Setting: Modern

The Tattoo

‘I know you think you don’t want it,’ said Gary’s girlfriend, Claire, ‘but just think. When you turn 18, most of your friends will have their tattoos already. People will want to see yours. Look, you can tell them that you’re getting it later, that you couldn’t book an appointment, but how long can you lie? One day, you’ll look around and think, “God, why don’t I have a tattoo? Everyone else does.” ’

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Have You Seen This Woman?

She was singing. She was drunk, I think, the way she sang. Maybe she had drunk a big glass of vodka. But her singing was good. She sounded sad, but the music was good. We were all so surprised to see her there.

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The Shadow Club #12: The Elephant in the Room

‘No!’ said Max, shaking his head. ‘You don’t understand. I want to do this. Not just because I’ll have more time for Heroes of Forever. If you’re all busy at the academy, one of us has to deal with the sh—I mean, one of us has to stay and run The Shadow Club.’

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The Shadow Club #11: Fighting Cats and Fighting Bulls

‘Here you go,’ I said, giving her the book. ‘Los Gatos Luchadores. You like cats, right?’
Willow looked up at the word ‘cat’, and then her eyes grew wide.
‘Fighting Cats!’
She grabbed the book out of my hands and immediately started reading it. It was a Spanish translation of a Fighting Cats book, apparently.

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The Tightrope Walker

The people began to shout and cheer: ‘You can do it!’ ‘He’s three quarters of the way across!’ ‘Just a bit more!’ Everyone’s hearts were open to the tightrope walker. They did not imagine him dying now. They imagined him making it to the end. They imagined the feeling, when he would make the last step, and everything would be OK.

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The Shadow Club #10: An Easy Game

So Saturday came, and I woke up nice and early to go to the football match. Normally, I’d be excited, but today my stomach clenched and I felt tired before the game even began.
‘I just have to make it through this,’ I told myself. ‘It’s half term afterwards and then I can have a proper rest.’

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Misty the Snake

Why could nobody understand it? I loved Marmite, and so did my pet snake, Misty. Well, she wasn’t my pet. She was my ex-boyfriend’s. But I loved her more than him.
And she loved me, too. As soon as that letter had come through the door, I knew it. I was her real owner. Not my ex.

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The Shadow Club #9: Now We Know

A scream came from the school, interrupting her. I jumped off the wall.
‘That was Max!’
We ran inside and up the stairs to the library. I threw my bag off my shoulder, pulling out my golf club. I saw Larry taking out his boxing gloves and Bethany getting her boots on as well. We all knew what was coming.

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The Shadow Club #8: Ready to Fight

The door to the classroom opened, and we all turned around. Mr Burne stood there. Then he saw Bethany, who was still holding his notebook in the air like, well, like a weapon. She gasped, but it was like she couldn’t move. None of us could move. For a moment, I wondered if Mr Burne’s hair was going to fall out, or if he would shout at us. But he just walked over, took the notebook out of Bethany’s hands, and threw it in the bin.
‘Get out,’ he said. ‘Now.’

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The Shadow Club #7: A Group Project

Later on, in history class, Mr Pearson announced we were going to do a group project, to prepare for our coursework. These teachers just wouldn’t give us a break, would they? I knew that we were in year 10, but it wasn’t like our exams were tomorrow!
‘You’ll be working in groups of four. Each group will choose a period of British history, and you’ll have to give a presentation describing the lives of ordinary people in that period. And no, Mr Marshall, you can’t write about cavemen.’

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