Being kidnapped isn't the best way to pass the time. Especially not when you should be in school. But Amber-Louise is a witch and she has bigger things to worry about.
The TV was on and the boy was slouched in front of it – but he wasn’t even paying any attention to it. Even if he had been, it probably wouldn’t have made much sense to him.
Nothing made sense any more.
His mind was on other things but it was comforting to have the saccharin-sweet soap opera on in the background. If only to remind himself that things had been normal once upon a time. But that seemed like an awful long time, and normal sometimes seemed distant memory. He found it alternately difficult to remember what normal was like, and to imagine life ever being like that again. Not that his life had ever really been ‘normal’. There had to be someone somewhere who could make it right again.
“Life’s rarely as simple as we like to think,” the TV woman said. I hear ya. “Isn’t there some kind of handbook to tell us why bad things happen?” asked the daughter. The section in TV Guide said that she was protesting a by-road and had just seen part of a forest cut down. It wasn’t even close to what was happening to him, but he knew exactly what the actress meant. Lately, the boy had been wishing for a life manual. A lot of bad things had happened to him recently and, although he knew why, it was hard to understand and accept.
His parents had gone missing a couple of months ago, as had his best friend six months ago. He hadn’t seen or heard from either of them since and was doubtful that he ever would. Of course, he was worried about them and where they were; only he didn’t need to angst over whether they alive or not. He knew exactly what had happened to his mother and father, though it wasn’t something anyone should have to think about or, indeed, go through. The boy even had a pretty good idea of what had happened to his friend – not a pleasant thought either. He knew that the people he loved were alive and well, but he didn’t know for how much longer that would be true.
Also, would he ever see those people again? And if he did, would they ever be the same?
There were too many thoughts spinning in his head, too many questions; most that he couldn’t answer, but some that he couldn’t even process yet. For example, there was the inexplicable and untimely death of his bulldog. Or, there was the fact that his driving instructor had turned into a gibbering wreck. Maybe I can put that one down to the fact that I’m a contender for Britain’s Worst Driver. But he suspected – no, more than suspect – that there was an altogether more sinister reason.
All hell was breaking loose on the streets outside and he didn’t like it. It had to be stopped.