Sunnyhaven

Harriet Baker is just a normal girl who lives with her dad. Last summer her mother left, and moved away with her new boyfriend. The summer before, her house was robbed of most valuables in a riot. Every summer has been horrible since Harriet can remember.
This summer, though, Harriet's dad wants to make a change. He books a holiday for himself and his daughter in a town called Sunnyhaven, which is tucked away in the mountains of Scotland. Upon arriving, the two-person family discover that Sunnyhaven is nothing like its name, and the children of the village are all disappearing, then their dead bodies turning up in strange places. Can Harriet work out the criminal behind these strange acts?

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1. Sunnyhaven

This summer we were going to have the time of our lives, according to Dad. This summer, we were going to have lots of fun in a sunny, friendly village according to Dad. This summer would be better, according to Dad.

I cannot put into words how wrong Dad was.

 

Sunnyhaven was the exact opposite of what its name suggested. As we drove in, crossing over the lie into this ‘sunny, friendly’ village, rain lashed violently against the cracked and colour faded Welcome sign. The sky was a dismal murky grey, and the dead leaves collected in piles beneath the tired-looking trees.

“So maybe the weather forecast got it wrong for today,” Dad suggested. “But I bet it’ll brighten up in a day or two.” I wanted to believe him, but just by looking at the colour-neglected cottages and overflowing drains we past, I could tell that this town was never very ‘bright’.

“Where is everyone?” I wondered out loud. Dad took his eyes off of the empty, cracked road for a second to give me one of his well, duh looks. “They’re probably all sheltering from this sudden rain. I mean, just look at this bizarre weather!”

I looked. Small streams of muddy rainwater channelled down each side of the road, and the rain was transforming into hailstone. Each hailstone made a sudden thunk on the windscreen of the car, but the noise was mostly drowned out by the howling wind which was swaying the branches of the tall trees. The sky had gotten darker in the space of three minutes, and the clouds churned angrily, pelting down hailstone after hailstone. I heard thunder clap in the distance as a spear of lightning struck the top of a mountain on the horizon.

“A bit stormy for a town with ‘sunny’ and ‘haven’ in the name, don’t you think?” I joked half-heartedly. Dad took a hand from the steering wheel and gave my right shoulder a squeeze, the skin below his eyes crinkling as he smiled at my attempted humour. His hand was clammy yet comforting.

“We’re gonna have fun this year, whatever the weather. Trust me.” He stated reassuringly. I wanted to believe him again, but I still couldn’t. Something bad had happened every summer holiday since I could remember. Last summer; Mum ran off with some idiot. The summer before; most of the valuables in our house had been robbed during a riot. There was no doubt in me that this year would be no different.

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