DEADLY RUMOURS! BY SAMMYPOTTER HEAD!
I've been into mystery stories for a bit and thought I would write one of my own...
The first time I saw Harry Potter, he terrified me.
I probably should have known then – at that very first moment, staring into the sun at him from my bike – to stay away.
Danger and fear.
I think I knew at that moment that Harry meant trouble. But a person doesn't always listen to these signals. A person doesn't always listen to her sensible self. At least, I didn't.
And before I knew it, I found myself trapped by Harry.
Caught up in his sadness. Caught up in his mystery.
A mystery that began in murder.
It all started on such a beautiful day, it was warm and promising, fresh as only a day in late April could be. I borrowed my Brother Jake's bike and went riding. I wanted to explore Ruckwood, our new home. Jake's bike was a clunky BMX, heavy and slow, and the seat was too high for me. (Do you believe I'm shorter than my little brother? It's so annoying) but my 21-speed had been stolen just before we moved. So what choice did I have?
I'm seventeen and I have my driver's licence. But you can't really explore in a car.
Bike riding is my passion. I love the rush of the wind against my face, the feel of the pedals under my trainers, the control, the way it makes my legs throb and my hear pound.
The total freedom of it
You can't feel that in a car.
Dad promised I could buy a new bike as soon as the insurance company paid for the stolen one. I really didn't want to wait that long. But dad wasn't in any mood for arguments. He and mum are still unpacking boxes. I think they'll be unpacking boxes until next Christmas! You just don't realize how much stuff a family of four owns until you move to a new town.
Anyway I took off on Jake's bike, I'm such a shrimp. I should have lowered the seat. But I was too impatient to get away and explore.
I was wearing shorts and a bright blue sleeveless T-Shirt. It was the first really warm spring day, and the afternoon sun felt hot on my back. I had just washed my hair, which is slightly long and brown and extremely curly. I had it tied up. I knew the sun would dry it.
The air smelled so sweet! All down my street, the dogwood trees had blossomed. It was like riding under majestic white arches, so pretty and unreal.
Prettier than real life, I thought.
I get these kinds of thoughts when I'm out bike riding.
It didn't take too long to explore Ruckwood. It's a very small town, a suburb of Glenview. The college were mum and dad are going to start teaching next term is at one end. Then come the quiet streets, shady under rows of old trees, lined with small, nice looking houses. The big expensive houses are out by the falls on the other side of town. And in the middle is a small shopping centre – two-story buildings, mostly, a two-screen cinema, a bank and a post office. Not much else.
I rode slowly past the small shops. For a Saturday afternoon, the town wasn't very crowded. I think most people were at home doing, spring cleaning or gardening.
An old car rumbled past, filled with teenagers, its windows down the radio blaring. The noise drew frowns and headshakes from two elderly women about to cross Main Street arm in arm.
A bike shop on the corner caught my eye. I climbed off Jake's bike and walked it up to the front window. I pressed my nose against the glass, peering inside. It looked like a pretty good selection. I'd definitely have to check it out later.
I climbed back onto the bike and coasted unsteadily off the curb back onto the street. Is that all there is to town? I wondered.
Yep. I'd seen it all.
I circled round once again, and then headed towards the falls. I hadn't seen the famous falls yet. Mrs Pratte, the estate agent who sold us our house, couldn't stop raving about how beautiful and spectacular they are.
So I was saving the best part of my tour for last.
Mrs Pratte described the falls as rising up high on a sheer rock-cliff, then cascading straight down like a steamy, white curtain into the wide river below. She was good at describing things, which I guess you need to be if you're going to sell property. Anyway, she said it was as pretty as Niagara Falls, except much smaller, of course, and you could see three towns from up at the top.
I followed Main Street past the shopping centre and soon found myself in the fancy part of Ruckwood. Big houses. Some of them looked like Mansions to me! A lot of them had teams of gardeners working, planting beds of flowers and weeding and clearing away dead leaves.
I had a little scare when a snarling German shepherd came bounding after me. Its owner was yelling for the dog to come back, but of course the dog paid no attention to him.
I began pedalling furiously, standing up to get a better speed. Luckily, the dog gave up halfway down the street and contented itself to end the chase and back out a warning for me to stay away.
"OK, OK. I can take a hint!" I called back to it, still pedalling as fast as I could.
The big houses gave way to woods. The trees were still mostly bare; the spring leaves just beginning to open. A squirrel scampered up a tree, startled by my silent, gliding intrusion.
I found the cycle path Mrs Pratte had described. It curved through the woods; climbing high as it went, becoming steeper and steeper as it made its way up through the thick trees. After about a ten-minute ride, I found myself at the top. I was pleased to see that I wasn't at all out of breath. Being in good shape is really important to me. It's one reason I always prefer my bike to a car.
I kept pedalling. The wood were all to my right now. To my left – the steep cliff-edge, a sheer drop to black rocks below.
I slowed down. There was no fence or anything. At some points, the cycle path came within a half meter of the cliff-edge. And the path was really curvy.
I heard the falls before I saw them. A soft, steady roar that grew louder as I approached.
And then the path curved, and the falls were right in front of me.
How can I describe them? They were dazzling. The white water fell straight down, sparking like a million diamonds, splashing back up in a shimmery white mist.
Looking down, I could see the wide brown river flowing between green banks. And I could see far into the distance over trees, over fields. I could see the town, tiny like it was miniature, and beyond it another town, and then, in the misty distance, a third town.
I slowed to a stop. The cycle path had ended abruptly at a tall pile of grey granite rocks.
I shielded my eyes from the sun.
And then I saw him.
A teenage boy. Wearing Jeans and a yellow T-shirt. He was standing over the falls. Right on the edge.
I gasped and gripped the handlebars of the bike. I hadn't expected anyone to be standing there.
He didn't see me. He was staring straight down, down to the jagged black rocks below the falling water.
Still staring straight down, he took a step forward.
My heart stopped.
I realized what he was about to do.
"Stop!" I screamed, trying to be heard over the roar of the falls. "Don't jump! Please – don't jump"
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