Scene: the dump. Errol is a toy pig; Dave is the narrator’s older brother. They are tossing away junk scavenged from the attic. The narrator gets nostalgic about one of the old toys…
For a moment I stood there, holding Errol fondly. Then I squeezed him, remembering the cheery oink-oink noise he’d make when you did that. The only sound that came out of him was a low burp. I tried it again. Nothing.
‘See?’ said Dave, his hairy nostrils widening as though he could smell something worse than the stench of the tip. ‘It’s useless.’
Suddenly I was angry at Errol. I’d been about to defy Dave and hold onto the old toy, but the stupid piece of junk didn’t even work any more. I rammed it into the bag, twisted the top and flung it out across the dump. As the bag arched through the air, everything spilled out. With an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, I watched Errol tumble away from the rest and land on a filthy pile of garbage bags. Maybe it was childish, but it made me feel sad.
Then my attention caught on something poking from the sea of bags.
‘Dave,’ I said, ‘what’s that?’
‘Looks like a hand.’ I swallowed, seeing clearly the bent and bloodied fingers.
‘Don’t be stupid! It’s probably a store dummy.’
As usual, he was wrong.
This is the beginning of “Abandoned” — my new YA supernatural-crime story that has just appeared in the anthology Trust Me! edited by Paul Collins and published by Ford St. Publishing. It involves murder, old toys and a ghost…
The amazing number of original stories, poems and illustrations included in the anthology represents a significant proportion of Australia’s children’s writers, poets and illustrators, as the listing on the back cover indicates:
The huge anthology offers examples of writing in a wide variety of the genres, with considerable cross-over tales as well. If you’re a young adult reader, or simply someone who enjoys reading good stories, you’ll want to get a copy for yourself. If you’re a librarian, you’ll need a few copies on your shelves (they won’t stay there unread for long!). If you’re a teacher you should have a class set…
The website even supplies free teaching material.
And anyway, don’t you want to know what happens in “Abandoned”?