Maggot Moon

Narrated against the backdrop of a ruthless regime determined to beat its enemies in the race to the moon, MAGGOT MOON is the stunning new novel from award-winning author Sally Gardner. When his best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, dyslexic hero Standish Treadwell realises that it is up to him, his grandfather and a small band of rebels to confront and defeat the ever-present oppressive forces of the Motherland. Utterly original and stunning, it is impossible not to be moved by MAGGOT MOON’s powerful story and the unforgettable heroism of Standish. Check out the Maggot Moon hub on Movellas for competitions and awesome activities: http://www.movellas.com/blog/show/201209051721008644/the-movellas-maggot-moon-hub

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6. Six

 

Mr Gunnell didn’t like me. I think it was personal. Everything is personal with Mr Gunnell. I was a personal affront to his intelligence. I was an affront to his sense of order and decency. Just to make sure everyone got the message about the affront that was me, he pulled my tie undone. He had that smile on his face, the tongue sticking out one, as he closed the classroom door behind me.

I didn’t have a problem with the caning. Or with the fact that my hands still smarted. I had a small problem with the ear pulling. I was only a tiny bit worried about the headmaster. I didn’t know then about the trouble, or how deep it went.

But maybe I got an inkling of it the moment Mr Gunnell pulled my tie undone, the git. You see, I can’t do up my tie, and he knew it.

That tie had not been untied for a personal record of one year. That was the longest time I had ever managed to keep the knot intact. In fact the fabric had become so shiny that it moved with no problem just wide enough for my head to slip through and then close up as neat as a whistle at the top, so I looked spick and span. I mean, that was the idea. It had stayed this way because of Hector. He wouldn’t let any boy mess with me. The days of torment I had believed to be behind me. That fricking, undone, hangman’s rope of a tie made me feel like sliding down the wall on to the floor and giving up, letting the tears for once get some exercise. For there was one thing I couldn’t do: go to the headmaster’s office without a tie. I might just as well throw myself from the window head first. Say it came undone on the way down. Say due to concussion from the fall I had forgotten how to tie a tie.

I think I knew, if I was honest, then and there, that this was not just about the tie and the loss of a knot. It was the loss of Hector I couldn’t stand. If only I knew where they had taken him. If only I knew he was all right, then maybe the knot in my stomach – the knot which got tighter every day – would go away. 

 

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