Through the Tiger's Eye

Through the Tiger's Eye by Kerrie O'Connor

Book: Through the Tiger's Eye by Kerrie O'Connor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kerrie O'Connor
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She just shook her head and pointed to the little girl.
    ‘This is Angel.’
    ‘I have dreamt about her,’ Lucy blurted out. ‘The smiling soldier told the others to take her mum away. And she had a beautiful dress but she never speaks . . .’ Lucy’s voice trailed away.
    ‘That is correct!’ Rahel sounded excited. ‘She has been with us for many weeks now, but she has never said a word – not in the daytime anyway. Sometimes she will cry in her sleep and call out for her mama and papa, but when she is awake – nothing. She has never smiled for us.’
    ‘How come she was awake and the other kids weren’t?’
    ‘Drugs,’ Rahel said simply, ‘the militia give them a drug to make them stop crying and sleep.’
    ‘What about Angel? Why wasn’t she sleepy?’
    ‘Sometimes she would spit it out without the guards seeing. She hated it . . . and maybe she knew something special would happen tonight.’
    Lucy was about to ask why all the kids were chained up to the tiger rug, but Ricardo got in first.
    ‘If she can’t talk, how do you know her name is Angel?’ he asked.
    ‘When she came to the camp she had her pretty dress on and the guards stole it and left her naked. We tore up a rice sack and tied it on her. She had her hands like this . . .’ Rahel clenched her fists tightly, ‘and I noticed something the guards had not seen.’
    Rahel opened her box of matches again and removed a tiny square of folded paper, about the size of a postage stamp. She handed it to Lucy, and then looked at her thoughtfully, head on one side. Lucy unfolded it gingerly. The paper was dirty and creased, as though many fingers had unfolded and refolded it.
    ‘I dreamed about this too,’ she breathed, and Rahel nodded slowly, as though this had confirmed something. Lucy moved closer to the candle and read aloud the words written in English: ‘I am Angel. I am four years old. My mama and papa love me very much. If you find me, take me to my grandpapa and grandmama at 15 Pasadena Square, Telares City’.
    There was silence in the cubby. Lucy watched the candlelight flickering on the little girl’s sleeping face.
    ‘We can take Mum’s Mazda,’ said Ricardo.

20
Where on Earth
Is Telares?

    When Lucy finally clambered out of the pit into the Kurrawong night, and turned to haul T-Tongue up, she couldn’t resist shining her torch back down into Ricardo’s face. Flabbergasted, he was gazing up, taking in the stars and the full moon, its belly just grazing the tallest cliff in the west. Not even a smidgen of light breached the eastern horizon. Stepping off the stairs, Lucy noticed that the ground was bone-dry. No way had it rained here.
    They stumbled down the path and inside. Lucy’s watch said 4.30 a.m. So did the clock in the kitchen. They tiptoed in without disturbing Grandma’s snores and into their bedroom. Lucy shone her torch on the rug and noticed that the diamond-backed snake had grown, extending its reach around another corner of the rug. Its diamonds were a startling gold and its scales were almost black. Its head . . . well, Lucy still didn’t want to look too closely at its head but she could see it was much more distinct than before. Definitely the kind of snake you didn’t play with. She shuddered as she remembered the monster in the clearing, slithering over her feet. She’d hated that feeling of being turned to stone. But, on the other hand, she had definitely got a better deal than the Ponytail Zombie.
    The sun was high in the sky by the time T-Tongue woke them up, whimpering to be let out to do doggie doings. Grandma had already finished one crossword, started another and drunk three cups of tea.
    ‘You two look like you danced the night away. You must have really needed that early night.’
    ‘We might have another early night tonight, Grandma,’ said Lucy, thinking on her feet. ‘I’m still tired.’
    ‘So am I,’ said Ricardo, yawning theatrically.
    ‘Well, your mum will be exhausted by the time

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