Unexpected Conclusions

This is a brand new mystery book that will have you on the edge of your seat, excited to find out what will happen next! The twists and turns are UNEXPECTED CONCLUSIONS and you will find out what happens when four girls find out that there is more to their friend's death than they thought...

With a shocking CONCLUSION you will love it!

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2. Toria

My back slumps onto the face of the glass crossing (to be technical it’s called ‘Compass Crossover Bridge’) and I watch the palm trees swaying. I told my mum that I’ve been round at Vanessa’s but that’s a lie. I listen to the waves hurtle behind me and all of a sudden I hear an indistinct cry. And then the mist in my head clears.

“TORIA! HEY TORIA!!!” a man’s voice shouts.

I speedily get up from the ground and ensure I look alright. Striped tank top, plum mini shorts and red Havana flip flops. I whoosh around, my chaotic black locks waving in the breeze.

It’s Aiden, a boy who’s in 75% of my classes. He shouts again. I wave, discomfited as an elderly couple roam past, staring at us.

“GET YOU BUTT DOWN HERE NOW! I NEED HELP!” he shouts and collapses on the sand pretending to be lifeless.

I chortle and scamper down the suspension bridge, down the stepladder and across the sand, my flip-flops squelching in the soggy sand.

His blonde-brown tresses wavers in the wind and I observe him shuffling through five C.Ds. My eyes glower from behind him. Oasis, La Roux, Robbie Williams, Cyndi Lauper and the Vaccines – interesting choices.

“These all yours?” I buzz, making him jig.

He drops deprived Elly Jackson in the sand but I raise her CD out before she gets sandy. He shakes his head as he puts La Roux into the CD player and starts popping open parasols.

“This is a summer blowout thing that some people have planned. You know Ethan? According to him, my employment is to get it all ready at nine in the morning.” He huffs but I help him by rolling out mats and getting the BBQ set up.

“BBQ? This is superior.” I respect, flicking the switches and letting my finger circle the golden-brown cover.

Aiden was my boyfriend last summer but unlike other relationships, we still get on fine.

“Hey, Toria.” He whispers, tucking a coil of my curls behind my ear. My neck shivers and I hastily turn towards an unopened parasol.

“Mmm..?” I hum. I gaze at some other boys our age saunter by the communal swimming pool opposite and I feel aware of them looking at us.

“I can’t stand us not being together. Please... can we get back together?” he asks me, meandering my body around so I am opposite him. I feel like I am on Big Brother.

I nod, not knowing what to say.

He touches my hair and pulls me close up for us to enfold. I tilt my head on his shoulder, much more calm. And then I see some girls from our year sauntering down the street.

I rapidly pull away and take a brownie from a box.

“Hungry?” I ask promptly but he shakes his head.

As three girls in bikini suits from our year (Chloe, Olivia and Grace) emerge on the shoreline, Aiden jogs up to meet them. That’s why I and Aiden didn’t work last year. Even though he saw me at school... I saw him drinking cocktails at the shore with Chloe, I saw him shopping with Olivia and I saw him swimming (plus kissing) Grace in the free pool. I know the first and second makes me sound egotistic and unreasonable but I wear clothes and mascara. Those girls wear spray tan and practically have hardly anything on apart from bikinis when they’re not at school.

Grace runs over to clasp him but I notice his forearm pushing her away to some extent. Chloe lowers her sunglasses and whispers something in his ear. I sulk but he smiles smugly.

“Actually, I and Toria are together.” I look at Grace’s face compress into a minute sphere and she reminds me of my Aunt.

Then, out of the blue, a horde of people come down the beach and the girl’s go to welcome them.

“Got your bikini?” Aiden asks.

“I’ll be right back.”

*

I jog down the high street, checking out everything I’ve seen before A.K.A the Japanese boutique, the cinema, the theatre, the Bistro, the Police Station etc. When I get to the end of the road my feet leap on the flaming, scorching footpath as I cross the boulevard to my house. My mum is in the front garden, reading The Guardian in a striped deckchair.

“Have fun at- Where’s your overnight bag?”

“Oh... I left it there but there is-“I start, about to tell her about the beach blowout.

She shakes her head.

“No, you’re not going to the beach carnival thing. I guarantee to God it is just alcohol, drugs and dancing. I spoke to Grace’s mother in fact. Apparently Grace said she would never go – maybe you could go meet Grace at the library?” mum asks, clueless to the truth.

I beam. Thank you Grace for giving the storyline out for free.

“Um... yeah, that was what I was going to say. I dropped in to get changed from my yesterday clothes and I was going to revise up there with Grace. Ok, see you later on, alright?” I say speedily before running up to my bedroom.

*

Aiden lies on a mat as Ethan talks to him about football practice. My feet remain in the water as Olivia joins me.

“So... do you think you two are going to last?” she asks me, nodding at Aiden.

I elevate two eyebrows at Aiden as a help-I-am-being-harassed-by-an-orange-stick signal. I watch him say goodbye to Ethan and walk over.

“Hopefully.” I retort.

Aiden appears in the wake of us, one foot between us.

“Want to go for a dip, Toria?” he asks me and I quickly bob as Olivia leans in to ask another question.

I lunge in and water bubbles over my head. I open my eyes undersea. I see lots of feet hanging in and a duo of bodies buoyant beside me. As I ascend up, Aiden stands there sniggering and my heart plummets; what happened?

“Your still wearing your shirt.” He smiles.

I realize that my pallid, tank top is sodden and is sticking to my skin, making it see-through. I redden. I’m wearing a bikini under this so it’s not revealing any underwear.

I shrug and thrust my feet off from the sandy bed of the marine and swim out from the cove, so not to be around people. I don’t fit in with them. And suddenly an icy hand grabs my leg and I blubber as they pull me to the surface. Aiden.

“You frightened me to death!” I gasp as I look around us.

The deep is around us and about fifteen metres away is the bash. I didn’t realize that we’d swum so far out. The desert island that meets in the middle of the inlet is about a yard away from us two.

“So... did Olivia enlighten you?” he asks me leisurely, swimming rearward so he can see my face.

My heart thumps. Tell me what? I’ll ask him.

“What was she going to tell me?” I enquire him, as he stops and looks me in the eye.

“Oh... like... regarding me and Grace?”

I give him a vacant face but he just carries on.

“Well... before Anya... passed... Grace detested her and I quite liked her. Because I had a crush on Grace and she asked me out... I went along with her arrangement.”

“What arrangement?” I hurriedly ask him, panicking that I can’t see the foot of the deep-sea.

“A plan to hurt Anya. Well... it backfired and... We didn’t murder her but because it backfired... someone else did.”

Suddenly he races me to the Palm Island in the hub of the alcove and I join him.

The sand crunches beneath my feet as Aiden helps me on.

“What was the arrangement?” I ask steadily.

“We were going to make her invidious. It was dense and adolescent really. We knew how Anya loathed Grace and how Anya may have liked me so... we made her envious. When she left school years back we said Olivia would meet her at the skate common so then she’d see me and Grace kissing. I reviled the plan, I won’t lie. It backfired though. And we found hearsay ourselves instead. She ignored Olivia’s memorandum and went to the Caribbean Bean, you know that shut down surf cafe?”

I gradually nod, stunned.

“Well, she went through the kaput door and we saw her meeting a man with grey/pale hair. He looked like he was in his mid-thirties, quite well-off and slightly seductive. I used to live in Berry Lane, on the other side of town so I didn’t know him but you might of. They talked and kissed and Grace was taken aback. She ran off to Olivia, but didn’t tell Olivia the gossip, just told her that sausage dogs were half price at The Pork and Fork. I stayed though and was going to take a photo when the bloke saw me. He took my mobile, threatened me and threw it across the avenue, where it shattered. Recently, to tell you the reality, Grace and I went to swim there again and we kissed.”

“I saw.” I confess and swindle with a long wisp of dripping hair.

His eyes amplify.

“Feel like solving a mystery?” I smirk and he nods before we swim to the side of the beach, further up from the party, covered with sandy rocks.

“We can walk up these.” He nods, grabbing a stone and making his way up.

I pursue, as I’m pretty grand at rock climbing and abseiling but nothing else it seems.

We walk up to the Caribbean Bean where an aged timber stature sits asymmetrical. Heedlessly, we amble inside to see an old catering counter crammed with drawers, a wrecked slab, some tea bags and an original cherry futon. I walk over to the couch.

“Oh... my... god.” And swiftly I feel faded.

“What?”

“That used to sit in Anya’s bedroom, in the corner. This was her top secret hide out with Old Man.” I whisper.

Suddenly we hysterically look through drawers and beneath tables but we find zilch. Then I pace on a jagged floorboard. I look up at Aiden, feeling a sense of exploit. As we open it, below is a grubby black ladder and as I put my ear lower down, I can hear hastening water.

“It’s not secure. I imagine that’s the sewers or something.” He cries, pushing himself further down.

I judder my head. It can’t be happening. There’s radiance at the end of the passageway. Is this where Anya was murdered?

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