Authors: J. Lilley
Shalean Moon Book 1
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or
persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Discovered: The Shalean Moon Book 1
Copyright© 2012 J. Lilley
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Editor: Laura Godsoe
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in reviews.
To Rach. Happy Belated Birthday
Rach stood in front of the full size mirror.
Who on earth thought a navy and red kilt was a good idea for a school uniform?
She twisted back and forth trying to get a better angle; there wasn’t one. All she saw was a more red than burgundy shirt worn with that disgusting kilt.
. There were not even tights! Instead, knee-length socks covered her pasty white legs. To her, the uniform was a big no-no.
She grabbed her hair and pulled a few strands down to match it with her shirt. Just what she suspected—it clashed. It was really red, not like the nice auburn color of Nicole Kidman’s hair, and there was a stupid twisty curl in it. Her pale Celtic complexion stared back at her. Not an ounce of tan on her, but boy did she have freckles; she bet she’d make a fortune if she could invent a way of getting rid of them.
So this is what Pippy Longstocking would look like if she were in Scotland
. She chuckled to herself.
She could not understand why they couldn’t have moved to a place where the school had normal pupils, instead of nerds who didn’t mind looking like a horrible fashion statement gone wrong. She realized she probably wasn’t being fair though. For all she knew they weren’t nerds and they all hated the uniform as much as she did. She groaned.
I’m being horrible about people I haven’t even met.
She couldn’t help but blame this cold, damp, and bug-infested place that was filled with midges. They bit her so badly that she had the map of Australia in bites on her tummy. She was thankful that if she got bit anywhere showing, they might pass as freckles. She squinted at the bite-map, and tucked her shirt into her kilt. She had to admit that the school had an excellent reputation; the facilities looked great; and the science lab was to die for—it was just that stupid uniform.
If it wasn’t for the fact that she knew her dad was worried she would have moaned out loud. Instead, she sighed. She turned her head to the side, but remained focused on the mirror. She wondered if she could convince him that she should dye her hair. Just then, her dad’s worried face appeared in the doorway of her room.
Hmm, maybe not.
She knew that they hadn’t had much choice about moving. His new job was a real step up the ladder, and she was proud of him. It was strange, but she was almost sure he hadn’t been too keen about moving to Scotland at first, even though she thought that was where he met her mum.
But, maybe that was why …
Her thoughts trailed as she looked back at the mirror to attempt to stare her uniform down, but it was no use; it was just as stubborn as she was.
Red and defiant! Grr.
Her mum had been dead for over ten years now, and her dad said they’d never actually lived in this country even though her mum had been born here; she’d moved to England when she was a teenager. So she didn’t think he could be reminded of bad—or sad—times. They’d spent all their lives in Northampton.
She was born in the house they’d lived in. She had fond memories of playing outside with both of her parents. Up until her mum’s death everything had been perfect. Her dad, even though she could tell how upset he was, had really done his best for them both. She’d been happy until they’d moved last week.
Now, there were times when she wished she could run to her mum; like the time she had her period and her best friend’s mum had to help her through it; or, when she’d had her first kiss from a boy at a school dance and didn’t know what to do—kiss him back, or hit him. In the end, she’d sort of kissed him back, and if she was honest, it had been a big non-event; their noses had been in the way.
She smiled to herself.
It was true
you do get better with practice
Meg, their housekeeper, had often been there when she needed her. She hadn’t asked her about kissing though; instead she’d giggled with her best friend, Stacy.
Meg always went with her to do things that required a mother figure, like shopping for her first bra; or the Christmas concerts at primary school, but it was never the same as having your mum there. If only she had decided to move with them. At least there would be someone to talk to about stuff she didn’t want to worry her dad about; but Meg’s family was in Northampton.
If she was honest, she knew they didn’t really need a housekeeper anymore. They were doing fine, and shared all the things that had to be done around the house. Luckily they both liked gardening; and her dad had a cool sit-on lawn mower. He wouldn’t let her use it though—she did the weeding.
She glared at the mirror as if to disapprove and rebel one last time. Her emerald green eyes agreed with what her mind protested. She was always told she had her mother’s features and temperament. Her mum had been a pale-skinned, freckled redhead as well.
Rach often wished she could remember more about her. She remembered her voice—sort of—a gentle, soft Scottish burr singing to her as she was cuddled in, and the scent of the perfume she always wore. She knew her mum had also hated liver; loved banana milkshakes; and according to her dad, neither of them could spell for toffee! Maybe her mum would have agreed that these colors didn’t like her, and laughed when she told her the feeling was mutual.
She picked up the cuddly toy leopard that sat on her bed and stroked the silky fur. She wished she had more memories of her mum; wished she was still alive, and with her now. She was sure she’d have understood how she felt.
When her dad had told her about this new job, and explained that it was too good for him to turn down and it would be a good move for both of them, it would have been great to have her mum to talk it over with; to tell her how she felt about moving away from her friends; and the life she was accustomed to with London on her doorstep, loads of things to do, and great places to go. Her dad said she’d soon make friends, and she figured there was probably a lot to do up here as well, but...
It was all right for her dad, he was an adult. Adults were supposed to take everything in their stride; one of those strange grown up statements that meant nothing to her. She was fifteen and according to Stacy’s mum, supposed to argue and moan! She smiled to herself. Well, she’d do the argue bit anytime, but she didn’t really want to moan too much. Her dad had enough to worry about without her acting like a spoiled brat. At fifteen she supposed she should be mature enough to behave.
Her dad always treated her like a partner in life; he didn’t make decisions without talking things over with her. They’d searched for this house together, and both decided it was
based on the way it looked. The estate agent had described it as a traditional Scottish house. All that meant, she thought, was that it had a door in the middle of the front wall with a window on either side, and three windows on the floor above that. The best bit, according to Rach, was even higher up where the two dormer windows were for the bedroom and bathroom that now belonged to her. She had a whole floor all to herself.
She was pleased with what they had done to the house, and especially to her room; but she still didn’t feel everything was quite right. She didn’t know what was wrong; just that something was. She’d been having strange dreams lately. She didn’t think it was because of her new bedroom or her new bed; but something was causing them.
The dreams—which were mostly about boys—made her start wondering whether she’d ever meet someone she fancied in a more than friendly way; they had her waking up with an achy body. Then, there were the dreams about running; not like in a marathon, but in a group or a pack. She ached in a different way after those.
Maybe I’d better cut out the cheese late at night, isn’t that supposed to make you dream?
“Are you ready, Chicken?”
“Gah, dad! Not chicken please … cluck, cluck!” She rolled her eyes.
At least that took the worried look out of his eyes.
“Ah Rach, I just hope we’ve done the right thing moving here.”
Now he has second thoughts?
She laughed to herself.
I’d better try and reassure him … though shouldn’t it be the other way around?
“Why not? It’ll all be good. You’ll drive around in that flashy new car your work has given you, and I’ll keep on asking for a new phone …” She gave a coy look in his direction, fluttering her eyelashes. “I know, I know, that one is fine,’” they said together, laughing.
“Okay, let’s get into that flashy new car and I’ll drop you off at school. After tomorrow it’s the school bus though.”
All her worst fears had come at once; in spades. Never had she met such a miserable lot of people. The year tutor, Doctor McIntyre, was slimy and totally unhelpful, and the class teacher, Mr. Spedding wasn’t much better; they just gave her a timetable and let her get on with it. If it hadn’t been for one of the really friendly girls in her class, Leira, she’d have been absolutely stuck.
“They’re both crap,” she was told as the two men walked off together after she’d been shown to her registration class. “I’ll keep you right. Honestly this is the worst Regi class I’ve ever been in. It sucks! Thank heavens, it’s only ‘til tomorrow, then we change into the Regi classes for next year, and we’ll lose half of them into a different class.”
Rach knew she must look confused and she felt it. She’d no idea what her new friend was talking about
Cheerfully, Leira explained. “They sort us into next year’s registration classes before the end of term; something about making a good transition, whatever that means. Personally, I think it’s so we don’t skive off the last few days of term. Who we’re in class with will all depend on our options. I’ve looked at the lists, you’re in with me.”
Thank goodness for that.
She sat through a double period of French totally bored and fed up. She was pleased that Leira promised to meet her after class. The rest of the class seemed to be led by a slimy boy with pale almost transparent eyes, called Struan. He put the shivers into her. Apart from staring at her, it was almost as if he was making sure no one spoke to her. She wished the day was over.
By lunchtime she felt like crying, and by the end of the day she’d never been so happy to bolt out of the door and run down the school drive.
Gah, this place is the pits.
Even her new friend had disappeared fast at the end of the day—she’d apologized, but she’d still dashed off. The only other good thing, apart from meeting Leira, had been the quick sight of a fit looking boy as he walked past the window of the Home-Economics room. He’d been tall, dark-haired and dressed droolingly in a Rugby shirt and black, knee-length shorts. That was it, just one quick glimpse; she hadn’t seen him again even though she’d kept her eyes open.
She saw her dad waiting for her.
Okay, Rach, time to act.