Penny and Jack are two ordinary siblings that have just moved house to the country to live in an old manor house. But then a noise is heard in the night and when the children go and investigate their lives are changed forever.


2. Chapter 2

The children had their dinner,which wasn't very nice. A mixture of the few things in the food cupboard. Rice,baked beans and lettuce in plastic bowls with just a spoon. Mum said she would stock in proper food and get more cutlery,but it sounded like an empty promise to Penny and Jack. 

They slept soundly that night but awoke to a cockerel crowing. Penny groaned and went down stairs. Mum,Dad and Jack were already sat at the table.

"Why could I hear a cockerel...?" moaned Penny.

"Welcome to our neighbour." Dad said,with a strained smile. Jack groaned too and pushed the cornflakes over to his big sister who sighed and rubbed her bleary eyes. 

It was the Easter holiday so the children were off school and very bored. After breakfast,Mum and Dad had work-Dad as an accountant and Mum as a nurse at the local surgery. Penny was now old enough to stay home alone,and "look after" Jack. They had only let her stay home alone at 13 under strict house rules but a year on now and the rules were a lot less strict to Penny's relief. 

"Right...I've left sandwiches in the fridge and no friends allowed around." Mum told Penny and Jack firmly. Penny rolled her eyes and Jack laughed sarcastically.

"We haven't got any friends here yet Mum..." Jack said a little forlornly.

"We had back home in London." Penny growled.

"Well maybe I wasn't so lucky." Jack said under his breath.

"No wonder you annoying little squirt. I had mates because I,unlike you,am normal and likeable."

Jack opened his mouth to object but Mum interrupted.

"Don't fight! There's enough on my plate as it is. And Penny stop referring to London as home. This is our home now. " They stepped  away from each other.

"It's a wonder I let you stay home alone." grumbled Mum. Then she and Dad bid goodbye and left the house. 

"Party!" Jack yelled,with a grin. Mum re-opened the door with a stern expression on her face and Jack stayed quiet until they saw the car rolling away. Penny and Jack began to laugh which soon turned into rolling about helplessly laughing. It was good to have something to laugh about. Penny gasped,catching her breath and the laughter slowly died down.

"So what are we going to do?" Jack asked.

"Whatever you want. I'll be in my bedroom if you need me." Penny replied,going up the stairs.

That day was mainly spent doing nothing. The following week passed in much the same way and before they knew it,the family had been living in their new house for a whole week! They had 3 days left until they started at their new schools - Jack in Cumbria Primary and Penny in Heatherfield High.

The Thornton family sat at the table that Saturday to Spaghetti Bolognese,with proper cutlery with red handles and watched the Simpsons on their tiny TV. It was certainly an improvement. Both children went to bed,happy and settled in.

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