Deathwatch by Nicola Morgan

Book: Deathwatch by Nicola Morgan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nicola Morgan
that teachers give, but it’s never going to happen. She’d backed up once, the day they’d been warned, but hadn’t done it again. She felt slightly sick.
    They had to go to registration then. Josh and Bethan, whispering about something. Ailsa and Marcus, discussing computers. And Cat. Ready for a bad day.
    Later, she was on the receiving end of a row from Mr Dawson about not having her homework from last night. Well, OK, not last night. Yes, she should have done it over the weekend … yes, she knew she’d had a whole week to do it … yes, she knew she shouldn’t have left it till the last minute … sorry, Sir … thank you, Sir. The thank you was because he said he’d let her off but, he added, “Only if I have it by tomorrow. Without fail.”
    Which she’d had to accept. Though even if Marcus and Ailsa between them were able to fix her laptop, the chances of her being able to get the work done in time were minimal. But that was a row to deal with when it came. Better tomorrow than today.
    She’d also face hassle tomorrow if the two bits of work she had already started for other teachers ended up disappearing into the great graveyard of homework in the sky.
    Gloom settled on her. It was a day when everything was going to go wrong.
    The day dragged its way through double English and religious moral education in the morning; dragged its way through lunch of a huge grey baked potato with the choice of fillings being cheese or not cheese, and a salad of wet tomatoes and lettuce with beige edges; and finally dragged its way through French and maths, ending with another row for forgetting her calculator.
    The only good thing was that since Danny wasn’t in her set for maths, French or English, she barely saw him.
    Until fencing.
    Bethan, Marcus and Josh had gone to drama, with Marcus promising to come to her house later on to deal with the virus. Emily was at cookery. Ailsa normally did fencing but she had to go to the dentist. Priya was off sick. Cat was on her own.
    She was aware of Danny as they prepared for the class in the school gym. Both in their protective kit already, they each selected foils and masks, along with everyone else. Danny’s left hand had a small bandage on two of the fingers.
    Cat wanted to cool the situation. She didn’t like confrontation, though she wouldn’t run away from it if it came. But she wasn’t about to make it worse. So she looked at Danny casually, even slightly smiled. He looked away. Whether he’d seen her and deliberately looked away, or just happened to be looking away anyway, she couldn’t tell.
    She avoided being paired against him. Made sure she was already partnered with someone whenever Mr Boyd was allocating opponents. She worked hard too, trying to please Mr Boyd, concentrating on what she did well: anything to do with sport.
    She felt the strength in her thigh muscles as she lunged and parried, focused on the correct position of every part of her body. She listened carefully when Boyd taught them a new move. Did everything she was told. But praise never came. He didn’t seem to notice her. When she executed a new move perfectly in one practice bout, he wasn’t even looking in her direction.
    Sometimes you want to be invisible. Sometimes you don’t.
    At the end of the lesson she pulled off the sweaty mask and shook her hair free.
    Right, she would deal with this. She walked over to Danny. Spoke to him quietly. This wasn’t something for everyone to know about.
    “Let’s call it quits, shall we?”
    “What are you talking about?” He spoke loudly. One of his friends turned towards them.
    “You know. Phiz. All that stuff. I’m sorry, OK? Now can we just move on?”
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What about Phiz?” Was that knowledge in his eyes?
    “Forget it, Danny.” And she walked away, her jaw tight with irritation. It had been stupid. She was no closer to any kind of resolution. No closer to knowing if he’d really

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