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Isla’s back. Join Isla as she struggles through life at the local “orphanage” and as she tries to uncover the truth about what’s really going on there.

Chapter 1 A horn echo’s through the grounds. I slowly sit up. It’s the 25 th of November. My birthday is today. I’m 12 years old and I’ve been stuck in this “orphanage” since my 11th birthday. Life really does suck. Mrs Savvy walks into our dorm. She’s brunette and she’s wearing a grey dress with thick grey tights and black buckled shoes. I swear she’s a witch. She has square glasses that sit on her nose and a white “apron” I swear is her cloak. “Alright, get up you lazy girls! The boys are already up and having breakfast.” The girls groan. “If you’re up quick enough there’s a surprise in the common room.” We all know she’s lying. She always lies. She’s never once told the truth in the whole year I’ve been here. The first thing she told me was ‘You’ll be adopted in about a month.’ It’s been 12 months since she said that. I shuffle out of bed and over to my wardrobe. “Oh and girls, seen as it’s Isla’s birthday, and you’re in a dorm together, you may wear your own clothes for the day.” A cheer and chatter breaks out among us all. I open the wardrobe door. It creeks. I pull out a green top and a denim skirt. I change quickly and head down to the common room. I wait for Mrs Cliket to bring the key. All the girls are chatting whilst we wait. “I love your dress Chrissie.” I say. “Aww thanks, I like your outfit! It’s cute.” Chrissie replies. “Pity Mrs Cliket won’t bring the key before breakfast. We could’ve checked to see if you got any presents!” Chrissie was brought to the orphanage four months after me. My best friend throughout my whole life. Her father was a soldier in Afghanistan, who sadly, was killed in an explosion. Her mother died, a few months after, whilst giving birth to 8 month old Mario. “Oh well. I bet no one sent me anything anyway.” “Let’s get to breakfast, I’m starving.” She hooks her arm through mine and we practically skip to the main hall. It’s good to see all the others in the dull grey and black uniform whilst everyone in G5 (the fifth group of girls to join) and B5 (the fifth group of boys to join) got to wear their own clothes. I see two empty seats in between Brian and Mae so we head over there. “Hey Brian, Hey Mae. How are you?” Chrissie says. “Good thanks and you? Oh and Happy Birthday Isla! I snuck a present into your common room.” I smile. “Silence please.” The head master says. Silence fills the room. “Good morning everyone, as you know this week is prime adoption week. Most, if not all of you aged...” When we hear this we sit up. Hoping to hear our age called out. “Aged 11-14

will be interviewed by members of the public. Now, sit back and enjoy the food.” He snarls at that last part. The teachers get a full on breakfast, we get slop. “Chrissie today could be the day!” Mae says. Just then cars start pulling up at the front of the orphanage. We run to the windows. “Good that we’re right next to the windows, right? Even better that G5 and B5 are being interviewed today?” Brian says. Chrissie and I nod. “Away from the window! Go on back to your common room. I run off with Chrissie, Brian and Mae trailing behind. I turn the corner and run up three flights of stairs. Chrissie is panting out of breathe. “Wait a second Isla!” She’s bent over catching her breathe. I turn the door handle. I push the door and walk in. There’s two boxes wrapped up and a small one wrapped in paper on the table. “The Tiny one is from me, Mae and Chrissie.” Says Brian. “We saved up our allowance. It would’ve been bigger if I hadn’t have gotten into trouble and had mine taken away. Sorry Isla.” I smile and open it. It’s a necklace with four charms on it, each of the charms have our names on. I put it on. “It’s lovely. I love it!” I know for a fact Mae and Chrissie have an identical one, we thought it would be good to keep if we ever got separated. Brian has a watch engraved with all our names; a necklace was too girly for him. I read the tag from the medium sized one. Hi Isla, Sorry if my writing is hard to read. I just wanted to make sure you had something to open on your birthday. It’s only something small but I hope you will like it. I’m coming to visit you soon I might even make it on your birthday. I look forward to seeing you, Jake. I smile and slip the card into my pocket. I unwrap the box, it’s a phone. A proper mobile phone. Not a posh one, a small cheap one. I open up the contacts. Jakemobile, work, home. My only contact is Jake. I hope he can make it today. I show the gang. “You’ll have to make sure the adults don’t find that. They’ll take it away.” Mae says. She always worries. That’s why no one ever adopts her. The more people say no, the more she worries and the more she worries the less people want to adopt her. I’m hoping someone gives her a chance today. “I’ll hide it, don’t you worry about that.” I say. Brian grins. “Anyone up for a birthday prank?” Brian’s grin widens. Chrissie nods. Mae shakes her head.

“I say we do the old bucket on top of the door trick.” Chrissie says. Brian’s smile fades. Brian’s our prankster. You need a prank doing, he’s your man. “Yeah, let’s do that.” He has never agreed with Chrissie before. “If you want to be boring. I have two ideas. Two we’ve never been brave enough to try.” He looks at Mae. She looks down. “We could either set a bunch of alarm clocks around our victims room all set at different times or put a balloon over the car exhaust pipe.” Chrissies eyes widen. “Who will your victim be?” A familiar voice says. We turn around. It’s Jake. The police officer. I notice he is sergeant now. “Mrs. Savvy is an easy target. She never suspects a thing. It’s hilarious. Wait…” Brian says. “Who asked me that question?” He turns round and sees Jake. “Oh, I was just… I was… Ummm… Oh is that a door!” Brian ran off. “Happy Birthday Isla. I trust you got the present I sent?” I nod. “Brilliant, give me a call if you need me.” My friends start to nudge me. “Tell him about the cupboard.” “Go on, take him.” “What cupboard?” Jake says. “It’s a cupboard none of us are allowed near, we just thought you’re a police officer so maybe you could have a quick look.” Says Mae. Just then a bell starts to ring throughout the whole school. “Break time! The perfect cover!” Says Brian. He must’ve come back in at some point. “Mae, Chrissie, you’re with me. Isla as soon as you’ve shown him the cupboard, meet us at the island.” They leave. “The island?” Jake says. “It’s an island. There’s a huge lake out back and there’s an island in the middle of it.” I say. “You have to swim?” “No there’s a medium thick sheet of plastic or glass held up by 100% transparent poles. We just walk along that when no ones looking.” I say. Brian installed the walkway. “Nice. Now, this cupboard is where?” “The top floor.” I run off up 6 flights of stairs. I stand and wait for Jake. “Considering you’re a police you’re not very fit. Are you?” He heads over to the cupboard. I hand him a crowbar I found the other day. He looks at it. He opens the door. He walks in. I look to see if anyone is coming up. Jake walks out of the cupboard. He shuts the door. Then locks it.

“Empty. Sorry, I know you were hoping for something cool.” I sigh. “You best be off to your “island”, you don’t want to keep your friends waiting.” He sounds like he’s hiding something. So I do what I do best. Eaves drop. I walk off the way I came and hide in a small alcove. I hear his footsteps. Then his voice. “A cupboard full of dead bodies. Blimey. I should take Isla away, her friends too.” Bodies, in a cupboard... My foot slips off the edge of the alcove. Damn! I think. “Isla, is that you?” I pull my foot back up. “Isla, seriously.” I jump down. “Boo!” I shout, it’s the first thing that comes to my head. I run off down the stairs. He chases after me for a few minutes but I’m out of the main entrance within minutes. I chuck my trainers into a plant and pull on my hoodie. Chapter 2 I get to the invisible bridge. I look around to see if anyone is looking. No one is, so I cross over to the island. I knock on the door to our hut. “Password.” Brian says. “I have something cool to tell you.” I reply. “Close enough.” The door opens and closes once I’m in. “So, news?” “I’ll tell in a minute. Since when have we had a password, Brian?” “Umm.. umm.. Never I guess.. Tell the gossip.” “Right, I took Jake to the cupboard and he went in. He came out five minutes after and he looked a bit shocked, but he told me it was empty. Then I hid in the alcove and waited for him to pass. And he said “A cupboard full of dead bodies.” Then my foot slipped and I jumped down, said “Boo!” and came here.” “Woah, slow down. Dead bodies? In a cupboard? Cool!” Brian shouts. “Guys we have movement!” Chrissie is over by our tech area. We set up cameras throughout the whole building for when we prank someone. “Mrs Savvy is moving towards her car. She’s in the car.” We gather round the screen. “It’s live in the building.” Mae says. We also hooked up three screens to turn on and broadcast our pranks live from an undetectable source. “The engines on. And three... two... one...” The balloon fills with exhaust fumes then it bursts. Mrs Savvy falls out of the car door. She’s screaming. “Brilliant.” Brian says.


The second book in the her life series, Isla has been at the "orphanage" for a year now. Jake has turned up and there's a lot of mysteries t...

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