Catching onix, p.1
Catching Onix, p.1Renee Conoulty
Copyright © Renee Conoulty 2017
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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About the Author
Also by Renee Conoulty
Don’t Mean a Thing Excerpt
To my niece, Grace. You’re just as beautiful as your name. Happy 16th birthday.
“Don’t run! And use two hands.”
“I won’t drop it, Mum, promise.”
Grace sat on the park bench, watching her son stalk around the playground clutching her brand-new smartphone. He tapped the screen with slender fingers, his chubby toddler hands had vanished, then ran back.
“Slow down, buddy.”
“But Mum, look. I caught a Geodude. He’s a rock Pokémon just like Onix, so maybe I’ll find an Onix today.”
Finn raced across the playground and paced in circles.
Grace had downloaded the Pokémon Go game during the school holidays as a bonding activity with her son. A great excuse to get out of the house and explore the local community. They’d discovered a World War Two archaeological walk full of Pokéstops and were currently working their way around the local playgrounds. Grace hadn’t been interested in Pokémon when she was young but had soon learned all the lingo. Pokéstops, Gyms, Great Balls and Revives. Whatever it took to make Finn happy. He was the centre of her world and if he wanted to hang out with Pikachu and Squirtle, then that’s what they’d do. For the next half hour, anyway.
A couple of kids ran up the path, jumped over the concrete edging and scrambled up the monkey bars. Finn raced across the playground, kicking up the sand.
“Can you hold this? I wanna play with my friends.”
The three kids, in matching school uniforms, clambered all over the equipment.
Grace checked the screen for scratches, then noticing the Pokéstop was in range, clicked on the icon and spun the disk. For Finn. As she placed the phone in her lap, a green ute pulled up opposite the playground. Nobody got out. It was difficult to see through the tinted windows, but there appeared to be only one person in the car.
“Five minutes,” Grace called out. Attempting to leave without a wind-up warning always led to tears.
Five minutes later, the car was still there. The knot in Grace’s stomach tightened. Who would loiter by a kids’ playground but a predator?
“Time to go.”
Grace clutched Finn’s hand. Keeping herself between him and the strange ute, she crossed the grass to her car. She gripped her keys, the largest one jutting out between her whitened knuckles. As they reached the safety of Grace’s hatchback, the green car pulled away.
* * *
“How was school today?” Grace asked.
“Okay. Can we go the long, long way home again?”
She smiled. “How about we just go the long way. We’ll go down the main street tomorrow after gymnastics.”
“Finn, what have I said about whinging?” She glanced into the rear vision mirror.
“We can stop and battle the gym near our place.”
“Yes!” Finn pumped his fist in the air.
Grace waited for the seatbelt indicator light to turn from red to green then passed Finn her phone. They turned right out of the car park to go past six Pokéstops and a Pokémon gym on the way home instead of the shortcut to the left that didn’t go past any. Grace pulled into a parking space but kept the car idling for the air-conditioning.
“It’s the yellow team, but it’s only a level four so I’ll kick them out in no time.” Finn tapped away, his brow furrowed and eyes glued to the screen.
She looked over her shoulder and watched him, hunched over the phone. Something green flashed in her periphery. Grace turned to look out her window. A car had pulled up beside them. Grace looked closer. No, it was a ute. The same one she’d seen the day before. This time she could make out the silhouette of a man leaning on the steering wheel.
“It’s time to go.”
“But Mum, I’ve only got one more Pokémon to defeat, then I can take over the gym.”
Grace flicked the central locking. “Okay. Five more minutes, then we have to go.”
She glanced over at the green ute again. The stranger shifted position and Grace caught a glimpse of an illuminated screen.
“Mum, there’s someone else battling.”
“I think it’s him.” She gestured to the green ute, careful to keep her hands below the level of the window.
“Who?” Finn continued staring at the phone.
“The person parked beside us.”
“That’s his name. He just put a Snorlax in the gym. He’s on the blue team too. We can go now if you like.”
Catching Onix by Renee Conoulty / Romance & Love have rating 2.7 out of 5 / Based on40 votes