I turned around and let Mark hug me tightly. Ashleigh walked in with anger over her face. I was released and walked further back, into the metal bars on the balcony.
‘WHAT WERE YOU PLAYING AT?!’ Ashleigh was freaking out.
Jacob sensed my fear and came to hold my hand as Mark moved to the side.
‘JACOB, MOVE AWAY FROM HER RIGHT NOW!’ Ashleigh was an exploding volcano.
Jacob stood firm. He smiled at me, making my heart flutter. I let Matt hold my free hand. Jacob and Matt were trying to figure out something, a plan to save me from Ashleigh’s grip.
‘GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!’ Ashleigh was annoyed at Mark, Jacob and Matt.
None of us moved. Ashleigh moved towards Mark. She was about to punch him but I moved in the way and I was flung into the wall. Mark ran to my slumped body. I couldn’t move. Matt pulled his jacket off and pulled it over my shaking body. Jacob got out his phone.
‘Cameron, we need you upstairs in the first bedroom on the left. Ashleigh’s turned destructive and Amy’s dislocated both of her shoulders.’ Jacob sighed, locking eye contact with me.
The phone was put away and feet ran into the house. Cameron came into the room with Isaac and Kate following him. Cameron ran to me, whilst Kate and Isaac got Ashleigh out of the room. Ashleigh was led to the van outside. She was driven off in the van to the Berlin mental hospital to be sorted out with Medication, so then Mark could keep an eye on her too.
Cameron got me up onto my bed and tried to comfort my screams of pain. Cameron looked at Mark, Jacob and Matt. They all had to hold me down as I tried to attack them by kicking and trying to get up. Cameron popped my left shoulder back in place. I screamed at the pain.
‘It’s just one more, Amy. It’ll be over in a minute.’ Mark sighed in my ear.
I still tried to get away. Cameron popped my right shoulder back into place. I screamed in pain again. Mark and Cameron sat me up slowly and then helped me stand. Mark held me tightly. The pain was still there, but seeing Jacob trying to cheer me up numbed it.
‘What happens now?’ Jacob was worried about me now, living up to John’s role perfectly.
‘She’ll need to come back to the base with us. She’s a Thomas so she’s an official spy in the family.’ Mark smirked.
‘The last Thomas is part of the secret.’ Matt laughed.
‘Not quite the last for a long shot.’ I murmured.
‘Amy?’ Jacob raised an eyebrow.
‘I didn’t say anything.’ I lied.
Mark released me from his grip. I looked at the ceiling and then I collapsed, Jacob catching me. Jacob carried me downstairs to the Jeep. We all got in and we drove back to the base in Belgium. This would be my new home.
I was placed in my bed at the base as soon as we got back. Jacob kissed my head goodnight. The men walked back to the main room. Everyone stood around the circular oak table with the map of the World on.
‘This is the TSB and we are ready for our next mission.’ Mark sighed, still thinking of me.
‘I believe you missed one.’ I was leaning over the landing on the first floor.
I ran downstairs to the family. I took my place at the table. I stood with Mark on my left and I had Jacob on my right, who held my hand gently in his. Edward faced me across the table and he gave me a massive grin. I rolled my eyes at him, which made Edward and Carter laugh. The Thomas family table had two gaps, Ashleigh’s and John’s. I typed in something on the keyboard. My name appeared on the screen floating in the air. I smiled at it and the other family members smiled at me.
‘WE ARE THE THOMAS SPY BASE! WE WILL STAND TOGETHER FOREVER, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!’ The Thomas family chanted together.
‘I believe that the family are joined at the hip, but I think some are too small to reach each other’s hips.’ I sighed, winking at Jacob.
The family just laughed. I rolled my eyes and sat in my chair as everyone else sat down for the briefing. Cameron was sat opposite Gemma and Ben with Kate on Cameron’s left and Isaac on Cameron’s right. Everyone smiled at each other in the room, as if this may be the last time they saw each other, but they didn’t know what was coming. Mark squeezed my hand and looked me in the eye, hoping I was coping with the new family life I had.
‘Good luck on your first mission of near death experiences, Amelia Thomas.’ Mark whispered into my ear.
‘Yeah, as if I haven’t had enough near death experiences already. This is just the beginning, Mark Thomas.’ I winked at him.
I had no idea what was ahead of me now, yet everyone at the table seemed to know just by looking me in the eyes. I did know that Jacob wouldn’t leave my side. The family started discussing what we were to do about our biggest nemesis, The Falling Stars. We knew our mission would be risky, but we were willing to take the risk, not knowing the outcome would affect our strongest member.
‘You’d better stay with me, Jakey.’ I looked him in the eye.
‘I wouldn’t leave you ever.’ Jacob kissed my right cheek gently.
I saw three figures stood on the first floor, looking down on the family. They all winked at me and I knew who those figures were. They were the three missing people, one of which was always close to me, even though he was dead. He was the one that’s always around my neck, the figure following me everywhere. He was the missing sane person in the family.
He was John Thomas.
‘Beware, Amelia Thomas. You will gain three family members, but lose two. You may not like what comes back at you, but you will be as strong as I was.’ The figure in the middle smirked at me and I could hear what he said to me.
‘Amelia Thomas will meet two of us under different names. My name has the clue. We will meet again.’ The figure on the left allowed a strand of black hair to escape his hood.
‘We will not be who she expects, but we will be fighters to the end.’ The figure on the right laughed.
I looked up at them and saw the middle figure’s face. I thought I recognised Finley amongst the three of them, but I wasn’t sure. I had only one way to find out. Our family hadn’t seen them watching me, so I tried to hide my worry about them. Mark had seen me, so his worry snaked through his mind.
‘Amy, are you ok?’ Mark whispered.
‘Something’s coming and I’m sensing it’s pretty strong.’ I confessed.
After the meeting, everyone decided to go and rest up for the next adventure, but the first one would be my 17th birthday a week today. Jacob sat downstairs with me on one of the sofas. We were alone too. He looked me in the eye and then he kissed my lips, holding me to him. We parted for air and he led me by my left hand to my room. He kissed my cheek and let me go to my room. I was sat alone in my room, thinking about what was going on between me and Jacob. A cloaked figure was suddenly leaning against my door, blocking my door.
‘What do you want?’
‘We need you. Wake up and help us here.’
I recognised the male American voice, so I got out of my bed and walked to the figure. He didn’t move away from me. Instead, he held my hands in his. I felt like I knew the way he was holding my hands. My mind was spinning, knowing I’d found him again.
‘I remember you.’
‘Yeah, I know my brother when I see and hear him.’
He laughed and pulled his hood down. His brunette hair was brushed to one side. His blue eyes fixed on me. He was older than me, at least twenty-six years old, but the two of us looked similar. He could’ve been my Dad we were so similar.
‘Jesus, Amelia, you’re good at this, aren’t you?’
‘I think I might be, John Thomas.’
John held me close and I held him close to me too. He laughed and kissed my head.
‘Something’s wrong here and we have to find out what.’
‘How can we find out, John? I’m scared.’
‘Amy, you need to concentrate on the real life, not this one, and let it keep you fighting to find out what happened to you, me and Finley. We have to find out what before it’s too late.’
‘I’ll try. Please, will you help me?’
‘You should sleep now, Kiddo. I’ll find you again, ok? I promise I won’t abandon you again.’
I got back into bed and John stayed by my side, helping me to sleep. He stayed there until he was sure I was asleep. Then he kissed my left cheek and disappeared into nothingness.
4th June 2013
Rain thundered down on the window of my bedroom. I was sat by the window, watching the rain fall on my bedroom’s window. My dark brown hair flowed, still wet from getting the shopping in the rain from the stores for tomorrow, in my half-curls and my dark green eyes focused on each raindrop, hoping to see something coming. Wallpaper was ripping and peeling from the walls. Furniture was covered with white sheets.
‘Amy, where are you?’ Mark’s voice echoed.
‘I’m in here, Dad.’ I looked away from the window to the light blue bedroom door.
Mark came in, his brown hair to his ears, sopping wet. His raincoat and faded jeans were drenched, whilst his bright red T-shirt was completely dry. He carried in two tins of paint. One was a sea blue and the other was a dark green, to match my eyes. He smiled at me, which made me laugh.
‘Mark Thomas, I know I said I wanted to have my room painted, but you’re not seriously thinking we’re doing it with our hands, did you?’
‘No, Amelia. I’m not that silly. They’re in my study. I’ll be back in a second.’
‘You could have fooled me, Dad.’
‘I’ll get you when I come back.’
Mark placed the cans down by the door and then left me alone for a while.
‘Edward, could you fix the light bulb up here? It’s starting to flicker again!’ Mark called downstairs as he came back towards my room.
‘Yes, Uncle Mark. Carter, find the tool kit.’ The voice of my cousin, Edward, called back up to where Mark would have been standing.
I found the tins and got them onto the table. Mark walked into my bedroom, finding me opening the can of sea blue paint. The lid was now on the table with the white sheet covering it completely. I smiled at him when he came back in.
‘Dad, what are we painting first?’
‘What would you like to paint first, the walls, the door or the ceiling?’
‘Shall we do the ceiling last, so we don’t get dripped on? We can try the door second and the walls first. What do you think?’
‘Which colour shall we start with first, Amy?’
‘Shall we have a go with the sea blue, since it’s now open?’
‘Yeah, isn’t it weird that the green tin is just like your eye colour?’
‘Very funny, Dad, at least I’m not painting your face with it!’
The two of us burst out laughing. I picked up a wooden paintbrush and dipped it in the sea blue paint. I placed the brush near to the floor and started painting. Mark picked up his paintbrush and started to copy me. I had a serious face on as I tried to concentrate.
‘What have you decided to paint?’
‘Well, since we have sea blue, I thought maybe an ocean sea thing with a cliff or beach effect around the room, to remind me of our first trip to the beach as a family.’
‘That’s good thinking.’
I just laughed. Mark joined in. We kept painting and I was able to get a waving pattern going on the wall. Mark kept asking me how my school work was going, since he was trying to make my life as normal as possible until I was needed. I still hadn’t forgotten any moment starting from last autumn to last week when our family was in jeopardy and it rested on my shoulders to save everyone.
‘Dad… can I ask you something?’
‘Sure, ask me anything.’
‘Don’t get mad at me, but when can I see Mum?’
Mark stood up. He looked me in the eyes and sighed deeply. I knew it was a touchy subject, but I wanted to see Ashleigh. Since the last time we spoke, she had almost got me alone and was ready to withdraw me from everything, but our family got involved and didn’t move away from protecting me.
‘Amelia, you know where your Mum is now, don’t you?’
‘Yeah, she’s in hospital getting better. Why can’t I see her?’
‘Amy, she’s not well. She needs time to think things through of what is going on. Just give her a bit more time.’
‘That’s not fair! You saw her yesterday and the day before!’
‘Amelia, she asked to see me. She’s still recovering in hospital.’
‘Dad, why can’t I see her? She’s my Mum!’
‘Amy, she can only have visitors she asks for. She asked to see me so she could know how her kids were getting on. She’s not asked to see you yet.’
I just looked at him, hatred and sadness swamped my body. I threw the paintbrush down and ran out the room. He ran to the door and saw me running towards the other bedrooms.
‘Jacob, can you stop your sister?’
Jacob came out of one of the rooms and grabbed me round the waist. I screamed out and tried to break his grip, which was as solid as iron to stop me running off. He wore a pair of blood red jeans with a sky blue T-shirt and his red converse.
‘JACOB, LET GO!’
‘Not until you calm down, Amy. Dad, what happened?’
Jacob had dark brown hair to his ears like Mark’s, yet it was curlier and stone dry. Mark walked over and placed a hand on my shoulder.
‘Amy, you need to calm down.’ Jacob sighed, still trying to hold onto me.
‘Not until I see Mum!’ I growled.
‘Amy, you can’t see your Mum yet. She still needs time to recover.’ Mark explained.
Matt came over, looking just like Jacob, just a bit older than him, as Jacob was almost twenty-seven years old and Matt was twenty-eight years old. His worry rippled over his face like a stone hitting water. His sky blue jeans and blood red T-shirt hung loosely to his body.
‘What’s going on?’ Matt was worried about me.
‘Amy wants to see Mom, Matt.’ Jacob sighed, not letting me go.
‘Amy, we’ve told you before. She’s not ready for company yet.’ Matt complained.
I broke free of Jacob’s grip and then ran to my room. I slammed the door and locked it, making the lock click loudly. I walked to my paintbrush and picked it up. The paint was drying into it. I wiped it off on a spare cloth and then started painting my room again. I stayed silent and just hoped no one would knock on my door.
‘John would understand. I know he’s coming home.’ I sighed, hoping I was right.
Once the wall had the water affect all around me, I then washed off the paint and grabbed the other paint tin, of dark green paint just like your eye colour Mark had laughed. I then dipped the paintbrush in and then I started painting the green grass onto the walls. A knock echoed against my door.
‘Amy, can you open the door?’ It was Jacob.
I didn’t respond and just kept painting. I was able to paint round the room easily. I washed the brush again and lifted the sheet a bit near the door. I pulled out three more tins of paint. One was a sky blue, matching the school shirt I had to wear, one was a navy blue, like the TSB uniform that none of them wore, except for me, and another was a skin pink. I opened the sky blue paint tin and started painting the sky on the wall.
‘Amy, please open the door.’ Jacob sighed, wishing he could comfort me like he did a week ago when the family were back together.
I ignored him though. I painted round the room, covering the sky. I was saving the rest of it for the ceiling. I then opened the navy blue tin. I washed the brush again and then started painting some figures on the wall. They were all wearing the uniform and then I opened the skin pink tin.
‘Amy, are you ok?’
‘Just leave me alone, Jacob. Please, just give me some space.’
His foot falls echoed down the corridor. I then found a smaller brush for more detail, so I dipped it in the pink paint and gave everyone a head, two hands and arms. Once they were all on there, I found the sky blue and the navy blue paint tins and the steps. I then climbed the steps and started using the roller on the ceiling and painted it sky blue, with swirls of navy blue into the mix. Another knock rapped against my door. I looked at the ceiling, thinking where the next swirl would be. I painted another one on and then moved the steps to do another.
‘Amelia, open this door right now!’ Mark was not pleased.
I froze. I was scared and shaking. I placed the tins on the steps and picked up some wall pens. I then walked over to the people on the wall. First, I gave the people some hair, distinctive eye colours, the TSB logo on their shirts and then I wrote their names on top of their heads. Everyone was there, even Ashleigh.
‘What have I done?!’
Silence echoed. I then relaxed and got up the steps and did another swirl on the ceiling. Once that swirl was finished I found a paint tin of sun yellow. I opened it and painted stars on the ceiling. It then cast different times of my life on the wall, when the family was together and when the family was shaken up by them being taken and Ashleigh having to go to a mental hospital. I got off the steps and hid them away. I then started painting the door with stars on with the navy swirls too. I got a small bag over the handle of the door and then I kept painting. Once it was done, a knock slammed into the door.
‘Amelia, open this door right now!’
I reached for the handle and unlocked it. I pulled the door open and Mark stormed in like a hurricane. He just froze. He looked around the room and saw the work on the wall and on the ceiling and the door. Mark was in shock. I was just stood near the door in case I had to run out. His anger had subsided now.
‘It’s beautiful. You did this on your own?’
I nodded quickly. He saw my worry and hugged me. I relaxed and hugged him back. He kissed my head and smiled.
‘I knew you liked drawing, but I didn’t think you could do this! It’s incredible!’
Mark was grinning and laughing. Then he saw the group of people with their names above their heads. He walked to it and had a closer look. He saw all the kids and his brothers and sister with the sisters and brother-in-laws. That just made him grin and then he saw a figure with Ashleigh Thomas on top of her head was holding a hand of a figure called Mark Thomas. There was no figure with the name of Amy in the picture. Then he saw the figure stood on the hill, watching the rest of the family. That figure had Amelia ‘Amy’ Thomas over their head.
‘Amy, why are you on your own in this?’
Mark looked behind him and found me gone. My door was wide open and foot falls echoed down the corridor. I’d pegged it out of there.
‘Amy?’ Mark called down the corridor.
I had gone. He looked over the landing and Edward had me, holding onto my shoulders. Mark ran down the corridor and down the stairs to us both. Edward was in his leather jacket, jet black Polo shirt and his faded jeans. His brown hair was jelled into a quiff at one side of his head. He looked up at Mark, worry covering his face.
‘Uncle Mark, what happened?’ Edward sighed, worrying about me.
‘I don’t know. She locked herself in her room and then when she lets me in and I see her painted room, she ran out.’ Mark tried to look me in the eyes.
I avoided his eyes. I was hiding something. I just wanted John here and to hold onto me.
‘Amy, what’s happened?’ Edward crouched to my level.
I broke his grip and walked to the control desk. Levers, switches and buttons along with screens covered the machinery. Something was wrong about the machine. I noticed the maintenance board on the floor and rolled underneath the machinery to find out the machine’s problem. Mark pulled me back out.
‘What are you looking for?’ Mark sighed, almost sounding like he was complaining.
‘I need a spanner and a screwdriver before this base explodes.’ I looked Mark in the eyes.
‘Edward, grab the tools now. We have to save the base.’ Mark sighed, moaning.
Edward came back with the tool kit. I pulled out the spanner and the screwdriver. I rolled under and sparks flew in my face as I tried to detach the machine that didn’t belong. Then I came back out, holding a machine the size of a Sky TV remote. I slammed it onto the table. A timer was ticking. Only four minutes remained on the timer.
‘How did you-?’ Edward was in shock.
‘I felt like something weird was happening all day. That’s why I ran out my room. There’s a code to turn it off, but I don’t know what it is.’ I managed to stay calm.
I turned the bomb over. Printed on the back in block capitals were two words and two initials. They spelt out: FALLING STARS, AT.
‘Hang on a second.’ I turned it back over.
I then typed in a code that looked like: 3255464 78277 28. The timer stopped. Mark was in shock. Edward fell into his chair. I just froze on the spot. Mark held me to him.
‘Amy, how did you do that?’ Mark smiled.
‘Ashleigh taught me that coding when I was five.’ I was shaking.
‘That’s the way you’d type it in on a phone. It’s Amelia Thomas the code cracker!’ Edward laughed.
I smiled a little bit. Mark kissed my head and gave Edward a meaningful look, which he got and stood up.
‘I’ll leave you two to sort out your differences.’ Edward ruffled my hair up.
I sat at the table near the controls. Mark sat next to me. He held one of my hands. I looked him in the eyes. I felt worried where this would be going.
‘What made you draw yourself on your wall, stood on your own?’
‘I don’t know. I guess it’s just how I feel as I can’t see the parent I’ve grown up being with for so long. I suppose I feel so cut off, unable to see her.’
‘Amy, you know she’s not very well. She needs time to recover, like you needed some time after you fought Dominic last year. That shook you up and you almost stayed fully in your room, but Jacob got you out. That frightened me all the time. I was worried that I would lose my daughter, since you were our little miracle. We were told we couldn’t have anymore, yet here you are. We all feel like we have to protect you. You’re Amelia Thomas, the miracle child that I would never trade anything for.’
‘It continued into this year. Oh, and Dad, you don’t need to go soppy on me. Besides, remember what tomorrow is meant to be?’
‘Dad, you forgot that tomorrow is the fifth of June.’
Mark let his jaw drop. He had totally forgotten. Sadness swamped me.
‘You forgot again. You said you wouldn’t forget!’
I ran to my room and slammed the door. I could hear everyone going to bed, so I went to bed myself, ready for whatever lay ahead of me.
My eyes shot wide open as I woke up to the sunlight pouring into my room. I sat up and something twitched near my heart, making me stifle my scream into my snow white covers. I scrambled out of bed. A set of clothes were laid out on the oak table. I pulled on the navy joggers and pulled off the nightdress, replacing it with a dark green, the same shade as my eyes, long sleeved shirt with TSB printed on the front in the top left corner. I then picked up my light blue raincoat.
I then found my jet black trainers and pulled them on. Then I sneaked out my room and towards the controls. Lights were flashing and then I saw the big red flashing light. It was next to a label saying: Won’t stop flashing. Don’t worry about it. Always at 6:00am, it says what’s wrong but it doesn’t make sense, Edward & Carter Thomas.
I then looked at my camouflage-strapped watch. It was 6:00am. A slip of paper came out of the button in a hole, blind to everyone. I took the slip of paper and then turned it over. It was coded in numbers. I ran to my room and tried to decode it.
‘We have 34448 367 9687 326459 968 6878 946 263542 846627. Use Ashleigh’s coding.’
I sat, quickly decoding the sheet of paper. Then I almost screamed again. I had decoded it.
‘Fight for your family you must win Amelia Thomas. I have to show Dad!’
I ran out my room. Everyone was downstairs waiting for me. Then I just slid down my door, onto the floor. Jacob was then knelt next to me, locking onto my eyes and he didn’t knowing his plan with Matt and Mark would tear me apart.