With all of the mystery surrounding it, people travelled for many days just to catch a glimpse of the water in Crow’s Nest Pond, so it was a rare occasion for anybody, let alone sixth grader, Billy Coates, to have the pond all to themselves. And yet, here he was: knees pressed against the jagged orange rock that made a circular border around the pond while his fingers struggled to keep a tight grip on the rock’s edge. The sound of stones crumbling away and into the water below did nothing to put his mind at ease. He closed his eyes and leaned his body forward, knowing that once he opened them, he would be faced with the one thing that scared him the most: His own reflection.
Three days earlier, during Greenvale school’s morning recess, Billy was leading his two buddies, Samson Phillips and Kyle Walters, around the busy schoolyard causing as much mischief as their hearts desired. Whether it was using their water bottles to spray on unsuspecting students walking past them or knocking on their teacher’s door and running away, the three of them were never short on ideas to disrupt the thoughts and activities of your average Greenvale student or staff member. “Why are you like this?” the students regularly asked, and Billy would simply laugh at the absurd suggestion that an answer to such a question even existed. Stopping only to stand on the untied shoes of Quinn Newman, Billy led Samson and Kyle down the wide, concrete path that ended at the glass doors to the school’s library. Although he often said that picking on kids in the library was like hunting for fish in a barrel, Billy pushed the doors opened as if they were built especially for him and scoured every corner of the quiet room in search of someone who might help him scratch his bullying itch. His eyes stopped on the red hair of a girl he instantly recognised as belonging to Haley Bremmer.
Haley was sitting on the sole couch in the library, engrossed in a book that Billy thought wouldn’t be out of place in the history section. Billy tilted his head from side to side, cracking his neck in the process. Once he could tell that his two friends were behind him, Billy strolled over to where Haley was sitting and knelt down in front of her. He had the feeling that Haley was deliberately ignoring him, so he tapped the spine of the hardcover book that Haley was pretending to read. Doing her best to remain calm, Haley lifted her head up from the book she was reading and stared at Billy’s smirk through her glasses. Billy snatched the leather-bound book out of Haley’s hand, flipped it over and read the title: The Real History of Greenvale – Part 4: Crow’s Nest Pond.
YOU CAN READ PART TWO BY CLICKING HERE!
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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