What did I expect?

Flora Jones is just your average middle class thirteen year old. She's dealing with what every girl does at her age ... and more. The day the police car shows up outside the door of a friends house, her whole world is thrown upside down. And if anyone could find out what is going on ... it's Flora. So, she does just that. She throws herself into a world of danger and mystery and ventures so deeply that there is no turning back...

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1. Police car

Let’s just say I’m the last person in the last place you’d expect to find a murderer. My name is Flora Jones. I live in Royal Tunbridge Wells. You’re already doubting my story, aren’t you? It’s because of the ‘Royal’, am I right? Well sometimes the ‘royals’ or Royal Tunbridge Wells aren’t as perfect as they seem. Behind ever closed door, there’s something stirring, boiling, sizzling. And that’s what people want to know about. They want to know about what happens behind the closed doors of middle class people. Because no one ever understands it. I know I don’t.

It was just an average day, I suppose. I woke up late – which means around 7:30 for me – got changed and went to school. And yeah, I got to TWGGS, otherwise known as Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar. Some might say it’s a test factory. I’m still making my mind up.

I walked down Boyne Park Road slowly, feeling the cold set into my cheeks. It was early November.  Some said it would be the coldest winter in 100 years. I seemed to be the only one that hoped so. Haven’t you ever wanted a white Christmas? It might sound stupid and soppy or whatever, but I think it’s what I want the most. Nobody else seemed to want snow on Christmas day though. Apparently, it was just too annoying. But what is Christmas without snow? It doesn’t feel real without it. It feels fake and overdone. Snow isn’t overdone. It’s perfect. And I want a perfect Christmas, don’t you?

Anyway, I was walking down my road when I spotted the police car parked by the house on the other side. Suddenly, I was curious. What was it doing there? Why would a police car be there? Questions buzzed around in my mind but I didn’t stop walking. It wasn’t my business. I shouldn’t get involved, I told myself, no matter how much I want to.

When I got to Maize’s, I told her about the police car. I’m sure she was just as confused as I was. We both debated over why it could be there, laughing at each other’s erratic stories. Maize shook her head at me, like she always did, and we walked to Anna’s house, which was just two houses down.

Anna opened the door, and asked us to wait for a moment. We were used to this by now. Anna would get up incredibly early but still not be ready when we were there. And she told us we were never ready on time!

Next stop was Ginny’s. She lived on Earls Road, fairly close to my old house on Court Road. Yeah, it sounds fancy. I suppose it is. Let’s just say I had to move because of ... family problems.

Anyway, Ginny was on crutches at the time because she had been hit on the leg with a hockey still – violent much? – And had been instructed by the doctor to not put too much weight on it. I felt kind of sorry for her but it did mean we got a lift each day.

We all piled into the car, listening to Anna’s gossip about everyone and everything. I don’t know how she did it, but she got lots of information from all the popular people in our school and just came back to us and told us. It’s strange what people can get up to in a place like Tunbridge Wells. They get judged pretty bad for things that seem normal in a place that isn’t middle class, but if they do something totally horrific, it is never forgotten. There have been a few incidents like that, such as ... photos being sent around. You get the drift.

Anna wanted to go to Quix, the sweet shop, for some sweets – duh – because her mum had banned her from them because she ate too many. We went anyway. When we were going into Quix however, we saw a big cluster of people crowding round someone. We couldn’t really see who so we walked past, throwing confused glances at each other.

Once Anna was done, we came back out and got a proper glimpse of what was happening. In the middle of the group of people were Charlie Smith and Tom Crest, two popular guys from Boys Grammar – otherwise known as Tech. The only thing that was totally out of place there was that Charlie was crying. But ... why? What was going on? Suddenly, my brain clicked and I put two and two together.

Charlie lived on my road. I wasn’t sure where but I had heard from numerous people that he definitely lived on Boyne Park. Then there was the police car. And Charlie crying. Something had happened.  And I was desperate to find out...

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