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The ghostly grammar boy, p.1
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       The Ghostly Grammar Boy, p.1

           Sandra Thompson
 
The Ghostly Grammar Boy


  The Ghostly Grammar Boy

  Sandra Thompson

  Copyright 2013 Sandra Thompson

  Table of Contents

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

  CHAPTER TWENTY TWO

  CHAPTER TWENTY THREE

  CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR

  CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE

  CHAPTER TWENTY SIX

  CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT

  The next book of the Dusk Duo Series: The Deadly School Camp

  About the Author

  CHAPTER ONE

  Carly Taylor's perky ponytail was blocking my view.

  Not that I wanted to see the whiteboard anyway. It was way too hot for the first day back at school. No one, including me, was paying attention to Mrs Murphy's drone. The slippery stains of her colossal sweat patches were just too distracting.

  My friend Lara fidgeted next to me. Like me, she was dying to get out of this blistering classroom and into the refreshing water of the local pool where we were working as swimming instructors this afternoon. The summer break had been rough. Canberra's relentless heat wave had robbed us of any chance to enjoy our emancipation from school. In an attempt to spare ourselves the demeaning task of begging our parents to drive us three hours to the closest beach, Lara and I had decided to trade our services. We were teaching screaming kids to swim for some extra pocket money and cool water.

  I shifted uncomfortably in my seat as Mrs Murphy's bulging eyes glared at me, before she turned her sweaty self back to the whiteboard.

  Gross. And ouch! My thighs were currently stuck to my chair.

  That's the thing about living in Canberra. Stinking hot summers and bushfires are followed by icy winters. Canberra's quiet, crime-free streets are lined with government offices and businesses, family homes, and beautiful parks. Parents considered it a safe place to raise children. Most of us teenagers couldn't wait for the day when we could escape and get a life.

  I wasn't one of them, though. There was one thing I really liked about Canberra. Something that I wouldn't trade for the best nightlife in the world.

  Canberra doesn't have many ghosts.

  Don't get me wrong, Canberra has some ghosts—far too many of them—but compared to older cities like Sydney, there are far fewer of the menaces around.

  Unfortunately, most people don't appreciate this like I do. Mainly because I'm the only one I know who can see and talk to ghosts.

  Ghosts have plagued me my whole life. As long as I can remember, they've been wanting to chat with me in the middle of a maths exam. Or play charades when I'm trying to shoot the tie-breaking goal at netball.

  And just so you know, I totally blame my sister Ella.

  Ella is my twin. She's six minutes younger than me, and often, six times more annoying. Mum said that as babies we shared a special bond. We would talk to each other in baby language and cry if we were separated. We always wanted to play with the same toys, and we followed each other everywhere. Unfortunately for me, this special twin bond must have been extremely strong because when Ella mysteriously died in her sleep when we were two years old, our bond continued on a spiritual plane. So years later, while my parents were still grieving for Ella, I was playing hide and seek with her. My parents thought I had an imaginary friend.

  Now, thanks to our connection, I have to play hide and seek with all the other ghosts around—not a fair game when you're playing with ghosts.

  For example, what chance did I have right now of hiding from Ella when she'd suddenly decided to appear and sit on my desk?

  'Get off! I can't see the whiteboard!' I hissed at Ella.

  'Oh come on, Fiona, don't pretend you're trying to listen to this!' Ella laughed. 'We haven't talked for ages. I want to tell you about my new boyfriend.'

  'Yeah, sure, great,' I mumbled into my hand. After years of practice, I'm getting pretty good at making my talk sound like I'm clearing my throat. I was still getting weird looks from my classmates though. Carly Taylor had even turned around to glare at me.

  'Uh oh, I think you're interrupting Carly's daydreams about what she's going to do with Shane at her pool party this weekend,' Ella snorted.

  Pool party? It annoyed me that even my dead sister was more down with the social calendar than I was.

  Determined to avoid starting off this year as the throat-clearing class weirdo, I scribbled a note to Ella. 'Haunt me tonight. Love to hear all your goss. Now get lost or you can do my trig homework for me!'

  'Okay, okay, keep your pants on. I'll leave you to your precious trig. See you tonight.' As Ella faded, she couldn't resist annoying me a bit more. She ruffled my straight, dark brown hair. Instinctively. I tried to bat her hand away from my head.

  Incidentally, that's another special gift I have. I can not only see ghosts, but can touch them as if they were alive. To me they feel like normal people with deathly cold skin. Most people tend to pass straight through ghosts without realising it. Or, occasionally, they'll feel a cold sensation. This means that if a bunch of ghosts passed through our classroom right now, my classmates would probably appreciate the cool breeze, whereas I would have to make sure I moved so I didn't get trampled on. And that would look really weird—jumping up in the middle of class for no apparent reason. I would definitely earn another glare from Carly.

  Not that I care what Carly thinks of me. Carly is one of the ring leaders of the popular group that make everyone else's life at high school hell. Unfortunately, our last names both begin with the letter T, so we always end up stuck near each other when our grade is organised into alphabetical order. Think about it. That means she's next to me in the line for school portraits. She's always in my roll call, maths and English classes. She always sits next to me in exams. And we're always in the same group on school camp. However, unlike other people in our year, I don't live in awe of Carly. I don't go crazy at the sight of her perfectly layered blonde hair, big brown eyes, and long, slim legs, like everyone else seems to. It's one of the reasons she doesn't like me. But that's okay because the feeling is mutual.

  Which is why last week it was so weird when she was nice to me.

  I'd managed to convince my older brother Brett to drive me to the shops for the January sales by bribing him with the promise of a sundae at the new ice cream shop. I desperately needed a new bikini. The swimming carnival was coming up in term one, and I was not going to be the only year-ten girl in a one-piece, like last year. Mainly, we both wanted to get out of the heat and into the air-con. After two minutes of looking at the bikinis in a trendy swimwear shop, I realised there was no way I could afford any of them. I was either doomed to a one-piece or I would have to buy a cheap bikini from the family department store. It was time to give up and get ice cream. As we walked into the popular new ice cream shop, I realised too late that Carly was working behind the counter. Trust her to not only get a job in air-conditioning but to get the only job in Canberra that involves unlimited access to free ice cream.

  'Hey, Carly. Two cups of triple chocolate chunk, please,' I ordered as I passed her my money and tried to pretend I was indifferent to the whole situation.

  C
arly looked at my face. In a deliberate manner, she lowered her eyes as she checked out my clothes. I'd seen her do this to others before. It was a subtle move designed to leave you feeling self-conscious. I refused to let her make me feel bad. I was wearing short shorts that were great for the heat but exposed my freckled legs and uneven tan. I was also wearing one of Brett's baggy t-shirts for good air flow. I'd roughly tied my straight brown hair back in a ponytail to keep my neck cool. Carly, on the other hand, looked like she'd stepped straight out of a fashion magazine, with her summery dress showing off her long, tanned limbs. Her blonde hair was pulled up in a ponytail artfully designed to look messy and casual, but from the faint smell of hair spray, I knew it had been carefully styled.

  I pretended not to notice Carly's inspection. Her large brown eyes returned to my face to deliver the final part of her routine—her trademark look of disdain mixed with pity. The disdain made girls feel self-conscious, whilst the element of pity delivered hope that maybe they could one day be her friend. This subtle balancing act allowed Carly to maintain her posse of followers wherever she went.

  Carly was just about to give me her trademark look when she noticed my brother. Instantly her face lit up. Brett tends to have that effect on girls. Personally, I can't see the attraction.

  'Fiona! Hey! Great to see you again! Is this your brother? Brett, right? I'm Carly,' Carly giggled as she extended her hand to Brett. She then fidgeted with her hair in a fake display of nervousness designed to make her seem approachable.

  I had to give her credit. The girl was a master of flirtation. She hadn't counted on my oblivious brother though.

  'I've seen you around school. You're in year twelve, right?' she continued.

  'That's right. So you're at Canberra High too? Are you in the same year as Fiona?' Brett replied.

  Brett's the type of easy going guy who is happy to have a chat with anyone. This, along with his dark hair, grey-green eyes, and apparently hot, rugby-toned body has made him very popular. It also means that I have to watch shameless flirts like Carly work their moves on him. Luckily for me, Brett is totally clueless about all the attention he gets—living in a dream world of music and rugby union.

  Carly leaned into the counter and allowed her hands to brush Brett's as she passed him his cup of ice cream. Sickening.

  'Yeah, Fiona and I are roll-call buddies. We go way back. Had some good times.' Carly proceeded to prove this false claim to friendship by jovially slapping me on the arm with a paper napkin. She continued on, despite my incredulous look.

  'Hey, aren't you friends with Shane Harris?' she asked Brett.

  'Shane? Yeah. Fun bloke. He's on my union team. How do you know him?' Brett asked as he took his first mouthful of chocolatey goodness. Well, I could only imagine it was good, since Carly seemed to have completely forgotten my order.

  'Oh, you know, hung out with him through friends a bit over summer. Say hi to him from me,' Carly replied as she handed Brett my change, her fingers brushing against Brett's again.

  Having suddenly lost my appetite for ice cream, I dragged an oblivious Brett out of the store by the arm. As we left, Carly called out to me in a friendly voice that would have had me fooled if I hadn't been hardened over the years to her tactics.

  'Great seeing you again, Fiona! We'll have to catch up in roll call!'

  Things felt much less surreal now that we were in maths class and Carly was back to glaring at me again.

 
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