This book is for children aged between ten and thirteen years old, though if you're a little younger or a little older and you'd still like to read it why not!It's about a boy called Jacob, of course I don't want to give too much away but something amazing happens to him and you'll definitely like it...Enjoy!
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Written and published by
© Copyright 2014 by Henry Johnson
ebook by ePubMATIC.com
A small thank you for all the people who spurred me on and inspired me while I was writing this book…
Another day at the Plum household, what’s in store for them? “I want some milk” says Jacob. His mother looks lovingly at him, “Hot or cold?” she asks. Jacob returns her smile, “warm, can Emily have one too?” Emily is one of Jacob’s sisters, they’re like cat and mouse. When Jacob isn’t with Pete he’s with Emily. Georgia is his older sister, of course he loves her to bits, but he can’t play with her, oh no, Georgia would beat him every time! At least that’s what he thinks. Where’s Georgia now? Who knows, maybe she’s polishing her nails or sending personal tweets to her favourite celebs. Yes, that’s exactly what she’s like!
Emily is eighteen months younger than Jacob, you can’t tell them apart. “Jacob will have chocolate in his, can I have banana?” says Emily. “You can have whatever you like my dear” replies their mother. “I want banana too” exclaims Jacob. “No! I’m having banana. You can have chocolate.” Emily got there first and there was nothing Jacob could do. All you can see in his face is that he’s been beaten, but he doesn’t stop smiling.
Mum was in the middle of washing up when Jacob asked for some milk, and the bowl is full of suds. He sneeks over to the sink and fills his hands with white frothing bubbles, then from behind smothers Emily’s face in them. Emily lets out a shrill scream “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you, you…”
“Got ya!” “Ha, ha! Don’t mess with the best”.
Emily is desperately trying to get soap suds out of her mouth, it tastes disgusting and her tongue is flicking out of it ten to the dozen. “Now now boys and girls” says Mum as she’s pouring the milk. Emily frees her face from bubbles and sticks her tongue out at Jacob, and he replies by pulling monkey faces at her and teasing her even more. There is never a winner, it never ends.
They both gulp down their milkshakes and finish at the same time. “Is there anything on today Mum?” asks Emily. It’s Saturday and Jacob and Emily will want something to do. “Yes” she replies, “there’s the Community Games on at the park today”.
“Sport, that’s boring” says Jacob. “Well… I’ve got to help Georgia find a new pair of shoes first, so if you fancy it Dad wants to take you, Emily and Pete on at laser combat while me and Georgia are shopping”. “I don’t know what he’s thinking” Mum remarks.
“Laser combat?” “Yeahhh we’ll smash ‘im, both of ‘em, Emily. Me and you versus Dad and Pete” Jacob beams. “Do we have to go to the games Mum?” he still asks. “I knew you would say it’s boring, but sport’s not just running and football. There’s fencing and climbing too” she says.
“Great…” sighs Jacob. “Oh come on” says Mum, “I want to see it. And you get to go laser combating first.” “Okay, I guess so”. He half smiles now. Emily pipes up again, “ice-cream, we’ll have ice-cream”.
“Are you going to ask Pete if he wants to come then?” Mum asks Jacob. “Can I use your phone Mum, Pete’s Mom and Dad bought him a phone for emergencies?” Jacob’s been asking for a phone for himself for ages.
“Ooh, lucky him” says Mum. She passes Jacob her phone smiling. “It’s going to be a nice day as well” she says. “I can’t get it onto video, how do I get it onto video?” Jacob asks.
“When you can afford to” Mum says, still smiling. “Oh come on Mum, I wanna see his face…” Jacob pleads.
“Once… just this once.”
Jacob passes Mum her phone beaming from ear to ear, eagerly waiting to have a video conversation with his best friend Pete.
“Georgia, there’s some kind of rock star walking up the path. He got out of a limo, he must be here for you!” Jacob calls.
“I’m not stupid…” Georgia shouts from upstairs. Jacob hangs on for a while… “yeah, yeah” Jacob calls again, “you looked, I know you looked”.
“Get lost!” Georgia is losing her cool. “Haa” cracks Jacob. “One nil to me I think,” he says under his breath smiling. Mum passes him her phone again.
“It should be ringing for you now Jacob” she says. Jacob sweeps it towards him tapping his fingers against it, eagerly anticipating Pete to answer. “Wait ‘til he see’s my face” he says, “he’s gonna love it.” All eyes are on Jacob and the phone now, it’s ringing.
“Itaaaalia Pizzaria, how may I help you my friend?” is all they heard when the ringing stopped. “Ha ha, Pete, I mean, erm, ha, two cheese and tomato, yeah two cheese and tomato, one hawaiian and two cokes, and ice-cream. Thank you!” “Oh, and remember… no smile no tip my friend” Jacob replies, he can’t stop smiling. “Ohhh, my friend, my friend… whaaat would you say to a liiittle bit of laser combatting… if you’re nottta too scareda that is” Jacob asks in an Italian accent, with a hint of a mafia tone in it too for extra effect. “Paapa wants to take me, and you, and Emily, it shouuuulda be gooda… mee and Emily versus youu and Dada… what do you say?” Jacob asks, still smiling from ear to ear.
“It maya be gooda, yes puuta me uupa for thata. I aska my mama and papa, but no, I don’ta see a problem.” Pete is smiling too. There’s a long pause, then you hear Pete in the background asking his mom and dad, in an Italian, mafia style accent of course, if he can go! Moments later he returns. “Yessa, thata is okayyya. They will speaka to your maama firsta.” Both Pete and Jacob pass their mum’s the phones, the whole thing is very funny to see, as you can imagine. Have you ever seen two eleven year old mob-men speaking before! Arrangements and times are agreed, and Jacob and Co. are going laser combatting. It’s official.
Jacob is with Dad and Emily on the way to Pete’s, Georgia and Mum are going shopping. They’ll all meet back up afterwards. The Plum’s and Pete all live in Moseley, Birmingham, right by Cannon Hill Park.
Jacob, Dad and Emily arrive at Pete’s. “Do you want to run in Jacob?” Dad asks, papping the horn. “Yep, I’ll be two minutes” says Jacob.
Just as Jacob gets out of the car Pete appears from the house with a big smile on his face. He waves at Jacob’s Dad then sticks his thumb up to Jacob and winks at him. Jacob waits and as soon as they’re together Jacob asks Pete what’s in his bag. Pete hesitates and then winks at Jacob again, “you’ll see my friend, you’ll see… but I can’ta show you yeta”.
Dad thinks that they both look suspicious, but he doesn’t say a thing. “How are you on this fine midsummer’s afternoon?” says Pete to Jacob’s Dad. “I’m as good as you look, Pete” he replies, “and how are we?” “Excellent” Pete says. All eyes are on the front mirror looking at each other, and everyone is smiling. They drive on, Dad announcing that they will all meet Mum and Georgia after they’ve been shopping… but first, time for some fun. “Arghhhh, not the gruesome two-some” Pete cracks. “I’m afraid so” Dad replies, smiling. “Wait ‘til I see ‘em, they’re gonna love me!” Pete is as good as ever, nothing can stop him when he’s like this. Dad puts the radio on and they’re on their way.
“You didn’t need to bring a packed lunch Pete” says Dad, “you should know that by now!” “Ahhhhh” says Pete, winking at Dad in the mirror, “I always come prepared, you know what I’m like”. Dad doesn’t get it, “we’re going to the Community Games after, they’ll have some pretty nice food there”. Pete mimes ‘shushhh’ to Dad in the mirror, smiling, but Dad is all the more bemused.
There is no silence though, the ad break finishes and some pre-dubstep, post hardcore track comes on and Jacob is off… “Jacob Plum’s on the wings of steel, gonna keep it fresh, gonna keep it real… booyaka”… snaps his fingers then waits for the response in his ‘yeh, check me out look’!
“Ready or not, here he comes, he can’t sing. He’s gonna finnndddddd you and make you cry-hy!” Emily’s done it again Fugee’s style, “ain’t no thing, baby!” If you’re wondering who The Fugee’s are they’re a pop group from the nineties!
I don’t know about you, but I’d love a younger sister like that, even if she did beat me in front of my friends.
“Yeah right” says Jacob, trying to pass it off.
“What-e-verrrrrr” returns Emily, cocky, smiling still.
Dad and Pete are quite accustomed to this now, but it’s never any less fun. “Yeah baby” Dad pitches, rubbin’ it in. “Ain’t no thing baby” Pete goads.
“Which one we goin’ to Dad?” pips Pete. Pete started calling Jacob’s Dad ‘Dad’ a while back. He doesn’t see Dad as Dad, he just likes it and that’s how it is.
“Acocks Green, I don’t know if it’s any good ‘cos I’ve never been, but from what I’ve heard it’s a good laugh”. Pete laughs to himself but it goes unnoticed. “We’ll smash ‘em Dad”.
Emily and Jacob reply in unison… “what-e-verrrrrrr!”
Jacob and co. are there. Pete insists on taking his bag with him, and when questioned why he needs it he simply replies “you’ve gotta do it properly haven’t ya!” Waltzing into the complex with the others with a certain mystique about him that no one can quite fathom. There’s a short queue and people at the front are splitting into teams of red and blue. They’re all excited and rubbing their hands together, and the sides are formed between them as Dad and Pete begin discussing tactics, very quietly, and Jacob and Emily are doing the same.
They’re in the next game, the previous lot from the front of the queue are gathering by the entrance now, and Jacob and Emily grab a blue vest each. “You can be red, me and Jacob are blue” says Emily to Dad and Pete before high fiving Jacob and jesting to Dad and Pete that they’re dead. Pete and Dad are serious here, they’re planning to take cover and pounce, they’ll need to find the best spots quickly and they seem to have it all figured out. Dad is taken in by Pete’s extraordinary enthusiasm and by the look on their faces they look as though they’re about to conquer Mount Everest. Jacob and Emily on the other hand are simply planning to go together, cover each other’s backs all the way through, they ‘know’ they’re invincible when they’re together and that is all they need to know. Stick together and they’ll be okay.
The previous lot go in and everyone is waiting for the buzzer to sound for the next session. Jacob and co. have booked themselves in for three ten minute sessions and they’ve been told that they can all go in in the next game. All eyes are on the clock, which is counting down… six minutes to go. All of the people that are due to join them in the next session are also ready and Dad and Pete, Jacob and Emily now begin to join their new team-mates. Both sides seem to have their regular hardcores who boast at coming here all the time, and they seem to ‘know’ the best way to finish off the other team. Jacob and Emily listen intently for tips and good hiding places and agree with a boy called Jack that they will follow him upstairs to a great cover spot where you can apparently see loads from. “It’ll take them ages to find you” he says, “and if you’re good enough and watchin’ your backs you’ll hear ‘em coming anyway. You two go there, I’ll show you where it is then I’ll carry on to my spot”. Everybody else seems to know where they’re going too, hands are placed one on top of another, and ‘to the death’ pacts are made.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five… both teams are looking at each other head to head giving the other the evils… four, three, two, one XXXXXXXXXX. The buzzer goes and headway is made by each team into the arena, ten a piece each.
Jacob and Emily are close behind Jack, voices are very soft, nearly whispers, the red team have headed off to the left, and Jacob and Emily are making way to their spot. This is going to be awesome, thinks Jacob, “you cover my back and I’ll cover yours” he says to Emily. “Don’t go slowly for us” he beckons to Jack, “we’re right behind you, we’ve gotta find our spot before we get found out”. They’re making way up a ramp and at the end is a ladder constructed of rope and steel. Jack glances at them and then signals for them to climb to the middle level. “There’s a tunnel to the right, crawl through there then halfway down there’s another tunnel going to the right. Go down there and at the end instead of turning left… right in the corner to the right there’s a really short ladder going into a sort of box. One of you hide in the box, it’s wicked, the other guard the ladder and the walkway. Keep swapping so you don’t get bored.”
“Sounds like a plan to me” beams Emily, smiling. “Aim for the heart” says Jack, “you get more points for that here”. Jack goes with them but leaves them at the second tunnel. “I’m taking cover ahead… to the death”. All three of them look at each other, this is serious business, you’ve gotta play the part and you can’t let your team down. Not under any circumstances.
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