Live by the Knife
By J.M. Hart
Copyright 2011 J.M. Hart
Copyright 2011 J.M. Hart
After I had cancelled my date with David the previous Saturday, I decided we had to go into town this Saturday. It was unusually hot and so David and I decided we would catch the last of the summer sun and not go to the cinema but instead go to the beach cliffs. We called a taxi from school to Hastings and noticed the fish market was open.
We looked around the various stalls and Harvey sniffed at all the new smells of fish and strange items on the tables. Suddenly, I saw in the corner of my eye Jasper and Florence walking around, her bodyguard following at a distance. I waved at them and they waved back. David smiled at some of his mates as we passed them and I saw lots of my friends wandering around in groups.
Eventually we became bored of the market and decided to go and have a long, cool drink to while away the time. We went to the best café in Hastings, Café Pixie. It was a small but modern café and all of the walls were electric blue and there were creamy white comfy sofas to sit on.
They specialised in milkshakes and hot chocolate, and they were so good. Whenever I came to Café Pixie, if it was summer I always had a lemon melon milkshake, and if it was winter I always had a white hot chocolate.
David and I went inside. I made sure to sit near the window to watch Harvey, who was tied to the lamp post outside. I didn’t want him to escape as he was not allowed inside the café. However, as it was a busy Saturday and many new people were walking past him, he just wouldn’t stop barking!
David laughed as I went outside to quiet him and he leapt on me, licking my face. Finally I was able to push him off and stand up but when I glanced at David, he was still in hysterics! I looked down at my white top. It was completely covered with iron grey hairs. I looked like a bear!
I quickly brushed them off and came back inside. When I sat down, I blushed. “Sorry about that!” I muttered.
“Don’t worry. He’s just a puppy; he’ll learn that girls like to keep themselves neat and tidy after a few weeks!”
“That’s so funny David!” I said sarcastically. He creased up again so much that I could not get him to stop and people were looking so I just got up and walked out. He followed me and pulled himself together. I untied Harvey and we walked down to the rocky caverns near the beach.
Harvey saw a rock pool and ran towards it full pelt and splashed in. I don’t think he expected it to be full of water because he scrambled out super quick and sat shivering beside it, pawing the water carefully. I giggled at his madness as he ran from pool to pool in a nutty dash, trying to find one that was not full of the salty water.
David and I walked slowly to the sea. I found a big rock to sit on and watch David skim stones across the shore. “So, are any of the rumours going around at school about you true?” He asked casually.
I smiled. “Um… probably, but I don’t know what they are.” I asked.
“Well, there is one that says that you once spent an Easter in a war zone and got caught in a fight!” He said.
“No, of course that’s not true!” I lied. “Why would anyone believe that? What other ones have you got for me?”
He thought for a moment. “There’s one that says you have a huge scar down your arm from a knife?”
I smiled. “That one’s no secret, but not from a knife, it was just from a piece of broken glass.” I showed him my scar from Hong Kong.
“Oh, wow! That must have hurt!” He exclaimed.
“Not anymore. I don’t really feel it. What other rumours are there?”
“There is one other one… it’s a little… well…” He hesitated.
“Oh, come on, David. Just tell me!” I said.
He sighed. “Okay… There is a rumour going around that Mr Larson found you and the head boy Andrew Cartwright naked in a cupboard last year! Is that one true?” He asked.
“Who told you that? Whoa, that’s… that’s preposterous!” I said indignantly. It was the first word that had come into my head, and now I felt foolish as thousands of better words flooded through my mind.
“Is it true though?” He asked.
“Why? Is someone a little jealous?” I smiled as he shifted uncomfortably. “Maybe a little bit true. But nothing happened. We weren’t naked! It was just kissing, and he wasn’t head boy last year!” I grinned. David shook his head in disbelief. “Mr Larson just over reacted. It wasn’t as big a deal as he made out! Look if you don’t believe me then I won’t tell you any more!”
“No, no I believe you. I know how Mr Larson can be. Don’t worry about him; he’s a nasty piece of work!” David said laughingly.
I was about to agree when we both heard a yelp from one of the deeper rock pools. We walked towards it and just as we were about to peer over down into it, Harvey burst out and limped towards me, whimpering. There was a small blue crab hanging on to his paw. I held him still and calmed him down while David pried the crab away and threw it back into the rock pool.
Harvey was soaking and I was so glad it was a warm day and he could dry off while we walked the long way back to school over the cliffs.
Once I got to my room, I picked up my phone which I had left on my bed while we went out. I had a text from Florence asking me to go down to the art room and meet her there. I checked the time on the text and saw that she had only sent it about forty minutes ago and I figured she would probably still be there.
Harvey tried to come with me but I made him lie in his bed in the cupboard. “I won’t have your smelly wet dog smell stinking up the whole school!” I told him before I gave him a pat on his head. I quickly ran down to the art room and found Florence sitting in front of a bowl of pears, painting them onto a small canvas.
“That’s amazing!” I exclaimed. It was an abstract piece with the green pears distorted into crazy shapes. Abstract art is Florence’s favourite. She smiled at me then turned back to the bowl she was trying to paint.
“Ooh, I can’t get the shape right!” She said in agony. I raised my eyebrows at her; the painting was already incredible but she was dabbing at the twisted bowl as if it was a crappy little area of her otherwise impeccable artwork.
I was about to ask her why she wanted me, but suddenly, her older sister, the head girl Araminta came in with her chihuahua Lulu trotting at her heels.
She glanced at her sister’s art work and rolled her eyes. “Wow, that’s really… crap!” She pulled up a stool and sat on it, swinging her Gucci sandaled feet in the air.
Florence glared at her impatiently. When Araminta did not explain why she’d come, Florence stood up and put her hands on her hips and towered over her sister. “What do you want, Minti? If you’re just here to chat, then I have better things to do.”
Araminta leapt up and crossed her arms, pouting. “Where are my new Chanel high heels that I bought last weekend? I know you have them, I saw you wearing them today!” She shouted. “Where are they?”
Florence was shaking with anger. “I was wearing them, but they’re back in your room! I put them back, okay. So piss off!” She yelled at her sister.
Araminta knocked off the bowl of pears from the table and stormed out of the room. Lulu barked at us and ran after her owner. Florence rolled her eyes after them and glanced at me before setting up the pears again. “Sorry about that. You know my sister can be a real bitch.”
I snorted. “That is the understatement of the year! I know what she’s like.” I shook my head laughingly. Florence giggled and we finished picking up all of the pears.
“Shall we go to supper?” I asked as I looked at my watch. She nodded and we walked slowly to supper, chatting all the way. Once we got to the cafeteria we looked at the food on display. It looked absolutely disgusting so we went over to the toaster and made ourselves all sorts of different toasted sandwiches.
David and Jasper came into supper and we beckoned them over to sit with us. When they saw us munching away at our toasties, they discarded their plates of muck and got some toast as well.
After we had finished all of our toasties, we sat licking our lips. We were still hungry though and Jasper’s stomach rumbled. David rapped the table with his hands. “Why don’t we have a toast eating competition?”
“Sure! That sounds… interesting!” Florence said and we all got up and brought a plateful of toast over to our table. We then tried to eat as much toast as we could before we just couldn’t fit anymore in.
Florence was the first to stop, and I decided that I couldn’t eat anymore so I dropped the bread and almost gagged. It then became a contest between David and Jasper.
While David was eating his fourteenth piece of toast, Jasper had finished his thirteenth piece. He picked up his fourteenth piece but looked around and then stared at the piece of toast. “Oh God! I can’t eat this. I swear I’ll chuck up if I do!” He put down his toast and David jumped up in ecstatic excitement.
“I win! Yeah, in your face mate!” We were all falling on the floor laughing our heads off because in his excitement, he had forgotten that his mouth was full and had sprayed soggy toast all over the year sevens at the table next to us.
I was still laughing at the image I had in my mind when I walked up to my bedroom and let Harvey out. After I had finished getting ready for bed, I stroked Harvey and put him in his bed in the cupboard. After taking away his noisy toys once again, I was able to settle down and go to sleep.
However, that night I had forgotten to catch sight of one little thing once again. Outside my window were two small green eyes glinting in the darkness and a tiny red flashing button below the eyes.
The next afternoon I was sitting in my room writing an English essay when suddenly Harvey started to growl at the open window. I peered at the window over the top of my laptop screen and saw that a cat had alighted on it. It had bright green eyes and a chunky collar with lots of tags on it. There was one tag that was like a little cube; it looked suspicious so I coaxed the cat to come nearer me. The cat soared from the window sill to my bed in one huge leap.
I looked at that tag, and noticed it was a camera with a little red button flashing. It was recording me. My eyes widened but I still managed to find the tag that had the name of the cat on it.
“Roushka.” I read aloud. “That’s a very strange name, isn’t it Harvey?” I picked up the cat and put it on the branch of the tree outside my window. It gradually clambered down the tree and I shut the window and curtains, and turned around.
Someone had to have put that cat there. Someone was recording me, spying on me. This was not good. In a crazy panic, I found all of the little cameras that were in my cupboard and stuck them on the walls and door of my room. Then I set them recording and made sure that I had every camera working in connection to my laptop.
Once I was sure that they could watch the room for me, I went to supper before trying to find Tom and Skye to warn them. At supper, I bumped into Viktorya, or rather, she bumped into me.
She smiled at me in an odd way. “A little kitty told me that you met my cat today. Roushka; it’s a pretty, name don’t you think?” I stood there, very alarmed, watching her walk away and then sat and ate my supper quickly before going to find Tom and Skye.
I raised my eyebrows at them subtly as I walked by and then coughed and scratched my eyebrow at the same thing, the signal that we needed to talk urgently. They immediately dropped their forks and sprinted from the cafeteria. I followed a few seconds later. We ran quickly to Mr Boot’s office to talk privately. They promised they would do what I had done and put up the cameras.
“So be careful, guys. She basically told me that she was spying on me.” I told them earnestly. They nodded. “So, how is your mission going?”
“God, it is completely impossible to befriend Viktorya! She’s like an ice queen.” Skye remarked anxiously.
“Oh, if she’s an ice queen, then she’s hot one!” Tom said cheekily. Skye and I rolled our eyes at him. Boys are so immature.
“Okay, don’t forget to tell Faderah and the other spies about this, guys. It’s so important. Also, can one of you phone Simon and let him know?”
Tom stuck up his hand. “I’ll do it.”
“Okay, I’m going then. Bye guys!” I waved at them as I left the office and saw in the corner of my eye hiding behind a wall was Chesna. I ignored her and continued walking. About ten minutes later I was walking past the prefects’ common room and I saw her leave the common room and turn a corner. I wondered what her business might be, as technically we weren’t allowed in the prefect’s common room. I still didn’t confront her though but followed her at a distance.
She walked towards two fit year 11 boys called Daniel and Jamie. “Hey boys, how’re you doing?” She asked in her cutest voice. I think she was trying to flirt with them but I wasn’t sure. The boys sniggered and raised their eyebrows at her.
“Fine.” Ollie said. Chesna flicked her bushy yellow hair over her shoulder and tried to lean against the wall. However she was too far away from the wall and began to fall. I stood shocked as she keeled over but the boys cracked up laughing.
The boys just stood there while she lay on the floor rubbing her sore elbow. I pretended to be walking by and gasped. I ran straight up to the boys and slapped them both round their faces.
“You selfish bastards! She is lying on the floor in a heap and you two are too stupid to help her!” I helped Chesna up while the boys staggered away still laughing. She thanked me and went to her room practically in tears, while I returned to my own room, still completely confused about Chesna’s increasingly strange behaviour.