Tuesday 18 February 2014

Extract: Marianne Curley's Broken.

Hey Guys! so I am a huge fan of Hidden By Marianne Curley and her sequel -  BROKEN is out 13th of March.  Bloomsbury UK/AU were kind enough to give me an extract to tease you guys! so check it out!


The moment I step out of B Block, Skinner is waiting and motioning with his head to follow him. This is all I need after Sophie’s insightful revelation.
About twenty metres past the new Drama Block extension, there is an old white building made from cement blocks. This eyesore used to be the original school toilets, but today it looks a lot more like an abandoned convict prison. Since the school opened two new facilities about fifty years ago, the local council condemned the structure, fixing steel grid gates to both male and female openings. These entrances are both tightly secured with solid brass padlocks.
Skinner produces a key, unlocks the female entrance and walks in.
I stand outside and stare at him. Even though it’s fifty years since the last kid peed in there, it still reeks of urine and, well, other stuff.
Right now, with pre-lunch classes underway, there’s no one around, not even the usual bunch of Year Seven boys that congregate at the back sometimes for a smoke.
Skinner sits on a timber bench inside, stretching his legs out and crossing his ankles. ‘Come in.’
‘It stinks.’
‘You’ll get used to it.’
‘I don’t think so. I’m not coming here again.’
He gets up and stands right in front of my face. He gives me a condescending smirk, like he’s privy to information so secret and important I could die from not knowing what it is. ‘Is that how you greet your best friend?’
‘No, but you’re not my best friend. You’re no friend at all. Not any more.’
He swings an arm round my shoulder. I don’t see it coming and I flinch and try to get away. But his grip is solid, like he’s been working out at the gym. He hauls me inside where it’s grey and cold and damp. ‘That’s why I’m here,’ he says.
‘To clarify the status of our renewed friendship.’ His face is too close. It feels wrong on every level. I stretch my neck as far away as I can. ‘We’re going to hang out again, just like we used to.’
‘Like when we were eleven?’ He can’t be serious.
‘Exactly, dude.’
He releases me and I stumble backwards in my rush to put space between us. My back hits a stained cement wall.
I’m not sure in the dim light whether the stain is a shadow or mould or something else.
‘Too much has happened since then, Adam. We can’t go back.’
He’s in my face again, forehead to forehead, eyeball to eyeball, nose to nose. He moves fast, and with aggression.
‘You’ll do what I say, all right, Jordy-boy?’
I try to shove him. ‘It’s not all right. And don’t call me that.’
He pouts like I hurt his feelings.
‘What are you doing here?’ I ask.
He steps back, laughing. ‘You’re touchy this morning. Did my ex not give you the good news you were hoping to hear?’
I don’t say a word. He laughs. ‘Just relax, dude, I’m not here to hurt you.’
‘No? So why are you bugging me at school where anyone can see you?’
He swirls his hands in the air. ‘Take a look around. This is where we’re going to hold our official meetings.’
‘What are you talking about?’
He pokes his finger in my chest, his face turning serious.
‘My employer is adamant I keep my eye on you to ensure you’re sticking to the terms of your arrangement with him. So when Principal Eckard reinstates me into Year Eleven tomorrow, we’re going to be friends again, meeting down here in our matching free periods two or three times a week for an update.’
My stomach drops. ‘You’re coming back to school just so you can check up on me?’
He takes his finger from my chest, points it at my head like a gun and makes a clunking noise in his mouth. ‘You got it, bro.’
‘Don’t call me that either.’
‘Why not? You used to like it.’
‘In that other time before you tried to kill me.’
He waves his hand in the air dismissively. ‘Oh that. Well, you killed my brother, so I say that makes us even.’
‘Dude, it doesn’t work that way. Whatever’s going on with you, whatever you’re on, keep me out of it. I’m not going to meet you here, Skinner. Tell your “employer” you don’t have to check up on me. I have until Ebony turns eighteen to break them up. And I told you I would do it. I’m not backing down on the deal.’
I try to push past him to leave, but he doesn’t budge. He sticks his chest out to block me while scrutinising me with narrowed eyes. Then he lifts his right shoulder and lets it drop. ‘If you say so.’
Something’s not right. Adam Skinner doesn’t give in, not unless it’s part of his plan.
I go along with it for now, keeping wary. ‘Yep.’ I point to the exit. ‘Now, if you don’t mind, I’m leaving.’
He doesn’t stop me. But before I feel the sun on my face he says, ‘Of course, there is another way’


Marianne Curley said...

Thank you Dark-Readers for hosting this sneak peak of Broken.

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