Chapter 3

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"Alive? Evil? Might want to kill you? Honestly Alex!" Mum shook her head in amusement. "It's a toy, not a devil. I thought you liked it,"

"Mum, it kept making creepy noises last night," I say desperately

Mum laughed. "It's an old toy. It will do that. Now go and do your homework like a good boy and stop this stupid talk about evil Furbies!"

"But mum..."

"No buts young man! Homework! Now!"

I sigh and make my way upstairs. It's no use arguing. I should have known she wouldn't believe me. Thinking about it, if someone told me what I told mum, I would laugh in their faces and think them crazy.

Gosh, I wonder if I'm crazy. Maybe It's me who is imagining things.

"Hey bro, what'd you name your furby then?" Ronnie grins.

I sigh. Jerk. I don't know why he's so happy about the furby. I resist the urge shove the furby up his fat bottom and force a smile.

"I just don't know. I've been trying to think up a good name all night but none of them fits how.." I think desperately. "How unique it is!"

Ronnie's smile widens. "Yeah? I'm thinking Roumbus!"

"Roumbus?" I echo uncertainty. "Why Roumbus?"

Ronnie gives a chilling laugh which makes my hair stand. "It's the name of the man who sold the furby to me, "

"And how d'you know that?"

Ronnie shrugs."Do you need to know everything, Al?"

"Well. Yes." I say defiantly.

"Right. He was in the newspaper this morning is all I can say," Ronnie walks past me without another word.

I stand there, deep in thought. Was the man in the newspaper? I stumble down the stairs and to the coffee table where today's newspaper sat and picked it up hastily before flicking through the pages until I saw the beginnings of a headline.

MAN CAUGHT B
Roumbus Treg

The rest of the page seemed to be torn out. I stared at the remaining words but just could not make sense of it.

MAN CAUGHT B-inging?

MAN CAUGHT B-ending air?

I sigh. This was hopeless.This headline could be saying a man caught bellyflopping onto a giant elephant for all I know.

I sigh and drop the paper. I find gran and open my mouth to ask her something but she beats me to it.

"Alex! I've been looking for you!" She exclaims.

"You have?"

"Yes! That furby of yours- I was going to throw the box out when I spotted a booklet of instructions.Handwritten too! How strange!"

"Strange," I agree. Maybe it could show me how to destroy the evil thing. Gran hands me the paper and I hold it. "Gran- did you tear a page out of the newspaper."

Gran looks up, frowning. "No, of course not, Alex. Here's the funny thing, though. All the newspapers in the shop had one page tore out. The exact same one too! If that isn't strange, I don't know what is!"

"Gran," I ask doubtfully. "Are you sure all of the newspapers had one page torn out?"

"Yes. I looked in every shop, through each page looking for a full paper with no bits missing. Ask anyone. Every single paper,"

"That's impossible!" I say, thinking aloud. I quickly slap a hand over my mouth. "Not that I don't believe you, Gran,"

"Oh, don't you worry. It does sound impossible doesn't it?"

"Yeah," I admit.

Gran checks her watch and gives a start. "Goodness! ten to eight! Are you ready for school? "

"Uh.. yes. But gran, I really need to ask you about-"

"Later, Alex," Gran said firmly. "Off you go! You'll be overdue for school if you leave later than this!"

"But-"

"Later!"

I sigh. "Right. Bye gran,"

"Bye, Honey,"

I grab my school bag and march out of the house, muttering under my breath. I'm almost at school when I notice that I've still got the set of instructions and hastily stuff it into my bag just as my mate Anna joins me.

"Hi, Annie," I say, lips twitching.

"It's Anna! How many times, Al? I'm not a girl, even if I do have a girl name, to"

I laugh. "Why did your parents give you a girl name anyway?"

"They wanted a daughter. Guess how horrified they were when an ugly, dark ape slid out instead of a beautiful white princess!" Anna says miserably. "I bet they called me Ana cos they hated me and wanted me to get bullied."

"Don't be silly!" I tell him, shocked at his honesty. "Of course they wouldn't have."

"You wouldn't know, Alex. You don't know them. Never assume things."

We walk in silence for a few minutes.

"It was my birthday!" I blurt out.

"Oh. cool. Any good presents?" Anna asked.

"Yes, loads. But there was one present that Ronnie gave me. It-"

"Alex Hueman! Anna Molestt! You're both late! " A sharp voice rang out. "Lunchtime detention!"

I groan quietly. Great! The day has barely started and I'm already in trouble! From the corner of my eye I catch sight of a piece of brown fur with mechanical eyes sitting on the school wall but when I quickly turn to see it it isn't there.

I can't get into school fast enough!

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