A hairy tail, p.1
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A Hairy Tail
A HAIRY TAIL

  A HAIRY TAIL

  JAMIE CAMPBELL

  Copyright © 2013 Jamie Campbell

  Jamie Campbell asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

  This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

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

  DEDICATION

  For Snoopy.

  CHAPTER 1

  Most people enjoyed their summer break. The sunshine, the beach, the cold drinks on a hot day, and, most importantly, not being at school. But not Hannah, she didn’t find them interesting at all.

  Of course, most people didn’t enjoy school as much as she did. There was something about the buzz of getting things right, the way things were organized, and the idea you had to do something a certain way that just pleased her. It was everything else in the world that scared her. Unpredictability was a nightmare.

  Hannah slumped on the chair, counting in her head how many days she had to wait for the chaos to be restored. Ninety-three, that’s how many. She considered making a countdown calendar, that would take up a few minutes of her boring existence.

  “You’re not going to laze about here all summer.” Her mother, the irrepressible Coco, butted into her thoughts. She stood over her, both hands on her hips, with that ‘I’m not taking no for an answer’ look on her face. Hannah hated that look.

  “Well you wouldn’t let me go to summer school, so what am I supposed to do?”

  “Get a job, I don’t care, just get out of this house. Be normal for once in your life and have some fun.” Coco turned and left her there, letting her words sink into the seemingly impenetrable skull of her daughter.

  Hannah waited just long enough for it not to be because she was told, to get up and do as she was told. She picked up her handbag and made a point of slamming the front door behind her.

  So she was outside of the house, just like Coco ordered her. But now what? She looked from left to right at the other houses in the street. They were all exactly the same, two storey, shutters on the windows, friendly doormats on the porches. It seemed like the entire world was conforming and giving up on any hope of being an individual.

  Hannah sighed and started walking. Mom said get a job, so she’d start there. At least when it all went wrong she would have someone to blame. Better than being accused of being lazy.

  There were always jobs posted on the board outside the supermarket, Hannah had passed it thousands of times growing up. She never imagined she’d be using one of the ads to actually get employment, but there you go. Life was full of the unpredictable.

  She stood in front of the board, searching for anything that appeared even remotely tolerable.

  “I’m going to be a microbiologist and they expect me to have waitressing experience?” Hannah mumbled to herself.

  If the jobs were menial, they required way more experience than she had. It seemed you either had to be a robot or a genius, there was nowhere in between where she could fall.

  Buried underneath all the new advertisements, there was one faded sheet of paper. Hannah pulled it out, trying to work out what the words were. A large corner had been torn away, she had to fill in the blanks just to read it.

  As she scanned the flyer, Hannah knew she had found her summer entertainment. The local animal shelter was looking for volunteers, apparently for a long time judging by the condition of the flyer. She carefully folded the piece of paper and started moving.

  At fifteen years of age, her bicycle was the only form of transport she had – besides her feet anyway. She knew the streets of Mapleton like the back of her hand and able to fly along the roads without thinking twice.

  Hannah had lived in the town since she was born. People rarely left the small county, preferring to make their way within the community. Hannah knew she would be different, she would happily leave one day to pursue her dream of being a scientist, they were rarely needed in Mapleton. She would come back to visit but that was it.

  The Mapleton Animal Rescue Centre came into sight as she approached. Leaving her bike at the front gate, Hannah carefully entered, wondering if she had made the right decision or not. Animals weren’t entirely her thing, she couldn’t even remember why it had sounded so good in the first place. Perhaps it was the lack of customer service skills that it required.

  “Can I help you?” The lady at counter asked, she seemed friendly enough. It helped calm her nerves slightly.

  “I’m wondering if you still need volunteers?”

  “Are you kidding, honey? We always need volunteers,” she smiled an impossibly wide smile. “How old are you?”

  “Fifteen.”

  “Can you work at least one four hour shift a week?”

  “I can work every day over the summer.”

  “Can you speak cocker spaniel?”

  Hannah was stumped, unsure if she was serious or not. That was the kind of unpredictable she feared. Still, the woman didn’t seem like she was going to continue without an answer. “Um, I don’t know, I’ve never tried. I’m smart, I’m sure I can learn it quickly.”

  The woman burst into laughter. “That was a joke, honey, but I like you. You’re hired. You can start tomorrow, dress in something that can get dirty… and wet.”

  Hannah smiled, gulping at the same time. Either she had just made a huge mistake, or the best decision of her entire life. It could go either way.

  CHAPTER 2

 
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