PROLOGUE

The nurse's white shoes squeaked on the shiny vinyl floor. Her heart was thumping as she walked down the corridor of the hospital. She had to break the news to the parents of the boy who had just died. She walked into the waiting room and saw the horrified faces of the parents. ==CHAPTER ONE== Corinne's eyelids flew open. She sat up drenched with a cold sweat. She couldn't stop shaking. Never in her life had she been so terrified. Corinne got out of bed and poured herself a glass of water. In her mind she could still see the terrified faces of the boy's parents and feel the nurses heart thumping (or was it her own?) Slowly the dream grew less vivid in her mind until she forgot about it. Corinne looked at her alarm clock. The luminous numbers showed 2:16. 'It's too early for Mum to be awake,' she thought. 'I guess I could go watch t.v to get my mind off this.' She crept silently down the stairs and went into the lounge. Corinne stayed up until the early hours of the morning when her mother got up. Over a breakfast of bacon and eggs, Corinne's mother scrolled through the paper until suddenly a small advertisement in the bottom corner of the page caught her attention. 'Summer Camp for Kids' it said. 'Open these summer holidays from Saturday 23rd April to Wednesday 28th April. Call 021 670 354 to book your spot now!' "Oooh. Cory do you want to go to a summer camp?""Yeah? When is it?""23rd April to the 28th April.""Ah Mum, don't you remember? We're having that dinner at Granny's on the 24th."
"Oh yeah. Maybe you could go to the Winter Camp later this year instead."
"I guess." Corinne walked to her room. Suddenly, a picture flashed through her mind and felt like dejavu. Piece by piece, Corinne started remembering more and more about her dream. As she walked, Cory struggled to keep her attention focused on the real world. The nurse and hospital began to feel more and more real. The phone rang as Corinne passed it, jolting her back into the real world. Her best friend Kyle's voice sent a warm tingling feeling through Corinne's body. She had a deep black hole circling in her body which shallowed when she heard the voice of her best friend Kyle.
"Hi Cory!" A soft but boyish voice sounded in the earpiece of the phone.
"Hey Kyle! What's up?"
"Did you hear? - There's a summer holiday camp these holidays. You interested?"
"I wanna go, but I gotta go to my Granny's house for dinner the night after it starts."
"Man! I don't wanna go by myself!"
"Ask Amy if she wants to go. Or Jimmy"
"Kay, see ya." The dial tone beeped in her ear as she went to put the phone down. As soon as she put the phone down, the hole in Corinne's stomach reappeared. Her blood no longer felt warm and red, but cold and black. Now what was she going to do on the holidays? Her friends would all be going away and she'd be stuck in a dump washing the dishes every day while her parents were at work. Plus, she had to think about the scary nightmares and the horrible feeling of dejavu every time she entered her bedroom. Even though she didn't know what the nightmares meant, she felt like there was something to worry about. Corinne shivered as she remembered the fear on the parents' faces and her heart thumping against her skin.

To shake the feeling, Corinne decided to go for a jog. She pulled up her long bright blue track pants. The cotton rubbed against her leg and her small wrist band made her fingers tingle. She set off down the road, heading for the bright traffic lights. She waited impatiently until she could cross the road then walked across and ran some two kilometres when she saw her friend, Amy.

"Hey, Amy!" she called. Amy looked back and started running towards Corinne, her dark brown hair swinging behind her. "Hey Cory!"
"Are you gonna go to the summer camp these holidays?"
"NO WAY! I hate camps. Last time I went on one, everybody laughed at me 'cause I was scared of swimming. I've hated camps ever since."
"Aww, tough luck," Corinne said. Seeing the way Amy's smile dropped off her face and the hurt that replaced it was all that prompted Corinne to add hastily, "Tough luck about the laughing I mean. I'm not going to the summer camp either."
my's smile didn't come back like it usually did. Instead her face turned pale and her eyes grew wide. She screamed hysterically and yelled, "Nooo. Move Cory, move!" ramming into her friend as she leaped past Corinne and raced off down the street. Corinne spun around almost hitting the lamp post as she lost her balance. She toppled into the nearby hedge and as she spat out the mouthful of leaves she had accumulated she looked around wildey for what it was that had startld Amy so much. Instantly she realised why Amy had screamed and run off waving her arms like a hooligan. She ripped herself out of the hedge and flopped onto the footpath as she saw what was lying on the ground beside her. Her Granny was lying on the ground, a small pool of blood quickly forming around her. Her white curly hair was nearly all gone except for a small patch in the middle of her head. The rest had fallen out to be replaced by horrible gashes running from her forehead to the tip of her neck. Black and blue bruises covered every square inch of skin on her face. Her nose was gone. In it's place was a giant hollow, filled with clotted blood. Her clothes were ripped and torn and the skin that was visible was blistered as though she had been burned with an iron.

Amy had raced off down the street chasing a man with a sack stained with dark patches. She stopped around a corner where Corinne could no longer see her. Corinne wasn't worried about Amy being hurt, but about catching the man.

Corinne didn't know what to do. She didn't have her mobile phone on her. She was terrified. She couldn't believe what was happening. She shouted out, "Call 111."

Tears were welling up in her eyes and trickling down her face. The man who had done this needed to be found. But little did she know, Amy had called the police while waiting at the corner.

Fifteen minutes later an ambulance turned up, called by a passer-by. There was no way her gran could still be alive.
Corrine asked herself, "Why my gran? And why did I happen to be there at the time to see her in such a state?"

That night Corinne couldn't get to sleep. She kept waking up with beads of sweat everywhere, glimpses of her gran's dead body popping up in her head, and then everything else was a blur.

The next morning at breakfast, nobody talked. They sat there in silence, grieving at the death of their Gran.The school bus hooted outside their house, but Corinne didn't move. She couldn't face the sympathy everyone would give her at school. She couldn't think about the camp. Now that her Gran was gone she wouldn't enjoy the paradise of the summer camp. She just sat there, aware that her Mum didn't expect her to go anywhere.

That day Corinne went through the same torture that she had endured at the sight of her Gran. Her parents had dropped the bombshell. Her parents had to start planning the funeral. She would have to go to the summer camp so her parent's could organize the funeral without upsetting Corinne in the process and making her lose the plot. Corinne began packing her bag for the summer camp. This was the hardest time of her life and she had no idea how to deal with it. She had to go to the camp and pretend she was having a blast.

CHAPTER 2

As the bus pulled up outside the summer camp, Corinne stomped to the door of the bus and kicked her foot onto the gravel ground. She scuffed her shoes up the path and dropped her bags onto the concrete decking."Are you ok?" asked Kyle anxiously. He knew what had happened after a bit too much talking with Amy on the phone. "Hey, Cory. I know what happened. Amy started jabbering about things which led into this. I'm really sorry. But just know, this isn't your fault and you don't deserve this at all.""I know, it's just ..... neither did she. She was so nice and did nothing so much as hurt a fly. It's just hard seeing such a nice, friendly lady, my Gran, in such a torturous state."Corinne started walking up a hill with her bags. Worried as Kyle was that she was about to start hitting him for no reason, he followed her. Corinne got to the top and threw her bags back down the side she had walked up and ran down after them. Corinne started laughing out of control and Kyle didn't know what to do. He was so close he felt like their breaths were mingling. He hugged her. Put his body up to hers and hugged her. Corinne slowly started to break out crying not realizing whether she was still laughing or crying. But then it was obvious. To both of them. Corinne was totally, without a doubt, crying. She pressed her hand against Kyle's back and cried even harder.Later, when Kyle and Corinne had settled into their cabins, Corinne started talking. Talking about her Gran and all of her achievements, whereabouts, discoveries, thoughts and how she wished that her Gran was still alive."She was really nice, hah?" Kyle asked."Yeah, but wishing doesn't change anything." Corinne said mournfully in a deep, low voice as she sat up from her bunk and walked outside. Kyle soon followed and repeated, "Cory, she was a good person and you or her don't love each other any less. So everything is going to be exactly the s...""NOO!" she screamed quickly at the top of her lungs. "Everything's NOT going to be the same. I'm never going to see her again. So don't talk about her or try to make me feel better because I'm never go to be!" = = ==CHAPTER 3== The next time Kyle saw Corinne after the incident she was a much better sight. She was laughing and happy. That night at dinner, Corinne and Kyle had saucy spaghetti while most of the camp had the cheesy macaroni. They slurped and splattered the tomato sauce onto each others faces and shirts, just like they used to at sleepovers. Corinne had made a spectacular break through considering the consequences. The death obviously seemed less real now, which got rid of Corinne's constant thinking about it."You know what?" Corinne said, spraying Kyle with tomato sauce. "You were right. I've been thinking about what you said last night and just because she has gone doesn't mean that she loves me less. Just in a different way.""I'm glad you see it that way," Kyle said with a nervous grin on his face. He didn't want to break the happy mood that they shared. "I've been thinking too and I've decided that you need some happiness in your life right now and I was wondering if you wanted to..." he paused and in that instant a high pitched shriek rang out through the hall. That broke their happy mood.The air around them seemed to grow colder and everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Corinne spun around and it was like a nightmare returning. Everywhere people were running and shouting as they saw what had befallen one of their comrades. But to Corinne they were just a faint annoyance. The thing that had captured most of her attention was the slight figure of a little boy lying in the middle of the food hall. His black spiky hair was sticking up on end and his wire framed glasses were lying askew. His nose was swollen and broken and there were rings around his eyes that looked like coal rubbed around them. His chest was rising and falling rapidly, and his breath sounded wheezy escaping from his lungs in a mere whisper. The children collided as they rushed to the door in a panic.The teacher's table exploded as the camp leaders fought their way towards the boy. Corinne jumped off her seat as the boy's sister rammed into her breaking through her confusion and horror. The girl's foot dug into her brother's hip, jolting it to one side revealing the sharp object sticking out of his side. The boy started making groaning noises.When the teachers reached him and frantically tried to get a response from him, he groaned again and responded slowly to their questions, confusion and pain making his head swim. The thing sticking out of his stomach, was in fact... his rib.

Later that night, the children sat in bed. Some prayed. Some just couldn't get the ambulance siren out of their head. Some were still in too much shock to comprehend the situation. And yet more sat and whispered quietly to each other, discussing what had happened. None of the children could get to sleep. Would they ever see the face of their friend again?... Or just the haunting sight of what they had seen earlier that night?

The teachers sat in silence in the camp's common room. The sight of little Jimmy Fisher's face would psychologically affect them for ever. The Head of Camp stood up "I've just received a call from the mother of Jimmy. She was distraught at what had happened to her baby. We have been told that we must return her daughter to the city immediately and that any other child that wishes to return home must be sent back or we will be sued. Also, any parent who wishes to have a refund has to have it in full before the 25th this week."

At this announcement, a wave of anger, sympathy and resignation swept through the room. The Head of Camp slapped the table to get the teachers attention again. "Despite this you will all be paid in full, even if every child goes home."

A slim figure stood up and said in a high sing-song voice, " What happens if one of the pupils stays but we don't want to?"

"You have no need to stay," boomed a loud voice from the back of the room. "You will all die if you do. I will not stop until I am the only person left on Earth. Good will fail and I will reign this god-forsaken planet. You are nothing but a small smear of dirt in this world. You will not stand in my way. My power is strong... stronger than yours could ever be. You will fail and I will RULE!"

At these words the lady who had spoken before let out an ear-piercing shriek that rang through the shiny common room, before falling in a dead faint at the feet of her colleagues.

The teachers meanwhile, had spun around looking for the intruder but no one was in sight.

The Computers and Technology teacher for the camp spoke up. "That came from a speaker. It's there, above Katie."

Katie was a plump lady in her mid thirties. She had short brown hair tied up in a bob. Her big brown eyes were excited and happy and she didn't seem perturbed by this turn of events. She twisted around and craned her neck up, looking at the speaker with obvious interest. "Well, would you look at that," she said. "So there is. AWESOME! You know what? Nothing like this has ever happened to me before! It's kind of exciting don't you think? Do you want me to pull it down? Or we could smash it or..." She trailed off as she saw the disbelieving looks on everyones face. "What?" she said defiantly. "Somebody's got to be cheerful don't they? Otherwise the world would be full of grumpy old misers roaming around growling at everybody and everything. Although," she added as an afterthought, "if something like that happened everyday it wouldn't be boring but still..."

While this conversation was taking place, Corinne and Kyle were sneaking around the back of the common to the back of the food hall. They were standing outside in the chilly air, their breath clouding their vision. Dew was forming on the grass stems making the ground wet and slippery. Out of the darkness a black shape loomed.

"D'you think that's the food hall?"

The sound of Kyle's voice made Corinne jump. "Yes. We just passed the toilet block and the food hall was just beyond that," she replied, quickly recovering her composure.

"Okay." came back the hushed reply.

They silently crossed the remaining ground to the hall and walked around the back to the delivery door. Carefully, Kyle picked the lock and it opened with a quiet 'shick'. They slipped inside and shut the door before talking.

"Cory, do you really think that we need to be here?" asked Kyle, his voice barely more than a whisper.

"Yes. I want to know what happened to the boy. Do you know what his name was?"

" I think that it was James Fish or something."

Together they slipped into the darkened hall and sneaked into the kitchen.

"If you were going to hurt someone, wouldn't you need to have a sharp knife or something?" Corinne asked.

"How would I know?" came the reply, from somewhere to her left.

"Fine then, I'll answer myself. If I was going to kill someone, or at least really badly hurt them, and I was at a Summer Camp with a huge kitchen, I would go there to find a sharp instrument for killing. Where would the knives be?" Kyle answered with a slight catch in his voice.

"There on the bench behind you. I think that you've found what was used too and believe me it most definitely wasn't a knife."

Corinne turned around, and a startled yelp escaped from her lips before it was smothered by Kyle's hand. "Shhh!" he hissed before removing his hand from her mouth.

Lying on the bench behind Corinne was a gnarled old finger with a long red fingernail. The nail was so red that for a second Corinne thought that it was nailpolish. With a start she realised that it was blood. There was a red stain surrounding the finger and the tip of the nail was hidden. Kyle thought that it was the blood that was hiding it but Corinne realised that the end had been dug into the bench.

The serial killer was somewhere!!!! They didn't know what to do. Could he be watching there every move? They ran as fast as they could back to their cabin and shut there door behind them. They were so frightened! They had seen the boys finger cut off and stuck down into the bench.

==CHAPTER 4== Back in town, Corinne's parents were still struggling to come to terms with Granny's death. Granny had died and been taken away by the ambulance. Corinne's parents, Jane and David and her friend Amy had been taken to the police station for questioning. They sat nervously as a chunky police officer looked at them across his desk. The computer to his right hummed quietly and sent light patterns dancing across his dark blue uniform. One of these patterns glinted off a silver badge pinned to his chest. "Constable Matthew Swinden" it said. Constable Swinden had greasy black hair combed across his balding crown. His face was droopy and unshaven but his eyes were kind. "Who was there when the body was found?" he asked."I-i-i was the only one there," said Amy. "Well, apart from Corinne of course. She's my best friend." Constable Swinden pulled out his notebook, turned to a fresh page and wrote a neat comment in pencil at the top of the page. "Oh yeah. There was also another person there who was running off with a blood stained sack over his shoulder.""What did he look like?" asked Constable Swinden. "Did you get a good look?""Yes, I did. I kinda chased after him and I caught up with him around the corner. He was about the same height as David and he had shoulder length blonde hair with dark brown highlights. His eyes were a really weird colour. They were a blue-grey colour but so close to grey that it was scary. He had a brown cloth sack over his shoulder with bloodstains dotting it all over. He had on a long black robe thing and it billowed out around his ankles." Again Constable Swinden wrote a neat note on the page. This time though, it filled up a whole page. A thoughtful look crossed his face and swiveled on his chair so that he could access his computer. He filled in the data and to curious glances form Amy, Jane and David, punched his fist up into the air and yelled "Stewey, get in here! I need you!" The door opened with a 'BANG!' and in strutted a large,muscle bound man of about 25 years. His face was clean shaven and his short brown hair was cut in the latest style and gelled up into spikes. His nose was slightly overlarge and his lips were full. But most startling were his eyes. They were a cold blue-grey colour and as he looked around it was with a superior glare. His uniform was the same colour as Constable Swinden's but seemed different somehow. "What d'you want?" he asked suspiciously. "We have a match!!" said Constable Swinden ecstatically.

Amy went to Corinne's house with Jane and David and together they discussed what had happened at the police station. They were all very worried that the description of the killer was so similar to the police officer. Amy's parent's had to go to a late meeting that night, so Jane and David offered for her to stay until her parent's picked her up. That night Amy, Jane and David started talking about the things that had happened and they tried to put the pieces together.

"It is possible that 'Police Officer, Stewey' is the killer. He was quite rude when Constable Swinden called him in, he might be. Police Officers always talk nicely to each other," Jane said.

"But how would he have got the job with a fake qualification of being a cop?" Amy asked.

"Maybe he was actually qualified to be a cop," Jane admitted.

"Some people go to desperate measures," David said.

That night Corinne's parent's were told about the latest catastrophe at camp. They wanted Corinne home immediately. Amy and Corinne's parents drove out to the park were the bus pulled up. They saw Corinne rushing past the line of people in the bus. When she hopped off, instead of hitting the ground, Corinne was swept off her feet into her parent's arms. "I missed you so much," cried Jane to her daughter. "As soon as we got the phone call from camp telling us about the...thing, we told them we wanted you home straight away. Did Kyle come back too?"
"No. He told his parents that he wanted to stay and that he would be careful and safe." Corinne replied.

The drive home seemed to take forever because the whole way home, all she could think about was the boy with the ribs, and her Granny, the finger and the man who killed her Granny. But the smiling faces of her parents, although Amy stayed unusually quiet the whole way home, were enough to tell that she was home at last and all of the horrible occurances were over..... Or so she thought.

When Corinne got home, she looked around at her surroundings. The house looked exactly the same on the inside, but everything reminded her of the horrible ordeals she had been through in the last couple of weeks. Amy's parents and Corinne's parents thought it would be best if Amy stayed the night at Corinne's house. Corinne and Amy and Corinne's parents stayed up late talking about the man at the police station. Corinne was disgusted that anyone would be so conniving and pretend to be loyal to his job, as a police officer, just to be able to kill someone and not be suspected. Or if he really was a good police officer, that he would kill someone as innocent as an old harmless lady, when people are relying on him to keep their families and themselves safe. "I feel sorry for anyone who would stoop so low. That's all there is to it. He's a lowlife who never learned any values and I feel terribly sorry for him. If you don't mind, I'm gonna go to bed. I've lost my appetite," Corinne said in a low, grumpy voice. "Goodnight."

The next morning Corinne quietly sneaked past the other bedrooms trying hard not to wake anyone up. She sat at the breakfast table and decided to make waffles. She took her anger out on the dough, pounding and beating it until she just slammed it on to the counter and crouched into a ball crying. A little while later she got up and started to add the blueberries to the batter. She fried them on a waffle iron. Just as she was pouring orange juice and putting fruit and maple syrup on the table, Amy and her parents walked into the kitchen. "Honey, the police station called. They have a lead..."

CHAPTER FIVE

Together, Corrine, her parents and Amy headed off to the police station. There they met with Constable Swinden again. "Hello. How are you?
"A bit shaky, as you can imagine," Jane said on behalf of Corinne.
"We have good news. We found the sack and we have a suspect. You will find the news rather startling, a-and keep it in mind that this is just suspicion, it may not necessarily be accurate.
"Just, who is it. I'm not going to feel sorry for him. Whoever killed my Granny and that poor boy deserves to die!" Corinne started weeping.
"It's okay, honey. They're going to find the killer," Jane said re-assuringly to her daughter.
"Who is it?" David asked.
"Well, we think the person who killed your Grandmother may be a different person to who killed the boy."
"Who is it?" Corinne asked.
"Well, we think the person who killed your Grandmother may be....Kyle.
"Kyle, who?" Corinne and Amy asked.
"Kyle Cunnova," Swinden said.
"NO way! It can't be! He's my best friend!" Corinne yelled out.
"I'm sorry, Darl', but that the lead so far. There is a possibility that we're wrong."
"What's your evidence, Constable?" asked Jane.
"The fingerprints on the sack told us that it was him. You said that he was as tall as David. Am I correct?"
"Yes," Corinne said under her breath.
"There was some of Kyle's hair on your Granny's cloak."
"Kyle did have a small patch of hair missing. Not enough to have a bald patch though but it was like a hair dresser snipped him a bit to much. But what's going to happen to Kyle. He's underage, so he can;t go to jail."
"Have you ever heard of the Juvenile Offenders jail?" asked Swinden.
"Yes. But that place is for 'looneys'! He can't go there. He can't be the killer. He's been so supportive the whole way! He's my best friend," Corinne argued.

Corinne's startled family and Amy drove back to their house and had lunch. For the rest of the day, they sat around talking. The Police were arresting Kyle and there was nothing Corinne could do.

When the police arrived at the camp, they saw that Kyle and Jimmy were the only children there. They moved in and arrested Kyle. Jimmy sat there and smirked as this whole scenario was taking place. Constable Swinden noticed this and walked over to him. "What's your name?" asked Constable Swinden, his kind, jolly manner gone, replaced with a hard, efficient manner. " Jimmy Jones," was the curt reply. "Well Jimmy, why are you smirking? That's your friend over there being arrested and your laughing at him!"
"Oh, well, um..."
"Anyway, please take me to your cabin. I want to see if there is some evidence there of Kyle's activites." asked Constable Swinden. Nervously Jimmy walked over towards the cabin he had been sharing with Kyle. He opened the door and showed the Constable the room before quickly shutting the door. Swinden had seen something suspicious though. Sitting on the bed had been a small plastic bag. He turned to Jimmy and said "Please open the door again. This time though, I'm going into the room and you are coming in with me. I want you to clarify some things for me." Again, the door was opened but this time Constable Swinden strode in, followed by Jimmy. Swinden walked over to the bed, pulled on a pair of disposable gloves and picked up the little parcel of white powder. Carefully, he extracted a tiny bag from his pocket and placed the parcel in side. He turned to Jimmy for the first time scince entering the room and asked him, "Who slept in this bed?"
"Kyle," said Jimmy his palms sweating, his voice squeaky and his head spinning. He had to sit down on the opposite bunk before he could think clearly again. "Right," came the sarcastic reply. "Do you know what that white powder is? No? Really. Well I know for sure that you're lying. You slept in this bed and you know what the powder is too. It's a drug of some description and I'd say you took some... a little over an hour ago judging by the way your acting at the moment. And before you ask, I know this because all your clothes are lying on this side of the room and I know that because they all have J.J written on them."

Jimmy and Kyle were both taken off to the police station and were questioned for 2 hours each before the real story was told. Apparently Kyle had nothing to do with anything. He had been framed by Jimmy and Police Officer Stewey. Stewey had killed Granny and Jimmy had harmed the boy at camp who had scince died. Jimmy had hurt the boy because Stewey was stealing drugs that they had confiscated on duty and was giving them to Jimmy for hurting the people he wanted to be hurt. Apparently Stewey was a psychologically challenged person who had escaped from a hospital 4 years ago. His escape had never been reported though. And so Kyle was pardoned, Jimmy was sent off to Young Offenders and Stewey was returned to the hospital.

When Kyle told Corrine of the terrible trouble he had been in, she burst into tears. Sobs racked her body as she hugged Kyle tightly. Slowly, her tears subsided until she was calm again. She felt confused, tired, depressed and happy, all at the same time. Her heart was thumping as she lay back on her bed. Kyle stood and started to leave the room to give her breathing space. But then Corrine called to Kyle." Wait, come back."
"What is it?" Corrine got up off the bed, walked towards Kyle and kissed him.
==----

THE END!!!! ----

==