kept turning around to see if Bruce was there. She couldn’t find him anywhere. Suddenly, as she was explaining on the phone what kind of emergency it was, Bruce appeared in front of her and pressed the engage button. Courtney screamed and dropped the phone. Bruce grabbed her and Courtney tried to pull herself free. Then Courtney tramped Bruce on his foot and he let her go. Courtney ran to the phone while Bruce was lying on the floor, kissing his poor foot better.

Courtney dialled the number. “Hello, it’s the girl who called before.”

After giving her name and address, Courtney was going to put the phone down when Bruce hit the phone out of her hands.

“Heeello… heeello!” screamed the lady over the phone. Because her phone was connected to the computer, the name and address of anyone who gave the police a prank call would be recorded. The lady took down the information that appeared on the screen.

It said: BURGLARY; 61Thatch Str.; New York (top of the treehouse). Emma Simpson Junior.

“Aha! So, I see, she’s the Juniors’ daughter. Officer Carl! Officer Carl! Officer Carl!!! Get in here! There’s a hostage alert. Here’s the information.”

While the secretary, Ally Simkock, was giving Officer Carl the information, Bruce pulled a knife from his pocket.

“Is this one of your plastic knives?” joked Courtney.

Bruce grabbed her and put the knife to her neck. Suddenly, she gave in and said the password. Courtawhitemma.”

“That’s not funny!” cried Bruce.

“Ok, it’s: the three musketeers.”

“You know, I could have said that,” replied Bruce.

“But it only takes mine, Emma’s and Whitney’s voice,” said Courtney.

Suddenly, the door opened and Bruce let go of Courtney’s neck. Emma and Whitney were sprawled on necklaces, crisp packets and lunch money.

“Well, well, well. Look who the cat dragged in!” Bruce exclaimed.

As Bruce tried to catch the two, Courtney pushed Bruce, but with no success. At least, it distracted him until Whitney and Emma could climb down the ladder and make their way into Emma’s house, which was just opposite. They broke the kitchen window with a spade lying on the grass and climbed through, since the house was locked. Emma quickly switched off the alarm and made their way into her brother, Brad’s room.

“What are you doing?” asked Whitney as Emma started digging in the closet for toys.

“I’m looking for things for my best plan ever.”

“But all your plans are dumb,” Whitney admitted.

“But this is the best one ever,” added Emma.

Meanwhile, Wilson and Louie were taking a stroll around the neighbourhood.

Emma and Whitney were in Courtney’s house in her room, because it was next door to the clubhouse. They were busy setting up to catch the crooks and hoped that Courtney had called the police.

At the same time, Ally phoned Emma’s mom and told them to come to the police station.

Back at Courtney’s house, Emma revealed the plan to Whitney and waited for Wilson and Louie. As they walked across the grass, Wilson’s eye fell on a steak. It was tied to a string, and Whitney tugged it as Wilson tried to grab it. Wilson fell into a bush of thorns. Whitney laughed and wondered why Brad kept a steak in his closet. Whitney ran outside and hit Wilson’s head with a vase. As he fell unconscious, she dragged him inside and tied him to a chair that was tied to a grandfather clock that would fall on Wilson, who was also tied to a cart. Whitney pulled the cart and tied it to Courtney’s dad’s blue BMW. She then left a stone on the accelerator. She thought that it was careless of Mr Becker to leave the car door open. She then opened the gate in front of the car. She searched for the keys in the house and left it on the front seat. She ran upstairs and saw Emma, who was waiting for Louie.

Meanwhile, Bruce waited with Courtney in the clubhouse for her friends. Suddenly, Emma saw Louie. She pressed the controls of the car that she had left outside on the grass. Louie tripped on the car and fell on the roof. Emma was lucky that it didn’t break. She lured Louie into a mud pool that the girls played in. While Louie was cleaning his face, Emma took a kite’s tail and tied it to Louie. She dragged him as he struggled to get free. She tied him to the back of the car. As Wilson woke up, she took the keys and switched on the car. The car started moving down the lawn onto the road.

“Are you sure your friends ARE coming for you?” asked Bruce.

“Maybe, but you should go and help YOUR friends,” Courtney joked as she looked out the window.

Bruce turned and Courtney pushed him into the secret manor and shut the door. Courtney ran out and laughed at what she saw. As the car rolled down the road, it passed the police.

“Heellp!” screamed Wilson, as the car came nearer to him.

“Ouch!” wailed Louie, as he was being dragged by the car.

The police stopped it and the car crashed into a tree.

Emma, Courtney and Whitney ran out and told the police everything. Courtney told the police about Bruce in the manor.

“Our babies!” cried the three mothers. They had been given a lift by the police.

“Mom, stop!” cried Emma as her face was covered with lipstick marks.

“Your fathers will come straight home from the hardware store, kids,” Officer Carl said. “We contacted them. You’re lucky to be alive. We’ve been trying to catch these criminals for years.”

“Who, Bruce?” asked the three of them.

And so, it all ends here. The three idiots were arrested. The story was published in the newspaper and Courtney, Whitney and Emma were awarded gold medals.

The bullies, Nicky, Vicky, Brad, and everybody’s parents were jealous. But the three of them didn’t care as they walked, holding each other’s shoulders, into the clubhouse…

THE END

The Adventures Of The Clubhouse Girls
Beach Holiday Bash


Written on: 30/01/2004


Mom! Ready to go?”

“Where’s your brother, Brad?” asked Emma’s mother.

“Brad!”

“I’m coming, Mooomm!”

“Oh, good morning, Becker. Where’s Mr Tyler?” asked Emma’s dad.

“Well, he’s just finishing packing with his wife. Ready to go?” asked Mr Becker.

“Yeah, just gettin’ the taxi started. Oh, I see everybody’s coming out of their houses…. Hi, honey! Just put the cooler box in the boot. I’m not packing real heavy. Are you?”

Mr Becker didn’t answer him.

“Well, that’s about it, I think. Everything’s in the boot and up front if the kids are hungry. Speaking of kids… Katherine, Katrina, Courtney! Kathy! Kat! Cassy!” yelled Mr Becker at the end of Mr Junior’s lawn.

“Coming, Dad!” yelled the three sisters.

“Aah! Tyler, you finally pitched up,” replied Mr Junior.

“Where are our kids? Really, I must say! Brad! Emma!”

“Hey Jesse, Jason, Whit! We’re leaving you!” screamed Mr Tyler.

After a few tiring moments of screaming, they were on the road. With all four parents sitting together and the Juniors up front driving the taxi, all the teenage girls in one row, the two brothers also in another row and Emma, Whitney and Courtney also in one row, there were only three seats left for food, some clothing bags and medicines.

While driving near a swamp, Mr Junior decided to sing. “On the road again! Oh! We’re on the road again!”

“Dad!” screamed Emma and Brad.

“What?” asked Mr Junior and suddenly they drove into a swamp river.

“Help!” screamed all the teenage girls. “My nails better not get messed!” added Katherine.

“You’re worried about nails! What about our clothes, food, shoes! My diary’s in my bag!” screamed Jesse.

Meanwhile, all the parents, the brothers and Emma, Whitney and Courtney stood there, open-mouthed, ready to laugh.

“Some beach holiday, Dad!” teased Katrina.

Suddenly, Mr Junior reversed and they were on the road in a jiffy. Then all the teenage girls sang,” On the road again!” They screamed so loud that they shook the taxi and fell back in. After taking a while to get out of the swamp and fill petrol, they were only five minutes away from the beach.

Wow! Look at all those pwwetty mermaids, Kathy! Oh, but you can’t touch it because of your nails!” Courtney laughed.

And maybe you should write in your diary that you saw CIVILISATION, Jesse!!!” Whitney snickered.

“Ha, ha! We may be girly-girlish,” added Katrina, “but we are prettier than all of you!”

“You got that right!” added Brad.

Ooohh! Somebody’s standing up and protecting their girlfriend!” Jason laughed.

“Shut up!” screamed Katrina.

“You better watch it, Jason!” threatened Brad.

“All of you quiet back there!” shouted Mrs Becker.

“Just look at all the dolphins!”

“Yay! We’re at the beach!” screamed Emma, Whitney and Courtney.

“But let me warn you! I’m getting the top bunk of our chalet, Courtney and Katrina!” threatened Katherine.

“How do you know if I am sharing it with you?” asked Courtney. “I’m sharing it with my friends!”

Then, Mr Junior pulled up at the chalet offices and, after a while, came back with four sets of keys. Then he drove to the chalets. “Now listen up and listen good!” shouted Mr Junior. “Chalet 53 is ours, 55 is the Tylers’ and 56 is the Beckers’. The taxi is parked under my chalet shed. Chalet 54 is yours. It has two bathrooms, so be grateful. The rest of us only have one. We are all separate and no chalets are surrounding us, but that doesn’t mean that you must make noise. In bedroom one: Katherine, Katrina and Jesse. In bedroom two: Emma, Courtney and Whitney, and in bedroom 3: Brad and Jason. It is an eight sleeper, two TVs; one in the TV room and the other in the older girls’ bedroom.”

“Yes!” screamed the teenage girls.

“But you all must share the TVs. Also, four kitchens and all our chalets are overlooking the beach. But you come to us first before going to the beach and you can ask us for money. That is all. Start unpacking!”

After everyone packed everything into their chalets and everything was in order, they went down to the beach. Everyone had ice creams, but the older girls went down to the La- Beach Manicure and Hair Salon. After that, everyone swam.

That evening, all the baths were full of sand. Mr Tyler came to drop off the take-away food at chalet 54 and, after everyone ate, everyone watched TV before going to bed.

The next morning at 8:37, Emma, Courtney and Whitney got up, brushed their teeth, made their porridge, which was supplied by their parents, and sat first thing in the morning in front of the TV, worshipping it like a god.

At 9:19, Brad and Jason got up, laughing.

“What’s so funny, Brad?” asked Emma.

We… We… We… just snuck into the girls’ room, and put a cockroach on Katherine!” Brad laughed.

Then we put bread and dead flies that we caught yesterday on Jess and Katrina!” Jason sniggered.

“Really?” asked Emma.

The thing with all the girls that bugged them was that they all looked almost the same. Kathy and Kat had long, dark brown, straight hair just like Courtney. Whitney, Jason and Jesse all had dark brown hair. Whitney and Jesse both had curly hair. Kathy, Courtney and Katrina had black hair, and Brad and Emma both had blonde hair.

After everybody ate and got dressed, the teenage girls went down to Beach Babes Clothing and Accessories, Molly’s Curiosities, and Seaforth Bays, which was a small shopping mall. The boys went to The Wave: Surfboard Shop, and The Zone, a little shop that sold clothes and surfboards and offered video games to play. They also planned to visit Seaforth Bays in the evening. That left Emma, Courtney and Whitney at home. They decided to go down to the beach and, after asking permission from their parents, they got into their swimming costumes and made their way to the beach. Suddenly, a beautiful brunette girl with pitch-black eyes and long legs walked over to them.

“Hi, ma nam’s Leslie Goldberg an’ I was wunderin if ya wanna be ma fren. Ya see, I’m all alone an’ maybe we cen han’ out together?”

“Sure!” the three girls said. After introducing themselves and playing in the water, they decided that it was getting dark and that the beach was no longer so crowded.

“I’d better get home,” said Leslie. “Oh, and I’m in number 59.”

“We’re in number 54!” screamed Emma at the far end of the beach.

“And where are you from?” asked Whitney. “I forgot to ask you that.”

“I’m from Texas. See ya tomorrow?”

“Of course!” they cried in unison.

“Tomorrow. Twelve o’clock. Beachfront. Outside Milky Way, and Shoe Stoppers. Sharp. Bye!” screamed Emma.

The next day at the beachfront, the parents told their kids to stay together. Suddenly, Leslie turned up with an older girl who looked just like her.

“Hi guys!” said Leslie. “This is ma older cuzz, Melissa. Some of you guys met her yesterday.”

“Hey Kat! Jess and Kathy!” said Melissa.

“Mel! We thought you weren’t coming. It’s soooo cool that you’re also staying at Dolphin Ivory Coast,” said Kathy.

“This is really cool!” Kat said, getting excited and jumping here and there.

Then Jesse added, “I mean, we can go to shops, ice cre–”

And Jason cut her off.

“Shut up,” screamed Jason at the top of his lungs. “You girls drive us nuts!!!”

Typical girls, thought Brad.

“These are my friends, Guy and Justin.”

“Hey, ladies. I’m Guy Rowland and this is Justin Crossly.” He pointed to Justin.

Katrina smiled at Justin as he went scarlet in the face. Guy winked at Jesse’s heart-filled, love-shaped eyes. Stars were flying around Jesse’s head… Jesse blushed. Whitney was so embarrassed and went chilli red in the face. Courtney, who was standing next to her, blushed as well! To everyone else who weren’t going a different colour in the face, the beach seemed to be turning red. And those who foresaw everybody going pink and red burst out laughing. Katrina just folded her arms, narrowed her eyes and stared intently at Brad and Jason, who were doubled over in the thrills and spills. The kids were told to stick together, but, as nobody wanted to listen and follow the rules, everybody went their own way. The teenage girls (including me) went to Café Duplex: ‘A place where strangers meet’. The boys went to the Matrix Games and Hobby Sports Store. At Café Duplex, the teenage girls were asking questions about each other in turn.

“Soooo,” Mel asked Kat, “what or WHO do ya like?”

“I like pizza, sweets, chocolates (apart from the zits!), teddy bears, hearts and…”

“And?” they all questioned her.

“And… Justin. But not in that order,” she quickly said.

“Whooo! Somebody’s got a cherry… A boyfwendd!” they teased.

But they were interrupted as a chubby waitress named Diatress served what they had ordered. Meanwhile, the Matrix was a noisy, dark place with colourful lights swerving and swirling around. There were only boys at this store (mostly surfer boys) who were shopping for the latest sports gear and playing video games.

Meanwhile, Emma and the gang found a nice shady spot on the beach while they ate ice cream. Whitney, however, was quietly eating a strawberry sundae with real fruit.

“So tell us about yourself, Lea,” said Whitney through gulps of her sundae.

“Well,” said Leslie, “I’m here with ma fadder, Antonio, ma cuzzn, Melissa, and ma doggies, Peanuts and Paws. As well as ma stepmother, Gina Cortez, an’ her brother, Bruce Cortez. He also brought along his friends, Wilson and Louie; I think that’s his name. Anyway, Peanuts is a Beagle dog an’ Paws is a lab.”

Everyone was stunned. That was it! It had all come out. Was Bruce bailed out from jail?

“What? Why’re you all saw qui-at? I gnaw that ma dogs are really adorable an’ their cuteness makes everyone happy, but come on! They’re only dogs!”

“Well, Lea,” said Courtney, “did Bruce land in jail by any chance? I’m only asking, not to offend you, but–”

“No, I’m quite sure. Ma stepmom keeps everything secret from me. Well sorry.”

Late in the afternoon as the sun was ready to set, the sky was a golden orange-red and the beach was cooling down as the girls made their way through the thick beach sand to meet Lea’s parents. Lea opened her chalet door number 59. Inside the living room, her stepmom was having an argument.

“I told you pack it cerfully! You are so, such, as an idiot!” wailed Gina Cortez in her Texas-pirate-Indian accent. “Ah told you dat dit vas ma fav-vays!”

“Sorry sis!” said a dark, huge figure behind a wall.

“And it’s vase, not vays!”

“Ah don’ wan yeh two cent input. See ah give deh input, not you. Yeh don’ even have teh give deh output. You make ma scream ma brens out!” Gina sort of screamed and shouted at the same time when she said this. “I shoud’ve jus’ lef’ yeh teh rot in jail!”

“Why you lil’ – livin’ – lickin’ sucker! Yehdon talk to yeh yun bro like that!”

“Frankly, ah don’ know you anymo’!”

And with that the dark figure walked away.

Gina came out of the living room half-mad, half-shocked to see the girls.

“Les-lie! Yeh diddin’ tell me dat yeh had frens’ comin’ over! Sorry about that lil’ fight. Ma yung bro is really thick an’–”

“It’s ok. Hi, my name is Courtney. This is Emma and Whitney.”

“Hey,” they both said.

Suddenly, two dogs came running out and jumped on Whitney.

“Eeek! I hate dogs! Gross!” And she ran out of the door.

“She hates ALL animals,” groaned Emma.

“Leave her. Let’s check out ma room. Ah brought sum stiff from home.”

A few minutes later, Whitney came back with a wet T-shirt and sandy shorts, as well as bits of leaves in her hair.

“What happened to you?” asked Emma, as she finally managed to stop giggling.

“Don’t ask!” groaned Whitney.

“Well, see here,” said Courtney. “We need you to spy on Bruce and his friends.”

And they told Leslie the story of how they had kicked Bruce’s butt and why they needed to spy on him.

***

That night, the girls were discussing Bruce while having hamburgers and chips in front of the television.

“We have to work out a plan,” said Whitney. “Just in case.”

“Just in case of what? All your plans are dumb,” said Emma.

“Well, I don’t see you putting in any ideas, smarty pants!” said Whitney.

“Well,” said Emma, “if that’s how you want to play it, then so be it.” And she threw a chip at Whitney’s face.

“Take this, girly- girl!”

“You take that back! Tomboy!” yelled Whitney and threw a piece of lettuce across Courtney’s face into Emma’s eye.

“Girly-girl!”

“Dumb-dumb!”

“Porky-nose!”

“Monkey!”

“Gorilla!”

“Potato-head!”

And while they were throwing food at each other as they called out names, poor Courtney had to deal with food flying across her face or into her food. She even had cut-up onion in her hair and mustard on her chin! Luckily, everybody else was busy in their rooms.

“Cow!” called Emma.

“Cow and a half!” called Whitney.

“Cow and a quarter chicken!”

“Chicken and a third!”

“Pig and an infinity!”

“I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks back to you!”

“Hardy-howdy-ha! Very funny. Actually, it’s so funny that I forgot to laugh!”

“SHUT UP! Both of you!” cried Courtney as she slammed their burgers into their mouths.

Look at me! I’ve got mustard on my chin, onion rings in my hair, lettuce in my PJs and tomato juice all over my juice. It feels as if someone has spread vapour rub all over my chest! They should call it ‘Mato Spread’ or ‘Tom-Rub’!” she shouted. “This is outrageous! You’ll have to clean up this place! I can’t even watch N.E.R.D.S spells Nerds for Life or Catfights!” And to their surprise she screamed so the whole world could hear her. “Get this place cleaned up NOW!”

Her screaming words echoed in their minds.

***

That night, Emma was thinking how they could take revenge on Bruce. What if he was innocent? What if he wasn’t? What if he is rid of all his sins? Maybe, it would be cruel if he was innocent, but they put him in jail because of his previous criminal record, thought Emma. After tossing and turning, she finally fell asleep.

Late that night, at chalet number 54, everyone was asleep. Suddenly, Courtney got out of bed and went to the bathroom. Whitney, who was a deep sleeper (actually, a really deep sleeper, so if someone had to kill her, she’d still be fast asleep!) and Emma, who was dreaming about being chosen for the football team (that was her wish), didn’t even hear a crack. As Courtney came out of the bathroom, mumbling to herself in her sleep, a dark figure approached her…

***

The next morning, everyone was gathered in front of the television.

“So… you didn’t answer my question. Why did you and Whitney arrive late for breakfast?” Brad asked in a British teacher accent.

“I told you, we couldn’t find Courtney.”

“Well, maybe she’s hiding in my pocket!” Jason laughed.

“Serious!” said Emma.

“She’s gone!”

“Maybe last night she flushed herself!” Whitney muttered, still half-asleep and yawning.

“I’m curious,” said Kathy. “Really curious…”

When Emma and Whitney went to visit Leslie, they told her about Courtney’s disappearance.

“Lea, is Bruce here?” asked Emma.

“No, why?”

“We’ll tell you later,” said Emma and with that she grabbed Whitney and Leslie and ran to her parents’ chalet. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. She peered through all the windows, but no one was there. Then she ran to their chalet.

“No one’s here,” said Whitney.

“There are no cars by our parents’ chalets and our door is locked.”

“Oh bogey!” screamed Emma. “Has the whole world gone CRAZY?! Where is EVERYBOODDY?”

“Well scratch my scales!” said Leslie. “Where are all your folks?”

“We have no idea…” said Whitney. “No idea…”

“Wait!” shouted Emma. “There’s a letter under the door.”

“Well read it!” they all shouted.

“Ok, it says…” And Emma read the letter:


“I bet Jesse wrote this,” groaned Whitney.

“Wait!” said Leslie. “There’s a letter behind it.”

“We’ll open it later,” said Emma. “Let’s go have some fun.”

“So…” said Leslie as she sucked on her candy rings, “what did yeh wanna ask abou’ Bruce?”

“Well, Bruce and his friends kidnapped Courtney last summer holidays. And he held us hostage,” said Emma.

“Well, almost held us hostage. We sure kicked his butt!” said Whitney in a state of joy.

***

Meanwhile, Courtney was being taken hostage! Only one guess!!! Nope! You’re wrong!

“Let me go!” screamed Courtney. The kidnapper had tied a bandanna over her eyes and had tied her hands to a chair. “Listen, if you don’t release me, I’m gonna–”

“Fine, but I will only take off the bandanna,” said a cold woman’s voice.

As the kidnapper took off the bandanna, Courtney gasped at her.

“Oh… I’d hate to fight you!” said Courtney.

“See if you can beat me! How old are you, by the way? Twelve? Thirteen?”

“Thirteen, to be precise. Oh, and by the way, I know karate, jitsu, yoga and Co-ta-ney Be-ckir, which means I’m gonna kick your butt and, by the time I’m done, I’m gonna laugh and moonwalk out of here!”

“Try me!”

“I will!” said Courtney.

The kidnapper took a knife from her pocket and moved closer to Courtney. Courtney kicked her in the stomach and her knife landed in Courtney’s hands. Courtney put her face on her hands and managed to get the knife’s handle into her mouth. She then used her mouth to cut loose her hands. When she was free, the kidnapper got up and tried to strangle her. Courtney grabbed a stick, ran across and onto the walls, kicked herself off the walls and poked the stick in the kidnapper’s stomach and hair. She then grabbed the kidnapper, tied her to the chair and moonwalked out of the room.

“See yah!” said Courtney, as she laughed while locking the door.


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