Curiosity Killed The Cat

Emily Shakespeare never gets in any trouble. She is the best student at St Catherine's College. All of a sudden her school has been closed off, and no one knows why. When she tries to find out, she gets in more trouble than she had ever imagined...

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2. Expect the unexpected

"Emily! Emily, guess what!"

My best friend Maeve ran across the road, causing a red car to swerve dangerously to the side, beeping their horn in annoyance. She jumped as if she hadn't even noticed that she was in the middle of the road. She had an envelope in her hand which she was waving frantically about the air. There was a huge cheesy grin on her face and she was skipping happily, school skirt flying up in the wind.

"I made it!" she exploded when she reached my side of the road. "I'm through to the quarter finals!" She was out of breath but still smiling insanely. She had auditioned for a national dance contest a few weeks ago, and she had talked about nothing but how she had 'completely messed up' in her dance routine since. I smiled and hugged her.

"Didn't I tell you?" I laughed, "You're the best dancer there is. I knew you'd make it!" She squealed with excitement and took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down.

"I've got to focus now. This is only the quarter finals, still a good bit to go," she said, trying to keep a serious face before breaking into her goofy smile again. "It's just so exciting!" she giggled, doing a little jig on the spot and nearly falling over.

She skipped the entire way to school. St Catherine's College was ten minutes down the road from my house. It was an old crumbling building with bleak corridors leading into boring classrooms, some of which still had blackboards. It was probably the worst school in the country, but also the cheapest. We had started there earlier in the year, me and the other first years, and we're supposed to be the last first year students to be in this building. Next year it's getting knocked down and we'll be moved into prefabs until our new school is built.

"So what are you doing for your birthday this year?" Maeve asked, after finally calming herself down. It was my birthday in two weeks, and I hadn't really thought about it yet.

"I don't really know, maybe the cinema, just you, me and maybe Rory, if he's free," I shrugged, trying to remember if there were any movies coming out around my birthday.

"But that's so boring, you do that every year! Why don't you do something different, something fun!" Maeve smiled, gesturing wildly with her hands as if summoning up a perfect party on the spot.

"You know why, my parents just can't afford it," I sighed, and just for a moment I wished I really did have a perfect, wealthy family, who could afford fancy parties.

"You don't need money to have fun! We could have a trip to the beach, with ice cream, swimming suits and sandcastles!" Maeve seemed to have forgotten what time of year it was.

"The beach, in February! You must be crazy!" I said, imagining us standing in the rain, completely drenched, with nothing but our bikinis to keep us warm.

"Well, how about a picnic, with little sandwiches and queen cakes, and lemonade and profiteroles, and a big fancy iced cake, with two tiers!" Maeve grinned.

She rambled on and on the whole way to school, each idea crazier than the last. I checked my watch, there were still 20 minutes until school began. I like to make sure I'm not late, so I always leave with plenty of time to spare. A police car sped by, sirens wailing. There was something strange about the town. There was no one else on their way to school and I hadn't seen the school bus this morning either. Everything was much too quiet.

We turned the corner to where the entrance to our school should have been, but instead came face to face with a long strip of yellow police tape. St Catherine's College was surrounded by police cars and ambulances. There were people rushing all over the place, carrying clear plastic bags containing different objects. We stood there staring for a moment, unsure what to do. I noticed a black cat shoot out from behind the school's bins and dart past Maeve's legs, making her jump. A police officer strode over to us.

"Hello girls, you may not have heard but your school will be closed for a few weeks," he said smugly, "You can run along home now, if you please." He turned to go but Maeve stopped him.

"Why?" she asked, face innocent, "Was there a robbery?"

"No, no, nothing to worry about, just let us policemen do our job," he replied, waving his hand for us to go. Once he'd turned around Maeve stuck her tongue out at him. We both burst out laughing, hoping he couldn't hear us.

"Did you see the way he looked at us! We'd better stay out of trouble, because I can't imagine he'll be on our side if we end up in court," Maeve said, trying to catch her breath after our giggling fit.

"So, what should we do now?" I said, because obviously we wern't going to get into school anytime soon.

"Care for a smoothie?" Maeve smiled, holding out her arm. I linked my arm with hers.

"You know me so well."

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