Excerpt From Chapter 3 - The Bottle

   She told her brother of walking on the beach, calling out in her sleep in hospital and the ‘visit’ of Dr. Gill. Then she told him about the gull that kept on appearing as if it were following, watching, maybe trying to get her and that it had been there on the roof when they had arrived home.

   “And on the window sill when we came into the room last time!” Jamie butted in excitedly, “So it wasn’t really me that upset you, it was the gull!”

   “Yes…well mostly the gull, you put the icing on the cake with your pratty jokes!”


   Aimee smiled, “So what do you think then?”

   “I think that we should look at the bottle and see if it jogs your memory.” He nudged her into action and she opened up the bag and pulled the bottle out.

   It felt oddly warm as she turned it in her hands, not the usual cool feel of glass. She turned it over and over looking for any writing or symbols or marks. There were none, it was exactly as Jamie had described in the hospital: old looking, square body with a round neck and a marble for a stopper and it had some oily looking liquid in it that seemed to be in layers of different shades of green. At least they were green when she took it out of the bag, now they had changed to more of a blue colour!

   “Hey, it’s changed colour!” Jamie exclaimed, “Neat trick, Sis!”

   “It must be the heat from my hands; it must be heat sensitive whatever it is. Let’s try warming it up a bit more.” She put the bottle under her arm and snuggled it tightly for a few minutes. “Now let’s see…oh, it’s still the same blue!” She put it down on the bed and the colour changed back to its original green.

   “Here, let me have a go,” Jamie said as he picked up the bottle and held it tight. After a minute or so he held it up. It was still green - no change at all. “That’s strange! You have another go!”

   Aimee picked it up and then dropped it back onto the bed as immediately the oily liquid turned to blue. It wasn’t heat sensitive, it was Aimee sensitive!

   “That can’t happen…can it? I mean it’s… impossible…isn’t it? Jamie gasped, his eyes telling of the bewilderment he felt. “Here, let me try again!”

   He snatched the bottle from the bed and held it gently with his fingertips, then tightly in his right hand, his left hand, in both hands, all with no change in the colour of its contents. “Impossible,” he breathed as he gave the bottle to Aimee and watched, eyes agape, as green again became blue.

   Aimee held it in her left hand and touched it gently with the fingertips of her right hand. She followed its smooth lines and then again became aware that it was warm to her touch almost as if it was generating its own heat…as if it were alive!

   “Impossible!” she agreed as she put it back down on the bed.

   “You said I was holding it when you found me. Then it must have something to do with what happened and where it happened or why would I have it?” Aimee reasoned. Jamie nodded his agreement. “So where did I find it and how did I get hurt…and how did I get back home when I was unconscious? I remember setting off for a walk on the beach after you’d gone off to footy practice so perhaps all the dirt came from there. We’ll go to the beach first thing tomorrow morning and look for clues.” She decided.

   “Great and how are you going to wangle me a day off school then genius?” moaned Jamie.

   “Oh sorry, I forgot about that. I’ll have to wait until you come home. I don’t think Mum will let me go on my own yet and I don’t really want her to come, she’d only start asking questions and then worry even more about me!”

   “Yeh, you should have seen the look on her face when she saw you sprawled all over the doorstep with a massive hole in your h…”

   “Thank you Jamie,” she interrupted, not wanting to hear the gory bits again even if he did enjoy telling her. She picked up the bottle again which turned instantly blue and radiated its warmth to her hands. “I’d love to be at the beach now…”


   The sea water lapped around Aimee’s ankles as she stared around at the cliffs. The sky was darkening and a little light rain was just beginning to fall, Aimee shivered and looked down at the bottle, warm in her hands.

   “How have I got here?” she whispered to herself though the beach was deserted so no-one could have heard.

   She looked up again, following the line of the cliff tops against the late evening sky and saw the newly exposed earth where the edge had broken away and fallen to the beach below to be washed and levelled by the sea. Not a massive slip but enough to bury a twelve year old girl! She walked towards it, her sea-soaked slippers squelching on her feet, her denim jeans clinging to her calves and her thin red t-shirt beginning to darken as it soaked up the rain. Again she shivered, even on a summer evening the wind could be cold coming off the sea, but she also felt frail and confused.

   “How have I got here?” she whispered again.

   This time she was answered by the screeching cry of the gull as it fell from the sky, diving, wings folded back to allow maximum streamlining and therefore maximum speed. Its wings spread at the last possible moment to control the dive and level off to hit Aimee beak first, to catch and snatch its target.

   Aimee’s protective reflexes made her turn and bend forward at the very moment the gull stretched out its neck and she felt the disturbed air move over her back and head as it missed. It adjusted its wing shape to make it soar upwards to ready itself for another attack.

   She looked up and saw it soaring, gliding and turning, and then it dipped its head, swept back its wings and began its dive.

   “Why am I here?” she cried out, “I want to go home!”

   Her right leg hit the end of her bed and she pitched forward, her whole body hitting the dry warm duvet a fraction of a second before her head did. Her shivering wet form lay face down for a few moments before she turned over on her back and looked up at the ceiling, eyes wide and staring, trying to make sense of the last few minutes. A familiar voice brought her back to the here and now.

   “How the hell did you do that?” Jamie blurted.


A walk on the beach … a landslip… a scavenging gull… suddenly Aimee and her brother are forced to confront their enemies, past and present. The ‘accidental’ discovery of an old bottle with remarkable properties brings them face to face with Larus, an evil adversary of their ancestors. This conflict is mirrored by their families fight with George Walmsley, a murderous villain, who is responsible for their father’s disappearance. And when Walmsley and Larus join forces only quick wits and a united family can hope to survive. Great excitement, great fun and Cuddles the dog as well!