PREDATORY

Shade, a fifteen year old girl, has been caught up in an awful mess,after causing a student in her school, Peter, major injury. However, she has no memory of the event. Forced to make amends with her arch enemy, she learns that they both have more in common than she thought, and soon find a secret hidden deep in Shade's Farm. Predators are no welcome guests to any country side, and villagers wont hesitate to kill any foxes, wolves or bears in order to defend their livestock, but the teenagers cant imagine the consequences of having one of the world most feared, elusive but beautiful carnivores living deep in the woodland....

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2. Who would have guessed?

The sun shone into my eyes, a bright fist of gold and white blinding me as it punched itself into my tired and dazed face. I sat up in my bed and listened out for any sign of my parents in the house. Patches began to bark, so I leaned towards the window to see what the fuss was about. Dad was rounding up the sheep again. I watched from my window quietly, enjoying the view that was offered. My window looks over the entire farm, from the great eastern fields to the western woodlands that stretch out into the unknown. I could sit and watch Mother Nature all day from here, but no. I had promised mum to help with chores in exchange of being allowed off ‘groundation’ as mother calls it. Dad’s blonde hair was whipped across his face as his commands to Patches fought the ferocious battle against the wind. I watched them for a few more minutes, and could not help myself from laughing, as the sheep soon scattered brainlessly. Dad did not know how to work with Patches and the sheep. Only I did. Grumbling to myself, I got out of bed and somehow dragged myself to the bathroom, fatigue becoming my loyal companion as I sat on the toilet for twenty one minutes- doing nothing but contemplate yesterday's events. I still had no idea what had gotten into me. My peaceful reverie was very rudely interrupted by the joyful sound of my delightful mum bellowing my name out of the top of her voice.

'' SHADE! WAKE UP!''

'' IM IN THE TOILET, MUM!''

'' OKAY! DON'T NEED TO SHOUT AT ME ''

I laughed quietly at the irony of the situation and flushed the toilet- even though I didn't use it for its purpose. Washing my face with ice-cold water, then drying it, I stared at my refection. A pair of chocolate-brown eyes stared back at me. Then I noticed it.

“Shade can you please hurry up in there?” Mum called from the kitchen as I heard her close a cupboard with a SLAM.

“ Okay mum” I responded quickly, still staring in the mirror, horrified of what I was seeing. A delicate rivulet of blood crawled down my bottom lip. I had not bitten myself recently. If I did then I would have felt the pain. I had no idea how it got there but....

“ Shade please hurry up in there! I know you want to spend as much time in the bathroom as possible but you have to help out in the farm- as you agreed to do so. Everything would be in a terrible mess if we just let your father to deal with the responsibilities” Mother’s voice said as I heard a clatter if claws then Patches’s doggy whimper. I heard Dad's voice next. '' I dont know how she does it- but working with Patches is one tough task'' I heard him sigh. He sounded breathless. Tired. But I was too distracted by the metallic taste of my blood, oozing from my lower gum to feel any sympathy for him. Splashing some water into my mouth, I gargled then spat out the murky- red water from my mouth. The bleeding had stopped. Shrugging, I opened the bathroom door and was greeted by Patches's wet tongue, licking itself all over my face as a rare laugh escaped my lips. 

'' About time.'' Mum said.

'' About time you learned some patience'' I responded, too quietly for her to hear. 

Dad coughed. And again. And a third time- louder this time. I turned around. 

'' You wouldnt mind.......'' He pointed at Patches, who was already at the door, wagging her fluffy black tail.

''Sure thing!'' My dead panned enthusiasm escaped my lips. What was this? No breakfast and Im already doing chores. 

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